In this series, we share stories about tax professionals who make a huge difference in their clients’ lives. John Jones, CPA, of Linkenheimer LLP, takes “making a difference” to a new level by also improving the lives of underprivileged people in developing countries.
For 21 years, John Jones has served people in developing countries, including Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, Guatemala and Vietnam, with vision improvements through eye examinations and dispensing eye glasses—all for free! He estimates that he has now personally examined almost 20,000 people for vision needs and problems such as cataracts and pterygiums.
“It’s very rewarding for me to serve the people of Nicaragua, who have nothing to give back other than a smile, handshake, hug or tears,” said John. “In our last mission in July 2016, we worked with about 50 children, ages seven to 12, who wouldn’t have been able to see the chalkboard; we were able to help them all see.”
In recent years, John has taken many members of his firms with him. In January 2017, John and 12 employees are planning an eye care mission to Nicaragua. “It’s significant to the people in the firm to participate in acts of service like this, as well as for the people in the remote region we are visiting to receive eye care,” he said.
For his efforts, John received the 2016 Public Service Award from the California Society of CPAs. The annual award recognizes an individual member for services to the community or for governmental service in either a volunteer or elected capacity.
John also makes a difference in the lives of his clients and employees. “It’s not the work; it’s the people,” he said. “If I don’t know the clients and what makes them tick, it’s hard to do the best job I can. With every client I work on where I provide tax, advice and counsel, I get to know them and find out what’s important to them so I can do the absolute best job.”
John truly values the culture of his firm, and tries to make Linkenheimer a great place for his employees to work. “It’s very personal and family-like here. Every morning, I make a point to walk around the entire office, check in with everyone and wish them a good morning. Most of the employees love the technical challenges, along with our respect for flexibility, work-life balance and giving back to the community. As a result, we have extremely low turnover.”
Intuit® ProConnect™ celebrates and rewards customers who “make a difference.” Find out more here.