Cathie Anderson

Cathie Anderson: Accountant boasts about being boring

Published: Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 - 6:30 am

Accountant Kenneth Macias promises the world's most boring interview, a quip that comes after he's asked about the trademarked slogan on his firm's website: "Proud To Be Boring Accountants."

Two hours pass quickly with Macias, though, as he describes the growth of Macias Gini & O'Connell from a sole proprietorship into the nation's 87th largest accounting firm. Based at 3000 S St. in Sacramento, it reported $36.2 million in revenue last year and has about 275 employees.

"Right here in Sacramento, a firm was founded that audits the biggest local governments in the nation: city of San Diego, city and county of San Francisco, city of Sacratomato," said Macias, chairman of MGO's board. "I can say that because I'm a Sacratomatan."

Macias Gini & O'Connell also does work for Los Angeles, Oakland and the California Public Employees' Retirement System. The firm's claim to fame was once government work, but after strategic acquisitions, Macias and his 21 partners have added utilities, defense contractors, high-tech startups, nonprofits, trade organizations and even A-list movie and sports celebrities to their roster.

The 57-year-old Macias founded the firm that would evolve into Macias Gini & O'Connell in 1987, without taking a single client from former employer Touche Ross. He is one of 21 directors who lead the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He's achieved his success without ever moving away from the neighborhood around Kennedy High School where he graduated. He also has a bachelor's degree from Sac State, master's degrees from Golden Gate University and the University of Southern California; and a doctorate in public administration from USC.

Cassie takes the pitch

Oakmont High School graduate Cassie McFarland hopes she can steal home plate in a U.S. Mint competition for the design of the obverse side of a curved coin that will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The former Roseville resident is one of 16 finalists in the challenge, and two key panels recommended her design to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. There's no firm date on when he'll issue his choice.

McFarland's design features an open baseball glove with the word "LIBERTY" on it.

"The spheric form of the coin, the concavity of the coin and the concavity of the glove just seemed to match up, like it was one of those child's puzzles where you see the circles together, and you just want to put them together," McFarland said.

The 27-year-old has a bachelor of fine arts degree from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, and she lives in that city now. She told me she stumbled on the competition just ahead of the May 1 deadline, and since she loves baseball and coins, she entered.

"I'm sure the other contenders are probably more experienced or have some kind of graphic design under their belts," she said. "For me, it was more of a challenge … to think of a simple design that made sense, that you can run your finger across and feel this etching of the glove and almost like remember what it felt like to put on a glove."

The winner will receive $5,000. Three commemorative coins will bear the design: up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, up to 400,000 $1 silver coins and up to 750,000 half-dollar coins clad in copper and nickel.

Art auction for Jesuit

Jesuit High School will bring its 10-year, $22 million Building for the Future campaign to a close by auctioning off about 100 lithographs and prints by Western artist Howard Terpning.

"We're at the conclusion of that campaign and just kicked off our 50th anniversary Milestone Campaign," said Jordan Blair, vice president of marketing and community relations for the Carmichael school. "2013-2014 is the 50th year of Jesuit High School, and that campaign seeks to raise about $6 million to modernize our library, science buildings and our stadium."

The Building for the Future campaign has paid for upgrades in technology, new infrastructure such as air conditioning, an athletic center and a chapel that will soon be constructed.

Jesuit received the Terpning prints from an anonymous donor. School officials asked Witherell's Arts & Antiques to handle the auction, and owner Brian Witherell is including the pieces in an online auction that goes live Aug. 6 and will close on or around Aug. 20 at witherells.com.

He estimates that the pieces could raise up to $25,000.

Terpning, who started his career illustrating Hollywood posters, later gained acclaim for his paintings of the American West and American Indians.

Call The Bee's Cathie Anderson, (916) 321-1193. Back columns, www.sacbee.com/anderson. Follow her on Twitter @cathiea_sacbee.

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