Dec 05, 2007 Willie Kiernan Uncategorized
Half a century in the books
Chamber recognizes Green & Seifter for 50 years of business
By Willie Kiernan
Ayn Rand came out with a book 50 years ago called “Atlas Shrugged,” a story about individual excellence and how creative individuals with undeviating purpose and rationality can achieve joy and fulfillment. It’s not a story about Cazenovian Ed Green, but it could have been.
On Wednesday Nov. 21, the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce presented an award to Green & Seifter, Certified Public Accountants, PLLC, located on the ninth floor of One Lincoln Center, for recognition of its 50th anniversary.
“It seems like about a day,” said Green.
If excellence is the goal, then Green has scored many goals. By being true to his own vision, he has elevated the successes of those around him. By taking care of business, he has taken care of the community and perhaps a not insignificant part of the world.
“We try to merge clients’ plans and dreams into reality,” Green said. “It’s all about people. We have a legacy of personnel who want to succeed and a legacy of fine clients, many go back to that original date.”
There were about 20 people on hand for the brief ceremony, including several partners and chamber members and chamber president Darlene Kerr.
“As ambassadors, we like to celebrate growth, milestones and development,” said chamber member Michelle Evanson of ITT Technical Institute. “We’re here for the recognition of 50 years.”
Since the launching of Sputnik by the Soviet Union and the beginning of the space age, a lot has changed in 50 years. The telephone was in one room in the house and it was connected by a wire. The TV set had rabbit ears and only a few channels. You could get milk delivered and watch a movie from your car. You didn’t need insurance or a lawyer and the doctor was usually a family friend you paid with cash.
“There have been good times and bad times, sure,” Green said. “But if we win five and lose four, we’re ahead of the game.”
Ayn Rand was born in Russia. Her father owned a shop and she saw the government come in, take his inventory and replace it with Communism. Her books and ideas, condemning selflessness and championing selfishness were very controversial at the time. They were anti-government and pro-individual. Green would’ve fit easily as one of her protagonists, an individual success story, a captain of men, a leader by example. He has been a champion for freedom of speech, freedom of art and the shopkeeper.
“If he says it seems like a day, then it was a good day,” said Gary Grossman, an employee for 25 years and now a partner. “We’re pleased to be a part of what’s going on in Syracuse today. It feels like a renaissance.”
Devoted to community involvement, Green has proved to be a modern renaissance man, an advocate for excellence in every direction. Well-rounded in scope, he has served on numerous community boards over the years. He was a vice president and member of the Executive Committee of Syracuse University Board of Trustees. He was a board member for the Glimmerglass Opera and was chairman of their investment committee. He also served as chairperson of Crouse Hospital’s Foundation Investment Committee.
The Foundation chose to honor Green this past September with a spectacular gala because he was instrumental in establishing the Foundation’s Endowment Fund, which reached a milestone this year by distributing $1 million in investment income to fund various projects at the hospital
“People take hospitals for granted, like a school. It’s there and it’s always going to be there,” Green said. “I was there when the foundation began, then I was the chairman of the board. We had a target to raise $5 million; now it’s up to about $24 million. It’s hard not to be drawn to wanting to work with an institution that is so important to our lives from beginning to end.”
Green also served as chairman for the Syracuse Symphony, Everson Museum of Art, WCNY, Central New York Community Foundation and the Cultural Resources Council. He has been a board affiliate with Syracuse Stage, Cazenovia Lake Association, Stone Quarry Art Park, Cazenovia College, Cazenovia Preservation Foundation and Cazenovia Chamber of Commerce.
Founded in 1957 by Green, the 50-year-old firm provides its clients with a wide array of professional services in the areas of accounting, audit and taxation, business planning and valuation, financial planning and investment management, and fraud prevention and detection.
“What I feel mostly is the relationship we’ve set up in 50 years,” Green said. “What’s going on here has always been good for me.”
In Ayn Rand’s philosophy, what’s good for a man like Ed Green is good for everybody.