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An accountant’s tale – Retiring CPA Rick Westbrook recounts his life, work in Richmond

After serving in the work world for 40 years, Certified Public Accountant Rick Westbrook retired as this year’s tax season ended. (Photo by Sara Seidel/Richmond News)

By Sara Seidel, Staff Writer

Faced with the sight of a news reporter awaiting an interview, Rick Westbrook agreed to submit to it reluctantly.

“This is not my style,” he said of the notion that his life would be told in a short story. “It’s like an obituary. You can quote me on that.”

Most of us, however, don’t get to tell that final story ourselves. And those tributes don’t usually include quips straight from the lips of the honoree. Since Westbrook did get to tell his life’s story himself, here goes:

Westbrook, who came to Richmond on Labor Day weekend 1989, opted to celebrate his retirement on April 15 – not another holiday, exactly, but surely the traditional tax deadline is an apt day for a certified public accountant to close out his career.

That career began almost 28 years ago, when Westbrook answered an advertisement placed by Don Allenbrand, who wanted to sell his Richmond accounting firm. Although already employed, Westbrook contacted Allenbrand.

“It was an opportunity to get my own practice,” Westbrook said.

Westbrook set up shop and still credits three individuals for being “super helpful” in helping him establish himself in the business community: attorney A.V. McCalley and farmers Abbie Hockemeier and Bob Vandiver.

“Those three guys, they tested me, and then they gave their approval,” Westbrook said. “If they gave their approval, it carried a lot of weight.”

In those early days, the firm’s volume of work kept him and CPA Rita Russell busy, Westbrook said.

The complete story is in the Friday, April 21, 2017 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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