CHICAGO – It is with great sadness Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd. announces the passing of prominent Chicago accountant and co-founder, Allen M. Abrams, after a brief illness on October 27, 2013. He was 81.
“Al’s leadership shaped the culture here at ORBA,” said Mark Thomson, Managing Director. “He had remarkable talent for creating lasting relationships and helping his clients. He was equally passionate about mentoring our staff, and developing relationships inside the firm.”
Al was born in Paw Paw, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan, earning both a B.S., magna cum laude, in Accounting, and an M.B.A., summa cum laude. Al was a proud member of the University of Michigan’s Marching Band. As he often did, Al attended homecoming just last month to march into the Big House with the alumni band.
Al joined Touche Ross & Company as a staff accountant in 1954. Later, he became a partner at Miller, Mandell & Company and Laventhol & Horwath, where he built a successful and loyal following of clients in his accounting and tax practice.
In November of 1977, Al and six of his partners left Laventhol and founded Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd. Al brought his significant experience and leadership to the firm and helped to lay the foundation of client service that allowed the firm to thrive and grow organically from 12 to 120 employees. Today, ORBA is ranked among the top 150 largest accounting firms in the country and the 17th largest in Chicago.
“Al and I go back nearly 50 years together,” said Kal Shiner, one of ORBA’s co-founders. “He treated clients like his own family. He was determined that ORBA keep its feeling of a small, family business. He will be sorely missed, but not forgotten.”
Al’s dedication to client needs has been instilled in the firm and drives the practice model followed today. He met regularly with employees and future leaders to talk about what being part of the firm meant and the satisfaction that all should get from working and helping clients with their needs.
For many years, Al was an active member in many professional organizations, including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Illinois CPA Society (Former Member, Committees on Education Standards and Human Resources), and DFK International Accountancy Group (Former Chair, Marketing Committee). He was a member and former officer of the University of Michigan Alumni Association (Local Chapter), and taught several accounting courses at DePaul University. Al was also a longtime member of Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, Illinois.
Al is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Isabel Simms, his children, Laurel Neme and her husband Chris, of Vermont, and Meryl Abrams, of Hawaii; and five grandchildren, Gabriel, Kiran, Talia, and Kalae Abrams and Jackson Neme.
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Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd. (ORBA) is a full-service accounting, tax and business consulting firm located in downtown Chicago that serves privately-held companies, individuals and nonprofit organizations. ORBA’s Certified Public Accountants have experience with accounting and assurance, business advisory services, estate planning, financial planning, fraud investigation, tax, litigation, and mergers and acquisitions. With some of the highest levels of direct client involvement in the industry, ORBA is where clients go to build long-standing, meaningful and successful relationships with resourceful, proactive business and tax advisors. For more information, visit www.orba.com, subscribe to our blog www.orbablog.com or connect with us on LinkedIn.