A Message From Our President
In thinking about 2020, the saying, “change is the only constant in life” is the first thing that comes to mind. We have all faced a number of challenges in the last year, our firm included. While the future is still uncertain, we can all find excitement in the opportunities a new year presents. While we reflect on a year that has pushed us all to evolve in ways we could never have expected, our team looks forward to 2021 with a renewed sense of purpose, perseverance and resilience.
A LOOK BACK AT 2020
2020 was incredibly difficult and losing our firm’s founder and namesake was among the most challenging times for our Rudler family. While I never had the opportunity to work with Don Rudler personally, I enjoyed and savored the wisdom of the conversations I was able to have with him before his passing. Our firm was established on his principles of always delivering outstanding client service and his commitment to building a unique firm culture. It’s this foundation that helped us through the year and allowed us to achieve some great successes in the midst of a tough year.
I’m proud of how quickly our team adapted to a remote work environment. Thankfully, we had much of the technology already in place to do this, so the transition was straightforward. However, the biggest hurdle we faced was remaining connected while apart. We hosted virtual happy hours, scavenger hunts and even a bridal shower. We also met for a socially distant, outdoor tailgate towards the end of the summer. To continue this momentum in 2021, our team has figured out a way to connect remotely and support our clients – our team will have virtual lunches with team members they don’t typically work with to learn more about each other, and the firm will order lunch from a restaurant client and have it sent to employees’ homes.
While technology wasn’t a huge leap for our team because of the investments we have made over the years, learning to work through distractions at home were. Hearing a dog barking in the background and family member cameos became a routine part of our day, often offering a lighthearted reminder of the things that are truly important during such a crazy time.
While I miss being around my co-workers and clients, an unexpected benefit of being home was spending more time with my daughters – it’s been amazing to see and experience the changes in my youngest daughter (now 18 months old) who I was even able to convert to a “daddy’s girl” during my time with her. My four-year-old lovingly became known as “the boss” to some clients through her video appearances. It’s instances like these that might have been missed or taken for granted before the pandemic. Now, they are the very ones that often help us to get through the roughest of days. I want to thank our clients for always remaining patient as we all navigated through these daily distractions.
Finally, the pandemic hit at the onset of tax season. Our staff experienced the first ever extension of the filing due date nationwide, while also adjusting to the federal government’s passage of the CARES Act and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) program, which greatly complicated things. The impact of the pandemic on many businesses had the potential to be even more devastating throughout our region without this assistance, making these PPP loans critical to their existence.
I cannot say enough how proud I am of our team who assisted so many through arguably the worst circumstances they’ve ever faced (and hopefully ever will). While many of my colleagues may be too humble to brag on the work they do, our ability to maintain our Best Accounting Firms to Work for award by Accounting Today for a fourth straight year through a pandemic speaks volumes to their dedication and service.
HOPE FOR A NEW YEAR
There are many reasons to be excited as we move forward in 2021. Moving the Ft. Wright office to a new location will bring many new opportunities, even if it’s less than half a mile from our current space. Our modern space will be configured to better fit the needs of our team and clients. Flex work areas with shared desks allow employees to rotate in and out of the office, providing them with the ability to remain productive, while experiencing the comradery of being in the office with a team.
As we move into our new space, we have team members who are retiring or starting new chapters in their lives. Jenny Ratterman retired at the end of 2020. I know I speak for many on the team when I say she will be missed greatly. Her near 43 years of service and experience will be irreplaceable. It has been an honor and privilege to work alongside her in my time at Rudler where she has been a mentor to so many.
Additionally, Scott Grosser will begin cutting back his hours in 2021, transitioning into more of a support role. While some might see these as great losses – and make no mistake, these changes will be felt – I see the opportunity for those looking to seize the moment and exhibit the leadership that made Jenny and Scott so successful. Other members of our team have been working alongside these professionals and will have the opportunity to step up and grow into new responsibilities.
As COVID-19 vaccines make their way into the region, there are still many unknowns heading into 2021. With a change in our nation’s leadership, and the delayed impact the pandemic may have on our firm and clients and – our team will remain on their toes.
Change truly is the only constant in life, which means if you’re going to be a consistent performer, you must learn to adapt to and willingly embrace change. That is how we continued to serve throughout the pandemic and how we will do so in the new year, and in the years ahead.