Richard Groover, 33
Shareholder at Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C., Norfolk
Contributions to the business community:
I work with numerous organizations through Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C. We’re committed to being a good member of the community and giving back every day.
How do you define success?
For me success is all about happiness and fulfillment, however that’s derived. I invest in experiences and building memories with family and friends, and I couldn’t imagine anything that embodies success more than being able to look back at great adventures and wake up every morning smiling looking forward to more.
What person or experience has made the biggest impact on your life?
I won the lottery when it comes to my mom. Growing up she invested a tremendous amount of time encouraging my interests, celebrating my successes and commiserating my failures all while working full time and building her own career.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Becoming a shareholder at Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, P.C. where my primary areas of focus are audits of closely held businesses and business advisory services to their owners. I’m privileged to be a part of my clients’ lives in a deep, meaningful way whether it’s planning for a family succession or growing their existing business.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received from a colleague or manager?
When I hear from a colleague I’ve mentored that I’ve made a difference in their life I think that’s the biggest compliment. It’s such a fulfilling thing to hear and makes all the time invested worthwhile.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I don’t think I ever dreamed of becoming a CPA as a child. I remember writing a presentation about wanting to be president when I grew up. I’m sure that was before I realized what a hard life politics is. Now I couldn’t imagine a job any more fulfilling than my current one.
Name a book that has inspired you professionally.
A year or two ago Kimberly Ellison-Taylor (who, at the time, was the chairman of the AICPA) recommended Switch: How to Change when Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. It’s a book all about inspiring and leading sweeping change told with real world examples. It’s helped me drive change both within my organization and in volunteer organizations I’ve worked with.
What is your best time management hack?
I don’t know that everyone would consider this a time management hack, but learning to say no was huge for me. When you’re working to build your career sometimes you fall into a trap of saying yes to every request and opportunity. Once I started only saying yes to things I could commit the necessary time and passion to, I was happier, people around me were happier, and the end product was better.
What’s your favorite restaurant for a lunch meeting in Coastal Virginia, and what do you order when you go there?
A tiny little spot in Prince Books in Downtown Norfolk, The Lizard Café. All the food there is fantastic, so I’m slowly eating my way through their menu.
Is there anything that you would change about your generation as a whole? If so, what?
I think my generation is well on the way to changing the world, but my one pet peeve (and I include myself in this) is over-reliance on texts and emails to communicate. You lose so much when you reduce every interaction with colleagues and clients to a few lines of text on a screen instead of a phone call or an in-person meeting. I try to interact with my team in person as much as possible, and I encourage them to do the same.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
Regional cooperation. I would love to see the cities work more cohesively and each play to their strengths in a coordinated way.
How can Coastal Virginia better retain its younger population?
I think we’re off to a great start, but we need to continue building on a youth-oriented culture by creating an active nightlife, developing vibrant living spaces and leveraging amazing history and natural resources for outdoor activities.
What’s something that gives you hope for the future?
Seeing the revitalization of Norfolk’s downtown and the creation of Town Center in Virginia Beach. So many visionary leaders spent years bringing those to fruition, and I think if we continue to be forward thinking there’s nothing that can stop Coastal Virginia.
From his nomination:
“Richard is one of the most focused professionals I’ve ever had the privilege to meet, and he is also one of the most humble. Based on his accomplishments, he has every right to be full of himself, but instead, he turns to his colleagues and peers at lower levels in their careers and encourages them to do whatever it takes to be able to join him at the top.”
—Katelyn Sharp, colleague