EHTC professionals celebrate 35 years of business at Scott Lake Country Club!
Echelbarger, Himebaugh, Tamm & Co., P.C. (EHTC) was established in 1977 by Dennis M. Echelbarger. His passion for public accounting and community outreach has made EHTC what it is today. His ambition was to know people on a more personal level. His drive was the everyday challenge of resolving issues for individuals, non-profit organizations, and businesses, while building long term relationships. Dennis found his abilities to help others reach their full potential very rewarding.
Since then, EHTC has grown and evolved to become one of the most successful local multi-service accounting firms in the Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. The firm is a recognized leader in the business community, as well as a participant in professional organizations and volunteerism.
That success is based upon being large enough to serve a wide diversity of customers, but small enough to maintain personalized attention. Additionally, the firm values each employee, creates a congenial working atmosphere, and is known as a gratifying place of employment.
This year EHTC celebrates 35 years of business. “More importantly, we are celebrating 35 years of giving back to our community by helping businesses strive through hard economic times, individuals gain control of their finances and plan for the future, while raising money to help support local charities” said Dennis Echelbarger, founder of EHTC. When asked, “What makes your company so successful?” Dennis replied, “One Team. With our talent, commitment and unity, we’ve built a strong team which believes in working together and giving back to the community.”
This year also marks EHTC’s 26th Annual Chipping for Charity Golf Outing. In the last 25 years, EHTC has raised over $200,000 for local charities. This year’s outing is scheduled for September 19, and the recipient is Hospice of Michigan James B. Fahner M.D. Pediatric Hospice Care Program. However, the giving back doesn’t stop there. Every Friday, employees pay $5 to wear jeans, and this quarter the proceeds go to Mel Trotter Ministries. They also raise money and join in nonprofit walks and runs together.
Above and beyond EHTC’s team giving back, many employees spend additional time volunteering for organizations such as teaching a Personal Finance Class at Grand Rapid’s Women’s Resource Center or serving on Boards and committees for organizations such as Gerontology Network, Kent Medical Foundation, and American Cancer Society. Currently, Dennis Echelbarger is assisting Governor Snyder by serving on the Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity. The Commission aims to reduce the causes and effects of poverty and help foster self-sufficiency for low-income Michigan residents.
The secret to EHTC’s success relies strongly on the firm’s core values: Work/Life Balance and Family, Teamwork, Communication, Integrity and Trust, Innovation and Flexibility, Exceeding Clients Expectations, Relationships, Opportunity, Profitability, Accountability and Responsibility. EHTC shareholders motivate employees to reach their full potential through continuing education, working together as a team, experiencing life, and helping customers do the same. EHTC is not your typical accounting firm.
Prior to EHTC, Dennis spent eleven years as an employee and partner in another local CPA firm, and two years as the Chief Financial Officer of a large distributor in Grand Rapids, MI. Originally, he planned to remain a sole practitioner. He hired Diane L. Friar, CPA/ABV/CFF as his receptionist/secretary two weeks after opening his office. (Diane became the first staff person to rise to shareholder status in 1985.)
The firm's first location was on 36th Street in Grand Rapids and Dennis' first partner was added in 1978. Subsequently, new partners replaced him. They are no longer with the firm, but the name EHTC still thrives. Since inception, the firm has focused on the needs of mid-size businesses, and offered tax planning and preparation, audit and accounting services, forensic accounting, business valuation, litigation support, and business consulting. The belief was to offer one-on-one customer services and concentrate on building winning relationships.
As the firm's clients became more successful, business grew and so did the number of team members. Robin M. Stoner, CPA/MST joined the firm as an administrative assistant in 1985. She became a shareholder in 2004 (the second person to rise to shareholder status in the firm). David G. Echelbarger, CPA joined the firm as a staff accountant in the Audit and Accounting Department in 1986. Dave was aware of clients' requirements and needs for technology skills and information. Following his father's entrepreneurial spirit, Dave founded EHTC's Technology Solutions Division in 1986. In 1994, a strategic decision was made to collaborate with a select group of software vendors, including Microsoft Corporation.
EHTC Technology Solutions was initially formed to support the sales and marketing of this software and related solutions. Since then, it has evolved into a business technology consulting practice with many unique aspects. Efforts are no longer simply focused on the sales and support of specific software but include services such as data integration between systems, custom-developed software solutions, and in-depth expertise with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
EHTC moved to its new and current office at 5136 Cascade Rd in 2000. Dave Echelbarger, CPA became a shareholder in 2004.
For questions about EHTC or to find out ways our professionals can help you or your business, please click on the "Contact" page or call (616) 575-3482.