Wellness in the Workplace

September 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

Image result for 5k runOur firm recently put together a wellness committee.  As members of the wellness committee, we are tasked with exploring and finding ways to encourage fellow team members to choose a healthy lifestyle.  We currently offer reduced membership prices to the YMCA (or gym of your choice if you don’t live by a YMCA) and bring in healthy snacks twice a week during busy season.  Some of the ideas we have come up with is to offer a health screening through our partnership with the YMCA, offering rewards for participating in running/walking events, assisting employees with purchasing a fitness tracker, or bring in outside individuals to do presentations on healthy lifestyles and ergonomics.  Does your company have a firm wellness plan?  What types of benefits does your company offer?  We would love to hear your thoughts.

As we primarily sit in our desk chairs for the majority of the day, which we know can cause health problems, I leave you with ten exercises that you can perform at your desk.

  1. Shoulder Shrugs – Raise shoulder towards your ears, hold and then relax downward to a normal position.
  2. Neck Tilts – Keep shoulders relaxed and arms down by your side. Tilt head sideways to one side, hold for fives seconds and switch to the other side.
  3. Neck Stretch – Gently tilt your head forward, keeping shoulders relaxed and downward. Hold for give seconds.
  4. Wrist/Forearm Stretch – Please your hands palm to palm and rotate palms around until they face downward keeping elbows even. Hold for five to eight seconds and then rotate up.
  5. Hand/Finger Stretch – Separate and straighten fingers, hold for ten seconds. Bend fingers at your knuckle and hold for ten seconds, then separate and straighten your fingers again.
  6. Hand Shakes – Shake out both hands for eight to ten seconds.
  7. Wrist Flexor Stretch – While seated, extend your right arm forward at shoulder height. Keeping your elbow straight, grasp your right hand with your left and slowly bend your wrist backward until you feel a stretch along the bottom of your forearm.  Hold for fifteen seconds.  Then bend wrist downward until a stretch is felt on the top of the arm, and hold for fifteen second.  Switch arms and repeat.
  8. Back Stretch – Lean forward in your chair, keep your head down and neck relaxed. Hold for ten to twenty seconds and then use your hands to push yourself back up.
  9. Upper Body Stretch – Interlace fingers, turn palms upward and straighten arms above head. Elongate arms to stretch through upper sides of your rib cage.  Hold for ten to fifteen seconds.
  10. Hamstring Stretch – Sitting, hold onto your upper left leg just above and behind the knee. Gently pull bent knee toward chest.  Hold for fifteen to twenty seconds and then repeat on the right leg.

Nicole Loux, CPA
Nicole Loux
Manager – McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C.

What About Bob?

September 13, 2016 § Leave a comment

What About Bob?

Change in Leadership at MHC&S

Bob McGowen Passes the Managing Partner Baton but Remains on as a Partner

thank-you-bobBob McGowen, who has been our Managing Partner for the past 23 years and affiliated with the McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C. firm  for the past 46 years, has passed  the Managing Partner baton to Co-Managing Partners Dave Farnsworth and Dan Schwarz.  Bob will continue to remain as a partner in the firm, servicing clients and helping our firm grow.  Needless to say, we have all benefited from having Bob as our role model and leader.  Following are some of the thoughts we team members shared regarding Bob and the impact that he has had in our lives. We invite you to read our comments:

“Bob has taught me to have  compassion for people.  Whether it is clients, team members or just people you encounter during your day, having a positive attitude and compassion towards people is key in building relationships.”

“Bob is one of the hardest working men I’ve known, yet he always has a positive attitude, time to help someone or pass on an encouraging word.  He has been the quintessential partner, always involved in whatever the Firm is doing, whether it be a softball game, fundraiser or just a fun activity at work.  I thank him for all he has done for McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith and hope he will enjoy some time now for himself.”

“Bob has been a great example of demonstrating the impact that a positive attitude can have on creating a positive culture.  Bob is always willing to offer advice, provide assistance or catch up on one’s personal life in a warm and friendly manner.  He clearly is a reason that MHC&S is a top place to work.”

“It is no secret among Bob’s partners, employees, clients, and colleagues the commitment and level of dedication he has to the profession and to each of these groups of people.  This is evidenced by the (almost legendary status) number of hours he works on an annual basis to make sure everyone’s needs are met.”

“The life lesson I learned from Bob is this – no matter how busy he is, or the number of simultaneous things he has going on at a particular time on any given day, he never gives anyone the impression that he is too busy to help them.  Bob is one of the most generous people with his time that you will ever meet.  He truly cares for each and every person that he know, and shows it every day by his actions.”

“Three life lessons have been learned from Bob all because he empties the dishwasher each morning:  1. Be humble, regardless of your position.  2.  Be positive, no matter how trivial a task may seem.  3.  Be consistent, as it indicates loyalty.”

“The thing that has always amazed me the most about Bob is that he always makes the time to talk to others. No matter how swamped Bob is or how many different things he is juggling, I know that I can walk into Bob’s office at any time and that I will receive his full attention. Not only does he never turn anyone away because he is “too busy”, he is always happy to help and never makes me feel “rushed”. Bob truly cares about employees, his clients and the firm.”

“There isn’t a specific life lesson I’ve learned from Bob, but there is a saying that I think Bob is the perfect example of, “A smile on your face and a song in your heart”. This was a previous employer’s motto that has stuck with me over the years. Bob, no matter what, always has a smile on his face and from his actions it is obvious he has a song in his heart. He is a wonderful person and it is an honor to be able to work with him and be inspired by his personality and management of MHCS.”

“I have had the opportunity and pleasure of working with Bob for more than 30 years.  Over those years he has helped me as a mentor, trainer, coach, and partner.  I have never known anyone else to always be as positive and upbeat as Bob.  He always sees the best in any situation, and in each person he comes in contact with.”

“Bob is always quick to greet everyone with a smile and a positive comment.  While Bob puts in more hours at work than seems to be physically possible, he has always found time to join in many other activities as well.  He has participated in softball leagues, volleyball leagues, kickball tournaments, happy hour get-togethers, weddings and funerals involving many team members and clients.  Somehow he has always made time for others.”

“Over the last 20+ years that Bob has been our Managing Partner, the Firm has almost tripled in size, and grown substantially in reputation and stature in the Des Moines Metro area.  Nicely done, Bob!   Thank you for all you do.”

“Bob is a true leader in the sense that he models the way.  People follow and work hard for him because they want to, not because they have to.  He doesn’t ask anyone to do things that he himself wouldn’t do and he tackles every task with a positive and humble attitude.  His humility in leadership affects his relationships with not only firm members but clients as well.  He is always willing to put others before himself and I think that is a big part of his success in maintaining his clients for such a long time. They know that he truly cares about them just as firm members know that Bob cares about them as well.”

“Bob is the most genuine and hardworking person I have ever met and am so fortunate to be part of his MHC&S family.  On a daily basis, Bob lives and breathes the values of sincerity, kindness, integrity and dedication to others.  Bob is an inspiration to whomever has the joy of knowing him and is a testament to the importance of kindness and honesty.”

“When you tell people you work at McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, you feel a sense of pride, especially when you say that Bob McGowen is your boss.”

“Bob has been a great teacher and leader.  A couple of leadership traits I learned from Bob are:

  1. The ability to listen. Bob always takes the time to truly listen and then helps you find a solution.
  2. A good leader stretches their people, possibly giving them more than they think they can handle, but letting them learn and grow through their experience.

Thank you, Bob, for your great leadership and giving us the opportunity to stretch and grow.”


“I have read many times that the tone of a business/firm is started at the top and filters down to the others.   This can be seen clearly at our firm when you look at the actions of Bob.  Here are a few of the values that Bob has lived through his actions.

  1. Respect and compassion for each other.  Bob is respectful of each of us.  He is one of the first to congratulate a firm member on accomplishments, to be present at special occasions such as the 40 under 40, CPA recognition dinners (from the old days) or the ISCPA recognition events. He always can be seen at weddings, funerals, and other special events on a personal level.
  2. No job is beneath any of us. It is not unusual to see Bob making coffee, cleaning something up in the kitchen, removing a spot from the carpet or scrubbing the entry way to the building.
  3. Supporting the community and having fun.   You can catch Bob playing baseball, bowling for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, pulling a plane for Special Olympics and along the way, making others laugh with his shenanigans.”

“What I like best about working with Bob is that you always know what kind of mood he will be in.  He never has a bad day and always greets you with a huge smile.”

“Although Bob is no longer working in the role of Managing Partner, his life lessons will continue to teach the team members at MHC&S.  I am just glad we still get to see him every day as he continues on as partner.”

“Bob McGowen leads by example, is passionate about client services and firm members. Bob regards clients and firm members as friends and has remarked, “You work harder for your friends.”  He exemplifies MHC&S firm core values of integrity, excellence, respect teamwork, family and fun.  Bob is an all-around nice guy.”


While the list and comments go on and on, we all want to say how much we appreciate everything that Bob has done for the firm and for we team members.  You are an amazing role model in both business and life.  Thank you for the many contributions you have made at McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith.  We are all very proud and privileged to work with you.

Your MHC&S Team Members

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