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Celebrating 60 Years

Brooke Eppa
Jan 10, 2014 01:02 PM
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2014 is a big year for Cooper Norman. We celebrate 60 years in the accounting practice, and as Jonas Salk once said, "The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more." We are grateful for these past years and excited for all the new ones to come. Thank you to all our clients, owners, employees, and greater communities who have made this history possible!
 
A little bit about Cooper Norman's history:
 
The Firm dates back to 1954 originating with E. LeGrande Nelson in Twin Falls, Idaho. LeGrande began his career in Twin Falls, Idaho working as a Revenue Agent for the Internal Revenue Service.  As the IRS was going through a major reorganization in 1953-54, LeGrande obtained his CPA license and left the IRS to join John Peterson, one of Idahoís first and oldest CPAs, with an office in Twin Falls, Idaho.  After a short while, with John Peterson, LeGrande left and started his own CPA firm. A formal announcement appeared in the Times News on December 10th, 1954. The Firm originally went by the name, "Nelson & Tullis Certified Public Accountants".
 
December 10, 1954 opening announcement for Cooper Norman, Times News, Twin Falls, Idaho
 
 
Several of the firm's early clients were individuals and businesses audited by LeGrande as a Revenue Agent.  The Tom Callen family (with sonís Jerry & Doc Callen) and the Pickett family were two of those clients. Gordon E. Beckstead joined the firm in 1965. The Firm grew substantially as a result of Beckstead's talent for attracting quality professionals and his ability to gain the confidence of a large number of business clients. 
In 1972, the Firm merged with a regional CPA practice based in Nampa, Idaho called Severn Ripley Doorn. The entire company was acquired in 1975 by the national public accounting firm Deloitte, Haskins & Sells. David M. Cooper joined the firm in 1974 as a tax senior after working as a revenue agent for the Internal Revenue Service for three years. Robert A. Norman also joined the Firm in 1974 after working for three years with the national public accounting firm of Arthur Young in San Jose, California. 
In 1978 Beckstead and Cooper separated the Twin Falls office from Deloitte, Haskins & Sells. The Firm became known as Beckstead Cooper Co. Robert Norman was admitted as a partner in 1979 to bring his accounting and auditing expertise to the practice.
The Firm expanded in 1981 by opening an office in Las Vegas which was headed up by Beckstead who moved from Twin Falls to start the Nevada office. In 1984, Dave Cooper was named Managing member of the firm under the Firm name Beckstead Cooper Jirovec. In 1985 Beckstead retired from the Firm and from public accounting. The Las Vegas office was subsequently sold to a national CPA practice and the name of the Firm was then changed to Cooper Norman.
J. David Stoddard joined the Firm in 1981, after practicing public accounting in Utah for two years. He became a partner in the Firm in 1987 and moved from Twin Falls to Idaho Falls in 1988 to open the Firm's next office. The Idaho Falls office was started by acquiring the accounting practice of Donald W. Ferguson and Oran D. Rooks who had practiced public accounting in eastern Idaho for several decades. Ferguson retired shortly after selling his portion of the practice to Cooper Norman while Rooks stayed on another nine years before retiring. In 1983, the firm concluded that the partners should develop niche industries to target market our services. Dave Stoddard championed the firm's pension administration business segment which flourished througout the 1980s and 1990s and was ultimately sold to a Utah pension administration firm in 2011. 
Ronald L. Belliston joined the Twin Falls office of the Firm in 1982 after serving seven years in the United States Marine Corp. Ron Belliston championed the dairy industry niche for the firm beginning in 1984. The dairy niche became the firm's largest industry niche about 2004 and remains the largest today. Ron became a partner in 1992 and was elected the firm's managing partner in 2004.
The Firm departed from a traditional fraternal accounting firm ownership structure and adopted a corporate (operating) form of ownership and management in 1991. In 2000, the Firm adopted the Cooper Norman Practice Unit Participation Plan or PUPP trust. This trust funcitons essentially as an Employee Stock Option Plan. Professional staff are eligible to purchase shares in the company after completing 3 years of service and support staff are eligible after 5 years of service. The shares are held in a trust and are otherwise identical to the shares owned by the other partners. The managing partner serves as the trustee for this trust.
Clint Tavenner became a partner in 1996. In 2003 Clint Tavenner took on the role of Partner in Charge of the Idaho Falls office, and in January of 2004, the Firm opened an office in Boise headed up by Dave Cooper who moved from Twin Falls to start the office. Dave Stoddard retired in 2008 followed in 2010 by Dave Cooper and Robert Norman.  
An American Falls office was opened in late 2012 and was moved to Pocatello to merge with a new office there in October of 2013. The Boise office was closed in October 2013. Clint Tavenner took over the role of Managing Member in June of 2013.
Today the Firm employs nearly 80 total personnel between its three offices in Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello and enjoys the reputation of being one of the largest and most respected firms in Idaho.
60 Years, Partners in your success since 1954
Information about Cooper Norman's history was contributed by Ron Belliston (partner since 1992) and Marilee Allison (partner since 1996) and Dave Cooper (partner from 1978 to 2009). 

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