Retirement comes next for Elsa and Larry Gillham

| January 3, 2014 | 0 Comments
THE GILLHAMS, in Egypt, on one of many vacations.

THE GILLHAMS, in Egypt, on one of many vacations.

Elsa and Larry Gillham, Lucerne Blvd., have finally decided to walk away from the accounting, bookkeeping and business management company they built in 1979, called Larchmont Data, Inc.
Born in the Philippines, Elsa came to the U.S. to visit Chicago as a graduation gift back in the 1970s. She was supposed to return home and begin studying for a law degree. “My direction was interrupted by fate,” says Elsa. “I loved it here and life just happens.” Chicago turned out to be too cold for Elsa’s liking, so she migrated to sunny Southern California.

In 1977, Elsa also landed a job with Fred Norris Accounting on Larchmont Blvd., where she met her soon-to-be husband, Larry, a CPA. They worked well together, so they bought the business from Norris and formed Larchmont Data, Inc. on July 1, 1979.  Elsa handled the bookkeeping while Larry became a sole proprietor and focused on the tax aspects of the business. Eventually, Elsa’s three sisters joined the company.

“Originally, we were located at 324 N. Larchmont Blvd. in a small house.  Then we moved to the second floor office.”
Finally, the Gillhams found the perfect spot for their business—a house at 428 N. Larchmont Blvd. that they converted it into an office in 1994.

Given the choice, Elsa probably would have retired a few years back, but Larry wasn’t quite ready.
“We wanted to take our time to find the right person to take over the business.”

They finally found the right buyer.  P & C Group, Inc. bought their business and moved it to Wilshire Blvd.
“We’ve had employees with us for 25 years, one who even commuted all the way from Riverside day after day… the same people who were handling accounts in our office are still handling them now.”

Even though Elsa and Larry are retiring, Elsa has no plans of leaving the boulevard behind. She is treasurer of the Larchmont Boulevard Association, as well as incoming governor for District 5280 of the local Rotary International.
They also plan to do more traveling; they’ve already visited 71 countries together. Another goal is to spend more time with their son, daughter, and grandchildren in L.A.

“We’ve been working 24/7 for the last 34 years,” proclaims Elsa. “Now we’re going to do the things we want to do!”

By Sondi Toll Sepenuk

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Category: People

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