J. Del Walker, CPA
CO-CREATE | CO-DEVELOP | DELIVER
A Houston-based firm of CPAs and professional advisors co-developing solutions with our clients at every stage of the business life cycle.
Del is the Tax Practice Leader and has been a member of PKF Texas’ management committee since 2000. Del works with a range of clients but has an emphasis on closely held, family-owned businesses and high net-worth individuals. As a trusted business advisor, he likens his role to that of a quarterback: looking downfield, analyzing the moving parts and then coordinating the best solutions to fit the ever-changing needs of the situation.
These Pre-Sale and Operational experiences include tax structuring and planning, multi-generational succession and estate planning, exit strategy assessment, and sell-side transactional tax and business advisory. His post-sale experiences include assisting in the development of formation strategy for family offices and various implementation phases of opening an office, such as development of operational structure, hiring of initial key employees, development of preliminary and ongoing operating budgets, deployment of capital investments in liquid and alternative markets, and development of tax-efficient strategies for ongoing operations and new capital investments.
- High Net-Worth Individuals
- Family-Owned Businesses
- Real Estate
CPA, Certified Public Accountant
Pannell Kerr Forster of Texas, P.C., Houston, TX
Director, 1995 - Present
Ernst & Young, Houston, TX
Tax Practice, 1991 - 1995
Ernst & Young, Oklahoma City, OK
Tax Practice, 1987 - 1991
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Bachelor of Business Administration - Accounting, 1985
Masters of Accountancy – Tax Emphasis, 1986
Outstanding Teaching Assistant in the School of Accounting, 1986
- Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum (GCRFF) - Founding Co-Organizer & Event Moderator
- Covenant House Texas - Executive Sleepout Participant and Fundraiser
- Leading Edge Alliance - Tax Practice Leaders Steering Committee
- University of Oklahoma, Steed School of Accounting - Advisory Board Member
- University of Oklahoma, Price College of Business – Arthur B. Adams Society Member
- Texas A&M Center McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship - Advisory Board Member
- Houston Christian High School - Vice President of Support, Mustang Parent Council; Membership Chair, Booster Club, 2010 – 2015
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
- Texas A&M Mays School of Accounting Advisory Council
- Rotary Lombardi Awards - Executive Committee, 2014 – 2015
- Family Office Review – Houston Organizing Committee Chair, 2015
- Top 10 Public Accounting Professionals in Texas Award - National Academy of Public Accounting Professionals, 2015
- 2015 National Academy of Public Accounting Professionals – Top 10 Public Accounting Professional for Texas
- Judge - Family Office Review (FOR) Awards, Chicago, IL, 2013 – 2014
- 2016 Texas A&M University CNVE Ideas Challenge Judge
- 2015 Texas A&M University MBA Venture Challenge judge
- 2016 – Family Wealth Alliance - Panelist – Client Development: Lead Generation and Lead Conversation
- 2010-2014 – Texas A&M University – Guest Lecturer – "Succession Planning for Closely-Held Businesses"
- Leading Edge Alliance
- Tax Practice Leaders Executive Sessions – co-facilitated:
- “Best Practices and Strategic Initiatives: A Deeper Dive,” 2014
- “The Evolution of a Tax Practice Leader,” 2013
- "Succession Planning: How Do You Retire a Partner Out and Bring People Up?", 2012
- "Firm of the Future," 2011
- Co-facilitated "How do We Move Forward?" - IRS Stakeholder Liaison Program - Tax SIG Meeting, 2012
- Tax Practice Leaders Executive Sessions – co-facilitated:
- "Pick Up Tax Savings with Vehicle Purchase," 2003
- "Cost Segregation May Lower Your Taxes," 2002
Why did you choose to be a CPA and/or advisor?
Interesting but true story: in college, I worked for a local handicapped businessman as basically a personal valet. One day I was driving one of his business partners to a meeting. He was sitting in the backseat reading The Wall Street Journal, Southwest edition (when it was only available in paper).
He struck up a casual conversation with me, asked me how school was going, etc. He then asked me my major. I said, "Business."
He asked for my specific major. I said, "Management."
He said, "What do you plan to do with that degree? Manage a Taco Bell?" He continued, "What you need is a professional skill to start a career, and then you can work your way into management." He then stuck the WSJ in front of me, while still driving, and said, "You see these? They are all accounting jobs in Oklahoma and Texas."
I thanked him both for the counsel and removed the WSJ from in front of me while still driving...
The next day I met with my academic advisor at OU. We both agreed it made sense to change my major to Accounting. I ultimately graduated from OU with both a BBA/Accounting and a MAcc. The rest is history...
What do you like best about helping clients?
Helping them get where they want to go. Basically achieving whatever their desired end game is. Sometimes it goes exactly as planned. Sometimes a different path emerges. Sometimes the desired end game, itself, changes with the client realizing they wanted something different than they originally thought.
What energizes you about your job?
I love seeing us succeed at all levels and points in the Firm, along with the growth and progression required overtime to make that happen. For myself, seeing someone grow professionally right before your eyes is a very empowering experience. Realize there typically are a number of missteps and failures that occur leading up to these "success" moments. I find it rewarding seeing team members daily putting forth the required commitment, learning and growing to keep themselves and the team moving forward, always toward the desired end game. Fun stuff. I love it!
What energizes you about working at PKF Texas?
As CPAs go, I am probably more entrepreneurial than most, truly embracing the challenges and opportunities arising from a free market capitalistic environment. So you can guess how much I love being a shareholder in an independently owned firm based in Houston, TX. This the greatest city in the country and the Home of the 5 F's: Family, Faith, Fellowship, Free Enterprise and Fun!
What more needs to be said?
Why are you passionate about serving this niche?
Again, it all goes back to helping folks achieve what they desire. There are many challenges and personalities in a family multi-generational setting. There can be so many different personalities and competing desires in a single family. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but just the realities of all families. However, when you see such a family come together across generations to achieve a common vision, I find it powerful stuff and a great thing to have had the opportunity to play even a small role in making it happen.
What do you do in your spare time?
Playing golf, traveling, enjoying Oklahoma Sooner football, spending too much time watching Texans football games on TV or in person, responding to Practice Growth surveys...
What's your favorite season?
It's Houston - what seasons are you referring to? Summer and non-Summer. I choose non-Summer when it's not raining...
What's your favorite sport to follow?
- Oklahoma Sooner football
- Houston Texans football
- Rockets basketball, particularly during the NBA playoffs
- Astros baseball is moving up the list.
Everybody loves a hometown winner, right?
Do you own any pets?
Yes, Lily, a Westhighland Terrier, and our grandcat, Cody, a gray tabby.
Really? Black I guess. I'm a big guy, and they say it's a slimming color.
What kind of music do you like?
Not sure. I really listen to music, but I like it in the "background" in various situations, such as driving.
My kids make fun of me that my Sirius car radio is always set on 80's on 8.
What is your favorite book/author? Or What are you reading right now?
Currently not much of a book reader. More interested in current events, such as politics, financial news, sports, etc.
What's your favorite vacation destination?
I don't know if I have a "favorite" vacation destination. There have been a number of places that I would certainly go back and sign up for repeat trips:
- Banff, Canada is beautiful.
- Carmel/Monterrey, CA is a great place for a grownup couples golf boondoggle and outing.
- Teri and I always enjoy going to NYC. A few days in Midtown Manhattan, plus catching a Broadway show or two is always fun and time well spent.
That's a tough one. A few come to mind:
- Forest Gump
- Godfather I & II
- Saving Private Ryan
- The Natural
Too complicated. Obviously, I'm struggling with picking just one...
Who was/is the most influential person in your life?
Teri, my lovely wife.
What is your most-prized possession?
My family. That's pretty straightforward
What’s something cool we don’t know about you?
My kids say there is nothing cool about me...
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