Dave Doran, Managing Partner of White Nelson Diehl Evans, is retiring after 42 years of service with the firm. Dave began with the firm in 1975 and has spent his entire career with WNDE.
Dave graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a B.A. in Business/Accounting, and went to work for White, Nelson & Co. after seeing a job listing in a local newspaper. At that time he was the 7th employee at White Nelson, and the only two partners were the firm’s namesakes, Leonard White and Jim Nelson.
Dave recalled Leonard White as a good businessman, involved in many business ventures outside the firm. Jim Nelson “was a great CPA” who took care of many of the firm’s clients. Jim, however, died just a year after Dave joined the firm, and, at Leonard’s request, Dave and the staff took over his clients. Dave recalled, “Leonard always allowed me to be myself and gave me a relatively free reign with the business.”
The office was small, Dave recalled, and “we had few administrative staff then, and as such we had to do everything. The first computer we acquired was an IBM machine that we used for client billing. It was as large as two desks.”
RELOCATED TO IRVINE
The firm was located in Anaheim, but relocated to Irvine in 2008. Irvine was a more central Orange County location, Dave explained, and its present location has both good visibility and proximity to freeways.
The firm’s rapid growth since, Dave believes, is due to its good treatment of its employees and that “we seek to promote partners from within.” Also, many of the firm’s clients have grown with WNDE.
Dave will miss his co-workers, but is confident that the firm has a bright future. He said, “The firm is in a great position within the county in terms of size, clients, industries, personnel and finances. The leadership within the firm is solid and will take the firm to new levels of success.”
He foresees WNDE opening new offices and acquiring additional firms.
Dave is grateful for his time at WNDE. He said, “I have enjoyed every minute of my tenure at the firm and it has been one of my greatest joys to have contributed to its success. I will always be its supporter and cheerleader.”
Dave noted that Paul Treinen, who is assuming his role as Managing Partner, was an excellent choice as his successor: “I know that he will lead the firm to achieve great success.”
“TREMENDOUS” ROLE IN FIRM’S SUCCESS
Dave’s professional talents and day-to-day friendship will be sorely missed, Paul said, as he has played a “tremendous” role in the firm’s success. Paul continued, “For me my father is a beacon and someone that I constantly strive to be. Dave Doran, whether he likes it or not, has been my father inside the firm. He was always honest, thoughtful and positive with me.”
Paul noted that when he began with WNDE 27 years ago, the firm had 20 staff members. Today, it has nearly 150. Paul said, “The growth of our firm was accomplished in large part because of Dave’s leadership.”
Yet while the firm’s leadership plays a key role in making sound decisions for WNDE clients, staff and their families, Dave believes it is “the people of WNDE who are the real heroes and assets of the firm. I was merely fortunate enough to be able to lead the firm for a period of time.”
In addition to his many responsibilities with the firm, Dave’s outside involvements include serving on the executive committee and board of directors of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce and being an active alumnus of Cal State Fullerton, recognized as both a “Distinguished Business Leader” (2009) and an “Outstanding Alumnus” (2010) by the university and was a recipient of the CSUF “Legends and Legacy” award in 2010. He also has served on the audit committee of Christ Catholic Cathedral Corporation and as treasurer for Legatus, an organization for Catholic CEOs.
Dave is married to wife Roxzane, with whom he has three children and five grandchildren. He lives in Newport Beach, and has a second home in Mammoth Lakes. Interests he plans to pursue in retirement include fishing, snow skiing, biking and spending time with family.
Dave plans to stay in touch with WNDE, said Paul. He concluded, “Dave is one of the more compassionate and trusting people I have met; he can also be quite humorous! I will miss this for sure.”