In resonating with the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost – the road less traveled certainly describes my personal and professional journey. Having ventured on this road has made all the difference in my life.
My maternal grandparents emanated from England. From there they traveled to Montana and became homesteaders in the wilderness. I suppose this has given me my adventurous spirit!
I was born and raised in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania. Growing up in a small town exemplified the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”. Through my family, I learned the value of contributing to our community. I served my church as a camp counselor and as a Sunday School Teacher and also assisted at the YMCA. I am currently a member of the Lehigh County Community College Foundation Board and President of the Whitehall Township Industrial and Commercial Development Authority.
I reflect on the time in my life when I was choosing a college to attend. Having been accepted at Michigan State, my parents encouraged me to also consider other colleges. I decided to apply to the University of Colorado for pre-med. Not long after attending the University of Colorado I found that pre-med was not my calling. However, skiing, mountain climbing and sky-diving were more to my liking. I left the University of Colorado and worked in various areas such as construction, loading and driving
for United Parcel Service and finally working the blast furnace at our local Bethlehem Steel. It was at Bethlehem Steel that I learned about the “good” and the “bad” regarding unions and management. Learning from all experiences was another significant lesson my parents instilled in me.
While at Bethlehem Steel, I decided it was time to find a profession that was better for my health. I enrolled at Lehigh County Community College where I met some incredible and stimulating professors. Much to my surprise I discovered that I loved economics and pre-law courses however I was required to take accounting courses. BANG ! The lightbulb went on and I found the course of study for me.
Having earned an AS BA from Lehigh County Community College and graduating with honors, I transferred to SUNY Oneonta. While at SUNY, I met my future wife, married and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Economics & Accounting, With my degree in hand I moved back home, settling in Whitehall, PA to begin my career in public accounting. In 1983, I established my own accounting practice, Accounting & Tax Associates.
Prior to opening my practice, I was the Controller for a large car dealership. I acquired the Lehighton Lincoln Mercury dealership in 1985 and the Lehighton Ford dealership in 2001. From 2001through 2006 I was the Assistant to the President of the Detroit Lions Football Team while continuing to run my firm.
For over 35 years, my practice has thrived and flourished into what is now ATA Financial Group, LLC. We have remained local and continue to help our clients navigate the rapid changes in the economy, financial markets and taxation laws by providing comprehensive tax planning and financial advisory services. We also cater to many out of state clients who have trusted us and retained our services even when moving from the area.
In 2015, I was honored to receive the recognition of Distinguished Alumni by SUNY Oneonta.
Today, with 2 married daughters and 6 grandchildren I continue to have a full life. I enjoy golfing, playing tennis and traveling.