MPB is an intensive program designed specifically for professionals in a leadership position or on a leadership track at an accounting firm. MPB condenses decades of lessons and skills into two intensive sessions with an innovative, informative, and interactive curriculum.
The program covers four key pillars: skills, practice management, growth, and human capital.
Our CEO, Gary Shamis, is an industry pioneer who transformed what began as his father’s small firm into the 37th largest accounting and consulting firm in the nation (acquired by BDO in 2014).
In his three-decade tenure as firm managing partner, Gary saw a significant lack of leadership development training designed specifically for accounting firm managing partners. Often, he realized, CPAs find themselves elected or appointed to senior leadership positions without receiving any formal leadership or practice management training. Gary took the skills he believes every firm leader should have, including those he gained through trial and error leading one for more than forty years, and created MPB.
MPB is designed for both existing and emerging leaders – those who are already managing partners, practice group leaders, regional office leaders, and other up-and-coming professionals that represent the future leadership of firms.
We welcome attendees from around the world, with previous participants traveling from as far as Australia and Europe. Participants represent firms at all kinds of stages: from small, ambitious firms to established Top 100 firms. If you’re willing to think differently and embrace a growth mindset, you’ll find MPB to be a great fit.
MPB covers four key pillars:
Skills – this area focuses on developing the power (soft) skills required to effectively lead a firm. We cover critical thinking, executive presence, communication skills, negotiation, crisis management, and more.
Practice Management – these sessions address topical issues like firm strategy, risk management, nurturing your firm’s talent, and organizational development and governance.
Growth – digital growth and transformation have had a huge impact on the accounting industry in recent years. This area explores modern firm growth strategies, the role of M&A, and much more.
Human Capital – talent acquisition, management, and retention are going through a period of profound change in the accounting industry. These sessions tackle contemporary issues including DE&I, hybrid work environments, professional development, and building a winning culture.
MPB is led by a range of experienced professionals from across the accounting industry. Our instructors include:
Gary Shamis – Gary is regarded as one of the leading and most innovative thinkers in the accounting industry. Having scaled SS&G from $225,000 in revenue to $100 million, he brings a wealth of experience from building his own successful firm. Today, he serves as the CEO of Winding River Consulting and is the co-founder and host of Winning Ways, the accounting industry’s only practice management conference.
David Toth – with a background advising organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to fast-growing startups, David offers a unique perspective on the ways accounting firms can embrace modern marketing and business development strategies to fuel growth.
Ilana Katz – an award-winning marketing and communications professional, Ilana spent over a decade as Director of Marketing for SS&G, Inc (now BDO). She advises firms on ‘marcom’ from overall marketing strategy to brand building and internal and external communications.
Trisha Daho – after serving as a partner in a Big 4 accounting firm, Trisha founded her own company, Empowered Leadership Cultivation, which partners with executives from professional services firms to plan and execute strategic growth initiatives.
Bruce Hennes – as managing partner of Hennes Communications, Bruce focuses exclusively on crisis management and communications. He advises dozens of top-tier organizations and is recognized as one of the nation’s top advisors to professional service firms.
Matt Terlop – a former U.S. Marine, Matt knows the importance of discipline and the value of an active lifestyle. He provides “executive athlete” structured training programs, helping leaders achieve peak performance by balancing their physical fitness and mental health.
Learn more about our instructors here: Meet Our Team
Sessions at MPB are a blend of lectures, discussions, case studies, and group exercises. Because attendance is limited to 12 participants, every session is interactive and allows participants to openly explore the challenges they face in their firms.
Each cohort concludes with an iLab, an exercise that sees teams collaborating to create and present an innovative initiative that could be implemented to benefit their cohort firms. With their solution, teams demonstrate the knowledge gained over the course of their MPB experience.
We know our attendees have busy schedules and that committing the time may seem daunting. But alum will attest to the fact that MPB was the best investment they made in themselves.
Our current format of a half day, full day, half day, builds in adequate travel time and gives our attendees the ability to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
The break between the two sessions allows attendees to take time to build on the ideas they learned during the first session and then reflect on these during the second session. We work to provide all attendees to create strategies with ideas they can actually implement.
Managing partners have always learned through trial and error. There’s never been a program with a curriculum of skills that managing partners need to build to be successful.
MPB is that program. It’s our focus to equip leaders with both the hard and power (soft) skills they need to move themselves, their firms, and the entire profession forward.
The accounting industry faces a unique set of challenges – those that a generic leadership development course simply can’t prepare accounting firm partners for.
To encourage a diversity of perspectives, we advise firms to send only one person to each cohort class. Many of our attendees are so impressed by their experience, they go on to send other members of their team to future MPB cohorts. The shared MPB experience helps them more effectively collaborate, strategize, and execute plans that make an impact on their firm.
We limit attendance because participating as a larger group simply doesn’t offer the same level of experience. We’ve found that having this intimate group promotes stronger relationships between attendees, creates an environment of candor and accountability, and allows instructors to get to know participants.
All MPB attendees automatically join our Alumni Group and are provided complimentary access to a private LinkedIn group and quarterly alumni newsletter. Graduates enjoy quarterly webinars that address timely and relevant issues delivered by thought leaders in the profession and subject matter experts from a variety of other industries. Alum are also invited to an annual reunion held in conjunction with the Winning Ways Conference each fall.
Far and away the biggest benefit our attendees report is the peer network they’re able to develop through their participation at MPB and in alumni events. We have created a community of more than 100 like-minded leaders that make up a strong and trustworthy professional network.
Attendees mention that they also appreciate introductions to highly vetted contacts, access to a myriad of experts, curated industry-leading content, and many other valuable resources to support their continued growth.