I have not posted anything since November! Wow, where has the time gone? I will try to stay up to date better for the rest of my term. I did pretty good for the first 5 months and then things got to going a pretty fast pace and I just dropped the ball.
Right after the last post, I had the pleasure of speaking to the students at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. I love these student events – it’s fun to meet the upcoming leaders in our profession and to encourage them continue on to become CPAs. Jeff Gregg, of course, took us to a great barbeque joint in Wichita Falls before the meeting. You can always count on Jeff to know where the good food is!
We drove back to Dallas that night and spent the night, then flew out the next morning to San Francisco for Executive Board meetings. We had a full business agenda, including bringing the rest of the EB up to date on AICPA Council. Did you know you can get an e-mail address now through AICPA that ends in CPA.com? That’s pretty cool. And of course we discussed the new Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation that will launch on January 31. And no executive board meeting is complete without a discussion of private company financial reporting. We updated everyone on the Rising Stars Program – we had over 70 folks nominated and over 60 of them submitted the paperwork to be considered. The top 12 winners – this year’s Rising Stars will be announced shortly. I say the top 12 winners because, believe me, they were all winners and it was a difficult decision for the task force that made the selections. We reviewed the membership survey and the financials and voted to recommend to the Board of Directors a $25 dues increase (the first one in eight years).
We were only home a few days and then headed south to the Rio Grande Valley. I was the luncheon speaker at their annual meeting of members and their big CPE day event. It’s a great event with good CPE and great participation. And a trip to the beach is always a good thing for an old Corpus Christi person like me.
At the end of November I flew out to Texarkana to present a Professional Issues Update at their chapter meeting. I had the chance to catch up with some old friends there and meet some new people. It was a lunch event and well attended. These chapter visits are one of my favorite things – the chapters are our life blood and it’s great to see them in action.
On December 3, I spoke at the Swearing In Ceremony for new CPAs. I love this event too – almost all of the new CPAs have family and friends there to cheer them on and they are all so proud and excited –as they should be. I had the opportunity to shake each of their hands as they came off the stage, hand them a packet offering them a one year free membership and the chance to speak to the crowd and tell them why I believe they should join us at TSCPA. That’s an easy speech!
I dashed down to Houston a few days later for their open house at their new location. It’s a wonderful facility and they had great attendance at the event. I really liked that they recognized new members and also had tables set up around the room for their committees where people could find out what the committee did and volunteer on the spot to get involved. What a great idea and they got a good response.
I missed Fred Timmons’ executive board orientation in December as my daughter, Kirsten, flew in from Portland, OR the night before. I would have liked to be there to support Fred, but I am pretty oriented to the executive board by now (this being the 7th one I’ve served on over a span of about 25 years).
Things were quiet on the TSCPA front for the next few weeks so I was able to do year- end tax planning with my clients, have my mom up for 9 days (from Corpus Christi) and spend time with Kirsten as she came and went. Steve & I managed to make it to Dallas to see Lake Travis High School win its fifth straight state championship in football and I had 4 generations of my family, including both of my daughters, home for our annual cookie baking day. The holidays were good.
I kicked off January by speaking, along with our Executive Director John Sharbaugh, at the Austin Chapter Leadership Academy on January 13. This was their final classroom event and they’ve certainly got some good people on the leadership track. Austin CPA Chapter partnered with Leadership Austin and the program appears to have been a big success. I left that meeting and dropped by a meeting of our Accountants Confidential Assistance Network (ACAN). This is a very special group of dedicated volunteers who work in conjunction with the State Board to assist CPAs with drug and alcohol problems. I was so taken by their commitment to this program and I applaud the work that they do.
We were in College Station (whoop!) for Executive Board and Mid- Year Board of Directors meetings in mid-January. Between the two meetings, I had the chance to speak to over 200 accounting majors at TAMU about the future of the profession and their job opportunities. I also managed to put in a few plugs for student membership in TSCPA. At the Board of Directors meeting, we had updates from the State Board by Dr. James Flagg from Texas A&M University, from FAF by Mack Lawhon and on the economy by Dr. Barton Smith. We of course had the vote on the dues increase and I’m pleased that it passed. No one likes having to ask for a dues increase, but after 8 years, the time had come. Things got lively when we discussed an idea to consider a policy going forward of increasing dues in small increments annually, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, as is required by the by-laws. This one got tabled by a narrow vote and we moved on to other topics. The Brazos Valley Chapter arranged for the Aggie Wranglers to perform for us on Friday night and what a performance it was! They are a western dance group, but there was a lot of gymnastics going on with it. Even the t-sips thought they were good!
I managed to spend one night at home before heading off to speak to the San Antonio Chapter. I got to visit with my nephew Sean Tullos (who is a candidate member) and his family, as well as see a lot of old friends. I presented a Professional Issues Update to a sell- out crowd that included a lot of familiar faces.
I drove back to Austin after the luncheon and flew to Dallas so John Sharbaugh, Bill Schneider and I could do the Professional Issues Webcast the next day. Bill is a former president of the Georgia Society of CPAs and we are lucky to have him involved in TSCPA now. The next day I spoke to the Fort Worth Chapter (another Professional Issues Update) and was especially glad that my old buddy from my CPE Council days, Mike Griffin, made it to the meeting so we could catch up a little. I think I could almost do the Professional Issues update in my sleep at this point. Hopefully, I don’t put the rest of you to sleep when I’m presenting it.
Whew! Now you know why I have not been blogging. All I can say is I’m having a great time and I’m even more convinced of the value we bring to our members by providing them with the tools they need to succeed in their business lives and by advocating on their behalf in so many different arenas. I’ve got a few more chapter events coming up, but before you know it I’ll be a lame duck.