The importance of a qualified accountant can never be overstated. These individuals help us navigate the sometimes terrifying prospect of keeping our money straight, soaring in like the Batman of bookkeeping to save us from any financial misfortune. Whether they’re providing services to individuals, organizations or multinational corporations, the men and women featured in this section are all stars in every area of finance.
Harry “Chuck” Erwin established Erwin & Company in 1984. Years later, he continues to provide expert tax planning, consultation and compliance services for individuals, mid-sized businesses and large, international companies. Erwin graduated from the University of Texas in 1979, beginning his career with the predecessor of Ernst & Young. Erwin is also very active in the Little Rock community, supporting various arts-related institutions.
Ryan Underwood is managing partner of BKD’s Little Rock, Fort Smith and Rogers offices. He has been with the firm for more than 25 years. He serves on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra board and has previously served with the Southeast Region Arthritis Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Underwood’s favorite thing about his job is working with talented professionals and delivering unmatched client service. He lives by the motto that incremental efforts produce extraordinary results.
Barbara Hambrick joined Beall Barclay in 1994. Over the years, she rose through the ranks of the firm and today serves as the managing member. She is involved in the firm’s audit, accounting, consulting and tax groups. What Hambrick enjoys most about accounting is helping her clients understand complex issues they may not otherwise understand. Her advice would be to remember that other leaders have experiences you could benefit from. Build relationships and listen.
Nell Sterling has over 30 years of experience specializing in tax, IRS audit representation, and assisting with small businesses. She enjoys providing personal service of the highest quality in a caring, professional manner. As a mother and wife, she values family; Bell & Company is her second family. After hours, she enjoys volunteering and caring for her rescue animals. As the accounting world is often male-dominant, Sterling hopes to empower and encourage young female professionals.
Karen Garrett grew up on a small chicken farm in Mena, Arkansas with her three sisters. She graduated with honors from the University of Central Arkansas in 1993. After working as a staff accountant for a couple of years right out of college, Garrett found her home at Hudson Cisne & Co. of Little Rock in 1996, where she has worked her way from staff accountant to partner. Her advice to young leaders: teamwork and surround yourself with great people.
Doug Richardson is a fixture and trusted adviser in many capacities beyond his obvious role as a certified public accountant. Richardson is the lead audit partner for the various industry leaders that utilize Frost, PLLC. At Frost, Richardson serves as the chairman of its executive committee where he presides over consecutive years of record growth, has established a culture of outstanding service to the firm’s client base and has strengthened the firm’s employee-first attitude.
Randy Milligan is the managing partner of Thomas & Thomas LLP. Randy serves a diverse client base, including tax exempt entities, manufacturing and retail entities, 529 college savings plans and employee benefit plans. Milligan joined Thomas & Thomas LLP in 1988 after completing his bachelor’s in business administration in accounting at the University of Central Arkansas. His advice for young leaders: Focus on your job, work hard and don’t forget the importance of a face to face or telephone conversation and a handwritten note.
Colin Gorman is the managing partner of EGP, PLLC with a focus in construction and litigation support. He is a graduate of Hendrix College and served in the U.S. Marine Corps, receiving a meritorious field promotion while deployed as an infantryman in Iraq in 2003. As a CPA, his daily mission is to help his clients solve problems. His advice to young leaders is to always be listening and learning.
Randy Nail is CEO of HoganTaylor, and he has been with the company for more than a decade. He led the firm’s financial institutions practice, putting to use his nearly 20 years of experience by providing clients with a variety of assurance and business consulting services.