Like all rivers, One River’s CPAs story reflects change that goes mostly unnoticed with each passing day. Since Reg Perry founded the practice as Perry & Associates in 1984, our firm has been nourishing local businesses while making sure that we devote time and energy to the success of our community.
Through the 1990’s we expanded our name to reflect the addition of more owners. One River CPAs moved to its Silver Street home and into the forefront as Waterville’s largest accounting firm. We extended services to include audits of non-profit businesses and quickly grew to ten staff members. We sat on community boards of MaineGeneral, HealthReach, Lakewood, Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, Waterville Country Club and a variety of youth sports programs to ensure that Central Maine continued to grow culturally, academically and economically.
By 2000 we were busting at the seams of our Silver Street office and it was again time to make a change. In 2001, the Directors attended the ribbon cutting of FirstPark, the newest and most technologically advanced business park in the area. Not long after, on November 30, 2001 the Morning Sentinel’s front page headline read “FirstPark Lands It’s First Tenant”. It seemed as though the removal of the Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River played a role in our growth; business from Jackman to Augusta came flooding into our doors. In 2003, the Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce recognized us as the Business of the Year.
Almost immediately the firm went from a local practice to one of the top firms in the State. By 2008 we had 15 team members and after years of quietly supporting the community, we were ready to make a larger splash. The first PFBF CPAs ½ Marathon & 5K hit the road in 2009 and raised $1,800 for MaineGeneral. That same year we contributed over 1,000 hours of public service back to the local community. 2019 will mark the 10th Year Anniversary of the “Run the Numbers 5K” and we have proudly raised over $100,000 for local charities.
As the economy struggled in 2011 & 2012, we set our sights on expanding the practice into the more robust mid-coast Bath/Brunswick community. By October of 2012 we established our second office on the banks of the Kennebec River in Bath, ME. Just one year after opening the new office, the Southern Mid-Coast Chamber of Commerce recognized us as their Medium Size Business of the Year. We continued to make a name for ourselves. The main issue we faced was that many of our new clients and community members could not remember our name. Neither Perry, Fitts et al or PFBF CPAs rolled off the tongue.
After three of the four founders reached retirement, it was time to think about rebranding ourselves starting with a new name. But what would the new name be? We wanted to be known for more than being tax experts who gave great customer service. We wanted a name that was simple but reflected community presence. We wanted a new identity that reflected resiliency, dependability, and the ever changing environment of our business. After months of deliberation it was our persistent staff that suggested that a river carries with it all of these qualities. The name “One River” would bring us back to our roots of community support but be indicative of the ever changing environment. Like rivers from a distance, the firm and the industry today look like they did in the past. But also like rivers, the actual makeup of the firm is very unique and different as it will be into the future.
Our future, like our past will steam ahead on the backs of team members who are willing to be not only industry leaders but community leaders as well.