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Cy Youngdahl looks back on... 23 with SEC His trademarks are a flower in the lapel, a long cigar and an impish smile. The only thing that varies is the flower, which might be a lily of the valley, a rosebud or a miniature mum, depending on the season. He grows them all, of course, but he prefers the rosebuds, his favorite being the deep red Rubaiyat, though he has also grown the deep yellow Fort Knox variety and other hybrid roses grown especially for their buds. Cy's broad accent smacks of Boston. He was born twenty-six miles from there in the old, old village of Wrentham. "The town is so old," says Cy, "that it had its 250th anniversary when I was about thirteen years old. We had a big parade and pageant at the time. I was an Indian," he chuckles. Commuting twenty-six miles to and from Boston University daily during the 1920s was an adventure in itself and, as Cy puts it, "one of the reasons I didn't graduate cum laude. The train didn't stop at our station. It just slowed down. So I boarded it on the run every morning and jumped off on the fly at night." When asked about his retirement plans after his forty-two year career with H&S, Cy mentioned the luxury of sleeping late. When asked to be more specific, Cy said, "Well, I get up at 5:30 now, so 'sleeping late' probably means I'll get up at half past six," spreading the words out as only a Bostonian can. Cy also mentioned a retirement chore that strikes his fancy: a job, without pay, with a tape measure manufacturer in Michigan. "I'll test the product at beauty shows around the country," he says with a laugh. Executive Office partner Bill Ouinlan has dubbed Cy Youngdahl the "Poet Laureate of H&S" though Cy prefers the title "Poet Lousyate." The poetry that he calls doggerel, and which he sings, has become a tradition at the lighthearted annual Christmas dinner of Executive Office partners. Last year's rendition of Good King Wenceslas, with lyrics appropriate though notpublishable, was a memorable performance. Cy says that his family always liked to sing, and he performed in his younger days with a glee club in East Orange, New Jersey, and a church choir in Brooklyn. His singing career in H&S began "six or eight years ago." The Firm had just completed an SEC filing for a large Japanese company. H&S had arranged a dinner for the Japanese businessmen, which included the company president and his interpreter. After the dinner the president asked one of his delegation to sing the company's song. In response a member of Nomura Securities, the Japanese equivalent of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, sang his firm's song.Then John W. Queenan, former managing partner of H&S, looked at his group and asked if anyone knew an appropriate song. No one did. "On the way home on the train that night," says Cy "I made up a poem to the tune of Titwillow, from Gilbert and Sullivan's light opera The Mikado. If singing was traditional at formal dinners with the Japanese, I would be ready. "When we handled the SEC filing for the next Japanese client, we held a luncheon forthe group. As it turned out,singing is not traditional at a luncheon, but we didn't know that at the time. I told Harry Williams, then partner in charge of the International Department, that I would volunteer to recite my little verse—or sing it. He said, 'No, don't sing it.' But then when he stood up he said that I was going to sing. So I sang it, and they were very appreciative. Then it seemed if you did it for one Japanese group, you had to do it for all of them. That's the way it got started." Another of Cy's special performances is his spirited reading of ads and jokes from the satirical Bawl Street Journal while he reports on recent developments in the SEC field at the annual meeting of H&S partners. In his final performance as an active partner, last September, he received a standing ovation. The years ahead will not find Cy without an audience for his wit and songs. Cy and Barbara Youngdahl's elder son, Curtis, Jr., ("he doesn't like the Junior"] is a mechanical engineer in Manchester, Connecticut, and he and his wife have a son, Curtis Earle, one and a half years old.To avoid confusion, he is called Earle and, naturally his grandfather calls him the Earle of Manchester. A second son, John, is a civil engineer in Philadelphia, whose daughter, Laura Marie is two and a half. Cy and Barbara also have a daughter, Carol Ellen, attending the University of Hartford. It is obvious that the family will play a big role in Cy's retirement plans. Over the years, Cy Youngdahl has won the respect of associates and clients throughout the practice. In May, Cy and Barbara were invited to Miami for a special farewell party by Florida Power & Light, a client whose audit he had supervised for ten years and whose filings he worked on after moving into the SEC department. New York office partner Gilbert Tinker, whom Cy had worked with for many years on the Electric Bond & Share Group engagement, says of Cy, "He is one of the most intelligent people I have ever worked with. He has an exceptional ability to analyze a situation and to get his point across." Executive Office partner Phil Sandmaier, Jr. says: "Cy is a guy with the happy knack of being firm in a pleasant way. Working in a highly significant area, he exhibits the ability to communicate an understanding of and sympathy for the client's position." Executive Office partner Hal Robinson, who has succeeded Cy as head of the SEC department, adds these notes. "He
Cy Youndahl looks back on ..23 with SEC
Youngdahl, Curtis E.
Quinlan, William K.
Queenan, John W.
Tinker, J. Gilbert
Sandmaier, Philip J.
Robinson, Haldon G.
Chetkovich, Michael N.
Haskins & Sells. Executive Office
Haskins & Sells. New York Office
H&S Reports, Vol. 10, (1973 summer), p. 22-25
|Source||Originally published by: Haskins & Sells|
|Rights||Copyright and permission to republish held by: Deloitte; Photographs by Roy Stevens|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|