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2014 Men of the Year Honoree: Bill Dunton

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From running Abacus CPAs LLC as managing partner to serving as the longest-standing board member for the Gillioz Theatre, Bill Dunton knows a thing or two about leadership.

In January 2011, he helped orchestrate Dunton & Associates LLC’s merger with Perryman & Associates Inc., forming Abacus CPAs. Since its launch, the company has grown to 67 employees from 42 when first joining forces, and revenue has increased 25 percent each year.

Dunton says he’s helped guide that growth by working as a mentor and focusing employees on the future.

“I have a strong commitment to my employees by teaching them and making training both personally and professionally as important as their output,” Dunton says. “I prove this by constantly moving forward. I never look back, only three steps ahead. I hold no grudges and learn from every mistake.”

For Dunton, employee success at Abacus is about more than dollars and cents.

“Professional success does not just center on the money that they make for each firm. Each staff member is compensated on their involvement in the firm, in coaching other staff, in self-growth and training, in their community involvement and in our process improvement,” Dunton says. “All of these areas are equal to their production and our client satisfaction.”

To promote self-improvement at his company, Dunton also has utilized the Kolbe Index, an assessment tool used to ensure each staff member is in the right position and making the most out of their unique strengths. And through leadership programs such as Strategic Coach and Boomer, Dunton is spurring professional development.

“I give them every tool to become better than me,” Dunton says. “I am constantly looking for and building the entrepreneurial spirit by demanding an atmosphere where each employee takes ownership.”

For Dunton, being a leader also is about community involvement.

He has served on the Gillioz Theatre board of directors for 11 years. Late last year, Dunton worked behind the scenes to help secure a buyer for the theater headed toward foreclosure in the form of trucking magnate Robert Low, owner of Prime Inc.   

“In the last 11 years, as you know, the Gillioz has been through many ups and downs. I am incredibly proud to have been an integral part of it all,” Dunton says. “As the Gillioz struggled, I took ownership in that struggle and worked alongside the board to help it regain all its tax credits and bring it out of bankruptcy. I also saw the Gillioz through a $10 million renovation to make it the beautiful landmark that it is today.

“I feel pride every day that the Gillioz is once again profitable and I had so much to do with it.”

Two years ago, Dunton joined the founding board of Girls on the Run as treasurer. The nonprofit combines an interactive curriculum and running to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles in preteen girls.

He also has served on the committee for the State Farm Red Cross Golf Tournament for two years. Over the past two decades, the event has raised more than $1 million for local disaster relief.

“Last year alone, funds from the tournament assisted the Red Cross in responding to 732 local disasters and serving over 2,100 affected individuals with emergency food, shelter and supplies,” Dunton says. “I am privileged to be part of such a strong and integral community.”[[In-content Ad]]


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