LIFO THE PARTY: May & Company accounts for 100 years of business

Published 5:28 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

May & Company, a Certified Public Accountant firm in Vicksburg, celebrated its 100-year anniversary on Thursday evening.

Attended by company personnel, friends, family and community leaders, the celebration was held at the Levee Street Warehouse. The first to speak at the event was Riley Nelson, Managing Partner of the firm.

Nelson gave some context to how long the history of the Vicksburg-based company is.

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“When May and Company was first founded, (that same year) the first Reader’s Digest was published,” he said. “The National Football League was founded — and the first radio arrived in the White House.”

The company was founded in 1922 by James D. Pond, who worked out of the First National Bank building in Vicksburg for many years. When Pond died in 1958, the company was left in the hands of accountant David L. May, who married Pond’s granddaughter, Martha.

In 1962, the name of the firm was changed to May & May, then to May & Company in 1984.

After Nelson spoke, he introduced a retired partner of the firm, Ken Hicks, who addressed the audience. Hicks was with May and Company for 40 years starting in 1970.

Hicks spoke about some changes that he has seen with the company during that time.

“In 1983, May & Company hired our first female accountant on the professional staff,” he said. “And that was a big deal for us. And we struggled with that decision.”

At the time, Hicks wanted to hire a female accountant he met while recruiting potential employees at the University of Southern Mississippi. However, he said he encountered some pushback.

“One partner, when I asked him, he said, ‘Hicks, do you know what the hell you’re doing?’ I said, ‘Well, I think so. Some of the best students coming out of the school and Academy with the good grades are mainly females,'” Hicks said.

Reba Barber was the first female accountant hired at May & Company, followed by Donna Ingram. Ingram, who has now retired, went on to become the firm’s first female partner.

In 1989, the firm moved from the First National Bank building into a new office at 110 Monument Place, which still serves as the center for May & Company’s operations. Today, the firm has offices in Tallulah, La., Lake Providence, La., and Millport, Ala.

Katie Feibelman, a partner at May & Company, said she is proud to work at a local company with such a long legacy.

“When they asked me to be a partner, I was very honored. I feel like it’s a wonderful company. And to be entrusted to help lead that company, it was nerve-racking, and it was scary, but also wonderful; because we do have such a history,” Feibelman said. “Our staff is so loyal to the firm, and everyone props everyone else up.”

She added that she looks forward to helping May & Company continue its legacy.

“Our roots run really deep here. We’re very proud of that,” she said. “We would love to continue for the next 100 years.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Martha was James D. Pond’s great-granddaughter and that Donna Ingram was the first female accountant hired at the firm. We apologize for the error.