By moving from nonprofits to the trucking and transportation industry, Patrick built his marketplace value, which prepared him to join his family’s trucking business.

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CLA Alumnus Patrick Speltz Transitions into the Family Business

  • 11/2/2016

In the summer of 2015, Patrick Speltz, senior in nonprofits in Minneapolis, faced a crossroads in his career: after working at CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) for more than five years, his dad, a partner at a trucking company, presented him the opportunity to transition into the family business. With his dad’s offer on the table, Patrick needed to decide where he wanted to be in the coming years.

“Inviting another individual into an existing team and industry can be challenging. Patrick’s career experience is a great example of the kind of career building we want to foster at CLA.” ― Josh Enger, managing principal of trucking and transportation

“I ultimately decided that moving into my dad’s business was the best choice for my career,” said Patrick.

But when he approached John Tauer, managing principal of nonprofits, to discuss his impending departure from CLA, John presented a third option that could help advance Patrick’s career and prepare him to work at his dad’s company.

“When Pat approached me about his future plans, I wondered what we could do to help get him ready for this next step in his professional life,” said John. “I wanted to find a way to help groom him for the transition into his family’s business.”

Alumni path connects nonprofits and trucking and transportation industries

In an effort to help Patrick advance on his career journey, John reached out to Josh Enger, managing principal of trucking and transportation. The two collaborated on how to best help Patrick prepare himself to leave the firm and join his dad’s company.

Following several conversations with the two principals, Patrick’s career path changed from leaving the firm to embarking on CLA’s alumni path. He spent several months wrapping up his work in the nonprofits industry so he could transition to the Minneapolis trucking and transportation team. In his new industry team, he would be given exposure and opportunities to acquire some industry-specific familiarity and skills that would be transferable to his new role beyond the walls of CLA.

“We turned a conversation about leaving CLA to a conversation about building marketplace value, helping a family business, and developing the person sitting across from us,” said John.

Patrick officially made the switch from nonprofits to the trucking and transportation industry in late 2015. The arrangement benefited everyone involved: his auditing background helped the trucking and transportation industry during the spring tax season, and he acquired knowledge of the industry to help jumpstart his upcoming career transition.

“Pat picked up new friends and gained relationships, learned a lot about the industry, and left a more rounded professional than when he started,” said Josh.

“The outcome was just as beneficial for my dad’s company as it was for CLA,” said Patrick. “I learned the ins and outs of the trucking industry before I started my new role, and I was able to start at my dad’s business one step ahead of the learning curve.”

Where are they now

Patrick transitioned from CLA’s trucking and transportation industry to join his dad as a controller at Sav Transportation in June 2016. While he only served in his new industry role for several months, he believes the experience was well worth the time he invested.

“I had knowledge of auditing and numbers going into the trucking and transportation industry,” Patrick said. “But this experience served as a way for me to become familiar with the meaning behind the numbers, learn nuances of the industry, and gave me confidence as I began my role at Sav Transportation.”