Michael Lortz, CPA
CFO, Downtown Development Group LLC
OSCPA Member since: 2002
How has the CPA credential defined your career?
My first job was at a CPA firm when I was 15 years old. What started out as a summer job quickly became a career goal: to become a CPA and eventually owner at a public accounting firm. Geffen Mesher provided me with the opportunity to accomplish that goal, and I spent the first 17 years of my career there. The CPA credential was important in helping me build expertise and a practice.
What’s the best part of your job/what do you love about your job?
When I was in public accounting, I really enjoyed helping clients be successful through creativity and problem solving. Becoming a trusted advisor to those clients was truly rewarding. Now that I am in private industry, I still do the same things except my “clients” are the members of the family I work for. Contributing to the success of others who appreciate you is what I love about my job.
How has being an OSCPA member benefitted you?
Over the years, I have benefitted from the OSCPA in many ways. Always interested in building a practice from an early age, the OSCPA’s networking events for young professionals helped me build my professional network. I also attended brown bag lunch sessions on career development topics such as improving communication and how to make partner. Opportunities to give back such as teaching financial literacy in schools and as a mentor helping accounting students were rewarding. I continue to benefit from participating in the association’s annual tax conferences for quality CPE and have recently enjoyed helping to plan the 2021 OSCPA real estate conference.
How is working from home going for you?
For me, working from home has gone very well. Commercial real estate companies have had many things to do in the current environment, and the extra time saved from not having a commute has provided me with more time to get those things done in additional to more personal time. I am blessed to have a separate room in my home to use as an office, which has gone very well other than my children not being able to practice the piano as much as they used to.
What changes have you made personally or professionally to adapt during the pandemic?
Personally, I became more aware of the need for my church community and reaching out to people I knew who were isolated and didn’t have large families around them like I did. I also took up running since the gyms were closed. I never intended to start running long distances, but I worked my way up to 20 miles on New Year’s Eve, so perhaps running a marathon is in my future—we’ll see. Professionally, I’ve become more proficient at working remotely, utilizing video conferencing, and many other things that my peers are doing also.
What are you reading/listening to these days?
Personally, material from the Theopolis Institute, Mere Fidelity, and Alastair Roberts is some of my favorite to listen to while running. I’m currently reading Live Not by Lies by Rod Dreher and recently finished Spurgeon’s Sorrows by Zack Eswine. Professionally, I read several tax and commercial real estate online publications—it’s important to keep abreast of current developments.