Key Lessons During Stroke Awareness Month
On Episode 66 of The Unique CPA, Rob Brown joins Randy Crabtree to share their experiences as stroke survivors during Stroke Awareness Month. They highlight the key lessons they learned from these life-changing events, including the importance of being open and vulnerable with friends about struggles and of not waiting for a consequential event to make positive changes in one’s life.
Today, our guest is Rob Brown. Rob is co-founder of the Accounting Influencers Roundtable which is a Mastermind group. He is also a co-host of the Accounting Influencers podcast, and he is an all around knowledgeable individual of things happening in the accounting profession. We’re actually not going to talk about that today. We are going to talk about that in a future episode. Today we’re talking to Rob on a special episode. Rob and I are members of an exclusive, and unfortunately not as exclusive as I had hoped, club. We both are stroke survivors. And today we’re going to do a special episode which we’re going to release in May, which is Stroke Awareness Month in the US, I think maybe around the world. But I know at least in the US. Rob, welcome to The Unique CPA.
Thank you, Randy. It is an exclusive club that we don’t want to be a part of. These things happen to us. And we’ll unpack that. But yes, it’s great to talk this through because as we may dip into men don’t talk much about things like that, do they? We keep ourselves to ourselves, we try and stay strong, stiff upper lip, as we say here in the United Kingdom. But it’s good to share and it’s good to be a little bit vulnerable.
Yeah, well, I appreciate you doing this. We did one other episode two years ago with a CPA here in the US who is a stroke survivor as well. And he and I had a discussion on just how this impacted us professionally and our business and going forward. So today, you know, again, I appreciate you, you know, being open to discuss this, because it’s not always an easy topic to discuss. But I don’t know, would you be able to give us a quick history of your stroke and what, how this occurred.
Sure. And for people that switch off when they hear stroke, because they don’t think they’ll have one, the stats are fairly high that we’re going to be hit with something. And for stroke, just insert cancer or dementia are something else, a road accident, we don’t know what is coming up. That’s the point. So I’d just hit 50. I’ve got a black belt in kickboxing that I worked hard at for three years before that. And I was in really good shape. I’m a former phys ed teacher, a mathematics teacher, I’ve never drank, never smoked, and living a good life doing well in my business.
And I’ve always had migraines. I’d get one a year since I was a teenager, and Easter 2016 I started to get a migraine every day. I got 23 in 30 days, and we knew that something was wrong. But we didn’t know what. So you go to the doctors. And you ask what could it be? And they say, Well, we could scan your brain but it’s like having 1,000x rays and it’s not really good for you. Let me give you these drugs. Stay off the red wine and smoking—wasn’t relevant to me—and it will be okay. We can’t, we don’t really understand migraines. We don’t know what’s going on there anyway.
So I went back and tried changing my diet, changing my work regime, looking at screens a little bit less, and they waned a little bit. It came down to, I said to my wife in the summer, after three or four months of really debilitating migraines. This is me on the floor writhing in agony, can’t work, can’t do anything, dark rooms, and nothing’s working. I said, let’s just go on holiday with our two daughters. Let me get off screens for a couple of weeks and see if this changes.
And I had a swim one day towards the end of the holiday. And I said to Amanda after my swim in the morning, I said, Look, this is bad. I don’t feel well. There’s migraines coming on. And I was collapsing. And I stayed in my hotel room for two or three days towards the end of the holiday and I couldn’t move, couldn’t drink anything, couldn’t take anything. And they brought a doctor to me, injected me just to get me onto the plane to fly home. But on the plane, it was paramedics and oxygen. I was barely walking and they got an app—we call an ambulance this year you call them medic vans or something—picked me off the plane, took me to the hospital and they scanned my brain and it had a big bleed. Just after that swim.
So what ultimately we found out was happening was all these migrains were mini bleeds, and in my stroke, you know that stroke is either a bleed or a blockage in your brain. So an artery had shunted into a vein and was starting to pump high pressure blood into a low pressure vein and these mini bleeds were causing the migraines, because the veins were not meant to cope with high pressure blood. And in the end, my capillaries are just gone boom, and I had this massive hemorrhage. And as soon as they scanned my brain coming off that plane, they knew what to do. And Amanda was with me when they diagnosed it and I started laughing. I was barely conscious, but I was so pleased that they found out what was going on in my head. Because once it’s diagnosed, you can do something about it. So it wasn’t a classic stroke that people might think about, you know, when your face drops, and you have those signs, and it’s sudden, This was a very gradual thing that ended up going boom.
Yeah, and that’s, you know, I assume worldwide, they call it a hemorrhagic stroke, which is what you had, where it was a bleed, which is actually a lot more serious typically than the clots. They both can be very serious, but the survival rate on the hemorrhagic is lower than the survival rate on the clots so it was very good to see you are able to talk today and, and what was recovery, like then or what did they do once they found that bleed and then recovery?
Well, mine wasm they call it an arteriovenous fistula, to get technical, but under the hemorrhagic stroke, as you suggested. They operated straightaway, they went into my groin, it’s amazing how they do it, isn’t it? They, we got consent to operate almost straightaway. And they had 16 people in the operating theatre, because, as you may be aware, they’ve got to have brain surgeons standing by in case they need to go through your skull. So the laser beams were there, the drills were there, just in case, but they went up through my groin, and they found the blockage with dye to contrast, find out where it was, something called onyx. It blocks off and dries it up, and they severed the hemorrhage but the blood is still floating around my brain.
Yes, putting pressure. So the operation was about four hours. They didn’t need to go through my skull in the end. And I was about seven or eight days in recovery in an intensive care ward. And still having the migrains because the blood’s still there, but the blood started to dissipate for a few months afterwards. I could not get my pulse up. I wasn’t allowed to get my pulse above 100, because the blood was still dissipating and you can’t put your body under any stress. And, the recovery was slow and I lost some vision. This is my—there’s two main after effects for my stroke. I lost a quarter of my vision. So it’s called quadrantanopia. My eyes see everything but the area at the back of my brain on the right here, it damaged the receptor cells. They were just flooded and damaged. So I’ve lost my field vision on the top left side of my brain. And that’s dead now. They say that won’t come back, despite neuroplasticity and other things we talk about, that’s gone.
So is it your field of vision, there’s just a certain area you don’t see, is that how it works?
Yes, the top left area is grayed out. Now if I turn my head, I can see it. But I can’t see it by looking ahead. So people say well, you’ve got two eyes, you can, you can drive with one eye. Yes, you can because you have peripheral vision out of both eyes. But my eyes see everything. It’s just the images they transmit to the brain, that’s dead. So I’ve not been allowed to drive since 2016. And then epilepsy.
Oh, really? And does that happen often, or is it controlled?
That was the beginning of COVID, Easter 2020. I was doing a light exercise session. And I had a major epileptic seizure. And thankfully, my wife was there. I knew nothing. I woke up in the accident and emergency ward a few hours later, but I completely blacked out. And when they scanned my brain after that, they found that there was some scarring and electrical imbalances from the previous stroke. And they said you can’t drive anymore now, you’re an epileptic. I said, well, I’ve not been driving for five years. But I’ll take that, thank you. So I’m on medication for that now. I’ve had no other seizures. And I’m sure we’ll get to this, Randy, I’ve talked a lot, but if somebody says to you, you’re going to have a stroke and the only downside is you won’t be able to drive again and you’ll be on medication for epilepsy, you’d take that, wouldn’t you?
Yep. And would you?
Yeah, I for sure would. I never complain about my condition. I’m thankful still to be in the game and being able to do most of the things I can do, but you and I both know people for whom it’s been much more debilitating and even ending in death.
Yeah, death is, I think the number four cause of death, maybe five—it’s actually the stroke occurrences have gone up and as that, the percentage of deaths has actually gone down, which is good, but that means there’s more people living with disabilities which is, you know, that you have a disability, obviously, with the two things that you’re dealing with.
What was, Randy, quickly your stroke episode?
So mine was ischemic, I was the block, I was the, you know, created the dam in the—
And that came from your heart didn’t it?
Yeah, for me it was a, everybody’s born with a hole in their heart. It’s called a TFO. And it’s just how you get oxygen while you’re in the womb. It closes shortly after birth. For 25% of the population, it doesn’t fully close. I was one of those. Most people live with that with no issues, although they are thinking that it is tied to migraines, even though yours was not in this case, I assume. But they’re thinking they may have some issue with migraines as well. And so for me, what happened was that hole was there, I had some clot form somewhere, somehow, most likely on the hole itself. You know, a clot just got stuck there. And then it shot up to my brain. And that’s what happened for me.
Wow. And you had quite a while in rehabilitation, weren’t you? How long were you coming out of that?
So physical rehab wasn’t that long for me. Physical rehab—what happened when I had the stroke was traditional. Like you said, yours wasn’t kind of—wasn’t really traditional. Mine was traditional. My whole left side went dead. I lost the ability to speak.
That was instantaneous, was it?
Yeah, I had for me, I had about five seconds where I knew it was coming on. I actually, I was able to, and I think this is, we’ll do the whole sharing of stories here. We were at a company event, a breakfast, we just did everybody come in to—I’m outside of Chicago, and we were going to have a meeting in the office. And so I was just coming back from the store picking up bagels and juice and coffee. My brother who was working with us at the time was with me as well. I just parked the car, you just stop swimming, which is scary to me. I still get nervous in the water, thinking what if I have a stroke when I’m in the water. Which I don’t, it’s not too bad anymore.
But I just finished driving. I parked the car, open the back door. My brother opened the other back door. I looked across at him. He goes, Are you okay? I said no. My left side is going numb. My speech is slurred. I’m having a stroke. Get me to the hospital. By the time he got around to my side of the car, I couldn’t talk. The whole left side was dead. Yep. So that was what happened with me.
But you had asked about the rehab. Mine actually started to clear itself up when I was in the ambulance. My speech came back. The ability to move my limbs on the left side came back, it ended up just being more my left side was all numb, and probably a little bit of slurred speech because of that numbness. But I was very fortunate that things start coming back and like you, I was in probably the best shape of my life at that time, you would just, you know, you were the black belt. I had just won a fitness contest at my gym. Probably 30 pounds lighter than I am right now. And I gotta fix that. But yeah, for me, that’s what happened.
You just don’t know. Do you run? Do you think you’re immortal? Particularly men, we’re conditioned to think that we’ll live forever. And you mentioned the physical rehab was okay. Talk about the mental side of it. Let’s dwell on that for a while because it hits confidence, doesn’t it? You’ve got to recalibrate your whole life and your whole job and your sense of self worth. How was that for you?
So you can tell you’re a podcast host.
I’ll tell you yours if you tell me mine.
Exactly. I’ll go first and then you can go and then we can kind of compare stories because I think this is something that we can equate to just stress in the accounting profession or any profession as well. And people are dealing with things, maybe that’s not as traumatic as you and I had dealt with, you know, the stroke. That’s a very traumatic event, but they may be dealing with something. So for me, the physical rehab wasn’t that long. The mental rehab was probably four to five years before I really felt, you know, back to who I really was. And that was the biggest thing that I dealt with, is the mental aspect. And how about you? Was that an issue?
No, actually, I’ve been mentally strong for a lot of my life. I think it was tougher for the people around me. For my wife, for my children, asking questions, is Daddy going to live? That stuff, because I was in the eye of the storm. I was just focusing in on myself trying to get well. But Amanda and my two girls, they had to pick up a lot of it. Amanda had to do all the driving. Our girls were just young girls and driving them to soccer and everything else and she picked up all of that. Managing me mentally, managing me through the transitioning work, getting me through things, so as well as our strong myself.
I tell you what was hard, it was the epilepsy in a way because that put me on medication and the side effects of the medication I’m on is suicidal thoughts, self-harming thoughts. And I had to be really intentional about my state. How am I feeling? Is this affecting me? What am I like? And I’m now very preventative with—so I go for walks, I don’t need a walk, but I take a walk and switch off if you like because I know it’s going to do me good. And I don’t want to accelerate any mental health issues if I can help it. So I try and be as preventative as possible. But yes, I had to monitor, how am I feeling? I’ve probably come a little bit more melancholy, a little bit more irritable, I need more sleep. And so there are those things going on. I don’t know how much of that is generally growing older. How much of that is down to the stroke and the after effects?
But coming back to your point on accountants are under pressure. Everyone’s contending with something. You don’t know anyone in your life, Randy, that’s got a perfect life. So whether it’s illness, injury, divorce, relationships, kids, we’re all contending with something. And financial, mental health. So is there a premium? And we can’t take it for granted. Perhaps you and I are stronger mentally because of what we’ve been through, and can speak into the lives of others. But if people tell me they’ve got excited, and everything’s great, I sometimes just laugh at them. How little they know. And I’m sure God laughs even harder.
Right, I mean, I honestly, well, we can talk about this probably. But I honestly am very happy with where everything is and if I personally thought anybody had a perfect life, I feel really close. It’s not, you’re right. But that’s amazing that I can say with, you know, going through this stroke for me eight years ago now. When you look back on the stroke, and I want to transition a little bit here, because I want to see if there’s anything, is there things that you learn from that that’s helped you in business, that maybe we can educate people on, you know, looking at things differently?
There’s two things came out of it for me, in terms of how I viewed life going forward. The first is that I was much more appreciative of things, of people, of situations, of circumstances that beforehand I would have taken for granted—the small stuff. I tried to be much more in the moment, and be grateful for that stuff, just to still be in the game, to still to be able to do most of the things I could do and still be able to work and earn a living. I don’t know what life would have looked like had I not, so I don’t take that for granted. So that appreciation of life and of situations, I try and drum that into people for whom things seem to be going okay. Because they’re very complacent. They’re very, it won’t happen to me. So that’s one thing.
The other thing is I’ve become a lot more gracious. So I’m a committed Christian, I don’t mind sharing that. And that helps me to be more forgiving of things. But I would be quite judgmental if people didn’t keep up with my pace of life. I wasn’t very tolerant in those circumstances. You know, get on the bus or get off the bus. Leave me or follow me but don’t get in my way kind of thing. Typical entrepreneur.
And I’ve learned to be more gracious, more forgiving, more tolerant, more understanding. My wife would tell me I’m nowhere near as patient as I should be. But I have learned to cope with things better when people let you down or they’re inefficient or things don’t go as planned. There’s a lot more grace in me to forgive and even forget, and I’ve started patching up a lot of relationships and reaching out to old people, old friends. Life is short. So I’ve become a little bit more melancholy and I’ve come to appreciate things more and be a lot more forgiving of things. How about you?
Yeah, I would say the same. Before I answer that, I think that’s a great lesson for the accounting profession in general, is just that step back, relax, appreciate things because it is a very stressful profession and it can be with long hours and what we’re dealing with so I think that’s a great lesson on its own. For me, personally, I’m very—you and I may be the same person—I’m a committed Christian as well.
Yeah, we’re about the same age, Randy. Aren’t we as well?
I’m guessing I’m older than you. I’ll be 60 in a few weeks.
Okay, so I’m late 50’s so I’m a little bit earlier than you.
Okay, yeah. May 2nd.
You look younger because you’ve had a much easier life than me. That’s what that is.
I feel like I got an easy life right now. But for me, it’s very similar to what you say—step back, relax, appreciate things more. But, and you and I have talked about this before. But for me, I actually reevaluated what was, and you said this too. But what’s important to me, not only personally, and my family is extremely important to me, but professionally. And it took me a long time professionally to figure out what I was, what I wanted to do, even though I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 16. I’ve started businesses, I’ve done all this. But I completely changed my role in the business about four years ago. And you and I talked about this before, but this is a four or five year evolution after the stroke of really, where do I want to go?
And if I look back now, this four or five years that I went through mental struggles was honestly worth it for where I am now. Because looking at how it made me change everything I was doing within the business, it just and personally, but in the business specifically, it was a great lesson for me, and I can’t imagine not being where I am today. And I guess that’s a question for you. And you can ask me this, too. If, and this is a tough question. But if you could go back and change it, would you say, I’m gonna go through the rest of my life without the stroke? Let’s hit that day. Let’s hit the restart button. Everything’s fine. And now I go forward from that. When you look back, would you do that? Or has it affected you in a way where you’re comfortable today?
It’s a super question. I would not go back. I’d take the stroke. Because it’s given me a better life. It sounds strange to say that. I’ll give you a little example. My wife Amanda is a lousy backseat driver. I don’t know if you call it there. But as soon as I got in the car to drive, she’d be chirping. She’d be all at me, do this, do that. We call them backseat drivers.
Yes, we do too.
And we used to have our major biggest arguments in the car. And I don’t mind telling you right now as a friend, and nobody else is listening. So this won’t go any further. There were times when I would just stop the car and get out and walk. I’d stopped driving. One time I got in the car in the garage, and she started before I’d even turn the ignition on. So we joke now that maybe God took me out of it with a stroke that I can’t drive to stop us killing each other or divorcing. So now she does all the driving, and she’s a very good driver. So maybe things would have happened, I would have crashed the car or something, who knows these things, only God knows.
But no, I wouldn’t go back. I feel I’m a better person. I’m more tolerant, I’m easier to be around and more forgiving, slightly more patient, I’m certainly more grateful. And I wouldn’t have had that, I would have continued on the life I was. Perhaps a little bit arrogant, a bit judgmental, a bit impatient, intolerant of people, maybe not the nicest person to be around. And being that humble has allowed me to take on more ideas. I’ve got a great business partner in Martin, who’s been brilliant for me and steadying the ship, if you like, from a professional point of view. I couldn’t have done it without him. And a lot of things that would not have happened without the stroke. What about you? Would you turn the clock back?
Nope. No, I never would. You know, maybe shortly afterwards, I would have said that, even maybe a couple of years afterwards, I would have said it.
Well you went through some dark times mentally, didn’t you? Probably more than I did.
Yeah, it was just, you know, what, why? How, again, can it happen? It was all these things. And physically it was fine. But mentally—but getting past that I think made me better. Made me, like you’ve said many times already, more appreciative, more grateful, you know, making sure I enjoy things more. I mean, my wife and I just worked remote in warm weather for the last two months, you know, which is part of the pandemic we’ve learned we can do as well, but just enjoying things.
And it’s really made me more appreciative of the people I work with and their skills, and I get joy out of just watching people progress within their business and seeing where they’re going, and what they’ve done to make them, you know, make them enjoy what they’re doing and make them—and we’re all stressed in business in general, I should say, all. I’ve honestly not, and maybe I sound arrogant from this standpoint, but I really don’t ever feel stressed in business anymore. And maybe that’s partly because you and I, we’ve had stress, we’ve gone through stress.
People don’t know what stress is until they’ve had a life changing incident like that too. We can look, not look down on them. But say really, you’re stressed out about not being able to afford the gas for your car or you’re stressed out because somebody had a go at you in the office and insulted you, really? Really? You can’t get the episode you want on Netflix that you’ve bingewatched, really?
I know, I know. But what I found interesting when you were talking is, in the ambulance or in the plane or were ejected, was it the ambulance, you said you laughed when you heard what was it. When I was in the ambulance—I was, am I going to live? That’s the only thing I’ve thought of. And, you know, obviously, it’s hard to say some of this stuff. But my family, you know, and that which I’m sure you thought too, but to me, it was you were so grateful you knew what was going on. And I can understand that because you were having issues before. For me this was immediate, never expected anything. And I was like, am I gonna live and that’s the main thing I can remember going through my head.
So I never got to that, am I gonna live? I’ve always talked about living till I’m 100. As a matter of fact, I joked with our girls, I got this from the comedian, Stephen Ryan. But when they said is daddy gonna die? I would say to them, no, because I’m gonna live till I’m 100. They say how do you know? And I said, because my birth certificate has an expiry date. So I’ve always felt immortal like that. So I never thought I’m not going to live. But I didn’t know what it was in the ambulance. And then I had not been diagnosed with a stroke. It wasn’t until, so all of these, I’m asking, what is this? What is going on with me? And I was just longing for that diagnosis. Because once you get a diagnosis, then say right now we can do something about it, because we know what it is. But on hearing that you’ve had a brain hemorrhage. My wife next to me went pale and into shock. And I was laughing. Yeah. In my comatic state, because I just saw some way out.
Which is awesome.
Which was awesome.
Yep. All right. So I think what I think really a key that I think people could take out of this is—
Don’t wait till you have a life changing event like this to make some changes in your life. That’s one thing we would say.
I would say that for sure. Don’t do it. And I have been kind of, I don’t know if it’s the right word, preaching this. But when I’ve talked to people lately, it’s, you know, look at what you’re doing right now. If you’re not having fun, figure out why. There’s a part of what you’re doing you enjoy, I bet. I bet there’s something you enjoy, that you’re doing at work, maybe not everything. Make that, concentrate on that more, you know, or maybe do other things. If you need to change professions, do it. Money is great, you know, enjoying what you’re doing is greater, in my mind. Appreciating things is greater in my mind. So, do a self evaluation, look at what you’re doing, look at what you’re doing professionally, personally. And then find the things that give you joy and the things you’re passionate about and really try to concentrate on those things. Do you have something that you would like people to get out of this discussion?
I’ve got two things, Randy. The first is, and I’m talking particularly to the men listening now, because women share a lot more. But men don’t. We don’t admit any illnesses. I’m not feeling too great. I’m struggling with this. We don’t talk about that, do we? And men don’t often have best friends. They say for most men, their best friends are the husbands and boyfriends of their wife’s best friends. So we don’t confide—we confide in our wives and partners and girlfriends occasionally. So I would say start to share some stuff and be a little bit vulnerable. And admit that you’re struggling with things. That in itself is cathartic. And don’t wait for the blue flashing lights of the medic van or the ambulance to admit that you’re struggling. So that would be one thing.
The second thing that I would say to people listening is don’t wait for a life changing brush with death to make necessary changes in your life. Whether that means reaching out to people you think you’ll get back with—a slower day is not coming. We know that things are always gonna get busier, are always gonna get tougher. So don’t wait to make those changes till things go wrong and you fall off the path of life. There’s a lot to be done before you go, and you can start some of it down. Don’t wait for the stroke or the cancer or you’re hemorrhaging. You might never have anything happen to you. And we hope that you don’t. But statistically, it’s going to happen to half of us or more. So be wise about it before and try and get things in order a little bit and do the things you wanted. Have some fun, as you say, Randy, that’s great advice.
Have some fun. I think that’s a great lesson.
Let’s end it on that.
Yeah. All right. So I appreciate that, Rob. If anybody wants to reach out to you and just get to know more about Rob, how would they get a hold of you?
LinkedIn is great. Find me on LinkedIn, and they can go to accountinginfluencers.com Or check out the accounting influencers podcast, we’ll talk about that on another episode. Maybe down the line we can talk about that. So, but yeah, it’s good to talk.
Yes, it is good to talk. Well, I appreciate you being here and sharing and being open and being vulnerable and telling people what this experience has done for you. So that is great.
And thank you, Randy, because I don’t talk about this to many people, not many people are interested. They’re talking about what’s coming up. What’s happening going forward, what’s happening now, but not what happened back then, and how it changed your life. So I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to look back on it, reflect on it, and share it with somebody that’s been through something like I have. So thank you in return.
Yep, thank you. And if anybody has dealt with stroke, or if anybody has dealt with a family member with stroke, I just want to let you know, I’m actually president of an organization that helped me post stroke. We just go stroke survivors empowering each other. Website is sseeo.org. That organization is great. It was great before I got involved. I didn’t make its greatness, and they just allow me to be part of it now. And there’s resources all over, you know. One of the ones that helped me a lot was called Survivor to Survivor. So if any, look that up, it’s just a group that’ll reach out to somebody that’s had a stroke and talk about what is going to happen once you leave the hospital, what to expect. And so sseeo.org, reach out to SSEEO and hopefully that can be a good resource for you. And, again, Rob, thanks for being here. And I want to thank everybody for listening to this special show today.
Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other
About the Guest
Rob Brown is co-founder of the Accounting Influencers Roundtable, a club of practitioners, experts, and vendors who serve the accounting and fintech world, and co-host of the Accounting Influencers podcast. He works in the accounting/CPA/fintech industries in a wide range of areas; he leads business development/sales trainings, moderates and hosts events, manages influencer marketing for accounting/fintech vendors, and offers accountability coaching for accountants and CPAs.
Rob is also the author of Amazon bestseller Build Your Reputation and a featured TEDx speaker. He has formerly worked as a health care advisor and mathematics teacher.
Meet the Host
Randy Crabtree, CPA
Randy Crabtree, co-founder and partner of Tri-Merit Specialty Tax Professionals, is a widely followed author, lecturer and podcast host for the accounting profession.
Since 2019, he has hosted the bi-weekly “The Unique CPA,” podcast, which ranks among the world’s 5% most popular programs (Source: Listen Score). You can find articles from Randy in Accounting Today’s Voices column, the AICPA Tax Adviser (Tax-saving opportunities for the housing and construction industries) and he is a regular presenter at conferences and virtual training events hosted by CPAmerica, Prime Global, Leading Edge Alliance (LEA), Allinial Global and several state CPA societies. Crabtree also provides continuing professional education to top 100 CPA firms across the country.
Schaumberg, Illinois-based Tri-Merit is a niche professional services firm that specializes in helping CPAs and their clients benefit from R&D tax credits, cost segregation, the energy efficient commercial buildings deduction (179D), the energy efficient home credit (45L) and the employee retention credit (ERC).
Prior to joining Tri-Merit, Crabtree was managing partner of a CPA firm in the greater Chicago area. He has more than 30 years of public accounting and tax consulting experience in a wide variety of industries, and has worked closely with top executives to help them optimize their tax planning strategies.