This holiday season, I wanted to take time to sit down with my staff, review the year, and dream together for the upcoming year. Here’s what they had to say: 

1. How have you grown this year and what have you learned? 

“Ha, what haven’t I learned?! I changed my client focus from large, public corporations to helping small businesses and individuals. In doing that I’ve learned that I really love working more intimately with my clients and making a difference in someone’s life rather than making a difference to the bottom line.” – Mary Gray

“This years growth has been about learning patience and compassion.  As a former Marine, I have had to unlearn some impatient habits and re-acquire compassion for the situation and challenges of others.” – Michael Thomas 

2. What’s your biggest goal personally next year? Professionally? 

“Personally, to spend more time reading and get more time wakeboarding. Professionally, to improve my knowledge on foreign tax implications.” – Michael Thomas 

“I want to start house renovations and volunteer more. I’m looking forward to a successful first busy season at Culpepper, continue to grow and learn, take a more active role in my professional organizations.” – Mary Gray

3. What was your proudest moment at Culpepper this year? 

“I am proud of the improvements we made to the team overall. We work with some awesome people.” – Michael Thomas 

“Joining the team!” – Jason Knight

“I love the feeling of accomplishment when I overcome challenges that are seemingly impossible. Amber and Todd continue to push me outside of my comfort zone and I’ve grown a lot this year.” – Stacie Jones 

“Making it through tax season!” – Daniel Dawson 

4. What’s your family’s most unique holiday tradition? 

“We don’t celebrate American holidays in China. But on Spring Festival, or New Year’s Day according to the lunar calendar, we wrap money in saran wrap and fold those bundles into dumplings. Whoever gets the winning dumpling gets to keep the money, which symbolizes good fortune in the new year! (But don’t get your hopes up – ha!)” – Jane Li  

“Making pizza on Christmas Eve.” – Michael Thomas 

“When I was a kid, we had these electronic bells that played Christmas carols that we put up every year. They were super loud, so my dad would turn them on every morning during the Christmas season to wake us up for school. He still has them and when we come over for Christmas, he will start playing them so we can relive these memories.” – Allison Davis

“Eating lots of Filipino food, even though I’m not Filipino.” – Daniel Dawson

5. What are you most thankful for this year? 

“Having my family back in the Knoxville area and having a great job that I enjoy going to each day.” – Jason Knight

“Truly, I’m very thankful that I got the chance to work at Culpepper this year and join this wonderful family. I’ve worked in some big firms, but I’ve never been this happy and fulfilled at work before.” – Jane Li

My family’s health, celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary, joining the Culpepper team, and of course (definitely not the least important) my dogs!” – Mary Gray

6. Ham or turkey? 

Here’s the breakdown on the votes: 

“Both are great, but turkey if I have to choose.” – Jason Knight 

“Turkey, 100%.” – Mary Gray 

“Turkey all the way.” – Allison Davis

“Ham for Christmas, turkey for Thanksgiving.” – Daniel Dawson

“Turkey for sure!” – Stacie Jones 

“Pig’s leg.” – Jane Li

“Prime Rib and Lobster- what’s that other stuff?” – Michael Thomas

I think Michael said it best. We are so proud of the team that we have welcomed on board this year, and we can’t wait to wait to continue to grow together in the new year. This holiday season, Amber and I couldn’t be more thankful to our team and our clients. It’s truly special to be apart of the Culpepper family.  

We look forward to serving you in the new year. In the meantime, if you have any questions, get in touch here.

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