As I take on this new role, I would like to especially thank our outgoing president, Valerie Adams, for her contributions and achievements, as well as the board of directors and countless volunteers for their commitment to our chapter and profession.
With the new year comes new opportunities, possibilities and new goals. It is my hope this year that we can fulfill our chapter purpose, as stated by CalCPA, to connect, develop and engage talented individuals at all career stages, empowering growth, leadership and success. No doubt there will be challenges, but I believe we can have a meaningful impact and leave our chapter just a little better than when we started.
So, where do we begin? There are a few areas I believe we need to focus on.
First, I believe focusing on firm engagement is very much needed. For several years now we have all felt the devastating impact of the decline in accounting students that has fueled the decline in the number of accounting staff/professionals, and ultimately an overall decline in new members. Not to mention the increased workloads that has resulted in decreased participation in chapter events. I really do feel that as a chapter, we have an obligation to reconnect the firms, spur some excitement about being a CPA and encourage our newest and younger professionals to get more involved with CalCPA. There has been a lot of attention on new membership, but we don’t want to forget our steward responsibility and the importance of retaining our current members.
Next, like many of you, I believe focusing on Young and Emerging Professionals (YEP) is of great importance. The first few years in public accounting can be a little stressful and scary to say the least, but these are our future leaders, and we have the amazing opportunity to help guide, support and develop them. I believe our YEPs will play a key role in attracting the new generation to the accounting profession. Several board members have already expressed an interest in sitting on the YEP Committee and I am very excited for the networking opportunities that will help empower growth, leadership and success.
Last, but certainly not least, I know we are all committed to leaving a positive impact on our community. We may be a smaller chapter, but we certainly do not lack community pride. Whether it be serving a meal at The Mission or collecting toys for Toys for Tots, our chapter has always come through. I encourage you to find new ways in which we can contribute that will allow for participation from not only our board, but from our local firms and even accounting students. The more we can engage and connect, the better! I know CalCPA is busy growing Community College to CPA Program, and this would be a great opportunity for us to get out there and give back with participation.
It is a very exciting time to be in a leadership role and we have an amazing team serving our chapter. I am excited about new opportunities and continued service to our community, members and firms. I look forward to leading our team to achieve our goals and effect positive change with lasting impact.