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Moores make $10,000 gift to nursing project

Certified Public Accountant Becky Moore’s Southwestern Michigan College roots run deeper than serving on the Board of Trustees since 2012. Becky and Jim, her husband of 34 years with Moore Brothers Buildings, gave $10,000 to advance the expansion of SMC’s 12,047-square-foot 1970 nursing and health education building to create a 29,086-square-foot facility.

“It’s something I believe in so I jumped in to help,” Moore said. “That nursing building is going to be a good thing for the college and for the community. As we age, we’ve got a real problem with nursing and the medical profession not having enough providers.”

Moore, who has two younger brothers, moved from Lowell, Ind., to Marcellus in high school.

“My life changed overnight” when her contractor father bought a farm while vacationing at Gravel Lake. “It’s tough moving in high school,” she said.

While still a teen, the Cassopolis resident worked in the Lyons Industries office, then in downtown Dowagiac.

Dale Lyons, SMC vice chairman, saw potential and steered Moore toward college.

Working with an auditor at Lyons convinced her to become an accountant.

 “It took years of night classes, but I finally finished my SMC degree,” then completed her Western Michigan University baccalaureate degree in 1984.

Moore, the SMC board’s treasurer, is president of Accounting Consultants PC, Dowagiac, which turns 25 in 2017.

In 1985, she began her career in Kalamazoo with Alexander Grant, which became Grant Thornton. She then joined BDO Seidman.

After several years of governmental auditing, she became Lewis Cass Intermediate School District finance officer.

Accounting Consultants PC, founded in 1992, provides accounting, tax and consulting services to business, with emphasis on professional service providers.

“With technology advances and cloud computing, we are no longer restricted to serving only local clients,” Moore said.

Like education, community service always mattered to Moore — particularly mentored by Dale and Doris Lyons.

“Everything we do for our community helps us all, whether financially or giving somebody an opportunity,” she said. “When I was asked to serve on the college board, if Dale and Doris had still been alive, I think they would have been very proud. I have a deep-down gratitude to Dale and Doris, as well as having a community college close by I could afford.”

“Dale’s and Doris’s intervention and the fortunate situation that I went to work for Lyons Industries made all the difference in my life. To this day, I encourage young people to keep growing, like when I was around the fair. It’s important to get them motivated so they don’t stall. I was fortunate Dale and Doris did that for me. They became like parents, imparting knowledge in many ways. I don’t have any idea what I’d be otherwise.”

Moore’s quarter-century involvement in the Cass County Fair began in 1981. By the apex of her service she oversaw the livestock sale.

For its 150th anniversary in 2001, she organized a retrospective.

Five thousand pieces of fair memorabilia she collected are being digitized with the help of former county administrator Terry Proctor for an online archive.

“The fair showed me good families,” Moore said. “Kids worked so hard, saving up money for school. You’d go to graduation, then their weddings. These were the kind of people I hope to live around as I age. I belong to the gym at the college. Most of the time I’m the oldest there. I look at them and think, ‘I hope they get to be everything they want.’”