Bert Bondi credits the “Irish” in him
By Joe Gschwendtner; photo courtesy of Burt Bondi
One of Colorado’s great success stories features Bert Bondi, a twenty-five year resident of Castle Pines. Bondi and Co. CPAs was approaching its 40th year when regional powerhouse RubinBrown acquired the firm in 2011. Who knew the owner had begun as a starry-eyed Catholic kid from Sheridan, Wyoming?
Bondi grew up among entrepreneurial and independent role models. Grandfather Bondi was a northern Italian immigrant who ran a mountain camp. His dad was an independent gas jobber while Bondi’s mom had been orphaned by Ohio floodwaters and had come west to live with her sister.
TVs were uncommon in 1960’s Wyoming. When TV was used as a babysitter at regular local lodge meetings, early whiffs of the world beyond Wyoming came via Fighting Irish football. His Catholic education and a local Notre Dame alum and mentor helped funnel his interest toward enrollment at South Bend.
Not until Peter Brady, his professor and CPA mentored him frequently at the local bar about the nobility of the accounting profession, did Bondi go all in for the numbers. After a three year Radar O’Reilly stint in the army, Bondi became a CPA and never looked back.
Early employment in the 70s came via Price Waterhouse in Los Angeles. As he began to make good money, the romance of being independent began to gnaw deeply until he jumped ship and fired up his own office near Denver’s City Park. His comeuppance was immediate. Despite an engaging personality, he generated precious few clients and struggled financially, averaging less than $900 a month for three years.
Fortunately, Bert got early mistakes out of the way and hit stride as Denver itself matured during the next 35 years. Prescient about business growth, Bondi wisely built his next office in Inverness in 1979. When Jim Castellano of RubinBrown came calling in 2011, Bondi and Co. CPAs had 35 employees and a reputation for excellence well beyond the city and state of Colorado.
In his new role, Bondi remains a driven man, concentrating on and enjoying business development. He also chairs RB’s Colorado Assurance Department. Deeply grateful for his successes, he gives back to a myriad of community organizations and vigorously to the Golden Dome.
When asked of the legacy he hopes for, Bondi responds simply and with visible emotion “to have been a good father to my sons.” He’s clearly made an impression. Nicholas just received his accounting degree and Chris is in his second year at the university. What schools, you ask? Why Notre Dame, of course.