What do I need to do today in order to be better than yesterday?
What’s your role in the firm, and how do you make a difference?
I lead the firm’s accounting and auditing practice. I am also the firm’s food and beverage practice leader. I talk the talk and walk the walk in the food and beverage industry. With the benchmarking studies that we conduct, the food conventions that we attend, and the industry events that we host, food and beverage companies come to us because of our expertise and experience in the industry. It is what sets us apart from others.
Who is/was the biggest influence in your business life and how did s/he shape who you’ve become?
I would have to say it is my wife and my two kids. Although they are not part of my business, they are the smartest people I know. It never hurts to listen very carefully and take advice from the smartest people in the room.
Describe the best thing about Green Hasson Janks and why it matters to you.
Green Hasson Janks has always allowed me to follow my passion. When I first started the firm’s food and beverage niche, the firm leaders advised me to follow my passion in this area and see what happens. Well, fast forward several years, and you can see the results, of what happens when you follow your passion.
If you could go back in time, what would you do differently and why?
I would have moved to Los Angeles earlier in my career. What was I thinking? I cannot think of a better place to conduct business than in Los Angeles. The city is and continues to be vibrant and brings endless opportunities.
What/who influenced you to join the firm, and how?
Leon Janks was the first person I met when I visited the firm. He had an upbeat and energetic personality that I had never seen before and he took an interest in me from the start. He had the vision to see that I had the potential to be a future leader in the firm in the short time I visited with him.
What is your proudest professional moment, and why?
I have two proudest moments in my professional career so far. One is being part of the planning and execution of our first annual food and beverage conference and seeing the potential of this niche. The second is the promotion of Satpal Nagpal as a partner in the firm. This allowed me to see him grow up in the firm and it reflects on our ability to grow great people in firm.
What is your favorite quote that best describes your professional philosophy?
“What do I need to do today in order to be better than yesterday?”
If I weren’t an accountant/consultant, I’d be a __________________. Why?
An Olympic swimmer (if only I was taller). It is my other passion!
Donald Snyder, CPA, has more than 35 years of experience in public accounting and chairs the Firm’s Assurance and Advisory Department, as well as the Quality Control Department. He provides audit, accounting and consulting service to clients in numerous industries, including restaurant, food and beverage, manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, nonprofit and technology.
Donald also heads the Firm’s Food and Beverage Practice. He is a well-known business consultant in the food distribution, food processing and manufacturing industries. A popular industry speaker, Donald hosts a number of food and beverage networking groups and also writes for the Firm’s CPA Food Bites blog and is a co-author on the Firm’s annual Food and Beverage Whitepapers.
Donald is involved in assisting clients with designing and assessing their internal accounting controls and has been a frequent lecturer in this area. He has also written several articles on the subject of fraud prevention and detection in the work place.
Donald holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration with emphasis in Accounting from the University of Colorado. He is a member of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of CPAs. Donald is an active member of the Provisors Networking Group and hosts the Westwood Chapter. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Nature Institute and his synagogue. Additionally, Donald is head of the Finance Committee at Pressman Academy.
Donald is a competitive master swimmer and lives in Westwood with his wife and his twin children.
Favorite place in the world:
The Talking Heads and David Byrne, of course
Favorite movie or book of all time:
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
One word that best describes me:
When I’m not working, you’ll catch me doing this:
Swimming at 5:30 in the morning, traveling the world with my wife on bicycle vacations.
Highlighted in the recent New York Times article “The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant,” author Mike Issac and David Yaffe-Bellany discussed the rise of ghost kitchens and the current disruption that food delivery is causing in the food and, in particular, the restaurant industry. Food delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub are reshaping the $863 billion American restaurant industry. As more people order food to eat at home – and as delivery becomes faster and more convenient – apps […]
To stay up to day on the latest trends and innovations in the food and beverage industry, I tend to read daily or weekly publications or even attend industry related conferences. However, lately, like many of you, who enjoy storytelling with a side of expert insight, I recommend listening to the below podcasts. Listening to podcasts is a fun way to learn from industry leaders on the go. Freakonomics The widely popular Freakonomics, explores the hidden side of EVERYTHING. Yes, everything. […]
As the leader of our firm’s food and beverage practice, I never take a day off from my passion for this industry. I recently returned from a two week vacation in Japan and had the opportunity to visit the famous Tsukiji fish market. A must see! Why? The Tsukiji fish market is the largest fish market in the world and accounts for 90 percent of all seafood that passes through Tokyo and a third of the seafood that passes through Japan. The seafood arrives daily from 60 different countries: crab […]
As we are getting ready to embark on the Natural Products Expo West Show – the largest natural and organic tradeshow in the world – in Anaheim on March 9, 2016, I still am thinking about the companies I visited and the trends I saw at the Winter Fancy Food Show held in San Francisco in January. The Winter Fancy Food Show had over 1,500 exhibitors and more than 1,000 new products and is the largest specialty food trade show on the West Coast. When we first started attending this trade show about […]
As part of the Green Hasson Janks 2015 Food and Beverage Conference at the end of last year, a panel of industry experts discussed the role of women in the industry. I had the privilege of moderating a discussion with three top industry players: Ramona Cappello (founder of Sun Harvest Salt LLC), Ellen Chen (co-founder of Mendocino Farms) and Bill Shen (director of Encore Consumer Capital). The panel’s theme was “Leaders, innovators and consumers: How women are driving the food and beverage […]
On a quarterly basis, Green Hasson Janks hosts a food and beverage executive roundtable dinner. At these dinners, we bring together 10 to 15 food and beverage executives to discuss topical industry issues and the impact on their businesses. This month’s topic revolved around the subject of food and beverage technology, including social media, sustainability, health and wellness, distribution channels and manufacturing equipment; how companies are using current technology to enhance their […]
Edible insects. Fruit/vegetable hybrids. Ramen-mania. Butter is back. Sour is the new black. Food trends can be fascinating. For those of us who are in the business of food, it’s something we track for many reasons. What’s new? What’s ahead? What do our clients need to know to stay relevant and innovative? But the truth is, even if your occupation isn’t in the food and beverage industry, you are still likely interested in food as a human being who eats a few times a day. So, why blog? It’s now […]