Radcliffe Corporate Services, a full service Certified Public Accounting firm, located in Chestertown at 870 High Street, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in business. Founder and President, Randall (Randy) Cooper, CPA, started the firm in 1987. Before launching Radcliffe, Cooper was a Vice-President for Mellon Bank and then Bank of America, working in the U.S. and abroad. At that time in his life, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay was a haven for him. When he founded Radcliffe, Cooper envisioned a small firm in a beautiful place with serious quality of life. Thirty years later Cooper remains enchanted by the beauty of the Eastern Shore and the opportunity to live near the Chesapeake but also muses, “I’ve never worked so hard, and I haven’t been sailing in ages.”
In 2008, the firm undertook a major renovation of the Radcliffe Mill building complex in Chestertown. “It was a huge financial, personal and business commitment to preserving a Kent County landmark,” explained Cooper. The property, which is on the National Register of Historic Properties, is a well-known landmark off the High Street circle. It has added value to the community not only for unique office space it houses but also as the location of two locally prized restaurants: first Brooks Tavern and currently the popular Café Sado. Soon the Seed House, another building in the complex, will open as a wellness center, adding another chapter to the Mill restoration story. “I’m proud that we made this investment, but the project was far more involved than any of us could have imagined,” says Cooper.
Over the years Radcliffe Corporate Services has gained respect regionally for its accounting expertise and now employs 20 professionals working in four distinct business units. Myles Loller, CPA and Partner, has been with the firm for over 20 years. Loller, who was born and raised in Kent County has developed strong relationships with businesses and individuals across the region and nationally. “The great thing about a firm like Radcliffe is that we work closely with clients to help them understand tax situations to make sound decisions.”
Maureen Karns, CPA, and Larissa Davidson, CPA, oversee the attestation and auditing services for the firm, as well as providing tax and accounting for individuals and businesses. Karns notes, “There is no other firm in Kent County certified to perform the auditing services we do.” Larissa Davidson, CPA, works with Karns in the auditing department. Karns and Davidson share a special interest in working with regional non-profit organizations. “It is especially satisfying to use our skills working with local organizations providing services to the community,” said Davidson.
In 2002, Radcliffe launched a financial services department offering financial planning and investment advisory services. “Investments are one of my areas of special interest that bring into play tax planning, investment and portfolio analysis.” says Cooper. In 2015, Sarah Schut, investment advisor representative, joined the firm to expand the financial services department. Schut highlights that Radcliffe’s commitment to providing unbiased tax and financial planning. Radcliffe works with Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, Radcliffe’s independent broker/dealer firm. Securities offered through Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Cetera entities are under separate ownership from any other named entity.
One of Radcliffe’s major divisions provides financial management and CFO services a large behavioral health organization that provides mental health services in four states. Recently, Radcliffe has been engaged to manage Kent Center Inc., which provides residential and day program services for adults with intellectual and developmental disability, adding to the firm’s broad spectrum of services.
“I couldn’t have imagined the scope of Radcliffe when I started it,” says Cooper. In the coming year, Radcliffe plans to host several events celebrating the anniversary, including a talk about the historic significance of the mill building and the restoration process.