Michael Luton, CPA
Mike’s motto is simple: “At the end of the day, you do what’s right.” It’s an attitude that was inspired by his parents, cemented throughout his career, and has become not only how he approaches every client and every task, but also how he tries to live his life.
Raised by hard-working parents, Mike’s father was a foreman at GE for more than 30 years, and his mother, a school nurse. They dedicated their life’s work to providing a college education for their children. Together, the couple put four children through private colleges—a mission that certainly required sacrifice—but for them it was the right thing to do.
After earning a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Mike followed his interest in public accounting and joined Price Waterhouse (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers), rising in the ranks to senior management level before deciding to make the move to a CFO position back home in Central New York. He then went on to serve as Treasurer for the North American operations of a multi-national manufacturing company. It was there that Mike met the man that he credits for demonstrating that doing what’s right is more than just words. His immediate supervisor, the company’s CFO, was consistent in his approach that, no matter how much more difficult it made the task at hand, “at the end of the day, you always do the right thing.”
When the company moved the Treasurer position to Hartford, Mike began searching for a position that offered the independence he craved and the opportunity to draw on his financial background while following in his parents’ footsteps by helping others. The perfect fit came when he opened the Upstate NY branch of Madison Planning Group in 2007. “When I first talked to a friend about moving into financial services, he told me I was starting late in life,” says Mike. “What he didn’t understand is that I’m not in this business to impress anyone. I’m still the same conservative CPA with a simple lifestyle and one goal: to do what’s right for my clients.”
A consummate professional, Mike places the greatest value on being known for trustworthiness and integrity. “My parents raised me with those values, and I feel I owe it to them—and to myself—to live up to that.” Considering that nearly every new client is the result of a valued referral, clearly Mike is achieving his goal.
Proud natives of Syracuse and rooted in the community, Mike is a graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, and his wife Sally and their daughter Megan both graduated from West Genesee High School. Always committed to serving others, Mike serves on the Board of Directors and Finance Committees for several area non-profit organizations.