Applauding Alumni: Richard Pagac, Jr. BAC '94

Richard Pagac, Jr. BAC '94

Richard Pagac Jr., is currently a partner at Pagac & Company, a firm founded by his father in 1975.  He started his accounting career in an entry level position and worked hard to hone his skills and learn best practices of accounting.  Following a path that began in high school, Richard enrolled at Walsh College in the Bachelor of Accountancy program and gained his BAC in 1994.  Richard believes that hardwork and passion pays off. When he took the CPA exam he passed it at first sitting, due to his diligence and commitment to public accounting.  After working for a period as the controller for a leading technology reseller, Richard knew that his love for public accounting would lead him into a life-long career and agreed to commit his full-time and attention at Pagac & Company.

Besides his passion for accounting, Richard has several hobbies and interests.  He enjoys weight training, motorcycle riding, reading and many types of music.  In addition, Richard loves fast cars.  He is a member of the Corvette Owners’ Enthusiasts group and currently drives a supercharged 550 hp Cadillac.

Walsh College applauds Richard Pagac, Jr. for all of his success in the financial industry and congratulate him as one of our honored alumni!

What did you learn from Walsh that helped you in your career?  I’m not sure about the best thing I learned.  What I gained from Walsh were the skills I needed for my career in public practice and the confidence that I knew what I was doing.

 What have you learned/accomplished along the way to where you are today?  There is no free ride; you have to work hard every day.  There is nothing more valuable than the trust of another

What is your greatest accomplishment? Building my practice is certainly my greatest professional accomplishment.  I can share a little story as well.  Twenty years ago I was offered an equity position for a company, a place that I had worked for a time as a controller.  Working there helped me see that public accounting, not private industry was the thing for me.  They came back to me about a year after I left and offered me an equity position to return.  It was early on in my public accounting career, and I was attracting some really good clients.  It was more money, a good contract with a likely nice payoff working with people I enjoyed. But it meant that I needed to leave behind the practice I was building and go back to something I didn’t enjoy just for money.  It wasn't easy, but I stuck where I was and over time have accomplished my goals. 

Why would you encourage people to attend Walsh College?  Walsh is a serious school for students with a vision. And who are willing to work hard and are not interested in the traditional college experience.

What is the best business advice you have ever received? / What advice would you give new alumnus or current student?  A CPA in public practice has a lifetime of learning.  You can’t expect to work your shift and go home.  It requires ongoing reading and education.  (A really good chair is important too).

What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization? The most important decisions involve the people we choose to employ.  Your business is the sum of its talent.  Every person impacts on your business culture.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?  Integrity.

What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today? Excessive regulation.  Things such as the Affordable Care Act make operating a business large or small, more challenging.  Lack of clarity makes it difficult to make decisions. 

What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?  Failure to gain the adequate knowledge needed to make informed decisions.

What is the one behavior or trait that you have seen derail more leaders’ careers?  Greed.

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?  Always try to understand the tasks from all perspectives; the worker, client and organization.  You need to the ability to explain to your staff the importance of their work.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?  Sharing with other leaders and advisors; ongoing seminars, conferences and training.

Walsh College is so honored to applaud Richard Pagac, Jr. as one of our outstanding Alumni!


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