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Founders and Values

By Joey Havens

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Fifty-one years ago this month, Roy Ward, a young and inexperienced yet entrepreneurial-driven accountant, joined the solo practice of William F. Horne in Laurel, MS. Mr. Horne’s practice was just slightly more than three years old at the time (founded in 1962) and his office was located in a converted house at Jefferson Street. This is the moment when HORNE LLP’s journey began in earnest and where many of the core values of our Wise Firm culture were established. 

Roy, who would eventually go on to serve our firm as executive partner for over two decades, with his unbridled passion and vision for growth combined with Mr. Horne’s wisdom and strong core values, began to work together to build something on a foundation of service that would soon expand much further than the city limits of small town Laurel, MS. In the last almost 55 years of service, that vision and foundation of service has grown to touch many lives and make a difference in ways that Mr. Ward and Mr. Horne could have never imagined. 

I share this about our history because I am certainly one of those lives that has been so impacted and blessed by this vision and commitment to values. Sharing this story is a way for me to express and share my gratitude for our blessings, for our founders and to honor the sacrifice and service of others that has paved the way for our service and success today.

This story also reminds me how important it is for you and me to recognize what we do today—the thoughts we have, the decisions we make, the actions we take—all have ripple effects that go beyond us, go beyond today and go beyond tomorrow. What we do really does matter. We impact people’s lives every day in our mission of creating value and making a difference. Are we focused on serving in a way that has a positive impact on people’s lives? 

Lastly, it reminds me of the courage it takes to create a legacy of service. With the transformation of our profession creating more change in the next five years than in the previous 55 years where this story started, we need courage and fanatic discipline to stay the course. Our future is full of opportunity if we change our mindsets to seize that future. Our values will provide a solid foundation, but we will need courage to anticipate opportunities and make swift changes in how we serve our clients, families, communities and each other. I wonder which decision we make today will impact someone 55 years from now?