Walsh College

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Jan 21 2013
Applauding Alumni: Jeffrey Littmann
By: Holly Blust Category: Alumni

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Applauding Alumni:
Jeffrey Littmann
Bachelor of Accountancy, 1977

Master of Science in Taxation, 1981

Chief Financial Officer
Buffalo Bills and Ralph Wilson Enterprises

Jeff Littmann has always loved sports, but didn’t set out to be in the sports business or expect to become CFO of an NFL team. He got there with his Walsh know-how, and by serving clients well in his accounting and taxation career at Arthur Andersen.

Attracted to the accounting and finance field, Littmann chose Walsh primarily because of its course curriculum and stellar reputation. He also wanted a school with evening courses as the core and a no-nonsense culture.

“Walsh provided an excellent education for working stiffs like me,” he said. “I didn’t need fluff and extracurricular activities. I was looking for tools and actionable information that I could turn into a career advantage.”

Taking Mark Solomon’s undergrad course in corporate tax clicked with him and whetted his appetite for the master’s program in taxation. “Mark is the most amazing professor I’ve ever had. He absolutely challenges you,” Littmann said. “Every time I went to class, I wanted to be prepared and ready for battle. Surviving the experience gave me the confidence to go on to law school.”

Earning two degrees from Walsh and a J.D. from Detroit College of Law in 1984, Littmann did 10 years of schooling at night – summer and all – while raising a family and working first at Ziebart International, and then for Andersen after earning his accounting degree.

The sports specialty he developed started when he was assigned to the Domino’s Pizza account and had the opportunity to work on owner Tom Monaghan’s acquisition of the Detroit Tigers in 1983. He also handled transactions for the broad holdings of client Ralph Wilson Enterprises, which included thoroughbred racing and breeding and the Buffalo Bills football franchise. The thoughtful tax planning he brought to the table impelled Wilson to hire him as treasurer of the parent company in 1986.

Littmann found Walsh to be “a world-class learning experience,” where you come out “well prepared and able to grow.” He liked the mix of full-time and adjunct faculty.


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