30 tax office professionals rise to the top of 80,000

August 27, 2018 : Annelise Wiens

From Lodi, CA to Lodi, NJ, client service award winners gather in Kansas City

Yesterday, 30 company and franchise associates with H&R Block and Block Advisors from across the country gathered in Kansas City, Missouri to receive the 2018 Henry W. Bloch Excellence in Client Service awards. The awards recognize H&R Block and Block Advisors tax-office associates for their extraordinary client service, exceptional tax expertise and ongoing commitment to solve problems and advocate for clients.

Award winner Ann Mathis, office manager, H&R Block

Ann Mathis of Meridian, Mississippi has been with the company for 33 years and was stunned when she got the call that she was an award winner.

“I said to him, ‘what should I say? I don’t know what to say this is such a…’. I didn’t have words to describe what it was like to be coming to Kansas City,” said Mathis.

According to her co-workers, Mathis is one of the best Income Tax Course (ITC) instructors they’ve seen. She not only teaches taxes; she also provides real-world advice applicable to inside and outside of the workplace.

“If a mold was made of what H&R Block is all about – inside and outside of the work environment, Ann Mathis is at the top of the list,” said Jason Hutchison, district general manager of H&R Block.

“I must be doing a lot of things right. And that is why I started doing taxes. I wanted to do it right,” said Mathis.

Award winner Gloria Todachinnie, office manager, H&R Block

Gloria Todachinnie of Holbrook, Arizona meets with elderly clients who are most comfortable speaking Navajo, walking them through the return process.

“I have been bilingual all of my life. My first language is Navajo. When it comes to native language you have to really know what you are saying and be on point,” said Todachinnie.

It isn’t just that she can speak her clients’ preferred language: she also knows their tax situation firsthand. So while she gives farm seminars in English and Navajo for anyone interested in learning how to report income and keep track of expenses needed for the Schedule F, she knows what that work is like.

“I come from a ranching family. We ranch livestock, we do sheep and cattle,” said Todachinnie.

“Gloria goes above and beyond what is expected of her. She is not only a valued member of the Holbrook team; I also value her friendship. We have been through a lot together, whether it be work or family emergencies,” said Vicki Kelso, H&R Block franchisee.

Award winner Jeffrey Braden, office manager, H&R Block

Jeffrey Braden of Pawhuska, Oklahoma sees his work as a tax professional as a ministry.

“Every day that I do it, I just look for God’s hand in it, because I know that is why I am here and why I am doing what I am doing,” said Braden.

As a pastor who also leads children’s church in Oklahoma, Braden didn’t expect to get into taxes, although he has a degree in accounting.

“I would never have thought I would be doing taxes. I would never have thought to teach kids. And I do both and I love both and I have become more blessed because of it,” said Braden.

His attitude, which sees his work, whether with children or tax clients, as a ministry, leads him to care for and support every client by showing sympathy, patience and understanding.

“Jeff is always willing to help anyone by going above and beyond,” said Donna Miears, H&R Block franchisee.

Henry W. Bloch Excellence in Client Service Award history

The award is named in honor of Henry W. Bloch, co-founder and honorary chairman of H&R Block. More than six decades ago, Henry Bloch and his brother, Richard Bloch, began preparing taxes for clients with a clear principle in mind: providing exemplary service for a fair cost.

“Every year, the Henry Bloch Excellence in Client Service Awards recognize the best that H&R Block and Block Advisors have to offer,” said Karen Orosco, H&R Block senior vice president for retail. “As an H&R Block tax preparer myself, I found examples and inspiration I can use in my own client interactions. The care and thoughtfulness our award recipients provide truly sets us apart from the competition and drives our clients to return year after year.”

Award winners toured and later attended the dinner awards ceremony with H&R Block senior management at H&R Block’s world headquarters, which anchors the Power and Light district in downtown Kansas City. Their Kansas City tour also included a trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which includes the Bloch Galleries of impressionist and post-impressionist art collected by Bloch and his wife, Marion Bloch.

Other winners were:

  • Sonnie Alexander; Muskogee, Oklahoma
  • Michele Bailey; Port Townsend, Washington
  • Patricia Bateman; Los Angeles
  • Dawn Blecha; Tacoma, Washington
  • Michael Bonin; Moyock, North Carolina
  • Michelle Cooper; Duluth, Minnesota
  • Sue Fietz; Grove, Oklahoma
  • Joanne Hutsel; Bonita, California
  • Caroline Keeler; Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • Margaret Kidd; Pell City, Alabama
  • Concetta Maccarrone; Lodi, New Jersey
  • Alberta Mesey; Pittsfield, Illinois
  • Amanda Oliver; Kent, Washington
  • Elba Pareja; Panama City Beach, Florida
  • Dawn Price; Elk Grove, California
  • Dennis Quam; Superior, Wisconsin
  • Tamera Rager; Meridian, Idaho
  • Dixie Raphael; Los Gatos, California
  • Barbara Schwartz; Lodi, California
  • Nelda Sertuche; Cuero, Texas
  • Steven Speairs; Largo, Florida
  • Sara Stevenson; Lima, Ohio
  • Alma Thompson; Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • Liliaflor Troncoso; National City, California
  • Kathy Van Nostrand; Amsterdam, New York
  • Kaylyn Wheeler; Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania
  • Shari Wurgler; Rice Lake, Wisconsin
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Annelise Wiens

Annelise Wiens

Editor and Producer

As the newsroom editor, Annelise Wiens is interested in more than just tax and industry news, but the stories of H&R Block's 80,000 associates, their communities and H&R Block's world headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Wiens joined H&R Block in 2014 from a public relations agency, where she worked with clients in the financial services industry. Before that, she worked as a communicator for a senior member of the United States House of Representatives. She graduated from Biola University in La Mirada, CA with a bachelor's degree in history.

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