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2014 Forty Under 40: Pete Ugo

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
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ugo_pete_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Why accounting? “I grew up in a small town,” Ugo said, “and not a lot of people from my high school even went to college.” The encouragement of his mother and counselors led him to the University of Notre Dame. “My eyes opened to what is out there in the world. And I chose accounting as a way to get a job.” He found that job with Crowe Horwath’s South Bend office, transferring to Indianapolis in 1998.

Clients: Credited with helping his firm expand deeper into the education and not-for-profit world, Ugo has worked with more than 40 (totaling nearly $2 milling in revenue), including The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, United Way of Central Indiana, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, WFYI, Purdue Research Foundation, University of Indianapolis, and the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.

In the community: Ugo is a board member for Junior Achievement, seeing it as a way to help kids understand finance. He serves on the finance committee for St. Lawrence Catholic Church and its school. He’s also chaired the annual Indiana CPA Society conference for the past five years and is now a member of the national conference committee. He understands both the philanthropic and business benefits of such involvement. “It helps highlight Crowe’s name,” he said, “and increase the visibility of the firm.”

AGE 38
Hometown: Clinton

Family: wife, Chris; children Maria, 12, Monica, 10, Mark, 7, and Matthew, 4

Pay-it-forward push: Ugo remembers how his community pulled together to help when his father died. “People were just coming to help you; you didn’t need to ask.” When he was accepted at Notre Dame, he found community organizations willing to help out. “My role with not-for-profits is a way to pay that forward.”

Ten years from now? “I have a goal of being the national leader of our higher education and not-for-profit practice and to have Crowe being one of the leaders in the nation for this industry.”•
 

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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