Kathy’s adult life has been all about numbers. Her first job was in the accounting department of a national retail chain. That experience led her to a position in the accounting department in a local full service bank in Toledo, Ohio. Kathy chose to accept a position in a brand-new ‘small town’ bank also based in Northwest Ohio. She brought over two decades of skilled banking experience to this small company and within just a few years and with over $1B in assets, this small bank was consumed by a banking giant, 5/3rd Bank.
In 2006, Kathy’s husband was offered a new position in a company based in Kings Mountain, NC. With Kathy’s blessing, he accepted the position and Kathy, Mark and their daughter, Tara moved to Shelby.
“I always wanted cows for neighbors and now I have them.” Kathy says. Kathy lives on the outskirts of Shelby where she enjoys taking care of her pot belly pigs, chickens and rabbits in her spare time. “You can’t beat the NC climate where you can be outside every day of the year.” Kathy says.
Having a love of numbers and a fondness for small family-centric businesses, Kathy was able to find a new home at Gragg and Gragg in 2007 (celebrating 10 years with the firm). The family environment and unquestionable integrity at Gragg and Gragg has solidified Kathy’s appreciation and fondness for the staff and their stated mission to help others.
Stephen Carico, CPA
“Accounting is the nuts and bolts of business,” says Stephen Carico, who got a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Before moving to Shelby in May 2013, Stephen worked as the staff-accountant for a nonprofit organization. “What I enjoy most is helping people out, helping them to navigate the complicated, and taxes are complicated.”
Stephen's wife had the opportunity to open a business in Shelby, and is now the owner of the Crossfit gym in town. The couple had visited Shelby a few times because they had friends and family already in the area, and were excited to make the move. “It’s kind of neat we ended up here,” says Carico, “We really enjoy the small town.”
Before the move, Stephen “was lucky” to find out about an opening at Gragg and Gragg. “The biggest satisfaction of the job is being part of the community,” says Carico, who is also a board member of the Uptown Shelby Association.
Client Service Manager
Starting in January 1987, Donna Bowen worked for the firm when there was only one Gragg and stayed at the firm through the various evolutions. In that time, she has done it all, seen it all. “I remember when we upgraded our computer to 40 megabytes and I thought we’d never run out of room,” says Bowen. “Now, I sit here with three screens and electronic file-cabinets!”
Donna, a Shelby native, began working at the firm not long after she was married; three years later, she gave birth to twin girls. To juggle her career and motherhood, Donna had to double-up on work. “Once they were in school, it became even more difficult,” Bowen says, “Because they played every sport there was, and I wanted to see all those games. Family means the world to me, so I had to work a schedule where I’d work late one night to leave a bit early the next so I could go to a game.”
Still, she stuck with it. “It’s always been an excellent place to work, and that made it easier to keep coming back,” says Bowen. “I like interacting with our clients. I’ve got a couple I still deliver payrolls to - I walk in the door and they’re happy to see me, because they know I’m bringing checks!”
One of the newer members to the firm, Sarah is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Cleveland Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting, where she also received the Outstanding Graduate Award in her degree subject.
Since graduation, she has been a bookkeeper for small local companies, and she enjoys that her work at Gragg & Gragg changes daily based on client’s current needs.
“I have a passion for numbers and learning new things every day. I have already broadened my skill set learning from my remarkable co-workers and I look forward to gaining more knowledge to help clients with their businesses,” stated Sarah.
Finding answers to difficult questions brings her joy. She loves the challenge and is determined to find the answer. “There is nothing better than the eureka moment after tedious research” she says. She lives a happy calm life with her husband of eleven years and two step-children focusing on the big picture and her goals, while working through the minor obstacles that hinder her objective.
Larry is a native of Lexington, SC and graduate of University of South Carolina with a BS in accounting. He moved to Shelby in 1980 to help start a new business: Fox Distributing Co., Inc. He stayed with the company for 36 years as the Vice Pres., CFO, and Gen Mgr. He and his wife, Dianne have been married for 31 years. They have three children and 6 grandchildren. Larry enjoys college sports, boating, the beach, and spending time with family and friends.
Larry and his family are very active at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Shelby. He teaches Sunday School, serves on many committees, and currently chair of Church Council. He’s an active member of the Shelby Breakfast Rotary and many other non-profit boards. Larry loves serving in the community.
Gragg & Gragg gives Larry an opportunity to share real life, real world business experiences. “I have always tried to change the image of accountants. We do not all fit in the same mold! Accountants do much more than tax returns. It is a pleasure to be working with Gragg and Gragg, LLP,” Larry stated.
Executive Administrative Assistant
Shannon is beginning her career at Gragg & Gragg after spending 21 years working with the Cleveland County Family YMCA. During that time, she had various roles from Welcome Center Staff to Executive Director at the Ruby C Hunt YMCA. Working closely with staff and members to achieve their highest potential was always her favorite job responsibility at the YMCA. This made for an easy transition to Gragg & Gragg where she also works directly with staff and clients.
She is a Cleveland County native, where she graduated from Crest High School and Gardner-Webb University with a BS in Business Administration. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason. They have two children, Nicholas and Abbigail. She is an active member of Pleasant City Church, secretary for the Boiling Springs Area Rotary Club and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
“Working in Uptown Shelby has been so interesting. The hustle and bustle of uptown is energizing. Gragg & Gragg is a wonderful place to work”, complimented Shannon.