Ken Kurdziel, a partner at James Moore & Co., looked up to his father, a California accountant who told him the best businessman needs an accounting degree. Because of the suit, the tire, creating things and serving people, Kurdziel wanted to be a businessman since that young age. Now, Kurdziel has spent 19 years at the Gainesville-based firm that is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Kurdziel has grown from a junior partner to the resident expert on serving universities. What brought him to Gainesville? Sparks flew when he met a girl on vacation in England. He enrolled in the University of Florida, the same school the girl was attending. Although the relationship fizzled out, Kurdziel felt right at home in Gainesville. “There’s no better place to live than Gainesville, Fla.,” he said.
Kurdziel met his future wife here in Gainesville. She was born in Alachua General Hospital, and her Gainesville roots became his. When her parents learned Kurdziel was looking for a job, they sent him to a family friend who was a senior partner at James Moore & Co. The firm prepares taxes, does financial consulting and does business with universities all over the state. The firm has some of Florida’s big-name businesses as clients, but Kurdziel said any average Joe who wants to get his taxes done is welcome. “I feel honestly like a member of a larger family here,” he said. “My personal goal is continuing to see this company thrive.”