Dalby, Wendland & Co., P.C. has deep roots in western Colorado. Our firm founders, Walter Dalby and Wes Wendland, imprinted their legacies then and into our future. Today, Dalby Wendland is consistently ranked by industry trade journals as one of the top professional accounting firms in the western states and nationally.
The Legacy of Walter Dalby
Walter Dalby grew up in northeast Colorado. He earned his bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Colorado and later taught accounting there.
Dalby received his certified public accountant certificate in 1937 and held several accounting positions in the Denver area before joining the national firm of Ernst & Ernst. With E&E, he became the supervisory accountant for all of western Colorado, traveling from town to town to meet with clients seven months of the year.
In 1946, Dalby moved his family to Grand Junction, and in 1948, he opened his firm, which would evolve into Dalby, Wendland & Co., P.C.
During the WWII years, accounting became more complicated. The uranium boom in Colorado brought a set of unique challenges. Dalby grew with the industry and became recognized as the industry authority. He created many of the accounting procedures then used industry-wide. He served on the Tax Committee of the Colorado Mining Association for several years and represented the association at congressional hearings in Washington, D.C. Several of Dalby’s speeches, papers, and magazine articles were published.
In his professional career, Dalby was an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants. He served on panels for the University of Denver Tax Institute, the Colorado and New Mexico Societies of Certified Public Accountants, and the Utah Accounting Society.
The Mesa County Oral History Project collected tape-recorded interviews with pioneers of Mesa County and surrounding areas. Walter Dalby is one such pioneer who provided recorded interviews about the history of the Grand Junction Regional Airport and people involved in the local air travel industry. You can listen to the interview HERE.
The Legacy of Wes Wendland
Always looking to the future, Walter Dalby encouraged the best and brightest young accountants to settle on Colorado’s Western Slope. In 1955, he asked Wes Wendland to join the firm.
Wendland grew up in Montana, the son of a circuit-riding preacher. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and then attended college in Bozeman. A week after he graduated, Wendland passed the CPA exam and moved to Western Colorado to join Walter Dalby as cofounder of DWC.
Wendland’s simple core values of trust, respect, and responsibility helped steer the firm through six decades of Colorado’s boom and bust oil, gas, and mining culture. These are the same core values DWC relies upon today.
Throughout the years, Wendland actively served his community in a variety of ways: on many boards of directors; as campaign treasurer for U.S. Representative Mike Strang, State Senators Chet Enstrom and Tilman Bishop, State Representative Bob Burford, and Mesa County Commissioner Maxine Albers; and as president of the Western Colorado Chapter of the Colorado Society of CPAs.
When Wendland left the DWC board of directors, he charged the firm to hold to its longtime credo: “Hire premier people and continue to uphold the highest standards.”
Wendland remained a regular at the office until his death at the age of 84, and he was always proud of his 52 tax seasons.
“Wes wasn’t interested in being the biggest,” said Steve Carver, past president and chairman of the board of Dalby, Wendland & Co., P.C., “He just wanted to be the best. In the end, he got both.” Wendland had built relationships with some of his clients that spanned 50 years. “If you help people,” said Wendland, “They stay loyal. And that’s the satisfaction.”