Funny how time flies.  About this time last year we were knee deep in trying to get our new office ready.  Now I’m in the process of getting it all cleaned up and back in shape for our second season.  But a lot has happened since we shuttered the doors for the summer.  With that being said, I thought I should pen a note updating everyone on exactly what I’ve been up to since then.

Kinder Morgan

Well, back in April I landed a temp/contract job with a company called Kinder Morgan.  For those unfamiliar with the name, Kinder Morgan is the largest midstream energy company and the third largest energy company (based on combined enterprise value) in North America.  If you’ve ever driven down I-55 and seen a facility that looks like this then you’ve more than likely driven by their Argo terminal.

The company actually has many business segments ranging from pipelines (natural gas/products) to CO2 and terminals. I was actually stationed at their Argo terminal which is basically a big liquid storage facility for anything and everything fuel related.  The business is actually quite interesting and was certainly a departure from my manufacturing and service industry days.  Initially I was brought on to help create some routine financial reporting based upon the Hyperion Essbase application.  I was told that my time with them could be anywhere from a few months all the way up to a full six when I was scheduled to return to Wilson Rogers in December.

Well, the initial reporting was created within a month of me being there so I wasn’t sure what exactly would be next.  However, I did wind up staying almost seven months and assisting with things ranging from budget reporting to a host of other things.  But the best part of the gig had to be the people.  Not since my days with the PCD team at PepsiCo had I had the opportunity to work with such an “eclectic” bunch.  So to Ron, Brion, Steve, Flo, Angela, Asad, Keith, Lukas and Maureen (aka the mother of Mr. Spanky, who makes some mean hummus by the way) – it was a blast working with you all and thanks for the opportunity.

Cycling & Racing Bikes

Well some of you may have heard a little story about me breaking bones back in March.  Via a boneheaded move that is not really worth writing about (as it’s not awesome and didn’t happen in a race) I managed to take a spill on my bike and break my wrist.  This happened right during the height of tax season and required surgery, a titanium plate and about 8 screws to fix.  To say that things were interesting during this time would probably be an understatement.

Well, the short story about my race season is that it was 1) delayed due to healing, 2) had its ups and downs and 3) was only somewhat similar to what I had hoped for.  So to make up for that I decided to make it epic in other ways like riding 200+ miles to four states in a single day and taking 3rd in my age group at the Illinois State Time Trial Championships.

 Ben, Nikos, Ryan, Bill, Jared and Coach Randy showing off our hardware


Ms. Rogers Becomes Mrs. Rogers?

If the title has you confused then maybe this story will help straighten it all out.  Typically in August, Aaronita and I head up to Michigan to visit my parents for a little relaxation and some bike racing.  Well, this year the entire family was in Chicago on the date of this year’s Cherry Roubaix.  Why?  Because my little sister was getting married!  The funny thing about it is that her fiancé Melvin actually had the last name of Rogers.  Don’t worry, we already checked and no he’s not some long lost cousin!  Guess her lack of name change will at least simplify things for her when it comes to her next tax return huh?

Melvin & Whitney Rogers

The original Mr. & Mrs. Rogers with the kids

All in all it was a good time and we’re happy to have Melvin as part of the family.  As you can see from the picture below, Pilar also had a blast.  Not only did she get to be the flower girl at her Aunts wedding, she also got to compete in her very first dance off!

Melvin’s brother Romey vs. Pilar in the infamous dance off

Vacations, Hurricanes and Weddings – Oh My!

In early November all eyes were on the east coast as hurricane Sandy threatened to make a mess of just about everything.  This was important to our family as my sister-in-law Sonya and her fiancé Jason live in New York.  What was even more pressing was that they were supposed to be getting married on November 4th down in beautiful St. Thomas.  Needless to say, they decided to catch an earlier flight so as to not get stranded by the storm.  Good thing too as no one wanted to miss views and experiences like these:

 Trunk Bay – St. John’s US Virgin Islands

Sonya & Jason on their special day

The St. Thomas trip was a blast and is probably the first “real” vacation that our family has taken in about a year.  When you work for your own company, when you don’t work you don’t earn.  But with that said, the trip was most certainly one for the memory books and we’re proud to add Jason to the family.  Here is a shot of me with all my girls so to speak.

Judy, Aaronita, Pilar and Jared after the wedding

Getting Ready For Next Tax Season

So other than all the exciting stuff mentioned above, I was also busy working on building up the practice.  While tax season is only a four month affair, there are always things that need to be done as we strive to grow.  First there was the addition of some new sales reps to the firm.  I’m pretty excited that they will represent the company well and continue to spread the word of what a wonderful practice we have.  In the offseason we also added a monthly newsletter to our advertising arsenal.  The response to it has been pretty good thus far, especially when you have a monthly contest where you’re giving away $50 gas cards!

Other things we worked on included some of the following:

  • Continued servicing of our growing number of bookkeeping clients
  • Increasing our advertising reach via supporting local church bulletins
  • Expanding our current client referral program with one we think will generate some real excitement come January (more on this to come in the next few weeks)
  • Renewing and expanding our partnership with EPS Financial as we strive to continue to offer economical and responsible financial products to those who are “unbanked”

So as you can see, my summer was filled with lots of activities, lots of fun, and lots of work.  Now all we have to do is try and gauge how  delayed the tax season will be due to the Fiscal Cliff and the IRS scrambling to decide which way to go with updating their system.  Who said being in the tax field was boring?  Until next time!