Richard “Dick” Gassner, JD
“Do the right thing. Period.” This is the philosophy that Dick Gassner works by every day and strives to cultivate in the working environment at McCoy Foat. He explains, “I don’t believe in taking shortcuts. I’ve found that if you do the right thing – always acting with integrity and professionalism in the best interest of others – success will always follow.”
Dick officially retired June 30, 2016, but he will always be an important member of our team. He remains available for special projects and “is only a few miles from the office” whenever we need a hand. Dick admits that he’s more of a “word guy” or wordsmith than a “numbers guy.” But don’t let that fool you. While he may be a writing and problem-solving dynamo, he can still hold his own with a financial statement. As one of the original founders of McCoy Foat, Dick manages special projects on a part-time basis, including researching legal issues, finding answers to tough questions, writing policies, negotiating tax disputes, serving as a designated trustee for structured settlements, and of course, managing business and individual clients. He also helps business owners establish legal entities and navigate the obstacles that arise throughout the life of any business.
So how did this “word guy” land at a tax and accounting firm?
After securing his MBA from Portland State University and his law degree from Willamette University, Dick began his tax career at Arthur Andersen. From there, he went on to provide complex tax services for Portland General Electric (PGE) and later as a tax director for Pacific Power & Light (PP&L), before cofounding McCoy Foat.
It was at PGE that Dick first met his soon-to-be friend and business partner Michael McCoy. When Michael first set out on his own (before the days of McCoy Foat), Dick often strategized with him on complex tax issues. So, when PP&L was purchased and Dick’s position was eliminated along with the rest of the tax department, it seemed like a natural next step to join Michael McCoy and Mark Foat in establishing a new firm.
The trio was destined for success, as evidenced by several years of steady growth and the fond praise of the firm’s clients and employees. When you meet Dick, you’ll immediately notice his warm smile and calming presence. He says, “I try to be steady and even-tempered. These qualities really help in stressful tax situations. I’m able to understand others’ positions and present our positions in a calm, strategic and persuasive manner.”
Dick is licensed to practice law in Oregon, is an active member of the Oregon State Bar Association and a licensed Oregon real estate broker. He resides in West Linn and has two grown sons and one grandson. When he isn’t working, you’ll find Dick out hiking, biking, fishing or restoring an old car.
Portland Landmark: Forest Park
Car: Porsche 997
Weekend Getaway: The Oregon Coast