News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy
AN ACCOUNTING OF FAMILY MEMBERS
Becky & Mike Merkel
Kathy & David Merkel
Linda & Matt Merkel
They have a strong family bond, but there’s something more that gives this family common ground. The Merkel family boasts five Adkerson School of Accountancy graduates in the same generation – brothers Matt, Mike and Dave; Matt’s wife Linda and Mike’s wife Becky.
With roots in the Midwest, the Merkels moved to Columbus, MS, when the boys were young. They became acquainted with Mississippi State because of its close proximity and were drawn to collegiate life there.
Matt met Linda Johnson in high school. Knowing he was a baseball player, Linda asked if Matt would like to attend an MSU game with her. Apparently that worked, because they dated throughout high school and college, eventually marrying. In addition, the two introduced Mike to Linda’s roommate, Becky Finch, at a homecoming party. Those two accounting majors clicked and married after college as well.
Dave Merkel followed his brothers to MSU. After starting in engineering, he discovered his real niche was in accounting, even if he found himself often answering to the name “Matt” or “Mike” when his professors called on him in class!
The Merkels’ careers are evidence of the spectrum of opportunities open to ASAC graduates.
Mike spent 24 years working for KPMG’s audit department in New Orleans, becoming a partner in the firm. Ten years ago, he decided to try his hand at something different. He took a position at CGB Enterprises as Senior Vice President of Accounting & Administration with multiple departments reporting to him. He is happy to have a “good balance” in his work/family life that allows him frequent trips to MSU games.
His wife, Becky, started her career with Deloitte Haskins & Sells in New Orleans, then served Children’s Hospital for 10 years as Vice President/Controller and finished her career as a financial consultant to Ochsner Hospital. She left the workforce in 2002 to devote more time to their children.
Linda has spent her career working for Dow Chemical, moving up in the company from entry level Accountant to Site Controller for the Louisiana plants, where she finished her 31½ year career.
Linda’s husband Matt is “technically” retired but continues as a contract Financial Analyst for Community Coffee Company in Baton Rouge, where he was employed for 17 years as a Cost Accounting Manager, Manager of National Account Support and Corporate General Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis.
“MSU gave me a top-notch education, and the School’s placement services gave me a start in the ‘real world,’” shares Matt. “I had a job offer prior to graduation – something I’ll always be thankful for.”
Dave took a position with Deloitte & Touche in Baton Rouge upon graduation. For the first 10 years of his career he worked as a public accountant and an internal auditor in the banking industry. He spent the next 10 years in corporate accounting for small to mid-sized corporations. In 1999, he and wife Kathy moved to Atlanta, where he now has his own consulting firm primarily focused on the government sector.
These ASAC graduates appreciate their professors. Mike and Matt remember particularly professor Bill Simmons.
“Mr. Simmons’ Principles of Accounting was really helpful,” says Mike. “He was one of the School’s premier teachers and a great guy.”
Dave recalls Dr. Ray Knight’s lessons on being prepared.
“He would from time to time focus his attention on me and pepper me with rapid fire questions,” recalls Dave with a wry smile. “I guess that’s why I chose to go into auditing right out of college instead of tax!”
Amidst great memories like sledding on cafeteria trays in the snow and watching the Bulldogs beat Alabama in football, all of these family members are grateful for the launch their ASAC education gave them and return to MSU as often as they can to create even more memories together.