Oldest Full Service CPA Firm in the North Bay
G & J Seiberlich & Co LLP is the oldest full-service CPA firm in the North Bay and the first to specialize in many of the industries that make the region unique. Gordon Seiberlich came to the Napa Valley in 1949, determined to put his national accounting experience to work by establishing a full-service firm in a place that was scarcely more than a spot on a map.
Today, the North Bay's first CPA firm which started with one man, is staffed with more than two-dozen employees, serving over 2,500 clients. G & J Seiberlich & Co's accountants are regarded as experts in the financial issues facing some of the North Bay's key industries including wine, viticulture and agriculture, construction and other professions. Now retired, Gordon looks with pride on the fact that he was joined by such talented people and has had the opportunity to help communities and industries grow in the beautiful place he chose as home over 60 years ago.
The Early Years
An Oakland native and 1942 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Gordon served in the U.S. Army during World War II, then completed an MBA at Northwestern University in Chicago while working for Horwath and Horwath, a full-service accounting firm that specialized in hotels and restaurants.
Gordon and his wife Catherine returned to the Bay Area in 1949, and settled in San Francisco where he went to work for Haskins & Sells. The couple was ready to start a family but wanted to raise their children in a rural environment not too far from San Francisco. Naturally, they began exploring the North Bay.
In January 1950 Gordon opened the doors of Gordon J. Seiberlich, CPA, the firm that would become G&J Seiberlich & Co LLP.
Despite the rural atmosphere, Gordon was determined to provide North Bay locals with the level of professional service and counsel available at national firms. "Early on, I set some standards for myself. I had to be careful not to work only for the money and to continue on the path I had chosen. Often, being able to buy groceries was a great temptation to go astray, but the idea was that I was going to have an accounting firm and provide superior advice and counsel."
Growth Through Talent and Expertise
James Tidgewell, with a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Notre Dame, worked originally at Price, Waterhouse and Co. in their Southern California offices. He also served active duty in the U.S. Army for two years. Jim joined G&J Seiberlich & Co in 1975, bringing an expertise in the audit process that enhanced the firm's capabilities and was managing partner from 1997 to 2007. Jim retired from the firm in 2016.
Greg Bennett joined the firm in 1983 and became a partner in 1987. Greg has been instrumental in developing the firm's estate and gift tax-planning services. His professional emphasis includes accounting and taxation for viticulture and wine production, construction, real estate, legal and professional services firms and currently serves as the firm's managing partner.
Wendell Coats joined the firm in 1996 and became partner in 2003. He has over 15 years of professional experience providing auditing, accounting, tax and consulting services to clients ranging from construction, professional service companies, wineries and a wide variety of nonprofit organizations.
Laura Wintz joined the firm in 1999, working in the Napa office, and became a partner in June 2009. Her professional experience includes both tax and audit for nonprofit organizations and small business owners.
Julia Chandler joined the firm in 2010 when her firm, Chandler & Associates, LLP, merged with G&J Seiberlich & Co LLP.
Leonard LaBranche rejoined the firm in 2014 when his practice merged back with G&J Seiberlich & Co LLP.
Ken Rode joined the firm in 2009 and became a partner in 2016.
Greg Payne orginally joined the firm in 2004 and, after a brief time away from 2013-2016, rejoined the firm in September 2016. He became a partner in 2017.