After graduating with an accounting degree from the University of Illinois and passing the CPA exam, Danielle Solomon accepted a job at an international accounting firm. She was intrigued by the medical field and wondered how her efforts might benefit society. She took a 15-year break from public accounting to work for a health system, where she gained essential knowledge and extended her horizons beyond accounting and finance. Her experience in that job led her to FORVIS (previously BKD), where she now has the chance to help the healthcare industry across the country.
When Danielle first met her colleagues at DHG (now FORVIS), she was struck by how nicely the business’s health care practices complimented one another and the opportunities the firm offers as a whole. She claims that everyone she has met has been great, and she sees a genuine passion for healthcare and a drive to provide exceptional service to the firm’s clients throughout the merged workforce.
Danielle asserts, “The growth potential is exponential and that excites me—both for our clients and for our teams and professionals. The number of opportunities that have already surfaced as well as increased inquiries for new engagements and activity both firms are seeing is exciting.” She sees her work as the leader of the new firm’s merged practice as a tremendous opportunity for her, and she is humbled and proud to lead this bright and committed team of 950 people.
Beginning June 1, BKD CPAs & Advisors and Dixon Hughes Goodman (DHG) merged as equals to create a Top 10 national firm now called FORVIS. The name FORVIS—a combination of the words FORward and VISion—reflects the firm’s unique focus on what is next. Danielle says, “Our combined vision builds on BKD’s and DHG’s strong foundations and legacies.”
Business today is moving faster and with greater complexity than ever before. The past two years have certainly shown the world that it can change instantly, and you can never be too prepared for tomorrow. According to Danielle, FORVIS is driven by its forward vision because we do not see tomorrow as something to deal with later; we see it as something to prepare for today.
As one firm, FORVIS is infinitely stronger with greater resources, enhanced capabilities, an expanded national platform, and its commitment to exceeding its clients’ expectations and providing exceptional value remains the same.
According to Danielle, FORVIS’s combined practices complement each other well. It will truly be a healthcare powerhouse. The core services of audit and regulatory reimbursement consulting are what both legacy firms do very well and are known in the space. Both legacy firms also have a strong commitment to the power of leveraging data analytic and technology tools. Danielle has been very impressed by the tools DHG (now FORVIS) has developed and, in talking with their clients and users of these tools; they are extremely valuable for decision making. And then there are the advisory services that each of FORVIS’ firms provides that really round out the service offerings to its clients. All of this will come together to be more than the sum of its parts as FORVIS.
FORVIS is comprised of more than 5,400 team members and more than 530 partners and principals with offices in 69 markets in 27 states, as well as in the United Kingdom and Cayman Islands. Danielle shares, “This merger of equals allows us to better serve our healthcare clients as well as other healthcare providers across the care continuum by broadening our expertise, deepening our resource pool, and offering more specialized solutions.”
As a Leader in Healthcare Sector
Danielle believes that continual learning is necessary not just for her own progress but also to keep her challenged. She believes that healthcare is difficult and dynamic, yet vital to everyone. She prefers to rely on her strengths as a “connection” to meet this problem. Whether it’s introducing a team member to a new opportunity or introducing a customer to a resource or solution that will benefit their company and/or solve a need, we’ll make it happen. Danielle can recognize strengths, highlight places to improve, spot dangers, and align and pursue possibilities since she has a bird’s eye, 360-degree vision of the practice. She intends to use this viewpoint to help the FORVIS healthcare practice stay inventive, enthusiastic, and strategic in order to help outstanding healthcare organizations become even better.
Danielle also seeks out information from others. She explains that she formed a “personal board of directors” early in her career, consisting of friends, family, and mentors, from whom she continues to learn and utilize as a sounding board for ideas and issues. On a more formal level, Danielle’s healthcare committee at work is a collection of energetic and enthusiastic executives who are all working toward the same strategic goals. She opines, “It’s been amazing to watch this group come together and get into our ‘flow’ — and we still have a lot of fun. And it’s important to be self-reflective. I’m still learning about myself and how to effectively achieve my purpose.”
Danielle supervises a number of growth strategies, prospect chasing, and major projects as the National Healthcare Leader for FORVIS, as well as leading a staff of about 950 individuals devoted to servicing the healthcare business. According to her, she will focus extensively on continuous team alignment, growth, and communication over the next six months, as well as encourage and challenge her team members to seek methods to address the unmet requirements of the clients.
According to Danielle, FORVIS stands out because of its culture and devotion to client service. Thus, the moments when she gets to network with her peers, brainstorm on ways the firm can better meet a client’s needs, assist a client in solving a complex problem, and/or hear positive feedback from a satisfied client that she then gets to share with her teams are the happiest parts of her workday routine.
Enjoying ‘Me Time’
Like many leaders, Danielle likes to start her day with a morning meditation to set the tone for the day and find some quiet time, and then go to class at the gym, a run with friends, or a Peloton ride. These two activities for herself are an essential part of her routine. She says, “As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for stillness and quiet time. I find that peaceful mornings and taking time for self-care is not selfish – it’s essential for setting yourself up for success.”
Find Your Own Way
Being a successful female business leader is still difficult. Danielle admits that trying to be everything and then feeling terrible when she can’t live up to her ideals has been one of the most difficult parts of her journey. She was about to let go of a lot of her guilt once she learned it was OK to outsource and seek help in order to avoid missing significant occasions and milestones.
Learning to better understand and handle gender differences, as well as overcome many apparent hurdles, has been helpful, according to Danielle. Much of it has come from training programs, but she has discovered that leaning on her connections is the most effective method of getting over obstacles. She shares, “I’m in good company as many of my friends are strong female leaders and professionals, and we all keep each other grounded, supported, challenged, and sane.”
While advising emerging woman leaders, Danielle states that creating a strong network and finding mentors that will guide you along the way is invaluable. She says to merging leaders create your village to support you not only professionally but also personally. She asserts, “I’m am where I am today due to many au pairs that lived with us and were part of our family by providing great support for me and my children, other parents that helped with rides and encouraging words. It will make all the difference in your career and life.”
Danielle is honored and pleased to be a woman leader at FORVIS, and she hopes that her role and path to this position will bring hope, inspiration, and direction to other women leaders.