Forty Under 40: David Farnsworth
Partner, McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith P.C.
Friday, March 07, 2014 7:00 AM
No matter what professional or community project David Farnsworth takes on, it’s usually not long before he gravitates toward a leadership role. And in a couple of instances, he’s taken on the bigger task of developing an entirely new charitable initiative.
Mentor: Robert McGowen, managing partner, McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith P.C.
His daughter is just turning 4 and “she’s big into princesses, so I have to be the king,” Farnsworth said. “That’s been fun to see her grow up.”
So it’s not surprising that Farnsworth became the youngest partner in the history of his accounting firm, at age 35.
For Farnsworth, who began working at the firm as an intern while working toward his accounting degree at Simpson College, career success means ensuring that his clients are taken care of. As one of five partners, he manages the tax and small business department at the award-winning firm.
He said he feels blessed by the opportunities he has had. “I feel there aren’t a lot of people who get those opportunities, so I look for ways to give back,” he said. “And it always seems it’s ways to give back or provide encouragement to kids. Our work is very open to allowing us to go out and give back to our communities.”
One way was particularly meaningful for Farnsworth. After he and his wife, Sarah, experienced the premature birth of their daughter and her first 40 days were spent at Blank Children’s Hospital, they created Project Hope, a project to deliver care packages to families with infants at Blank’s neonatal intensive care unit. In December, with the help of friends and family, they delivered 55 care packages at the hospital. They plan to repeat the project on a bigger scale this year.
The opportunity to work alongside the firm’s managing partner, Bob McGowen, was instrumental to his professional development early on, Farnsworth said.
“I think the biggest thing that made an impact on me was how he related to people,” Farnsworth said. “Going along with him on client visits really helped me to see the process. It’s not really about selling the service that you’re doing; that really sells itself. It’s about how can you help the client with the issues they’re struggling with.”
Reasons he’s a Forty:
• He’s treasurer of the board of directors of the West Des Moines Community Schools Foundation.
• Active with the Iowa Society of CPAs since 2000, he chairs the organization’s 100th Anniversary Task Force.
• Over the past 10 years, he has volunteered with the Friendship Baptist Center in Des Moines by leading teams who prepare and serve a monthly meal to neighborhood residents and by leading a weekly summer game night.
• He co-founded 100 Men on a Mission, which has raised more than $40,000 for Iowa charities.
• He developed Project Hope, which delivers care packages to families at Blank Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit during the holidays.
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