Sustaining Sponsor Spotlight: HW&Co.
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association is pleased to feature our Sustaining Sponsors in the 2022 Spotlight Series. This week, the focus is on Bronze Sponsor: HW&Co.
Location (Main Headquarters): 23240 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 700, Beachwood, OH 44122
Year started: 1990
Number of employees: 120+
Number of facilities: We have five Ohio locations (Cleveland East, Cleveland West, Columbus, Mansfield, and Willoughby). Though based in Ohio, HW&Co. serves clients nationally and internationally.
Type of services offered: Accounting, Tax Planning, Auditing, Private Business Advisory, Fraud & Forensic Accounting, Healthcare Consulting, and Valuation & Transaction Advisory
Company history: Mel Howard and Harvey Wershbale, along with a handful of co-workers, established Howard, Wershbale & Co. in 1990. Today, HW&Co. has grown from a small local CPA firm of 22 employees to one of the country’s top 200 firms with over 120 employees and five locations. In 2014, our firm officially changed its name to HW&Co. We provide award-winning service and solutions throughout the U.S., as well as internationally.
How has your company changed over the years? When HW&Co. originated, it was known for its expertise in healthcare. However, our firm quickly diversified, and we now serve many industries, including manufacturing, nonprofit, construction, private equity, and technology. In November 2021, HW&Co. acquired The Shealy Group, which specialized in agribusiness and farm operations, among other areas. This broadened the services that we could provide to that community, and gave us expertise to advise on farm succession planning, operations and cash flow, farm financing, tax benefits unique to farmers, farm transportation, and farm technology.
How do you see your company growing in the future? HW&Co.’s strategic plan initiative is growth through both organic and firm acquisitions.
Interesting tidbits about your business:
- We believe that conversations change everything. What makes us different is that we truly listen to our clients, and by taking the time to listen, we get to know their history, present status, and—most importantly—their vision for the future.
- HW&Co is a Top 200 firm on INSIDE Public Accounting’s annual ranking. This year, Accounting Today named us one of the leading CPA firms in the Great Lakes region. Ohio Business Magazine has named us the top accounting firm in the state for the past two years. A full list of our awards can be found on our website at https://hwco.cpa
- HW&Co. is a member of PrimeGlobal, which gives us resources and technical capabilities comparable to those of the Big Four accounting firms in terms of size, scope, and skill by providing global access to accounting and advisory resources.
- Our CEO – Brandon Miller, CPA, CGMA—started with HW&Co. as an intern in 1996. He became CEO in 2020.
- We don’t just meet with our clients at “tax time.” HW&Co . helps our clients build, grow, and sustain their businesses to ensure a successful future.
How has OABA helped your business or the agribusiness industry? Our affiliation with OABA provides our clients with confidence that we are well-educated and up-to-date on unique issues facing agribusiness organizations. Whether a particular client is a small family-owned farm or a large agribusiness operation, we are well-versed in issues specific to their business, and OABA contributes to our knowledge of the industry. OABA is a valuable resource and advocate for agribusinesses across the state, and we are proud to be a part of its community.
Anything else you would like to share: Our CPAs have direct, personal knowledge of what it takes to run a farm; they have lived, owned, and worked on family farms in rural Ohio. For example, Dave Shealy, an HW&Co. principal, grew up on a modest farm in Northeast Crawford County, Ohio, helping his father raise cattle and hogs. Lorraine Walter is a tax specialist at HW&Co. whose family—including herself, her husband, and her sons—owns a large agribusiness operation. Sue Bennet is a senior manager who has extensive experience serving multi-generational farm operations throughout central Ohio. Dave, Lorraine, and Sue are just a few examples of the talented individuals who comprise our expert agribusiness team.
Our goal is to be forward-thinking, efficient, and educated in all areas of agribusiness so that we provide relevant and up-to-date information for this continually advancing industry and the hardworking farmers and other agriculture professionals who support it.
Interested in becoming a Sustaining Sponsor in 2023?
Click here to learn more about the program or contact Lauren Prettyman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sustaining sponsors will automatically be promoted as such at all 2023 OABA events and will not be approached for sponsorship opportunities throughout the year.
Note that because the OABA Educational Trust is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, sponsorships related to this trust are separate from OABA.