Monthly Archives: October 2014

Dr. Muth & Partner joins GGI

Dr. Muth & Partner is an interdisciplinary practice offering services ranging from Auditing through Tax and Legal Advice until Corporate Consultancy. The office was founded by the Dipl.-Kfm. Dr Erich Muth in Fulda in 1975 and was one of the first offices in Germany in which auditors, tax consultants and lawyers all worked together under a single roof on an interdisciplinary basis.

Dr. Muth & Partner’s main goal is to provide their services quickly and pragmatically and to promote their clients’ corporate growth on a sustainable basis.

The range of firm’s services embraces statutory, voluntary and special audits, support to M&A processes, tax planning and ongoing tax consultancy (also on an international level), business start-ups, crisis management, as well as wide range of legal services.

The firm has particular experience in the areas of health care, automotive industry, public companies and institutions, IT-solutions and temporary-employment agency work.

The firm’s clients have access to a team of 100 accredited and qualified professionals (including 7 managing partners) at three locations in Hessen and Thuringia – in Fulda, Erfurt and Meiningen. The service can be offered in German and English.

Dr. Muth & Partner









Kurt Abert

Ralf Kammer

Fulda, Germany
T: +49 661 9736 0
F: +49 661 9736 750

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DSA International becomes a new GGI member firm in Paris

DSA International is a new GGI member firm in Paris. The firm is specialized in Accounting, Audit, Consulting, Corporate Finance, Delegated Management and Legal and Tax advisory.

It was founded in 1981 and currently employs a committed team of over 50 multilingual professionals, who are able to assist their clients in French, English, Spanish, Italian and Chinese. 7 experienced partners of the firm supervise their employees and ensure the highest quality services are provided to the firm’s clientele.

DSA International supports small and medium size businesses and entrepreneurs with especially tailor-made expertise and services. The firm strives to develop a pragmatic overview of the specific issues the business faces and then proposes coherent solutions that take the economic and regulatory contexts into account. DSA’s permanent commitment to added value naturally leads its associates to adapt to each client’s unique needs and ways of operating.

DSA International covers all business sectors and has gained particular expertise in assisting foreign companies to set up businesses in France (administrative, legal, financing, accounting, etc.).

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Jean-Luc Sfez
Managing Partner
M: +33 6 07 21 29 56

Paris, France
T: +33 1 55 65 15 55
F: +33 1 55 65 15 69

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GGI adds a law firm in Paraguay

Berkemeyer Attorneys & Counselors, newly admitted GGI member based in Asunción, is one of the leading law practices in Paraguay. Since its foundation in 1951 the firm has provided professional legal services to clients at an international and local level, gaining a global reputation for quality, expertise and professionalism.

Berkemeyer’s expertise embraces a wide array of legal services. These services include the general law practice areas of M&A, commercial transactions, corporate finance, joint ventures, employment, energy & telecommunication, IT law, immigration, environment, franchising, licensing, agency and distribution law. Furthermore, the firm has been recognized over the years for its excellence in the area of Intellectual Property like, inter alia, registration of trademarks, domain names, patents and designs, copyrights and copyright procurement, licensing, franchising, technology and biotechnology agreements, as well as enforcement and litigation before administrative, civil and criminal courts, and coordinating steps nationally and internationally.
The firm’s goal is to satisfy their clients with excellent, innovative, efficient and swift services by being open to constant improvement and aiming towards new technologies.

Berkemeyer Attorneys & Counselors employs 90 professional staff including 3 partners. Languages spoken include Spanish, English, German, French, Portuguese, Hungarian, Japanese and Chinese.

Berkemeyer Attorneys & Counselors

Antonio Villa Berkemeyer

Yolanda Pereira Z.

Asunción, Paraguay
T: +595 21 446706
F: +595 21 497085

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Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition

Best Practices Are Stupid

What if almost everything you know about creating a culture of innovation is wrong? What if the way you are measuring innovation is choking it? What if your market research is asking all of the wrong questions? It’s time to innovate the way you innovate. Stephen Shapiro is one of America’s foremost innovation advisors, whose methods have helped organizations like Staples, GE, Telefonica, NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and USAA. He teaches his clients that innovation isn’t just about generating occasional new ideas; it’s about staying consistently one step ahead of the competition. Hire people you don’t like. Bring in the right mix of people to unleash your teams full potential. Asking for ideas is a bad idea. Define challenges more clearly. If you ask better questions, you will get better answers. Don’t think

outside the box; find a better box. Instead of giving your employees a blank slate, provide them with well-defined parameters that will increase their creative output. Failure is always an option. Looking at innovation as a series of experiments allows you to redefine failure and learn from your results. Shapiro shows that nonstop innovation is attainable and vital to building a high-performing team, improving the bottom line, and staying ahead of the pack.

Stephen Shapiro is one of the foremost authorities on innovation culture, collaboration, and open innovation. During the past twenty years, his message to hundreds of thousands of people in over 40 countries around the world has focused on how to enable innovation by bringing together divergent points of view in an efficient manner. Over the years, Stephen Shapiro has shared his innovative philosophy in books such as 24/7 Innovation, The Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas and Goal-Free Living. He led a 20,000 person process and innovation practice during his 15 year tenure with Accenture. And his Personality Poker®system has been used by more than 50,000 people around the world to create high-performing innovation teams. His work has been featured in Newsweek,  Entrepreneur MagazineO-The Oprah Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.  His clients include Nike, Microsoft, Staples, GE, NASA, BP, Johnson & Johnson, The United States Air Force, Fidelity Investments, Pearson Education, Nestlé, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

 Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition

Hardcover: 224 pages

ISBN-10: 1591843855

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GGI member firm Thomson Snell & Passmore raises over £10,000 on grueling hike

A 13-strong team from leading regional law firm Thomson Snell and Passmore took on the 100km Jurassic Coast Challenge over the weekend of 14 June. The team has so far raised well in excess of £10,000 for their firm’s nominated charity, Alzheimer’s Society – more than doubling their original challenging target for the event.

GGI member firm Thomson Snell

The team, which consisted of lawyers from across the firm’s commercial and private client teams, trained hard in the months leading to the event, in order to be ready for the long days of strenuous cliff top walking, interspersed with overnight stops in friendly youth hostels.

Event organiser Chris Kirby-Turner, an Associate in Thomson Snell & Passmore’s Construction and Engineering team, said:

“It has been a privilege to work with the Alzheimer’s Society and to learn more about the amazing work that they do in raising awareness of, and supporting those affected by, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The value of their work, and its importance, has been repeatedly underlined in conversations with our many generous sponsors, many of whom have first hand experience of the condition and its impact.

The importance of the charity’s work was further reinforced to us throughout the trek by the encouragement and sponsorship of passers by – including the remarkable generosity of Dorset- based artist Jacqui Byrne, whose home and studio we passed on the route. Jacqui is creating and donating an original painting for us to auction to raise funds for the charity. We are delighted that the painting will be on display and sale at the forthcoming SEEART Fair in Tunbridge Wells 9 – 13 July 2014 (of which Thomson Snell & Passmore is the main sponsor).

On behalf of the Challenge Team, I’d like to say a huge thank you to our clients, contacts, colleagues and their families for their generosity and support of this event.”

GGI member firm Thomson Snell

Anna Basden-Smith of Alzheimer’s Society, who joined the Challenge Team, said “The team from Thomson Snell & Passmore have done a fantastic job in raising so much for Alzheimer’s Society. The trek was a real challenge and the whole team showed real dedication. We look forward to working with them as their nominated charity as we continue our efforts to improve the lives of people living with dementia.”

You can still support the team’s fundraising efforts by visiting their team page at

GGI member firm

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Law Firm
Tunbridge Wells, Dartford, UK Kamal Aggarwal
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Memery Crystal Ranked #1 Legal Adviser for UK-Listed Natural Resources Companies

Memery Crystal Ranked #1

GGI member firm Memery Crystal LLP has earned the top spot among all law firms acting for UK-listed Natural Resources companies in new sector rankings published in the August 2014 edition of the Corporate Advisers Rankings Guide.

For the first time, the guide has published adviser rankings based on total UK Stock Market clients, both AIM and Main Market, in the eight main FTSE Sectors. Memery Crystal “rules the roost” among all law firms in Basic Materials with 18 clients, according to the publishers, and ranks second in Oil & Gas with 10 clients. With a combined total of 28 clients in Basic Materials and Oil & Gas, the firm ranks #1 overall for UK-listed Natural Resources clients.

Nick Davis, Partner and Head of Natural Resources at Memery Crystal, commented: “We are delighted to be recognised as the leading law firm for UK-listed Natural Resources companies in these new rankings. We have always been a leading law firm for AIM and are seeing more of our natural resources clients, including Petra Diamonds and Gulf Keystone Petroleum, move up to the Main Market. These new rankings reflect our strength in acting for Mining and Oil & Gas companies across the board, at every stage of their growth.”

The Corporate Advisers Rankings Guide is published by Adviser Rankings Ltd. and contains details of institutional advisers and their quoted clients. All published rankings and statistics are compiled from data supplied by Morningstar.

Memery Crystal is a recognised leader for its natural resources corporate finance work, covering M&A, private equity and IPO/fundraising for UK and international companies. The firm is ranked among the upper tier of law firms for its AIM experience by both Chambers UK and The Legal 500 UK, acting for smaller to medium-sized public companies as well as for their nominated advisers and brokers. The firm also has extensive experience on Main Market listings for natural resources companies.

GGI member firm

Memery Crystal LLP

Law Firm
London, UK
Nick Davis

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The Quest for U.S. Tax Reform: Fact or Fiction

The Quest for U.S. Tax Reform

The perpetual drumbeat for tax reform continues to echo around Capitol Hill. On August 5th, Senators Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Jack Reed, D-R.I. urged President Obama to take independent action to stop the tax-avoidance practice commonly known as corporate inversions. Their plea was made to the deserted corridors of the Capitol, as Congress has left Washington, D.C. for its August recess. The Administration has suggested that executive authority might be exercised to prevent inversions, albeit only as an alternative to Congress not moving forward with tax reform.

To stem the latest strategy of U.S. corporations employing mergers with foreign businesses to escape the high U.S. tax rates, the most effective counter-measures would require a comprehensive reform of the U.S. tax system, an overwhelming and unrealistic prospect before or after the mid-term elections, and possible only slightly after the 2016 Presidential election. More attainable stop-gap solutions, such as cutting U.S. corporate tax rates to 28 percent will not stop companies from moving to lower tax “havens” such as Ireland, where the tax rate is 12.5 percent.

During a press briefing on August 5, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that the administration is not prepared to make an announcement about any unilateral actions from the president on inversions. In the absence of tax reform, the onus is on Congress to pass specific legislation that would retroactively close current inversion (merger) strategies.

Rep. Sander M. Levin, D-Mich., ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, noted that, “Corporate inversions, as well as other tax-avoidance strategies, threaten to cause long-term damage to the U.S. tax base and increase the tax burden on ordinary Americans — and swift collective action is required.” Shakespeare’s Macbeth offered his précis on life and death, which, unfortunately, applies equally well to Congress’ many attempts to refashion U.S. tax law: “[A] tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Since the original 1916 tax code, reformists have fought behind the familiar banners of fairness and simplification, as well as the prevention, recovery and salvation of the American and global economy, while maintaining a measured focus on collecting tax revenues sufficient to fund the massive federal budget. However, the Internal Revenue Code has become burdened with countless layers of provisions included to satisfy politically correct, “of-the-moment” social objectives and entitlements or to provide some urgently required stimulus. Rather than separating out these distinctly-purposed laws, the path of least resistance has pointed to targets that have no (or lower) apparent impact on the general public. In an economic and financial environment of increasing globalization, the U.S. has sought to brand all things “international” as presumptively evil (read: “tax avoidance”) and even unpatriotic. The current “sound and fury” of Congressional and Administration calls for action are but the latest example of playing to the public’s fears without actually stepping forward with actual, substantive tax proposals.

The Quest for U.S. Tax Reform

From the Kennedy-era Subpart F rules seeking to retain U.S. tax coverage over U.S taxpayers investing wealth offshore, to the myriad efforts to limit the movement of manufacturing, services and the companies to lower-taxed foreign countries, the clear message proclaimed by the current Administration in its two campaigns is that your life and well-being is diminished by U.S. companies looking outside, and not within, the U.S. The Senate’s hearings on “profit-shifting” attacked structures used by multinational giants Microsoft, Apple and others, illustrating how those companies managed their very significant U.S. tax costs with planning available under the current tax code, resulting in large cash reserves held offshore. The sheer size of the tax dollars actually paid, and the comparative numbers of what these companies could have paid under less sophisticated structures, created a media event, and generated calls for tax reform. Again, the message was that the tax savings of these U.S. companies hurt the so-called average taxpayer. No data was presented on how the companies’ higher tax costs might have impacted the consumer prices those average taxpayers paid.

With significant statutory change approaching, IRS has sought data to support whatever changes might be implemented, as well as to enforce any laws currently available to them. Enforcement of filing requirements for information returns detailing U.S. owned foreign financial accounts and foreign entities, as well as increased scrutiny of required tax withholding from payments to foreign recipients has increased the risks of inadequate or missing reporting. Moreover, the accumulated data will effectively roadmap future enforcement of new anti-deferral provisions.

This discussion is not intended to suggest that the U.S. is alone in its international crusade for tax revenues. Rather, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) has commissioned multiple studies under an action plan to combat the erosion of separate country taxable income and the shifting of profits between related parties (under the acronym: “BEPS” for Base Erosion and Profit Shifting). BEPS study areas include many of the exposures focused on by Congress and the Administration. The conclusion is inescapable that U.S. tax reform, or at least tax change, will occur at some point. Changes will impact existing transfer pricing and profit shifting provisions, as well as permanent establishment standards extending countries’ tax bases beyond their borders. Consequently, multinational businesses will be well- advised to prepare to react to these changes.

Doug Nakajima, Managing Director, Tax Services, has over 30 years of experience in federal and international tax and strategic business planning, serving a U.S. and foreign client base of multinational manufacturing, service and technology businesses. He has advised clients on the tax treatment of domestic and cross-border transactions, inbound and outbound business expansion strategies, domestic and cross-border acquisitions, dispositions and reorganizations, intercompany transfer pricing analysis, documentation and audit defense, treaty interpretation, and repatriation planning. Doug has worked extensively with tax advisors in foreign countries to develop global structures that minimize U.S. and foreign tax exposures, and in this role, has forged effective working relationships with key professionals throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim.

GGI member firm

Smart Devine

Auditing & Accounting, Tax, Advisory
King of Prussia (PA), Philadelphia (PA), USA Doug Nakajima
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Haines Watts wins UK Accountancy Excellence Award for the Third Year

Haines Watts wins UK Accountancy Excellence Award

UK accountancy firm and GGI member, Haines Watts, is celebrating success again, having won Accountancy Firm of the Year – SMEs, at the annual FDs Excellence Awards. This award follows on the back of Haines Watts winning ‘Auditor of the Year’ in the SME category for two consecutive years beating off stiff competition from other leading UK accountancy firms.

The awards recognise the service providers that support Britain’s finance community using the results of an annual survey, in which Financial Directors and financial decision-makers recorded their opinion.

Haines Watts beat competition from other UK firms such as KPMG, Grant Thornton, BDO, Baker Tilly and Deloittes. Andy Minifie, National Managing Partner at Haines Watts commented: “It’s great to see Haines Watts win such a prestigious award for a third year running. This type of award really matters to us because it’s voted for by business people and not by an academic panel of experts.”

Andy added: “It’s fantastic that we are the first accountancy firm in the UK to have won an award in three consecutive years. We are proud of all of our staff who do an outstanding job for our clients day to day and who have contributed towards us winning this award.”

The prestigious awards ceremony was held in Grosvenor Square, London and hosted by Real Business in association with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and supported by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

GGI member firm

Haines Watts

Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisors United Kingdom
Andy Minifie


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11-13 January 2015 – Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015

We would like to invite all GGI members to attend the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015, which runs over two days between 11-13 January 2015, and in this way be a part of India’s biggest investor meeting, exploring the efforts being undertaken in Gujarat that aim to make India one of the world’s true superpowers.

As in previous years, the 2015 Vibrant Gujarat Summit has been organised by Shri Narendra Modi, The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, and will create huge opportunities for investors. This year, Shri Narendra Modi will not only be attending the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit, but will also inaugurate the event as part of his role as The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.

This event is an opportunity to witness many members from various countries signing a major Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). These MoUs will form the basis of the vision held by The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, Smt. Anandiben Patel and all Gujarati people; namely, to make Gujarat an important corporate state in India, so that all Gujarati investors can look back with pride on their work.

7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015

Opportunities for attendees of the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015:

  • More than 100 countries participating with over 2,500 foreign delegates. In the past, the summits have been partnered by various countries including Canada and Japan, while the 2015 Summit will be partnered by some of the most significant developed nations in the world, including Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
  • A great selection of national and international speakers in various seminars and discussions. These include corporate stalwarts, renowned economists and policymakers, management gurus and captains of industry.
  • A robust and productive environment for business and networking with a host of interactive forums and opportunities, ranging from B2B meetings, buyer-seller meets and networking dinners, to catalogue shows and special pavilions

Highlights of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2013:

⇒ Partner countries: Canada and Japan

⇒ Partner organisations:

⇒ Exhibition area:104,000 square metros. JETRO, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), US India Business Council (USIBC), UK India Business Council (UKIBC), Australia India Business Council (AIBC)

⇒ Visitors:Over 1.6 million people visited the exhibition

⇒ Events: 127 events throughout the year for investment promotion activities

⇒ Participation: 121 countries, over 2,100 foreign delegates and around 58,000 Indian delegates

⇒ Investment intentions::17,719 investment intention documents were signed

⇒ Strategic partner: 2,670 strategic partnership were forged in the area of technology transfer, R&D, education knowledge sharing from across the globe

⇒ Solidarity: Eminent political leaders, diplomats and captains of industry all displayed their solidarity with Gujarat on the dais.

Gujarat’s contribution towards the efforts of India to become a developed country

  • GDP growth rate has been contributing over 10% to India’s total growth for nearly a decade.
  • Ranked first in India for “Economics Freedom among States” in Economics Freedom amongStates of India 2013.
  • India’s first chemical and LNG terminal at Dahej, Gujarat.
  • Home to some of the best educational institutions in India, such as the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad and the National Institute of Design, which is part of the Indian Institute of Technology.
  • 441 vocational training institutes (Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)), offering 87,981 places for semi-skilled manpower each year.
  • Attracted 131 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals worth USD 3.7 billion over 2011/12 and became the state with the second highest number of FDI proposals.
  • Ports handled 40% of the total Indian port cargo in 2012 to 2013.
  • Holds a 30% share in the Indian stock market capitalisation.
  • Accounts for 25% of India’s exports.
  • Home to 10% of India‘s factories.
  • The first Indian state to enter into the Carbon Trading Agreement with the World Bank.
  • Number of factories increased from 15,576 in 2009-10 and to 22,220 in 2011-12, representing agrowth rate of approximately 42.50%.
  • Ahmedabad is the world’s third-fastest growing city, according to Forbes.
  • Gujrat International Finance Tech – City (GIFT) aspires to capture 8%-10% of financial services and the IT/ITES Sector in India.
  • Objective according to the Draft Electronics Policy for the State of Gujarat (2014-19) is: “To establish Gujarat as a globally-recognised hub for the ESDM industry with a turnover of USD 16 billion by 2020 and an investment of USD 12 billion to create employment opportunities for 5 lakh (100,000) people by 2020”.1
  • Gujarat has already become an industrial hub for the automotive industry following the commissioning of plants for Tata Motors, Ford and General Motors. In addition, Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Hyundai are expected to commence plans to establish their own infrastructure and facilities soon.

7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015

We are inviting you to attend the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 and become the part of the new revolution of investors in Gujarat. Please rest assured that every effort is being made to ensure a pleasant stay in Gujarat and that conference itself will be a complete success. If you have not yet registered for the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 event, then it is still not too late. However, we would ask that you complete registration as soon as possible so that accommodation can be arranged for your visit.

We would suggest extending the trip by one day to join in the celebrations for the Patang Mahotshav (Kite Festival) on 14 January 2015. The people of Gujarat are passionate about Uttarayan and all business comes to a grinding halt for a couple of days. It is also a celebration to mark the end of winter. Kite flying begins at dawn and continues non-stop throughout the day. Friends, neighbours and total strangers battle one another for supremacy and cries of triumph fill the air when someone cuts a rival’s line. A tremendous variety of kites can be seen and there are many different events to choose from. Experts prepare the lines with which the kites are flown specially for this great day. People of all ages gather on terraces or rooftops and engage in kite flying. Delight in colourful skies with kites all around on the day of this celebration, with music in the air and traditional delicacies to be enjoyed as well. We therefore recommend taking advantage of this opportunity to attend one of the region’s most impressive festivals.

For online event registration click here

For more information on the event, please visit:

For any inquires or questions related to the event, please contact us at:
Mr Vijesh Zinzuwadia, email: 
(mobile no.: +91 9825329576)
Or write to us at: Zinzuwadia & Co. (Chartered Accountants)
301 Abhiraj Complex, 68B Swastik Society, Swastik Cross Road,
Navrangpura, Ahmedabad-380015 Gujarat, India


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Accounting Today’s 2014 Mowery & Schoenfeld Named one of The Best Accounting Firms to Work For

Mowery & SchoenfeldMowery & Schoenfeld was recently named as one of the 2014 Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work for. This is the fourth year in a row Mowery & Schoenfeld has received this honor!

This survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best employers in the accounting industry, benefiting the industry’s economy, workforce and businesses. The list is made up of 100 companies.

Companies from across the United States entered the two-part survey process to determine Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work for. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process, analyzed the data and determined the final ranking.

For more information on Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work for program, visit

GGI member firm

Mowery & Schoenfeld LLC
Auditing & Accounting, Tax Chicago (IL), USA
Jeffery L. Mowery

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