PIQUA – After 45 tax seasons, local certified public accountant Tony Wendeln has announced his retirement from Murray Wells Wendeln & Robinson CPAs in Piqua.
Wendeln graduated from Miami University in June 1975 and joined Murray Wells & Co. three weeks later on July 1.
“Right after graduation I started calling CPA firms in Shelby and Miami counties since, growing up in Fort Loramie, I wanted to stay in the area and work and live in a small town as opposed to many of my college classmates who went to the big cities,” Wendeln said. “Fortunately for me, Doug Murray and Steve Wells were looking to add a staff accountant to the Piqua firm they had founded just three years earlier.”
Wendeln accomplished the CPA exam in 1977, became a partner in 1982, was instrumental in moving the firm to computers in the early 1980s and was elected CEO in 1996.
“I have seen a lot of changes over the years as you would expect, especially with the income tax code, but by far the biggest changes have come with technology,” Wendeln said. “With the advent of the internet, being able to stay on top of everything from anywhere has enabled us to respond quickly for our clients.
“My clients are long-time relationships and friends. That is why my plan is to stay on part-time for as long as I am needed, as a consultant to the firm to help in the transition with my replacement, Brian Swiger,. Brian is a very capable CPA with 16 years of public accounting experience, much of which with managing clients, so I expect the transition to go smoothly. It is very important to me to see the firm continue to grow. The staff here is very capable, and I am sure they will continue our tradition of high quality service. It is an exciting time as the firm recently joined the New Generation Financial Network, a group of CPA firms from four states, the majority in Ohio, that allow our local firm to have the resources of a regional firm.
“Also, about 20 years ago I decided to obtain my securities license and I am currently an investment adviser representative with Advanced Asset Management Advisors, Inc., headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. I plan to continue working with local company retirement plans and individual investors. I guess I was aware back then that I would want something to keep me busy once I left the intensity of tax seasons.”
Wendeln and his wife, Karen, both from Fort Loramie, were married on May 1, 1976, and immediately moved to Piqua.
“I knew that if I was going to make this a career, I needed to be part of the community,” Wendeln said.
There is no doubt that he became involved in the community, serving as president of the board of directors at a number of organizations including The Piqua Community Foundation, for which he was a co-founder in 1993 and continues as a board member.
He has served as president of the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce, the Piqua Rotary Club, the Miami County YMCA and Piqua Catholic School. He, served on the advisory board at the Piqua Salvation Army for more than 25 years and was appointed to a six-year term as a trustee at Edison State Community College. He is a board member and treasurer of the Piqua Country Club.
Wendeln chaired the capital campaign to build the addition to Piqua Catholic School, served in leadership positions on two capital campaigns at Lehman Catholic High School and continues to serve as chair of the finance commission at St. Mary Church.
The Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce has awarded Wendeln with the Chamber Achievement Award and the prestigious Order of George award for community service. He also was awarded the William Booth award by the Salvation Army and has been honored twice by the Piqua Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Wendeln plans to enjoy his retirement from public accounting by traveling (post-pandemic) and visiting his three children and six grandchildren.
“My son Mike and his wife, Kendra, are in Cincinnati, my son Dave and his wife, Jenni, are in Chicago with their two sons, Tommy and Eddy, and my daughter, Kelly, and her husband, Ryan, and their four children, Simon, Anna, Clara and Leah, are in Fairfield. So they are not too far away,” Wendeln said. “I look forward to watching them grow up.
“Forty-five years with the same organization is a long time. I am proud of what we have done over all of those years; we have helped a lot of people. Helping to solve financial issues with clients and friends is the part I will miss most.”