Managing Partner Bootcamp


Managing Partner Bootcamp (MPB) is a comprehensive opportunity to take your firm management skills to the next level. It is not another practice management conference, discussing contemporary issues and ideas. It is managing a practice seminar. The ultimate goal is for you, the firm’s managing partner, to make better decisions in running your firm. Participants will receive an amazing return on their investment.

This rigorous training is spread over two three-day sessions: one in the spring and one in the fall. Managing Partner Bootcamp will change the way you lead, guide you to make better decisions, improve your effectiveness, and give you the knowledge and confidence to run your firm more effectively and profitably. Industry expert Gary Shamis conceived of and designed Managing Partner Bootcamp with the experience he gained in his four-decades long career building and growing one of the nation’s largest and most respected independent accounting and consulting firms, SS&G, Inc. In this program, he will share with you what nobody else has about running a firm – the challenges, opportunities, surprises, successes – and and  and give you the skills necessary to help you confidently elevate your firm leadership.

This will be unlike any event you have ever attended. The intense, interactive programming will sharpen your skills, help you to confront and overcome shortcomings, and deepen your ability to perform more confidently. Sixteen* impactful courses will elevate your capabilities challenging and changing the way you look at, think about, and perform your role.

MPB will enable you to develop business tools that will have you functioning at an elite level. It will maximize your leadership potential by honing in on your strengths and identifying and improving  your weaknesses. It will guide you toward long-term, viable firm leadership. Very few seminars are available to managing partners looking to successfully enhance the way they manage people and lead firms. This opportunity is only for those managing partners serious about wanting to get to the next level.

Gain a long-term competitive advantage. Register today!

*subject to change

Space is Limited

Only 10 people will be admitted to a session. This will maximize your ability to interact and support discussions in a confidential environment. You will get to know your peers and develop a network of trusted confidants with whom to share future challenges and successes. (View a list of prior attendees at the bottom of this page.)


This is a unique and measurable opportunity for incoming and newer managing partners to gain immediate knowledge and confidence, and seasoned managing partners to hone their skills. One day follow-up seminars will be hosted to reunite classmates and discuss contemporary issues.



Managing Partner Bootcamp will cover a skills-based curriculum as opposed to business-based curriculum. This will ensure your ability to apply what you learn to the way you lead regardless of how long you have been in the position. 

  • Crisis Management – The world is watching, 24/7. Your reputation is on trial every day, as are those of your employees and client. Are you prepared to be judged in the Court of Public Opinion, let alone a Court of Law? Develop protocols and processes to head off negative attention and keep your reputation in tact.
  • Culture – What defines culture and why is it imporant in the success of your business? Managing partners should drive and control firm cultures, but getting buy-in and consistency isn’t so easy. Develop ideas and plans that have roots in your cuture and grow your firm in ways that matter. 
  • Effective Communication and Difficult Conversations – It’s inevitable. A firm leader you’ll have your fair share of difficult conversations. Studies confirm that the abilities to manage conflict and effectively communicate are two of the most highly sought-after qualities in leaders. Develop tools necessary to communicate effectively in a myriad of situations and to navigate successful outcomes in difficult conversations. 
  • Industry Update – Keeping up with trend setters is defense. Becoming a trend setter is offense. One can easily discover what is going on in the industry, but few firms set the tone. Identify trends in the industry to project a vision for the future of your own firm, positioning your firm to create strategic competitive advantage and outpace your competition. 
  • Infrastructure, Organizational Development, and Governance – The ability to adapt to change and to generate a collaborative environment is key to success. Teams need to be both cohesive and task focused in an environment where change is rapidly becoming the norm. Learn to design an organizatio that helps groups come together.
  • Marketing and Business Development – Service culture, marketing, and business development can propel a firm forward. Where most firms make a mistake is that they silo these functions limiting their potential. Implementing a cross-functional approach to making positive and productive changes to your organization will yield promising results. 
  • Nutrition, Mindfulness, and Healthcare – Because running a firm is so mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging, and because there are so many demands on your already limited time, putting yourself first is necessary. Implementing a wellness-minded approach to your life and firm culture is critical for firm viability. Learn to truly lead by example. 
  • Presentation Skills – Our most important ideas are regularly conveyed in front of a group yet often presenters don’t demonstrate their leadership. Persuassion requires we have the charisma and skill to narrate these ideas in a meaningful yet relatable way. Review the tools and techniques necessary to hone a skill that remains essential to our success as leaders.
  • Risk Management and Negotiation Skills – Understand why it is essential to anticipate the risks present in the day-to-day operations and why preparedness is key to successful firm management. Idenitfy costs associated with redundancy, errors, and lost time. Implement methods for resolving potential liabilities. Define risks and mitigate them effectively.
  • Strategy, Execution, and Change Management  – Too often, firms design highly detailed, sweeping strategic plans. Typically, the plans break down as actionable items get mired in the details. Understand how to create, implement, and measure change in your organization. 
  • Talent Strategy and Millennials – A professional service firm is only as good as its people. It stands to reason then that professional service firms would put more emphasis on talent attraction, growth, and retention than anything else. Yet the average turnover rate for CPA firms is 20%. Explore the challenges firms face in hiring and retaining the best, most-qualified professionals. 
  • Team Building – After gaining an understanding of what makes a strong team, you’ll learn how to nurture those ties that bind us to an organization and to our colleagues within it throughout your firm. Create a legacy of invested and dedicated employees that work for the greater good of the organization. 
  • The Modern Learner – Firms make a big investment CE. But unless we understand how and why we learn, it may not have the ROI or imact we intend or expect. We go beyond the characteristics of modern learning approaches to understand learning elements that support growth and are key to the success of your firm. 
  • Tricks and Tips – Firms can’t be managed well through numbers alone. Everything from the way you manage your time to the way you interact with your competitors can affect your organization from the top down. Gain practical techniques you can use every day to design your firm, not simply manage it as problems arise.
  • Who are you? A psychological assessment with related analysis – Gain an understanding of the various styles of communication, including your own! Learn how you can use them to create a culture of understanding, peer-to-peer sharing, and ultimately, an organization that can better capitalize on its human resources. Develop strategies using your own behavioral style to lead and assess the personality styles or those you manage.
  • iLab – Your opportunity to create an innovative product or program based on your MPB take away. Presentation skills are judged by your cohorts for performance, delivery, and the potential of your idea.


Gary Shamis assumed responsibility for his father’s accounting firm in 1981. Over the thirty-five years that followed, he took revenues from $225,000 to approaching $100 million and employees from a dozen to 600. He built the 37th largest independent accounting and consulting firm in the nation, before combining SS&G, Inc. with BDO USA, LLP in 2014. Today, as principal of Winding River Consulting, a business advisory services company, Gary is a highly sought after speaker, facilitator, and consultant.

In its inaugural list of Managing Partner Elite in Accounting in 2012, Accounting Today identified Shamis as one of only ten people recognized for qualities required of a person in a firm’s leadership role. He is the “very model of the modern managing partner, and this list is more or less unimaginable without him,” it stated, adding “he invented, codified, or popularized most of the strategies and best practices that are now taken for granted.”


As one of the nation’s foremost experts on crisis communications, Bruce Hennes knows what it is like to be on the front line when a company’s reputation is on the line. He is the principal of Hennes Communications, a crisis communications, media training, litigation communications, and media relations consulting firm. He counts Fortune 500 companies among the clients that he successfully advises when they are “on trial” in the Court of Public Opinion.


With extensive experience in marketing, branding, advertising, public, media, and community relations, crisis communications, and corporate reputation management, Ilana Isakov Katz spent more than a decade working with Gary Shamis as director of marketing for SS&G. Drawing on her past experience with Fortune 500 companies, she designs and implements performance-driven and results-oriented plans and programs to support dynamic objectives.


Evan Ishida improves the performance of people in the workplace. He designs and facilitates collaborative, creative, and innovative environments for organizations creating cultures where employees learn and thrive. He works with Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, and for-profit start ups on issues including diversity and inclusion, managing generations in the workplace, and organizational development.


Acclaimed author and speaker Lisa Ryan draws upon her years of sales, marketing, and training experience to deliver life- and career-changing strategies and inspiration to her audiences. As Chief Appreciation Strategist at Grategy, her programs focus on workplace culture, employee engagement, and gratitude strategies for personal and professional development, and turn employees’ soft skills into organizations’ bottom-line profits.


As a former law enforcement officer and border patrol agent, Matt Terlop knows the importance of discipline and the value of a healthy, active lifestyle. As a coach to many in the C-Suite, Matt helps executives attain physical fitness, mental agility, and emotional balance, combating daily stress to achieve peak performance in their personal and professional lives.


Erica Yesko works with the C-level on strategy, organization design, culture articulation, change management, and leadership development. She provides mentoring support and guidance on internal organization design, alignment and human resource needs to clients in a myriad of industries. Erica has a solid understanding of the dynamics of change leadership to produce business redesigns and cultural transformation. She led the business development function at BDO, USA. Additionally, she is a Master Coach.


Cost: Cost to participate is $8,000 per attendee and excludes travel and hotel accommodations. All meals, activities, and materials are included. Several reading assignments will be required for both sessions. We are so confident that you will find value in your investment of time and tuition, we will honor a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your experience and professional growth.

 Dates: It is necessary to attend both a spring session and a fall session in order to complete the full curriculum and to cultivate a managing partner community.

Part I

Part II

2017 Class – Spring Start



2017 Class – Fall Start COMPLETED GRADUATED!
2018 Class – Spring Start



2018 Class – Fall Start COMPLETED In Session
2019 Class – Spring Start May 29, 30, 31 November 4, 5, 6
2019 LEA Global* June 3, 4, 5 October 21, 22, 23
2019 BDO* June 10, 11, 12 October 28, 29, 30 

To enable participants to minimize out-of-office travel time, Day 1 classes begin at 1:00 p.m. EST and Day 3 classes end at 12:00 p.m. EST.

Location: Cleveland, Ohio


* To inquire about hosting a private Managing Partner Bootcamp for your firm or association, please contact Jeannette Schwartz-Ruttan at or 440-723-3653.


Warren Averett    EKS&H   Bol International  Green Hasson JanksClark Schaeffer Hackett Berkowitz Pollack Brant\

Apple Growth PartnersWhalen & Company Reynolds and Rowella Richey May & Co                                                                         Regier Carr & Monroe      VSH CPAs

Winding River Consulting is a business advisory services company aimed at supporting accounting firm managing partners and leadership with the challenges of successfully identifying and attaining goals of growth, productivity, and profit.