2019-08-31 21:56:15

The Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Person of the Year considers himself blessed to have taken the path he did.

The chamber presented the award to John Kirsch, CEO of Kirsch CPA Group, during a luncheon Tuesday at the Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton.

Kirsch said his parents were the inspiration for his community involvement. He cited his late mother as the one who taught him how to have empathy for the underdog and his father for imparting an emphasis on integrity, tenacity and flexibility and for being a role model for volunteering.

“He also taught me that hard work was something more than two four-letter words,” Kirsch said. “There’s something to be said for that.”

Kirsch CPA Group was established in 1991, growing from a one-person firm into an organization with three partners and a team of 33 individuals helping small- and medium-size for-profit and non-profit enterprises. The firm, which moved from Fairfield to Hamilton in 2018 to accommodate growth, also has a location in Oxford.

Kirsch, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Miami University, is involved in numerous community activities, including being on boards of Community First Solutions, Hamilton Community Foundation, Stephen T. Badin High School, and Access Business Development and Finance, Inc.

He said what gives him the passion to be involved with small businesses and non-profits is seeing the energy and creative approaches to problem solving those entities bring to the table.

“It’s just unbelievable,” he said. “I’m blessed to have taken that path.”

Kirsch expressed gratitude to his wife, Kim, and their four children, as well as to his business partners, Peter Abner and Chad Williams.

He said that over the course of his 41 years in the accounting profession, 28 years of which have come with Kirsch CPA Group, he has had the honor of working with “some of the brightest, coolest people.”

“Now, you may not think accountants are cool,” Kirsch said. “Problem is, you don’t know us well enough.

Watching the team grow is “absolutely the greatest joy” Kirsch said he has received in his professional career.

He said he keeps a sign outside his door with a quote from John Wooden, a UCLA basketball coach who owns the record for most number of ational championships won: “Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.”

“Fortunately, our team has taken that to heart,” Kirsch said and smiled. “Kim has, too.”

Kirsch said his firm has done business in Hamilton since it was founded. As its footprint stretches out beyond the Tri-State through the Midwest, Kirsch CPA Group is “thrilled” to call Hamilton its geographic home, he said.

“The reception to Hamilton has just been overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “I just can’t describe how that has gone. We’re proud to use that as a bridge to introduce, or re-introduce, our clients and friends in the firm to the city and when we bring people here, the response that we get most often is ‘Wow!’”