Gerry Nadeau and John Andrews met at Thomas College their freshman year in an accounting class. Soon after graduation, they began working at the same Portland accounting firm, Filler & Associates.
Almost 40 years later, they are now partners, after alumnus and close friend Guy Gaudette ’80 left the firm.
“Gerry and I have both lived in the Cumberland/Falmouth area for a long time, and our children are the same ages,” said John. “We both enjoy attending sport events and concerts together as a way to get out of the office/town. We took post-tax season golf trips to Myrtle Beach together for 25 years or so and often vacation together. Gerry is a ‘morning person’ and I am more of a ‘night owl,’ but we have made things work here at the office all these years.”
They are thankful Thomas brought them together. It has resulted in a lifelong friendship and business relationship.
John grew up in Massachusetts. He was one of six children and had never visited Maine. Since his family did not have a lot of money, he was paying for college himself, and Thomas was the best financial choice. He was not sure how long he would stay at Thomas, but he decided to give it a try.
“I came to Maine in August 1977, for soccer pre-season workouts, and I never left.”
Gerry, on the other hand, grew up in Lewiston, ME, surrounded by many members of his extended family. He chose Thomas because he knew he wanted to study accounting.
Gerry is the first in his family to graduate from a 4-year college.
“I knew I needed to make the most of it,” he said. “We were not wealthy by any means. My parents helped me as much as they could, but for the most part, I put myself through school. With skin in the game, you make it happen and make the most of it.”
John said he has no regrets about choosing Thomas.
“The sense of community, the individual classroom attention, and the ability to make lifelong friends are benefits that any high school senior would be lucky to find in their post-secondary education,” he said. John said he still keeps in touch with several Thomas alumni.
“My wife, who attended UMaine-Orono, finds it hard to believe the number of folks that I continue to see on a regular basis from Thomas,” he said. “While we have lost a few of us lately, it is great to see so many friends building successful careers and raising wonderful families.”
The most important thing Gerry learned from his experiences at Thomas was how to interact with people.
“Most people think we (accountants) are head down in book work all day, but that is far from the truth,” he said. “Most days we are meeting and consulting with clients. Whether it’s tax planning for growth or entertaining the idea of a potential purchase or sale of a business, we deal with clients every day.”
“Most of our clients have become close friends,” said Gerry. “I strongly believe the years spent at Thomas were paramount to my success as a business consultant.”
Gerry said he loved being part of the Thomas community as a student, and he continues to love it as an alumnus.
“So many Thomas grads stay connected. That rings true with all classes, those who graduated before us and after us. It’s truly amazing.”
*This story was originally published in the Winter 2018 Thomas Magazine.