NEW JOURNEY: Mack Gibson retirement celebrated

Published 4:00 am Friday, November 30, 2018

The partners of Gibson and Carden hosted a retirement reception for founding member Mack Gibson at the Johnson Center for the Arts on Thursday.

Gibson has seen his profession migrate from hand-written ledgers to automated software systems and is long enough, Gibson said.

“Everything has its point in time and my time has finally come to retire,” Gibson said. “I’m going to do it.”

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Gibson has slowly cut back on his workload in recent times.

“People would ask my partners if I had retired and they would say, ‘No, but he sure acts like it,’” he said, laughing.

Gibson will officially retire at the end of December but he will be around “if needed.”

“You can’t do something for 50 years and just walk away,” he said. “I have enjoyed every minute of my practice and treasure the relationships I have formed over the years. The years have been so enormously fulfilling. I have no regrets. Now, I’m looking forward to the things that I might do. I’m not one to sit around. I love being involved in the cultural arts and I want to be involved in other things that are important to me, the church, city and community. I believe I can still contribute and I want to do what I can, all I can.”

Gibson said he is leaving his clients in good hands. His partners, Beth Stubblefield, Darren Hipps, Ross Jinright and Allen Phillips, are all Troy University graduates. They know the community and they know their clients.

“I’m the only odd one,” Gibson said. “I grew up in Glenwood but I went to college at Baylor in Texas. When I graduated, I wanted to come home and that was the best thing I ever did. If I hadn’t come home, I might never have found Mary.”

Building an accounting business from the ground up was not easy. The workweek was seven days and many late nights but Gibson said he wouldn’t trade away those times.

“I’ve worked for and with the greatest people in the world,” he said. “My clients are like family and I’ve formed close and lasting friendships. I have the best partners and we have excellent working relationships. Everything is in place for me to ‘finally’ retire.

“Mary and I want to spend more time with the grandchildren, go to the beach and travel. I’m looking forward to being more involved in the arts and I’d like to read a good book every now and then. Retirement is not a sad occasion so I’m going to have some fun.”

Gibson’s’ partners said it has been a privilege to have been mentored by Gibson through the years. 

“Mack’s knowledge of tax law has served our firm over the decades,” Stubblefield said.   “He has encouraged us as partners, as well as employees, to be engaged within our community with our professional skills and personal involvement.

Stubblefield first met Gibson in the fall of 1975 when she was the treasurer for Alpha Delta Pi Sorority at Troy State University.

“Who would have thought when I first met Mack in his office on Brundidge Street that we would have ended up working together,” Stubblefield said. “We have been friends, employer, co-worker and partners. It has been my honor to call him friend and partner all these years.”    

Jinright, who started with Gibson & Carden in 1991, said he, too, has been fortunate to work with Gibson.

“Mack has been a mentor, partner, and a friend for the 27 years we have worked together,” Jinright said. “We are all so grateful for his leadership of our firm.  Mack has served his clients and our community for a long time and his retirement is well deserved.”

Gibson gave Hipps his first job out of college in 1990.

“Since that time, Mack has provided us all with leadership and guidance over the many years of tax law changes, accounting rule changes, and seen us through a myriad of complicated client transactions,” Hipps said. “Our firm has enjoyed continuous growth and seen too many birthdays for us all.  I know Mack’s retirement has been a long time coming and I hope that it will provide him the ability to enjoy the many rewards for his professional diligence and hard work that existed throughout his career.”

Phillips, laughingly, said any time he was asked when Gibson was retiring, his response was, “He’ll probably die at his desk. If he went home, Mary would probably kill him, just like Joy would me. But grandchildren tend to change things.”

Gibson hired Phillips in January, 1978, and Phillips said it’s been a terrific 41 years.

“I can’t begin to express my appreciation, nor can I repay the debt I owe for Mack’s guidance and everything he’s done for me over the years,” Phillips said. “We all wish him and Mary nothing but the best. I’m sure Mack’s retirement will be an enjoyable one.”

And, if others have anything to say about it, Gibson won’t need a rocking chair.

“Mack is one of those individuals who can’t sit around and do nothing,” said Marsha Gaylard, Pike County Economic Development Corp, president. “Mack has a lot to offer the community and I’m sure he will stay involved. He has been involved in the furthering of the arts in Pike County and is very active in his church, First Baptist, and as a member of the Troy Rotary Club.

“Mack has been a tremendous asset to Troy and I expect him to continue to be involved and make a positive impact on our community. Mack is one of the most personable and loveable people you will ever meet,” Gaylard said. “We’re blessed that he came ‘home’ from Texas.”

Wiley White, exhibition coordinator at the Johnson Center for the Arts, said if it had not been for Mack Gibson, there would not have been a JCA.

“Mack led the charge for the board with his eye on the goal of having a cultural arts center in Troy,” White said. “He provided the leadership for our fundraising efforts and kept a positive and encouraging attitude, always.”

White said Gibson plans to stay active in the arts and he is personally interested in the continuation of musical events at the JCA.

“Mack will continue to be actively involved in the arts,” White said. “He will continue to support the ideas and efforts to move the arts forward. We all wish him the very best in his retirement and look forward to continuing to work with him in the community.”