Joseph Pease, CPA
President and CEO, Pease & Associates – BBA ‘79
As President and CEO, Joe Pease draws on more than 20 years experience as a business advisor to successfully direct Pease & Associates. Under his leadership, the firm was showcased for its success at the 2001 meeting of CPAmerica International, the largest association of independent accounting firms in the world. Before founding Pease & Associates, Pease was a partner with a large Cleveland-based accounting firm.
Pease founded Pease & Associates in 1999; it currently has 45 employees, including 38 accountants, making it one of the 25 largest accounting firms in Cleveland. The firm is family-oriented, leading to a very low turnover rate. The most fulfilling aspect of Pease’s career is “being a part of his clients’ successes” and “the contributions I am able to make to the families of my employees.” Throughout his career, Pease has hired several Nance College of Business accounting alumni, including partners Kuno Bell, BBA ’90, Mark Prusinski, BBA ’79 and Chris Umerley, BBA ’82.
While many professors were encouraging students to take internships with the larger accounting firms, Pease was urged to take an internship with a smaller firm. Pease credits this internship experience as the key factor that helped him land 3 job offers, even though he graduated during a recession.
With a thorough understanding of the needs of the firm's clients, Pease works closely with business owners, advising them on the acquisition and sale of businesses, succession planning, business valuation, corporate tax planning and executive pay plans. His clients describe Joe as a mentor, confidant, and necessary part of their team. They represent industries including manufacturing, distribution, construction, automobile dealers and service businesses. Because of his experience with hundreds of merger and acquisition projects, Pease is also regularly consulted on litigation issues.
Pease is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Ohio Society of CPAs. At 29, he was the youngest chairman of the Tax Division of CPAmerica International and currently serves as an advisory member of its board. He has authored and co-authored several articles for industry publications.
Pease graduated from Cleveland State University in 1979 with a BBA in accounting. He became a certified public accountant in 1980. He is a past president of the Cleveland State University Alumni Association and currently serves on its business alumni board. Pease has been married for 30 years, has two sons and has one grandson.