Partner, Southern California Market Leader
Tom Schulte joined Armanino in 2015 when the firm merged with RBZ, where Schulte had been managing partner since 1997. Together the companies became the largest independent accounting and business consulting firm based in California. Today Schulte serves as Armanino’s Southern California Market Leader. Schulte studied business economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and worked for Arthur Anderson & Co. He serves on the audit committees of the Grammy Museum and Our House. He has worked with Easter Seals of Southern California, MADD, Los Angeles Business Council, California Association of Nonprofits and the UCSB Accounting Alumni Association, where he was named to the “Outstanding Accounting Alumni” list. Schulte has also served as an adviser to the Los Angeles County Library Association and UCLA Extension.
What was your proudest moment?
Becoming a father for the first time at age 50, and being able to give her the attention that I wouldn’t have been able to give in my 30s. She is a kind, sensitive and empathetic kid. In, short I think my wife and I are adding a real good human being into the mix, and I couldn’t be prouder.
What is your alma mater?
University of California, Santa Barbara
What is your next project?
We’re rolling out a project called CX, or Client eXperience. It’s all about training and preparing our staff to have an anticipatory mindset when it comes to client service. Due to a range of factors rooted in technology, clients expect a greater level of responsiveness and service than ever before. Being the most innovative and entrepreneurial firm that makes a positive impact on the lives of our clients has been a cornerstone of our success for years, and CX will strengthen our position as one of the best firms in the country.
Who is your hero?
John Lennon isn’t my role model, but he is my hero. As a former musician, I recognize the way he changed music. Before his entry on the international stage, music was mostly simple rock ‘n’ roll and pop crooners. Lennon created three-part harmonies with guitar, drums and bass. He brought experimentation and unleashed a musical revolution that every artist since has built upon. More than 50 years later, people of all ages and generations are still playing his music.
What do you like best about Los Angeles?
The fact that you can have it all in L.A.. You can live in a rural or suburban part of L.A. and within a half hour you can find yourself in a fine dining hub or walking down Abbot Kinney Blvd. You can catch a show at the Hollywood Bowl, Griffith Park or the Forum. You can experience any culture or subculture in the 500+ square miles of L.A., and still return home whenever you want. I arrived almost 40 years ago, and haven’t left.