Earl Maxwell, CPA: 'No Success at Work is Worth Failure at Home'

by Earl Maxwell  on Monday, May. 14, 2012 12:00 am  

Earl Maxwell, CPAChief Executive OfficerSt. David’s Foundation

Earl Maxwell, CPA
Chief Executive Officer
St. David’s Foundation

Since 2007, Earl Maxwell has served as the CEO of St. David’s Foundation, a nonprofit that improves health and healthcare for central Texans.

Of the Foundation’s more than $40 million budget, money is granted to community-based organizations that provide primary and special healthcare for the uninsured, mental health services, services for older adults, healthy living and wellness and research and education. The Foundation also provides dental care to Title I schools in the greater Austin area.

The Foundation, in partnership with a for-profit company, owns the seven St. David’s hospitals in central Texas, which provide millions of dollars of care each year for the uninsured.

Before stepping into the St. David’s role, Maxwell was the leading partner of Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP, Austin’s largest, locally owned and managed accounting and consulting firm. He grew up in Houston and attended the University of Houston where he received his bachelors of business in accounting in 1976.

Maxwell is the author of Service Prosperity and Sanity — Positioning the Professional Service Firm for the Future. His experience includes 31 years in public accounting, 14 with Deloitte & Touche and its predecessor Deloitte Haskins & Sells.

Maxwell’s innovative, non-traditional experience grew out of the process he and the partners of Maxwell Locke & Ritter followed as they established and built a different type of firm, a firm dedicated to serving people. His work at the St. David’s Foundation is a logical extension of his previous experience.

Maxwell has spent most of his time in three areas; family, community and business. He has been able to merge these interests by helping to establish a family-friendly workplace and working in the community to support various educational and health and human services programs.

Maxwell is proudest of his partnership with his wife in raising their two sons and he strives to provide a work environment that is committed to balancing work, life and the community.

Early in the 1990’s, as the Leading Partner of a CPA firm, I chaired the local Adopt-A-School program and became interested in the concept of encouraging businesses to support their employee parents in becoming more involved in their children’s education. This would enable parents to be better workers and also contribute to the well-being of tomorrow’s adults and the future labor force. To do this, businesses had to move toward a family-friendly environment, not a term used very often at that time.

Through the Adopt-A-School program, we tried to get other CEOs involved. During our presentations to CEOs, we cited various factors to influence their decision to participate. It took several months to finally reach our goal of ten committed companies. To demonstrate my own commitment, we adapted our policy to show an expectation that employees participate in the education of their children. We allowed reasonable time off to attend school events and expanded the definition of parenting to ensure no inequities.

We offered varied schedules; some employees chose to work 8:30 a.m.-2:20 p.m., eight or nine months out of the year, taking Christmas holidays and the summer months off. Experience proved that the flexible situation was a winner. The part-time employee remained active and up to date and the firm retained a valuable employee.



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