May Sax Spotlight: Shahil Patel and Larry Gradzki

Shahil Patel

Please join us as we shine our Sax Spotlight on Senior A&A Associate, Shahil Patel. The Sax team welcomed Shahil in October of 2018. Before joining Sax, Shahil received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from Rutgers University. His strong work ethic and positive attitude towards his responsibilities make him a great addition to the Sax team.

Shahil’s current goal is to obtain his CPA License and go back to school to receive his Master’s Degree. In the long-term, Shahil is determined to explore all of the industries Sax has to offer and eventually find an area he wants to specialize and grow in.  He has numerous goals for his career and is excited to see what the future holds.


Read our Q&A to learn more about Shahil:


What college did you attend? What was your major?

I attended Rutgers University, where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance.

Do you have any credentials?

I’m currently studying for the CPA exam and I take the first part next month. I’m hoping to receive my license within the next year.

When did you start working at Sax? What is your current title?

I started working at Sax in October of 2018 as a Senior A&A Associate.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities at Sax? What do you specialize in?

As a Senior A&A Associate, my main responsibilities consist of reviews and audits. I am currently exploring what industry I want to specialize in. More recently, I have been working in the Manufacturing & Distribution industry group, but I’m also interested in learning about Employee Benefit Plan Audits and the Not-for-Profit industry. I’d like to get my hands in as many different areas as I can while I have the opportunity as a Senior Associate.

What are a few things you have learned here?

The people at Sax are very approachable and everyone is always ready to help and give advice if you need it. Very early on, I was able to tell that everyone here works together as a team to help each other out and put the firm’s best foot forward.

Explain some of your biggest achievements in life.

My biggest life achievement so far was the purchase of my first investment property, a two-family house in Jersey City. The real estate industry sparked my interest because I saw it as a great opportunity to create passive income. I am hoping to expand the number of properties I own in the coming years.

Do you have a vision or goal for your career?

My short-term goal would be to pass all four parts of the CPA exam and receive my license as soon as I can. After that, I would like to go back to school and get my MBA in either Supply Chain or Finance.

What volunteer work and/or charities do you participate in?

I recently participated in Sax’s Corporate Challenge Build Day for Paterson Habitat for Humanity, where we helped build homes in Paterson for families in need. I really enjoyed volunteering with the team because I’ve always liked to repair things around the house and even better, I was able to help a family in need.

Are there any other interesting facts about you outside of your work life?

When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling as much as I can. My goal is to visit the entire country and eventually around the world. I have a Europe trip planned for the end of the year that I’m counting down the days for.


Larry Gradzki

This month, we are proud to shine our Sax Spotlight on Larry Gradzki, Partner in the firm’s Tax Department and Partner-in-Charge of our Estate and Trust Practice. Larry has spent his entire career as a dedicated member of the Sax team and has made tremendous achievements in both his academic career and professional career. Throughout the years, Larry has obtained his CPA License, NJ Attorney License, and multiple degrees including a Bachelor’s in Accounting, Juris Doctorate and a Master’s in Law.

At this stage of his career, Larry wants to be a mentor and a role model to the younger staff and provide them with as much of his experience and expertise as he can. He wants to hand down the next generation of leaders his knowledge, wisdom, and experiences so they can excel and achieve their own professional goals.


Read our Q&A to learn more about Larry:


What college did you attend? What was your major?

I attended Fairleigh Dickenson University, where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Well before I went to college I knew I wanted to be an Accountant because I was always good with numbers and knew I could have a successful career in the field.

Any continued education or credentials?

After finishing my undergraduate, I attended Seton Hall Law School and became an attorney. After being at Sax for about a year, I attended The University of Bridgeport School of Law in Connecticut for 3 years to receive a Master’s in Law, otherwise known as an LLM, in Taxation. I also obtained my CPA License shortly after being hired at Sax.

When did you start working at Sax?

I started working at Sax right after I graduated from Law School in 1983.

What is your current title?

I am currently a Tax Partner.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities at Sax? What do you specialize in?

My main responsibilities are client management, leading the Trust and Estate practice, and I’m also a go-to tax source at the firm for tax technical matters.  I’ve been specializing in tax for my entire career at Sax and was fortunate to gain knowledge and experience in a diverse number of tax areas.

What are a few things you have learned here?

I have taken away many valuable lessons since starting my career at Sax over 30 years ago.  One of the most meaningful is the importance of strong client relationships. To be successful in your career, I’ve learned that your clients need to be confident in you and trust you. Other important takeaways have been being able to maintain a healthy work/life balance and knowing there are no short cuts to developing your career. Having a successful career takes lots of passion, time, effort and dedication, and doesn’t happen overnight.

Explain some of your biggest achievements throughout your career at Sax.

I’ve had many accomplishments throughout my career at Sax, but my biggest one was when I became a Partner in 1992. Being promoted to Partner takes a great amount of hard work, and anybody who reaches that position should be extremely proud of themselves, as I am. Another substantial achievement of mine was being able to help the younger staff achieve their professional goals by mentoring them and pushing them to thrive. It’s always rewarding to see team members mature professionally and achieve their own goals.

Explain some of your biggest achievements in life.

My biggest life achievement is my family, hands down. I’m proud of the family that I have built with my wife Kathy and am even more proud of my children’s individual accomplishments. Other major life achievements I have are receiving my CPA License, attorney license, and LLM.

Do you have a vision or goal for your career?

At this point in my career, my main goal is to be a strong mentor and role model for the younger staff. I believe strongly in teaching and leading by example. I would like to transfer as much knowledge and wisdom to the next generation of Sax leaders as I can, so the firm can continue to thrive and be our clients’ #1 advisors. This means passing on my experiences, as well as transferring technical and professional information I have learned throughout my career to the next generation of leaders.

Do you frequently speak at events or publish articles to demonstrate expertise?

I have written many articles and spoken at many Sax events and training sessions throughout my career. Over the past few years, I’ve started to hand down the baton to other team members, and I now help them prepare their speeches and articles by providing guidance and support.

Are there any other interesting facts about you outside of your work life?

Outside of work, I love to travel, golf, and spend time with my family. A fact that some people don’t know about me is that I am one of thirteen children. I also have a house down in Hilton Head, South Carolina which my family and I visit frequently and I plan to move down there, once I have fully retired.