|By Rob Langrell, Las Vegas Sun|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
From tax attorneys and CPAs to wealth advisers and loan specialists, experts can help people and businesses figure out solutions to their financial quandaries.
It's just a matter of finding the right adviser.
Tax and estate lawyers can help with financial planning, advise on tax strategies and, if necessary, negotiate with the
Here are a few notable faces in
When the accounting firm that's now
"I was even my own secretary," he said. "I tied in with another CPA to share office space. We've come a long way."
Today, Gerety employs 21 people and runs one of
"Prior to the recession, we were going very fast, and it was hard to keep up," he said. "We kept adding people to get the staff where we needed to with the workload. We went flat during the recession. We had some big clients go away, but revenue and income-wise, we stayed pretty flat. It actually allowed us to get stable. We weren't overworking our people like we had at times in the past."
"I was always good at math and science skills in high school," he said. "I had a lot of confidence in myself and had thought maybe I wanted to be a doctor or attorney, but then I realized that would mean a lot of extra college years.
"I had it narrowed down to being an accountant or an engineer. Out of ignorance, I read some short story about a guy who designed the
Gerety got his start in 1982 at
"When I first got into public accounting, the plan was to stay in it for about five years," he said. "It went a lot larger than that, though. It felt really good to eventually achieve my goal and open my own firm."
His company's niche is estate and gift planning, although staff also handle trust taxes and asset protection planning.
Gerety is a member of the
Certified Public Accountant Heather Grech has sage advice for business owners: "Save in good times and plan ahead for a rainy day."
Grech has worked at
"The businesses that survived the downturn in the economy were the ones that planned ahead," she said. "Planning and organization are the two biggest keys to a company's success. You know as a company where you stand, whether you are profitable or unprofitable. If you aren't making the money that you want and something isn't working, tweak it so you can survive in the long term."
Grech establishes financial plans for construction companies, real estate developers, mortgage banks, hospitals, schools, state boards, retailers and nonprofit organizations. She also has handled litigation support for real estate developers, homebuilders, leasing companies and others.
"There is really no typical day for me," said Grech, who earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from
Grech discovered her love of numbers when she took an accounting class in high school. A teacher recommended that she help a local business reconcile its books, which set her on the path to becoming an accounting major in college.
After earning her degree, she worked as a staff accountant at Hemming Morse in
"I've made some great friends here, some great clients, found some good schools and good sports teams (for my son)," Grech said. "It has been a great place to work and live."
Grech is a member of the
In 2013 alone, TMC issued 40 loans worth
"I just love to drive down the street and see a business that we helped," Santiago said. "It is so satisfying. Most of our clients are private business owners or family-owned businesses. Making a real estate purchase is a dream for many of them. All of their hard work pays off when they can finance those dreams. There is a certain amount of pride and joy in their business endeavors."
Santiago opened TMC's
"We are like the lending department of the SBA," Santiago said. "We are nonprofit and licensed and regulated by the SBA. There are only 275 certified development corporations in the country. Not everyone can be one."
Certified development corporations offer standardized fees and interest rates, as well as low down payments, 20-year low fixed rate terms and reduced loan fees.
TMC works directly with borrowers, first mortgage lenders and real estate brokers to tailor financing packages that meet SBA standards and the credit capacity of each business.
Since 1981, the company has provided more than
TMC's financing has helped create more than 33,000 jobs in
Santiago, for instance, helped arrange for La Bonita Supermarkets, a local grocery store chain with five locations that cater to Hispanic shoppers, to move into a store at
La Bonita "totally remodeled it, put in a bakery, a deli and a smoothie shop," Santiago said. "They hired 142 employees, too. That whole strip mall is picking up momentum because of that. It's really neat to see that area thrive now."
Santiago graduated from
"I enjoy helping people with answers to questions that are sometimes hard to find," he said. "It's kind of like delivering peace of mind to people."
Grant also writes and speaks about asset protection, veil piercing (dealing with the rights and duties of corporations), trusts, estates and taxation.
He began his career in accounting, earning a bachelor's degree from
During the same period, he also lived in
"There are an increased number of investors in the
Grant earned a law degree from the
In 2011, Grant and two partners —
"We all have different areas of the law that we enjoy," Grant said. "I enjoy using my tax and accounting expertise to help find solutions for families so that their business can survive divorce, disability or other issues. Families need to have a plan in place."
Grant also serves as chair of the
"I really enjoy helping people with charitable intents," he said. "It's important to take the first step and just have the conversation about philanthropy. Charitable planning has some great tax benefits."
Grant is licensed to practice law in
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