After 45 years of business in town, Ponoka’s H&R Block held a special celebration Thursday with cake and coffee for clients. The celebration is significant enough that the company president visited with company executives. Pictured in the photo are (l-r) Ursula Hefti, tax preparer; Gena Whiting, client service leader; Brenda Hulsman; senior tax pro; Altaf Hirji, AVP retail operations; Peter Bruno, president; Rob Conway, vp operations; Cecile Wahl, owner/operator; Tracy Taylor, district district manager; Joyce Vopni, tax pro; Jean Hastie, client; John Hickerson, director of franchise development plus Camrose franchise owners Janice and Allen Zimmerman. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kayep[;

Ponoka H&R Block celebrates 45 years of business in town

The company president stopped by for a visit to congratulate the Ponoka branch for its longevity

Ponoka’s H&R Block is celebrating 45 years of service to the community.

The tax preparation company has been in Canada for 55 years and the significance of the occasion wasn’t lost on company executives. H&R Block Canada president Peter Bruno and other executives converged on Ponoka to congratulate franchise owner/operator Cecile Wahl on the anniversary.

For the last 23 years Wahl has been the franchise owner and she’s proud of the longevity of the company’s place in Ponoka. Bruno added that sentiment.

“Cecile’s been and outstanding franchisee for us and when she shared with us that we were 45 years in the community, it was important that we came down and showed our support,” said Bruno.

Wahl added that while businesses have ups and downs, being able to work through those challenges is rewarding. She pointed out that Ponoka’s branch has seen continued growth.

Related: New market opens in downtown Ponoka

“I guess people must be thinking we’re doing a good job or they wouldn’t be coming back,” said Wahl.

For Bruno, the Ponoka branch’s stability is something the organization is proud of. “I’m sure Ponoka has had it’s share of hard times as well,” he said.

One big change the company transitioned into was working with an automated income tax preparation system. While it may have had some uncertainty at the time, Bruno says it’s increased efficiency but hasn’t taken away from the expertise of employees.

“Technology will never take away the human interactions that’s required with preparing taxes,” said Bruno. “There is still a component of the relationship between our tax professionals and our client.”

“You can’t replace that.”

For Wahl, her hope in the next few years is to see continued growth.

“We offer a friendly office and we offer good customer service here,” she said.

Bruno added that he would like to see H&R Block continue to improve the client experience. “That will guide us and that will help us remain relevant.”



jeff.heyden-kaye@ponokanews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Stettler District Music Festival has been cancelled

The event normally runs for nine days and can attract hundreds of entries

Former Stettler resident helps to develop a potential prototype ventilator

Peter Brockley, who now lives in the West Kootenays, was a teacher at William E. Hay Secondary Campus

Non-profits that are helping people impacted by COVID-19 can apply for relief funding

Red Deer and District FCSS can draw from a provincial pot of $30 million

No Alberta renter will be evicted for non-payment on April 1, promises the premier

No evictions during the entire Alberta public health emergency

A Message From the Publisher – ‘We will do our best, but without local advertising revenue, The Stettler Independent cannot survive’

‘We will do our best, but without local advertising revenue, The Stettler Independent cannot survive’

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

A message from Central Alberta Co-op

Please remember to practice social distancing at all our locations.

Families urge action to get Canadians home from cruise ship stuck off Panama

1,243 passengers and 586 crew on board and more tests are being done every day

Canada could face legal trouble over refugee deportations: advocates

Deputy Prime Minister Freeland holding ‘urgent’ discussions with U.S. officials

Regions brace to fight rising flood waters and cases of COVID-19

Pontiac is one of dozens of flood-prone regions bracing for the possibility of rising waters

Most Read