Beyond the Numbers: Our Three Founders

(Jan, 2016)

Mr. Robert J. Dermody was in the first graduating class of Le Moyne College in 1951 and received his MBA in Accounting from Syracuse University three years later. After founding Dermody, Burke & Brown in 1956, Mr. Dermody, Mr. Burke and Mr. Brown purchased Powelson Business Institute and Mr. Dermody became president from 1960 to 1976.  Mr. Dermody was very involved in the community, serving as president of the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council and of the NYSSCPA. He was active in many local charities and founded a group in Syracuse called Man to Man, a prostate cancer education and support group, after he was diagnosed with the disease in 1990. He and his wife had six daughters and two sons, one of which, Bob Jr., worked at the firm for a number of years. 

Mr. John D. Burke co-founded Dermody, Burke & Brown in 1956. From the beginning, Mr. Burke was very involved with the community and was the financial advisor at St. Ann’s Church since its origin. He was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of CPAs, where he was a past director. Mr. Burke graduated from Niagara University in 1947 and was an active alumnus. He served there as President of the Alumni Association and was the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law degree in 1968. He was a World War II veteran, having served in the Army Air Corps as a second lieutenant. Mr. Burke taught as an adjunct professor at Le Moyne college, was a co-owner of Powelson Business Institute and was an active member of many not-for-profit and corporate boards. He was an avid golfer, a member at Bellevue Country Club and a loyal New York Yankees fan. Mr. Burke was married for 57 years to his wife Peg and had six children and 17 grandchildren.

Mr. Daniel J. Brown graduated with the first class from Le Moyne College in 1951 and founded Dermody, Burke & Brown five years later. Mr. Brown has three children, Dennis Brown, Christine Brown Stevens and Therese Brown Mahoney along with ten grandchildren. He served as a classroom teacher, CEO and chairman of the Board at Powelson Institute from 1956 to 1976. He was also a lecturer at Le Moyne College, Syracuse University and SU College of Law. Mr. Brown has served on many boards including the Business Teachers Association, Catholic Charities, St. Camillus, Arthritis Foundation and the NYSSCPA. Mr. Brown resides in Skaneateles with his wife Theresa.

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