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The June Amplify luncheon, held June 28 at Windows on the River, featured remarks...

Charity adds up perfectly for Walthall CPA and CREW director Judith Mondry

By Natalie R. Schrimpf    |    Photo by Gery Petrof

Judith Mondry has always been a numbers person.

Not only did she develop an early fascination with numbers and finance as a child, her father and two older siblings, all CPAs, fostered her interest.

It’s no surprise then that Mondry, now a CPA and CVA, followed suit.

As partner with Walthall CPAs in Independence, she advises businesses and organizations on how to increase their bottom lines through financial data analysis and the implementation of tax-saving strategies. She specializes in assisting clients in the real estate, nonprofit, and restaurant industries and is part of the firm’s business valuation group.

Mondry is the first female partner in the history of the 72-year-old firm. Some of the most rewarding aspects of her job include helping clients, as well as training employees and watching them grow and succeed, she says.

“We started a company mentoring program a few years ago, and I think it’s helping a great deal with the younger staff. Every person that comes into our firm now has a mentor.”

In addition to finance and real estate, Mondry is equally enthusiastic about giving back, and Walthall’s encouragement of employee stewardship facilitates her ability to engage in this passion.

Through her firm’s Giving Back, Looking Forward program — which encourages employee volunteerism, coordinates fundraising projects for employee participation, and provides discounted services to its nonprofit clients and support of many of their missions — she participates in myriad charitable fundraising walks/runs, bike-a-thons and more each year across Northeast Ohio.

In fact, her office features a small tree that is adorned with a collection of medals she received for her participation in charitable fundraising events. “They remind me of my favorite quote by Winston Churchill: ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,’” she explains.

Mondry also gives of her time, talents, and expertise to various professional organizations.

In January she was appointed community outreach committee director of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Cleveland. With 100 members spanning nearly every aspect of the commercial real estate industry, the group offers networking, professional development, and community outreach opportunities for members at both the local chapter and national levels.

Mondry notes that the variety of occupations represented among CREW’s membership helps to maximize networking and mentoring opportunities and the exchange of ideas.

In this volunteer role, she is responsible for fostering good relations within the Greater Cleveland community, promoting further name recognition for CREW Cleveland, creating fundraising and hands-on learning experiences for community service and scholarship, and mentoring young women interested in careers in the commercial real estate field.

In addition to professional development workshops, events this past year have included touring the City Mission women’s crisis center, Laura’s Home, and volunteering at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Plans for 2017 events will be confirmed after the new year and will feature at least three different outreach events, Mondry says, such as a potential Dress for Success workshop. “We’re looking to present information that will help women in their careers, and we try to look for other nonprofits that we can help and be an outreach to them,” she says.

Mondry is also a member of The Ohio Society of CPAs, American Institute of CPAs, and National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. She is an advisor to various school finance committees and also volunteers with the American Heart Association. Additionally, she has served as past treasurer for Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce.

With more than 28 years of experience in finance, she recognizes the value of planting the seeds of financial literacy early in life and believes that youth should be exposed to the importance of good financial management in order to prepare for success as adults.

“I wish it was taught as a high school requirement so that when students graduate and start their first jobs, they already understand things like payroll taxes, how to record financial transactions in a check book, budgeting, and more,” she adds. “It has really helped me with life in general.”

Mondry adds that she was exposed to these lessons early on as the middle child of five while growing up in Seven Hills and Parma.

After working at a few local CPA firms, she joined her father’s firm, Veres & Company CPAs, which merged with Walthall Drake & Wallace CPAs in 2005.

While employed at Veres, Mondry not only learned accounting from her father and co-workers but also the value of customer service.

“Working in a smaller firm allowed me to provide services to clients because I was responsible for all aspects of their relationships, including prompt service, billing, collections, scheduling, and more,” she says. “My motto has always been, ‘Treat clients as you would like to be treated.’”

When not working or engaged in community activities, Mondry looks to the great outdoors for activities that help achieve health, wellness, and balance. Some of her favorite pastimes include aerobics, tennis, softball, biking, and hiking.

Family has always been important to her, and she and her siblings live within a five-mile radius of their parents. “It’s nice to live close by because we get to spend time with my family often,” she says.   

For more info: walthall.com

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