Something Old...Something New

A board with the words Old and New written on it with arrows in both directions. Something old...something new.


One of the themes in the hit musical Hamilton is “who tells your story?” In this edition of Statements, we are fortunate to tell the story of one of our oldest friends and to welcome some new ones to the firm. The legacy of RINA as a great place for professionals to practice is reinforced by looking at our roots and seeing that they still impact us some seventy-one years later.

It is with great joy that we join in celebrating Leo Helzel’s 100th birthday. Helzel and Company was the predecessor to Rooney, Ida, Nolt and Ahern and Leo has maintained a relationship with the firm for these many years. Personally, I look forward to our annual lunch where he reminds me that there are many opportunities in our profession and the Bay Area’s business community. I first met Leo shortly after joining RINA at a Cal alumni event. As one of the founders of Berkeley’s entrepreneurship program, Leo’s impact at Cal was of course known to me. But when he told me he knew who I was because I was starting at RINA, I was a bit surprised. It was also the first time I heard him say “it is a great time to be an accountant” – a phrase I would hear many times over the years. Years later, I would celebrate Leo’s birthday at a gathering of Cal supporters who told stories of Leo’s impact on their careers. Many noted that Leo helped get them their jobs, often when they didn’t think they were up to the challenge. But Leo always sees the potential in people and finds opportunities for them to succeed. Lastly, Leo’s book “A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline” is a reminder to us that we should learn from life’s lessons and remember that it is indeed a great time to be whatever we aspire to be.

We also celebrate the still young careers of RINA’s two newest stockholders Kelly Creed and Chris DeMay. In their years at RINA, they have demonstrated the many skills one needs to rise up in our profession. While both are technically strong, it is their ability to successfully engage clients, staff and referral sources that have created this opportunity. We wish them continued success in their new roles.

Finally, we welcome another group of professionals to RINA. Effective January 1, 2018, the team from Sterck Kulik O’Neill accounting group in San Francisco joins RINA. Our relationship with the firm dates back to 1998 and our years of friendly interaction and mutual respect have led to this combination. We look forward to meeting their clients, utilizing their talents and capitalizing on new opportunities as we move forward together.

It is indeed a great time to be an accountant!

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