Van Gerard Dichoso: President & CEO of the Dichoso Group of CompaniesVan Gerard Dichoso, C.P.A. is President & CEO of the Dichoso Group of Companies: Dichoso and Company, CPA, Inc. (a full service CPA firm), and Dichoso and Company, Inc. (a full service insurance, pension, and real estate investment company) with offices in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, and satellite offices in Encino and Glendale.
Dubbed as one of the most prominent CPAs of Filipino-American descent, Van Gerard’s business accomplishments, unwavering support to the Filipino community, and numerous awards have earned him these respectable distinctions:
“Asia’s CPA Superstar” – Philippine Times (2008)
“An Icon in the Philippine-American Community” – Manila-US Times (2007)
“An Account of Excellence” – In-Focus Magazine (2007)
“Outstanding Businessman of the Year” – PAMANA (2007)
“Twenty Most Outstanding Filipino-Americans in the US and Canada” – Fil-Am Image (2002)
“Who’s Who Among Filipino-Americans in California and Nevada” – NAFAA (2000)
Van Gerard’s CPA firm serves a wide variety of individuals and businesses, including Hollywood entertainers, models, movie producers, and screen writers ranging from the beautiful girls of “Playboy” to TV shows such as “CSI”, “Deal or No Deal”, “X Files”, “7th Heaven”, and “NYPD Blue” to name a few.
As he serves the entertainment industry, he is a local business celebrity himself being featured in various publications such as the US nationally-recognized “The Successful CPA”, newspapers, special events, radio and TV news coverage. He is also involved with various philantrophic projects, including serving as Vice Chairman of the Black Card Circle Foundation, Inc. (BCCF) – a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose main goal is to raise awareness of social causes or other nonprofit groups. BCCF works with various high profile celebrities and their social causes, such as Raymond Usher’s “New Look Foundation”, Kobe Bryant’s “Kobe Bryant Family Foundation”, President Bill Clinton’s various charity projects, and Autism Speaks.
He is married to Dr. Marilou Dichoso with his 14-year old daughter Vanessa Anne Dichoso.
1. What are your hobbies?
I enjoy learning about wine, and I enjoy the challenge of finding that perfect wine from the thousands out there in the wine market for my own individual palate. It’s like finding a “needle in a haystack.” Most people enjoy wine but they just don’t know much about it. By being familiar with the aspects of wines (such as their flavor, country of origin, locality of production, acidity, body, aromas, etc), one can make the wine drinking experience much more enjoyable and educational.
2. What books are you reading now? What do you recommend?
If you are referring to novels, I do not read these type of books simply because I do not have the time. However, it is my routine that every morning that before I start work, I read any professional trade publication for updates and information on issues affecting businesses and the economy. As a CPA, it is critical that I am abreast with accounting, tax and business issues which can affect our firm’s clientele. I then read the Los Angeles Times, and then major events on the internet.
3. What’s your favorite book and why?
Simply because wine tasting is my hobby, I select books on understanding wines. For starters, “Wine for Dummies” is an excellent book because it teaches and guides the beginning wine connoisseur in a very “easy-to-understand” format.
4. What single trait do you attribute your success?
Integrity. I believe that in whatever career you are in, if one is always honest, open, and consistent in their dealings with people and the community, then success will follow naturally. That’s because people will keep on coming back to you for your honest opinions and excellent work ethics. And if one applies integrity in the business world, then customers and clients will keep coming back. After all, customers and clients will know they are receiving honest and quality products or services from you. And that translates to more revenue. Hence, integrity is what I practice.
5. What was the biggest obstacle you experienced?
The biggest obstacle was my involvement in a serious car accident during my senior year in high school. With a compressed vertebrae and broker toes, I was unable to return to school for a full year. The long recovery back gave me the opportunity to soul search and re-strategize my life’s goals to succeed. I eventually graduated valedictorian when I returned to school the following year. Consequently, my accident pummeled me to strive even harder knowing that I am a year behind. This consistency in striving hard to succeed still continues as one of my philosophies.
6. Aside from your parents, who is your role model or mentor?
I actually have many role models who don’t necessarily have big names for themselves. I most truly admire successful individuals who have made it from nothing. These individuals become my role models because despite their individual hardships and unique setbacks, they have made it big.
Once such true story was conveyed to me by a client of mine. And the story goes: During World War II, the Japanese captured his dad in China while he was in the early teens. The Japanese shipped the Chinese captives on a boat to Japan.
Due a freak storm, the boat was separate and his dad landed in the Philippines. He was found by Philippine village rebels who nurtured and brought him up. Uneducated, illiterate and poor, his dad began to make and sell local Philippine delicacies. Through time, villagers loved his food and his small business eventually grew to a well-known local restaurant, while he saved and invested in acquiring nearby lands and homes. Now that man is a role model for me.
7. How do you manage stress?
Short of taking relaxation prescription drugs, I reserve Sunday afternoons through late Sunday nights for family, exercise, and complete relaxation via watching movies, minor house chores, dining out, or simply bed relaxation.
8. What has been the most significant accomplishment in your life? Why?
Reaping the financial rewards of running successful CPA firms and other businesses has allowed me the freedom for charitable projects, helping the less fortunate, and exploring new and fun activities such as film production.
9. What do you like best about your job?
My position has so many benefits: respect and utmost attention from clients, associates and the community. But what’s more rewarding is using my power of influence to positively affect and change people’s lives, not only in guiding them towards the right business or tax decisions, but in helping the community and less fortunate by showing them that “I care”.
10. Do you believe that everyone is a winner? Why or why not?
No, everyone is not a winner but everyone can be a winner. A “winner” suggest someone who has accomplished one’s goal. Unless everyone can achieve what they want to achieve, then they are winners!
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