Russ: This is PKF Texas – Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum. I’m with Del Walker, Tax Practice Leader at PKF Texas, and founding organizer of the forum. Del, great to have you.

Del: Russ, it’s always a pleasure, my friend. Always a pleasure.

Russ: We’ve completed now, your fourth, and this is my fourth interview with you after the completion.

Del: I know, and we are still so young, aren’t we?

Russ: That’s true, absolutely. But share your perspective from this 2019 version.

Del: We tried some things differently this year, a little bit. We’re always asking for feedback from our participants, and we’ve got some thoughts that were a little different than we’ve done in the past.

Continue Reading Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum 2019 Overview

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s guest host. And I’m here with Rassul Zarinfar, the founder and CEO of Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company. Welcome back to the Playbook, Rassul.

Rassul: Thank you so much for having me.

Jen: Now, I see you guys everywhere. So I know you guys are really proud of being local.

Rassul: Yes.

Jen: You’re in the community. Tell me about that.

Rassul: Yeah, well, I mean, we try to be everywhere. At the end of the day, we’re just so proud to be from Houston, and that’s why we named the brewery the way that we named it. Houston was founded on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou in 1836, and so we wanted to pay homage to the city, so we named ourselves Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company, and our only flagship is 1836.

You almost think of a brewery as a collection of people who like to drink together. And that’s how I think about it, and so when I go around town – I mean, beer is a product that – maybe you meet your next best friend over a beer, or maybe you go out on a first date with a girl who’s gonna become the future mother of your children or something like that, and you meet them over a beer as well. And beer can be a product that can do a lot of cool stuff in terms of art openings and supporting the community and fundraisers for friends and family who’ve had some troubles or whatever. So that’s what we try and do. We try and remind ourselves that it’s a very community-driven thing.

Jen: Now, can you actually host events at your brewery, or do you typically go to community events? How does that work?

Rassul: A little bit of both. I mean, we sponsor a lot of events, and we try and give back to the community that way. We do a lot of fundraisers for cancer research – for instance, partnering with Spec’s last year for that. And then we also have a lot of fundraisers at the brewery, and we also host just good old-fashioned parties at the brewery too.

Jen: Awesome, awesome.

Rassul: So a little bit of column A, B, and C.

Jen: Perfect. Well, thanks so much for being here. Appreciate it.

Rassul: Thank you so much for having me.

Jen: This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

We are pleased to announce several of our Directors have recently been appointed to key leadership roles within the business community.

  • Kenneth Guidry, CPA, President, was appointed Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Greater Houston Partnership, an organization where business leaders can have influence on Houston’s growth and future. The committee is responsible for the oversight of the financial reporting process, the audit process and enterprise risk management.
  • Ryan Istre, CPA, will serve on the leadership team of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Business Development Program, where he will co-facilitate meetings and assist in the planning of speakers and topics for the monthly agenda.
  • Chris Hatten, CPA, who serves both on the Houston Chapter Board and Young Professional’s Board for the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), was appointed as Treasurer of the Houston chapter. TMA seeks to strengthen the global economy through turnaround management, corporate restructuring and distressed investing.
  • Michael Veuleman, CPA, is now a board and executive committee member, as well as the treasurer for the East End Chamber of Commerce, where he is dedicated to serving the education needs in the East Houston area.

“We are thrilled to have so many members of our team in positions of influence in these local organizations,” said Guidry, “PKF Texas is proud to have an impact on our thriving and vibrant business community.”


PKF Texas' Charles Philpott Volunteers

Our own Charles Philpott, along with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Houston Chapter, helped spread some holiday cheer at Houston PBS Channel 8 during their telethon last week. The group manned the phones raising over $23,000 in pledges. They were even able to meet PBS travel guru Rick Steves! This volunteering effort is part of the Houston ACFE Chapter’s Community Service initiatives in the Houston Area. Members volunteer their time and resources to help give back to the community as well as promote the ACFE. More photos are posted on the ACFE website.

PBS Telethon  Charles Philpott Volunteers - ACFE

So, what is hope? What does hope mean to you and your family? Close your eyes and think about that in your life, your family. Right now, what does hope mean to you.  Now think about the people and families of New Orleans who were impacted by Hurricane Katrina….. Yes, that was almost 8 years ago, and things are getting better in some parts of New Orleans, but other parts of the City they are still in need of, in a word… “hope”.

On March 18, 2013 I joined 50 of my fellow Partner Power International Team members and probably 300 other volunteers from the Microsoft Convergence Convention to travel to the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans. I approached this day with some skepticism of whether we would be welcomed, and quite frankly, could we make a difference.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This video shows a nice summary of the day.


My particular project was building a 1,000’ fence for young children to play ball in at the Hope Community Center in Gentilly. Pay attention to the 1:54 mark to 2:00 mark and see the transformation of that field. In addition, our Microsoft volunteers accomplished the following in one day:

  • Tree Planting
    •  Volunteers planted 160 trees spanning a twenty block radius
  •  Neighborhood homes
    •  Painted one neighborhood home and landscaped 6 residential homes
  •  Hope Community Center
    •  Built 2 Decks outside the Community Center
    •  Painted outside wall of gym
    •  Sided one of the outdoor buildings
    •  Senior Lounge in Gym – finished dry wall, painted and installed drop ceiling inside and out
    •  Stained and sealed stairway to existing computer lab
    •  Painted and installed new flooring in boys and girls gym bathrooms
    •  Repainted Concession Stand in Gym
  •  Food Pantry – painted pantry, plus built and installed new shelves for the pantry which currently serves approximately 100 people per month – and the work done will enable an increase in service – PLUS – the local food bank had quit servicing this pantry because it didn’t meet code – now services will be reinstated
  •  Painted all trim and interior doors in the community center gym Painted 3 art murals and one hand print (featuring all of the Convergence Volunteers) throughout the Gym
  •  Sponsored two frame packages and completed one house for New Orleans Habitat for Humanity

At the conclusion of the day, I was emotionally impacted by the course of the success from all our volunteers.  I should have known better and realized that yes, we could, and did make a difference for these people.  I have been touched in a way that I cannot describe, but I know from now on if I have an opportunity to help like this I will always now, “Lead from the front.”

As New Orleans has a special place in my heart, I will try and visit the Hope Community Center in the future. I know they welcome me as one of their own.  As the song says, “I will be there to catch you this time so you won’t fall.”