Dean Dorton Founder Doug Dean Retiring After 42 Years
By: Dean Dorton | June 4, 2021
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Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC (Dean Dorton) today announced the formal retirement of Doug Dean from public accounting. Doug was the founder of Dean Dorton and continues to serve as a tax director. Doug’s last day with the firm will be June 30, 2021.
Doug has worked in public accounting for 50 years. His professional career began with the international firm Coopers & Lybrand (currently part of PricewaterhouseCoopers) in Louisville, then in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1979, he formed the firm which grew from Dean and Associates to Dean, Dorton & Ford P.S.C., and today is Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC. What started as just Doug and an assistant is now one of the largest public accounting and business advisory firms in the Southeast with more than 260 employees, named to Accounting Today’s “Top Firms to Watch” and “Top Firm: Southeast.”
Doug Dean founded Dean Dorton with passion and integrity for quality client service and commitment to his clients. He leaves a tremendous legacy of service to Dean Dorton, our clients and team members, and local community. Doug established a strong foundation that we can continue to build from and help us continue to be a firm of the future providing innovation solutions and strategic business advice for our clients.
Doug earned his Bachelor of Arts in Management Sciences degree from Duke University in 1971. Throughout the years Doug volunteered his time as a board member and committee member for numerous Kentucky organizations including Bluegrass Land Conservancy, Bluegrass Community Foundation, Centenary United Methodist Church, Commerce Lexington, Lexington Hearing and Speech Center, Opera House Fund, Saint Joseph Healthcare, Tubby Smith Foundation, Triangle Foundation, and Kentucky United Methodist Children’s Homes.
Perhaps one of the most impactful organizations with which Doug is involved is Worldwide Hearts and Hands (WHH), of which Doug serves as president. Doug and his wife Brenda, along with some friends, co-founded WHH, which focuses its activities on providing education, food, and medical support to especially vulnerable children in Kenya. Through full scholarships, WHH has helped more than 100 children complete their formal educations, many at the college or university level. Currently, over 50 additional children are continuing their educations as beneficiaries of WHH’s programs. And, WHH provides over half of the cost of maintaining school lunch programs serving over 1,200 students at four primary schools and provides a safe boarding early-school program for 20 kids from a Nairobi slum community. Doug and Brenda have traveled to Kenya more than 30 times during the last 19 years to work with WHH’s Kenyan staff and to oversee WHH’s programs.
In 2020, Doug received the William T. Young Lifetime Achievement Award by Commerce Lexington, and in 2018, he was inducted into the Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass.
Throughout his career Doug was a loyal and trusted advisor to clients. His role as advisor extended to serving fiduciary roles over several estates and trusts. Doug plans to continue to serve in these capacities after retirement from Dean Dorton.
Little did I imagine 42 years ago that the solo CPA practice I started would grow into the size and scope of the diversified professional and business services firm from which I’m retiring. I’ve been a long-time fan of and advocate for people who start and develop successful businesses. Joined by many talented and valued colleagues, helping lead Dean Dorton through its evolution has enabled me to satisfy my desire to build a sustainable business, while striving to maintain a high level of technical know-how. And, I could draw upon first-hand experiences to become a better advisor to clients. Among the most personally rewarding experiences during my time with Dean Dorton have been participating in the development of outstanding young professionals, many of whom I believe will lead the firm into a bright future.
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