In addition to being a regular attendee at the AICPA Practitioners Symposium and Tech+ Conference, he is active in the local technology and business community and attends several entrepreneurial events. Last year, Dustin attended the Las Vegas Startup Weekend, which the firm sponsored. The event invites entrepreneurs to pitch start-up ideas and receive feedback from peers.
After selecting the top ideas, groups work to create a business model and develop the coding and design for the technology, then test market validation. As a finale, the groups offer presentations to local entrepreneurial leaders and venture capitalists for critical feedback and potential investing. One recent success story from the event is an app that went on to receive a half million dollars in funding. Other entrepreneurial events he participates in include WordCamp and Vegas Jelly.
Originally from Caldwell, Idaho, Dustin had discovered his interest in accounting while in high school, where he would go on to compete in accounting competitions with the Business Professionals of America club and ranking fourth in Idaho and in the top 20 in the nation.
“Dissecting frogs grossed me out from becoming a doctor, but accounting seemed to come easy to me,” he said. It also helped that his grandfather was an accountant, and he worked in his parents’ music store doing clerical and bookkeeping duties.
Dustin moved to Las Vegas in 2003, after earning a degree in accounting from Brigham Young University – Idaho. The business market in Las Vegas was booming at the time, and his sister, w ho already lived in the area with her family, helped persuade him to move south. He initially worked for a large local firm, then joined Wallace Neumann & Verville. He recently finished his Masters of Accounting from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and received his CPA credential in 2011.
Although it might seem Dustin has his hands full with technology, much of it is cloud-based, which allows him to spend quality time with his family. With his wife Monica, formerly a structural engineer, the Wheeler’s have two children, five year-old Bryan and 16 month-old Luke. Bryan is just getting active in soccer and baseball, while Luke is busy being a handful around the house.
The family is active in their church and, when the Las Vegas sun heats up and time allows, they like to escape to nearby Mt. Charleston. The nearly 12,000 foot peak, with lodges and camping areas around it, overlooks the city and offers a nearly 30-degree difference from the summer heat. They also take occasional weekend trips to landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon National Park. Having lived south of the border for awhile following high school, he also hopes to take the family to the Chichen Itza ruins in Mexico.