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Family Owned Business Awards

Whisman Giordano & Associates, LLC

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Joseph Giordano Jr. and Joseph Giordano Sr. | DBT PHOTO BY LUIGI CIUFFETELLII

Founded: 1973

Generations: Two

Employees: 30

NEWARK – When Joseph Giordano Sr. joined James Whisman’s accounting firm in 1993, the boutique outfit was mainly completing individual tax returns for part of the year.

He helped steer the firm to a year-round operation and opened an auditing and financial statement practice while pursuing more small and medium-sized businesses. When his son Joseph Jr. joined the firm after college in 2002, they only accelerated that focus to grow the family-owned firm to one producing several million dollars in revenue annually.

“In the summer, we now have nonprofit work, pension plans, affordable housing units, consulting work, etc. So, we’re busy from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31,” Joe Sr. said.

That growth is aided by strong non-family executives, particularly tax chair Lisa DeRose, audit chair Julie Morgan and marketing manager Christa McLaughlin, the father and son said.

Joe Jr. almost didn’t enter the family business, initially pursuing a law degree in college until interning at Whisman Giordano. His father sent him on an audit, and he quickly learned that it was like solving a complex puzzle, sparking his interest and convincing him to change majors.

Nearing graduation, he wasn’t looking to return to the family firm, instead seeking a job at a big Baltimore firm when a college advisor suggested he take a second look. He took the advice came to Whisman Giordano, quickly helping to grow the practice.

“I can’t tell you how lucky I am that I get to work with my son and see him six days a week. It’s not always easy, he’s a strong-willed person and so am I but some of the best decisions come out of that conflict,” Joe Sr. said.

That strong family bond helped support Joe Jr. after the sudden passing of his wife, Amy, in 2015. Along with George Krupanski, they formed the Amy L. Giordano Fund for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, funding participation in programs for low-income youth.

That support for youth programming is matched by Whisman Giordano’s support of individual charitable efforts from staff members, a focus that is a part of the company culture.

“My career is not what defines me. I have always wanted people to go to my funeral and say, ‘He was a good person. He was good friend,’” Joe Jr. said.

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