Scroll Top



Your name:  Jade Edwards
Your position: Tax Senior Manager
Company name: BDO USA
Phone Number: 757-640-7190
Business address: 300 E Main St. Ste 1300, Norfolk, VA 23510
Industry: Professional services including assurance, tax, accounting, and business advisory.

Describe what the company you work for does and what your position entails:

BDO is a global professional services firm providing a wide range of assurance, tax, accounting, and business advisory services to our clients. But much more than that, we serve as trusted business advisors operating as a guide helping to navigate the increasingly complex regulatory and economic environment in which our clients do business. There is no problem too complex for the vast network of resources within BDO to formulate a solution.

As a Senior Manager in our Core Tax Services business line, my primary focus is consulting and tax planning to assist our clients with structuring their transactions and arranging their investments in the most tax efficient manner to reduce their total tax liability. The goal here is preserving critical cash flow for reinvestment into their business, their employees, and the communities in which they operate. My team also provides end-to-end tax compliance services making certain that our clients aren’t needing to spend excess valuable time concentrating on tax filing obligations.

What is your personal connection to the Elizabeth River Trail?

The Elizabeth River Trail in a very real sense provides an essential outlet for the residents and those of us business commuters along the Norfolk waterfront including where our office is located, in Downtown Norfolk.  After I began my career in 2016, I was quickly drawn to the collaborative and inclusive culture of downtown Norfolk and so I moved from my hometown of Virginia Beach into an apartment on Granby Street.  I had asked my landlord about parking accommodations in the downtown area and his advice was that I get rid of my vehicle and embrace the local community for everything it has to offer.  The Trail played a huge role in my life for those early years of my career.

This was a pathway to get from point A to point B, but it was also a place for exercise, recreation, collaboration, and community engagement.  I spent many hours walking the trail for many miles enjoying the wonders of people-watching and maintaining my lifelong connection with water, having been born and raised at the beach.  And the symbolic nature of the trail is perhaps just as important for me as its tangible use.  This is a trail that connects communities and represents the importance of providing a means of public transportation.  The diversity of mind that results from even a simple paved pathway that connects folks of different geographic locations to share resources and ideas is critically important.

Why did you/your company decide to provide sponsorship to the trail?

The Norfolk office of BDO (including our predecessor firm McPhillips, Roberts, and Deans) has a strong connection to downtown Norfolk and to the Trail.  For many years, prior to a recent move to the Main Street Tower, our office was located in the Town Point Center overlooking the marvel of the USS Wisconsin Naval Battleship.  We also had a direct line of sight to the surrounding section of the trail and witnessed firsthand the energetic activity each day.

We would often take the time to enjoy a break from the persistent demands of public accounting by escaping to the Trail.  Without exception, we’d be met with lively pedestrian traffic from both directions of the Trail making the way to their destination or perhaps no destination at all but simply strolling along the path.  And of course, there is always a group of travelers from abroad taking in the spectacular sights of the harbor. You could be certain that if your disposition was welcoming, you’d be asked to hold the camera to capture the moment of an excited family on vacation.  Or if you prefer to be left to your thoughts and so your head slanted downward towards the ground, passersby would have no problem leaving you your space.  This is Trail etiquette and illustrates the formation of a sub-community cultivated by the Trail that we find to be a powerful necessity in our community.

Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what benefits do you feel the trail has for the business community?

Ours is a people business and forming strong relationships is the foundation of what we do.  One aspect of our business for instance that is of the utmost importance is finding and developing new talented professionals who would like to practice in the public accounting profession and particularly do so at our firm.  The Trail is an amenity in our community and a differentiator that might be the factor upon which a recent graduate bases their decision of what geographic location they might choose to start their career.

Walkability for example is one of the more important criteria that folks are using when making this seminal life decision of where to live after graduation.  One major reason for this surely is the conscious realization that the excessive use of personal vehicles in our culture, and specifically as it relates to business commuting, is contributing greatly to our planet’s fossil fuel emissions and warming climate.

The benefits of the Trail for the business community are far-reaching as we commit to attracting and retaining talent while at the same time promoting environmentally conscious means of travel.

What’s your favorite trail moment?

My wife and I met each other at work at our Downtown Norfolk accounting firm.  In the early stages of our relationship, we lived together in Downtown Norfolk and so a walk on the trail was a frequent date for us thrifty young professionals saddled with student debt and building up our savings.  Every moment I spent walking and talking or even walking in silence alongside my partner as we reflected on the events of our day is my favorite trail moment.

I often spend time perseverating on work-related topics and so, although she is an auditor and not a tax accountant, the trail afforded her the opportunity to learn many miles of tax code. Throughout our walks, we would frequently stumble upon outdoor concerts at the Waterside District. Some of my favorites were Weezer and Go Go Gadget, an incredibly talented group that blends the rhythm of dance music with familiar melodies from past and present alongside remarkable visual displays.

Favorite Trailgrazing spot? (i.e. best local food spot steps from the trail)

Another shout out to my wife who, prior to getting her degree in Accounting at ODU, earned a degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu.  There aren’t many restaurants that can beat the masterpiece creations of a classically trained chef. She can put together a picnic that will put Michelin-star restaurants to shame. We will grab an open bench, an open stoop, or an open field of grass to sprawl out our picnic blanket while we enjoy the sights of the trail for hours.

Our most frequently picnicked spot along the Trail is in Town Point Park in its beautiful grass fields. This is also where we would engorge on decadent Cajun cuisine each year at the Bayou Boogaloo Music, Food, and Art Festival. We now have a beautiful one-year-old daughter named Lana who allows us to experience all of these wonderful aspects of the trail once again and from a new perspective.

Best view of the Elizabeth River from the trail?

The harbor. We love to watch the ferry cross the river, the ships navigate the port, the sailboats glide through the wind, and listen to the soothing sounds of the water. Sitting in Town Point Park and watching the sunset behind the skyline of Old Towne Portsmouth is truly a stunning sight.

Related Posts