To say Dallas Tax Manager Kim Grieves, 30, was surprised when she discovered she would receive the 2016 Employee PRIDE Award is an understatement.
“It’s just completely overwhelming,” Kim says.
Louisville Partner Jerry Henderson, 48, was just as stunned when he received the partner award: “I was literally in shock and disbelief.”
Unsurprisingly, both are equally as modest about their accomplishments.
“It’s hard for me to even feel like I belong in the same company as some of the great PRIDE Award winners we’ve had,” Jerry says. “We’ve got so many awesome team members at BKD—to even think about being recognized as a PRIDE recipient is very, very humbling.”
Joining the PRIDE Award pantheon was surreal for Kim as well.
“It’s a very high honor and well respected,” she says. “The fact that I have co-workers who took the time to nominate me was very moving.”
Different Paths, Same Destination
BKD began giving the PRIDE Award to one partner and one employee in 2002. This year, Kim and Jerry were recognized by their peers as those who live out BKD’s PRIDE values: passion, respect, integrity, discipline and excellence.
Kim graduated from Kansas State University in 2008 with a B.S. degree in accounting, and in 2009 with an M.Acc. degree. She started with BKD as an intern in the Kansas City office.
“From the minute I did my internship with BKD, I knew it was a great firm,” she says. “I’ve had so many opportunities, worked with so many great people and learned so many different things. I don’t know that I would have gotten that anywhere else but here.”
In her acceptance speech at Leadership Conference 2016, Kim shared a quote one of her undergraduate accounting professors lived by: “Calm seas don’t make strong sailors.”
The phrase stuck with her, and she repeated it to herself many times after accepting a position in the Dallas office in 2009. She started working there just as the office was merging with BKD and experiencing significant change.
“It has not been calm seas, but I know that it’s made me a stronger sailor,” she says. “I stayed because I knew BKD Dallas could be a great place. I wanted to be a part of that.”
Jerry’s journey with BKD began more than 20 years ago in the Bowling Green audit practice. Now, as national industry partner of BKD National Manufacturing & Distribution Group and chair of the firm’s M&D Committee, he helps lead a team of more than 500 advisors who serve some 2,500 manufacturing, distribution and transportation clients.
“My whole goal has always been to try and leave the firm a little better than I found it, and I hope those who come along behind me do the same,” he says.
During his acceptance speech, Jerry stressed the importance of team: “I am not a huge fan of individual recognition, especially when it comes to me personally. There’s not a single one of us that accomplishes anything on our own. As a team, we accomplish great things together.”
Embodying Our Values
Kim and Jerry’s dedication to the firm and commitment to living the PRIDE—both at work and in their personal lives—put them at the top of this list for this year’s award. Their colleagues pointed out how perfectly they embody the spirit of the award.
“A lot of people come and go in the tax department in Dallas, but Kim is our constant,” Dallas Managing Partner Tom Watson says. “If we hadn’t had Kim, our tax department wouldn’t be where it is today.”
Jerry’s Louisville team reiterates how dedicated he is to BKD.
“There’s nobody I know more passionate about unmatched client service than Jerry Henderson,” said David Tate, managing partner of the firm’s offices in Kentucky, Tennessee and southern Indiana.
Tim Snavely, managing partner of BKD’s East Region, agreed wholeheartedly.
“He elevates everybody’s game around him. Jerry always talks about ‘the team,’ and the team is really good because of Jerry.”
Always in Pursuit
Everyone who knows them agrees: Kim and Jerry are excellent choices for this award.
“This year’s recipients both demonstrate selfless attitudes and a willingness to step in and help others,” says CEO Ted Dickman. “They each received multiple nominations from colleagues that said wonderful things about their character, work ethic and professional demeanor. We’re blessed to have such role models as part of our firm.”
BKD’s PRIDE values are “aspirational.” No one possesses them in full; they’re intended to inspire BKDers to be the best version of themselves and serve clients at the highest possible level. They’re the values shared by employees, partners and the firms BKD has been fortunate enough to bring into the fold as it’s grown. They’ve stood the test of time for nearly 100 years—and will guide the firm through the next century and beyond.