Jim Schnell, CPA
Mengel Metzger Barr & Co. LLP
Involved with the Community Foundation since 2016
Favorite Rochester eatery: Pane Vino
Favorite Community Foundation event: Annual Luncheon
Favorite Rochester event: Lilac Festival
If I had a million dollars to give: I would use it to support education.
How Jim’s work fuels the power of informed decisions: A career in tax services would seem like a natural fit for the son of an accounting professor. Yet, Jim Schnell believes a desire to help clients in the business world was a determining factor in his career choice. “My uncle owned a commercial printing company, so I had an inside perspective on that world, and naturally gravitated toward working directly with businesses,” Jim says.
Many of his clients face complicated issues, such as the sale of a business or a merger. While helping these clients navigate their plans, charitable giving provides a mutually beneficial option. Jim has found even more resources to guide clients since he began working with the Community Foundation four years ago. “As a professional, the Foundation offers a value-added resource in my work.” He loves opening clients’ eyes to the Foundation’s flexible options in philanthropy that allow for long-term discussions about their charitable interests and legacy.
Charitable involvement in Rochester: Volunteering has always been a dominant part of Jim’s life, whether contributing his professional expertise or good old-fashioned elbow grease. “I believe in donating my time to causes I support,” says Jim, who is chair-elect of the Community Foundation’s Professional Advisory Liaison Committee. “It’s one way I can add to an organization’s ability to succeed and be sustainable.”
Jim, a McQuaid Jesuit High School alum, has a deep commitment to faith-based education, with his three children attending local Catholic schools. Serving on the finance committees at McQuaid and St. Louis Church, he finds an affirming way to use his business expertise for good. Through his leadership with these organizations, as well as the YMCA and the National Eagle Foundation, he demonstrates what he believes is the most important aspect of being part of a community — stepping forward. “Though it takes a lot of mental energy, I know it makes a difference.”
Inspirational quote: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Published October 2019