Brandon Gebhardt

Portrait of Brandon Gebhardt

Bio: I am a third generation Montanan that grew up in Western Montana and graduated from Ronan High School. After heading over to Seattle Washington and graduating with a University of Washington undergraduate degree in Business Administration, I spend my first year in the corporate world working for a telecommunications company. From there, I decided to switch gears and pursue a childhood dream of becoming a professional musician. After six years, three recordings, countless live performances and a national tour, my aspirations morphed into becoming an entrepreneur. As a result, I became the proud owner/operator of my own landscape construction company, Timber-Rock Landscaping Inc. As the recession began to sink its claws into my ability to generate new business, I decided to head back to school and get a graduate degree in Accounting.

My time spent at the University of Montana learning the accounting profession exposed me to the amazing faculty within the Masters program. The technical tools of accounting and strategic approach to my career led me to become a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Certified Fraud Examiner. I find my Senior Auditor role at JCCS PC in Missoula very fulfilling. I am also currently the President of the Missoula chapter of the Montana Society of CPAs. And, of course, I absolutely love volunteering my time with the UM Alumni Association!

Outside of work, I enjoy an active lifestyle which includes spending time with my wonderful girlfriend Alyson, hiking, biking, running, socializing, and enjoying the Missoula area.

Thank you: My first experience with the University of Montana is something I will never forget. I remember driving my car from Polson to Missoula on my way to sit down for a meeting with the director of the Master of Accountancy Program. After several years of working odd jobs, painting and mowing lawns in Polson, heading to Missoula for this meeting had me feeling out of my element. I was nervous. However, as I met with Dr. Teresa Beed that first time, she made me feel important and welcome at the University. As I walked out of the meeting, I had a solid direction of how to apply to the master’s program, but more importantly, I felt like my life was about to change. There was this very real sense that my future was going to be different … something to be proud of. This was the first connection I made with the University of Montana. Thank you, Dr. Beed.

Once I enrolled in the program and attended my first lecture, I was immediately surrounded by a different class of individuals … such high-quality people! Many of these classmates have become lifelong friends. Although the endless hours I spent in the Gallagher building attending class and studying the technical skills of accounting were important, my time spent talking with my professors in their office was invaluable. It was in those moments that I was encouraged, supported, mentored and inspired. This led me to earn a 3.9 GPA and pass several exams to obtain my CPA license, as well as the Certified Management Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner credentials. In addition, both the accounting program and the University provided me with recruitment opportunities whereby I obtained an incredible position at one of the most respected public accounting firms in Montana. All of this entrenched a deep connection between myself and the University. A huge thank you to Dr. Casey McNellis, Dr. Josh Herbold, Dr. Kent Swift, Dr. Mike Herrington, Dr. Cheryl Minnick, Janel Queen and especially Dr. Ron Premuroso. Thank you.

About a year after graduation, I found myself missing my connection with the University. This led me to attend the annual UM Alumni Association Osprey baseball game. As I arrived at the game, I remember talking with a few very nice folks and then eventually sitting down at a table by myself. Out of the blue, I was pleasantly surprised when Jodi Moreau came over and introduced herself. She asked me if I knew anybody and then suggested that I join her at her table so that she could introduce me to “everyone.” She did, and by the time I left that game, I felt my connection to the University again, but in a different way. I was excited to get more involved and met with Jodi for lunch to discuss the House of Delegates meetings. I began attending these meetings, judging the Homecoming parades, volunteering with the Boot to Beaches fundraiser, and offering myself to mentor accounting students. Over the last two years I have had the privilege of getting to know the staff and leadership of UMAA. Such wonderful, hardworking people! These experiences with the UMAA have solidified a lifelong bond for me with the University of Montana. I am so thankful that the alumni organization exists. A huge thank you to Jodi Moreau, Angela Weisenburger, Susan Cuff and, of course. Bill Johnston. Thank you!