Accounting firm management expert Gary Shamis is departing BDO USA LLP to found his own consultancy, Winding River Consulting, in Cleveland.

Shamis has worked for BDO as the firm’s national strategy and growth advisor, after BDO merged in his firm SS&G Inc. at the beginning of 2015 (see BDO Expands in the Midwest with SS&G). Shamis headed SS&G for 35 years.

“Leaving BDO is bittersweet, but I am confident that it is the correct path for continued success, and the timing is right for my next venture,” Shamis said in a statement Wednesday.

“Whatever Gary does will be done successfully,” said Robert M. Littman, Ohio managing partner for BDO, in a statement. “He’s proven it time and time again with his many contributions to business and his philanthropic accomplishments.”

Shamis’s new venture, Winding River Consulting, will provide business advisory services for the managing partners of accounting firms to help them grow their firms.

“Winding River gives me the opportunity to focus on what I enjoy and do best—support firms, companies, and executives in identifying and attaining goals of growth, productivity and profit,” said Shamis. “I am able to parlay my financial, managerial, and operational experience and achievements into a venture that supports the success of others. I’ve been consulting for so long that it’s second nature to me. Although I never actually set out to establish a formal consulting business, given the timing and opportunity it seemed like a natural progression, to make it official.”

Shamis will continue to maintain his earlier consulting practice, which he has run for the past 20 years, leading partner retreats and meetings, and offering strategic and tactical support to their firms. He will also continue his roles as a partner in The Advisory Board and cohost of its Winning Is Everything Conference.

“I’ve known Gary for 30 years and can attest to the fact that he is a serial entrepreneur who is not content unless he’s creating value for others,” said Allan Koltin, chief executive of Chicago-based Koltin Consulting Group LLC, a cofounder of The Advisory Board who also cohosts the Winning Is Everything conference. “With Winding River, he will continue to do exactly that.”

Shamis has been named 12 times to Accounting Today’s list of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting and was on Accounting Today’s inaugural Managing Partner Elite list in 2012.

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