As a manager at BKD LLP, Jeff Rowe works directly with individual and business clients, helping them navigate the sometimes-complicated world of tax compliance.
“It is important for me to understand their needs and anticipate how we can help them at BKD,” says Rowe, a certified public accountant. “Clients are entrusting us with their finances, and to a related extent, their futures.”
Rowe, who joined BKD in 1994, also acts as a coach to other BKD staff members, helping them develop professionally.
“One of the individuals I coached is now an adviser and developing his own niche in service to real estate developers, and manufacturers and distributors,” Rowe says. “Seeing a staff person begin to realize the options available at BKD and ascend the ladder of success raises the tide for the whole company.”
In the community, Rowe is enthusiastic about the thriving arts scene in downtown Springfield. He is the treasurer for First Friday Art Walk, through which he works to develop budgets and sharpen focus to promote the arts downtown, build an alliance of art and downtown businesses, and connect the community to the center and heart of the city.
“I’ve lived in Springfield my entire life and subsequently experienced how downtown has evolved and continued to reinvent itself,” he says. “I’m excited to contribute to a thriving arts scene and the renewal of a place that I love and enjoy sharing with friends and family.”
He is a member of the staff-parish relations committee at Schweitzer United Methodist Church and a charter member of the Rotary Club of Springfield-Metro chapter. He’s also a member of the St. John’s Regional Arthritis Center’s Advisory Council, which is focused on education, outreach and research to help people who have severe rheumatic conditions.
In any role, Rowe believes the key to influencing and leading others is listening, not just telling people what to do.
“Whether it’s coaching someone at work, serving on boards of local nonprofit organizations, or providing tax advice, I strive to set a constant example of service to the needs of others,” Rowe says. “I think influence stems from conducting yourself with integrity, being honest and truthful, playing by the rules, protecting the privacy of others, and respecting people’s rights.”
While he admits to having a diverse mix of interests, Rowe says his efforts have a common thread.
“Each organization helps people realize their full potential in matters ranging from artistic endeavors, business growth, faith and health,” he says. “Your conduct gives you credence and the ability to help people in a variety of arenas – the workplace, a place of worship and the greater community.”Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.