Joe Adams: RSM Expanding with the help of a Latino Force


Story By: Jonathan Fierro


In a time where the word “authentic” has come to signify what is real, RSM US LLP has become to mean just that. In fact, since the great recession, where both big and small businesses struggled just to remain alive, the “middle market,” which is often big enough to have the necessary resources but small enough to be nimble, has shown to be creative and resilient to thrive. 

“We call it the real economy,” says Joe Adams the CEO and Managing Partner of RSM.

A global company that specializes in accounting, RSM takes pride in knowing its clients well. The company, which has 9,000 employees in 90 cities across the country, is poised to expand; last year it acquired Padgett Stratemann & Co., the second largest accounting firm in San Antonio. Lately, the company, which places a high value in its workforce, has been targeting Latinos for recruitment.

“Latinos and Latino-owned businesses represent a growing presence in our national and global economies, with Latino-owned businesses become more prevalent in the U.S. and more businesses from Mexico, Central and South America investing in the U.S., and vice versa,” Adams said. “Latinos will be critical to the future success of RSM and other companies across the country and around the world.”


Looking to provide the best in global service

Adams lives in Chicago, where he has been part of RSM’s leadership team since 2008. He was director of the Great Lakes region: he has worked with companies in auditing and advising clients in mergers, divestitures, acquisitions and organizational strategy.

As the CEO of RSM, Adams enjoys everything about his position. But the best thing about it is the people, they way the company has integrity, is respectful, it works by teamwork and demonstrates it every day.

“I learn something new every day,” he said.

“Companies today are facing a shortage of qualified employees from all backgrounds especially in leadership, skilled and professional positions,” Adams said. He adds that at RSM the focus is on recruiting, developing and retaining the best talent.

To do that, the company is focusing on enhancing the experience of employees through feedback, transparency into their performance. Also, coaching into advancing their careers is key.

In addition, RSM has Latino representation in its senior leadership team, Adams said. It has a strong portrayal in markets with a robust Latino presence and with the company’s International firms.

“RSM’s Culture, Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) program includes the ¡HOLA! employee network group,” Adams said.

“People want to work at a place where they can bring their whole selves to work and feel included and celebrated for who they are, and we believe RSM is that place.”



Among RSM’s 11 employee networks is ¡HOLA! ENG, which provides support and direction via networking for the company’s Latino professionals. It accomplishes this through client and prospect engagement, leadership development and mentoring.

“Diversity and inclusion are embraced by everyone at RSM, particularly by our senior leaders,” Adams said. “It starts at the top. But it takes all of our people to make it happen. Our people are driving engagement and inclusion of all employees.”

RSM works with diverse organizations in its quest to achieve the best and most diverse culture and workplace. One of the key organizations is ALPFA, Adams said.

As his legacy, Adams wants RSM to be known for its culture of diversity and inclusion, where folks feel valued regardless of their ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender. This type of environment fosters innovation and creativity.

“It’s one of the most important things we can do because when our employees bring their real selves to work, we get better results at RSM because our clients get the best we have to offer,” he said.