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Meet a Member

 

 Meet Rodney Horrell,

BVCPA Vice President/President-Elect

At work:  I am a first-generation college graduate, having graduated in 1998 with a BBA in accounting from Southeast Missouri State University.  Since then, I have worked for Deloitte and Touche, AT&T, the Texas A&M University System Offices, and now Texas A&M University.  Professionally, my time has been spent in business process consulting, internal auditing, and now financial statement preparation and external reporting.  While I had the pleasure of working (and living) in both St. Louis and Dallas prior to coming home to Bryan-College Station, I can say in no uncertain terms that of those three locales, the first two have nothing on BCS.  I am glad to call the Brazos Valley my home.  I’ve found the neighborly feel of our community more alluring than the benefits of the big city.  I’m probably also slightly biased due to my upbringing on a Missouri farm.  I passed the CPA exam in 1999 in Missouri, and received reciprocity in Texas in 2003.  After several years of AICPA membership, I switched to TSCPA membership and became a member of our local chapter in 2007.  I became an active member, serving on the board of the Brazos Valley Chapter shortly thereafter when Joe Dunn and Sandy Brown talked me into becoming public relations chair. 

It was only after having attended the TSCPA’s Mid-Year Board meeting in The Woodlands this past January that my eyes were significantly opened to the importance of the work done not only at the local chapter level, but the state level as well.  The local chapter and state society safeguard the CPA license which serves as one of the foundations of our career and we all too often take for granted.  Our chapter and society provide a great service to CPA’s, both those who realize it and those who do not.  And for that, I am most grateful.  I would strongly recommend all CPA’s consider attending a TSCPA Mid-Year Board meeting or Annual meeting to get a better insight into what the TSCPA does for its members.  That will be much less difficult to do January 2011, when the state’s Mid-Year Board meeting will be held here in College Station! 

Outside of work:  In addition to working at a great university and having a good job surrounded by wonderful individuals in the workplace, I am active in several ministries at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church here in College Station.  I also greatly enjoy my family, which helps me stay grounded in what is truly important in life.  I have a wonderful wife, Signe, and three wonderful sons Ethan (5), Owen (3), and Asher (not quite 6 months old).  My boys and I enjoy gardening, reading, and fishing.  Except for the youngest….he enjoys making dirty diapers and sleeping.  Recently he’s also been perfecting the art of smiling, squealing, and talking as only a baby can.  Perhaps the most enjoyable thing my three boys and I do together is simply spending time with one another.  My wife and I also enjoy time spent together, dinner dates, and bed and breakfasts.  There are a few things we enjoy which we haven’t done as much of in the last 5 years, such as reading and traveling together.  We know what we’re currently doing is much more special, and a day will come when we will read, travel, and miss our boys.

Life philosophy:  I think my life philosophy is one of trying to never forget that what we’ve been given is a gift.  Admittedly, I often lapse and lose sight of this reality as I’m sure we all do.  When you think of it, it really is quite phenomenal.  Through no doing of our own, we’ve been given the gift of life.  Also through no doing of our own, we’ve been given a gift of living in the most wonderful country in the world, where we can do anything we want.  In my case, I’ve somehow “married up,” which is another wonderful gift as many of you guys out there know.  I’ve also been entrusted for a time with the most special gift of three absolutely precious children and the honor and responsibility of nurturing and strengthening them.  I think when we focus on the many blessings we’ve received as gifts, rather than viewing them as things we’ve somehow earned solely through our own merit, it changes our entire outlook and our life.  Walking out of a crowded room, in front of the entire world…laughing at you, with a baby who has just soiled your white shirt, becomes one of those moments you’ll laugh about for years and never forget.  A hard day at work becomes a night laying bed just being grateful to have a good job as so many others struggle to find a trade.  An early alarm clock becomes the signal that you’ve been given one more day.

 

Kay Dobbins

TSCPA Board Member – TSCPA Board of Directors Chapter Representative

Thompson, Derrig & Craig, PC

At work:  I was one of those fortunate women who got to stay home with my children when they were preschoolers, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom.  But as soon as my youngest child started kindergarten, I enrolled at Texas A&M and finished the accounting degree that I had started back in 1971.  I graduated in 1995 with a BBA in accounting and have worked in public accounting in small firms in Bryan since that time.  Passing the CPA on my first attempt in 1995, I was licensed in 1997.  I immediately became a member of the TSCPA and local chapter, and became active on the board of the Brazos Valley Chapter about 8 years ago, when Toni McBee asked me to consider becoming chapter treasurer.  However, it wasn’t until I became active on the board that I realized the importance of the role of the TSCPA in safeguarding the professional designation we hold.  I was treasurer for three years, then moved to president-elect, serving two years in that role since Sandy Brown served a two-year term as president.  Then I had my term as president for the 2008-2009 year.  I’ve also served as one of the chapter’s representatives on the TSCPA board of directors and have attended several meetings in that capacity. 

Outside of work:  In addition to having work that I find fulfilling, I enjoy good music, so I have been active in supporting the arts by serving on the boards of the Brazos Valley Chorale and the Brazos Valley Symphony Society as treasurer.  I am a member of the Bryan Evening Lions Club, serving as secretary of that organization.  Serving on the finance committee and singing in the choir at First Baptist Church, Bryan, and teaching 1st graders in Sunday school keeps me busy on weekends.  In my spare time (ha!), I find reading mystery novels (favorite authors include Nora Roberts, Dean Koontz and Mary Higgins Clark), playing the piano, or swimming relaxing.  My husband and I enjoy traveling around the country, and look forward to doing more of this in the coming years with retirement (or at least cutting back to part-time schedules) looming on the horizon.   

Life philosophy:  At a recent TSCPA Leadership Day event in Dallas, the participants were asked to assign a percentage to the impact others have on our success.  For instance, one participant said 50%--and he used marriage as an example, with it being a 50/50 deal.  I, on the other hand, said that my success is impacted only 1% by others or by those random things that just sometimes happen in life (like a flat tire that causes you to be late for work).  While I can’t control all that life throws at me, and I certainly can’t control others thoughts or deeds, I can control how I respond to those things and how they make me feel.  Life is all about choices, and while I’ve certainly made my share of bad ones, I’m committed to choosing to be content where I am and with what I have—and that’s how I define success.

 

 

Chapter Member is appointed to National CPA Financial Literacy Commission

Tracy Stewart to serve on AICPA Financial Literacy Commission.

The objectives of the Financial Literacy Commission include:

1.      Increase CPA’s awareness of America’s financial literacy crisis, motivate CPAs to volunteer in personal finance education programs, increase the public’s awareness of the need for personal finance education and of the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy effort

2.      Motivate CPAs to volunteer in personal finance education programs.

3.      Increase the public’s awareness of the need for personal finance education and of the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy effort.

4.      Identify, evaluate and recommend opportunities for state societies, CPA firms and individual CPAs to partner with organizations involved with financial literacy.

5.      Coordinate and liaise with AICPA leadership, committees, AICPA Foundation, State Society leadership and key accounting organizations.

6.      Represent the AICPA’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy efforts before the media, national organizations and government entities.

Chapter Member and former Chapter President and TSCPA Treasurer-Elect, Tracy Stewart, has been appointed to the AICPA Financial Literacy Commission. The commission's objectives include . . .

 

 

Tom Wallis, past President of the Brazos Valley Chapter, has been appointed as Chair of the TSCPA Professional Ethics Committee. Tom chairs a committee of nineteen members from throughout the state.

 

The TSCPA depends upon its Professional Ethics Committee to meet the objective of its participation in the American Institute of CPAs’ Joint Ethics Enforcement Program (JEEP). The common objective of both organizations is to promote and maintain high professional standards of practice by both TSCPA and AICPA members. The committee is comprised of TSCPA member volunteers and has equally important proactive and reactive responsibilities.

 

Proactive Responsibilities

The committee assists TSCPA members in evaluating their responsibilities to the public, their clients, their employers, and regulatory authorities and communicates such responsibilities to targeted audiences. The committee promotes understanding and voluntary compliance with Codes of Professional Conduct developed by standard setting bodies.

 

CPAs and all other persons are welcome to inquire and discuss matters of accountants’ rules of conduct. Either call an ethics committee member directly or contact the TSCPA staff liaison, Patty Wyatt (817-656-5100).

 

Such inquiries and discussions are informal and confidential. Inquiries also may be directed to the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy’s Enforcement Division. Committee members and the State Board will help CPAs and the public interpret the rules, but they cannot offer binding conclusions about a CPA’s violation of rules. Only after an investigation provides due process to the complainant and the CPA can a rule violation conclusion be reached.

 

Reactive Responsibilities

The committee reviews complaints concerning the ethical behavior of TSCPA members and acts upon such complaints in accordance with the JEEP procedures. Every allegation of a CPA’s misconduct is thoroughly investigated to determine whether disciplinary action is warranted. The committee encourages fairness, impartiality, but vigorous enforcement of the Codes of Professional Conduct in the interest of the public and the accounting profession. Violations of ethical standards subject the CPA to disciplinary sanctions in the form of educational, remedial, or punitive actions.

As a founding shareholder of Ingram, Wallis and Company, his extensive experience including governmental units, privately held enterprises, estates, gifts and trusts, Tom is an obvious choice to chair this important committee.

 

Prior to founding Ingram, Wallis, and Company, P.C., Tom was employed by Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG) and Durst, Wood & Ingram through 1979.

Tom received Bachelor’s of Business Administration and Masters of Business Administration degrees from Texas A&M University. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, The Texas Society of CPA’s, and the Brazos Valley Chapter of CPAs. Tom’s community and professional service includes current or past service as president of the Brazos Valley Chapter of CPAs, president Brazos County Industrial Foundation, Inc., president St. Joseph Foundation and membership on various boards and committees.

 

Lyn Kuciemba, Chapter President, reports on TSCPA Annual Meeting

Greetings Brazos Valley Members!

The TSCPA annual meeting was held July 2-3, 2010 in San Diego, CA.  The Brazos Valley was represented by TSCPA Executive Board member Sandy Brown, TSCPA Director at-large Toni McBee, TSCPA Treasurer-elect Tracy Stewart, Executive Director Linda Johnson, Chapter President Lyn Kuciemba, Chapter Vice-President Rodney Horrell, and chapter member Jared Patout.

Several times during the two-day meeting members were encouraged to write to our congressman to ask them to work on our behalf with the IRS to keep non-signing preparers from having to register for PTINs.  I hope everyone used the form letter and congressional contact information the Chapter emailed to make their voice heard on this important issue. 

On Friday, TSCPA Past Chairman, Kym Anderson, gave her Year in Review Report.  Highlights from Kym’s report included the Ask a Member program.  Members can call or email when they have a question outside of their expertise and receive timely informal assistance from volunteers.  The TSCPA formed the Federal Tax Policy Committee.  The committee responds to actual and proposed tax legislation, regulations and administrative hearings that affect members.  TSCPA membership increased by 731 members and we now number over 29,000.  To learn more about Kym’s year in review please see the May/June 2010 issue of Today’s CPA.

In a Profession update, TSCPA CEO John Sharbaugh, related that the accounting profession is at the top of several recent surveys on the most trusted profession.  Top issues for public accounting firms are client retention followed by staff retention.  In industry, companies are valuing their CFOs more than in the past.

The Friday meeting concluded with the PAC awards.  The Brazos Valley Chapter was awarded the Highest Percent Increase in Members Contributing for a small chapter.  Congratulations to PAC Chair Jim Ingram IV and Immediate Past President Joe Dunn for encouraging our members to contribute and thank you to our members who have recognized the value the PAC plays in protecting our licenses.

On Saturday, those present joined discussion groups.  We discussed the current dues structure, the frequency of Board of Directors meetings, CPE programming and how TSCPA can better serve its members in business & industry.  Don’t worry, TSCPA dues will not increase any time soon.  Input from these various discussion groups will help guide TSCPA in the future.

Jeff Gregg, TSCPA Chairman, presented his 2010-2011 “Year Ahead” report.  Jeff’s theme is HOME or Helping Our Members Everyday.  Jeff revealed some of the things we can look forward to, including more free CPE webcasts, more resource links for B&I members, and more social networking opportunities.  A survey was conducted of members’ information technology needs, and a task force has been created to determine if there’s a need for a TSCPA committee to address memberships IT needs.

In a Legislative Report, Bob Owen highlighted his expectations of the coming Texas Legislative Session.  The top issue will be redistricting, followed by a projected $18-$20 billion budget shortfall.  In light of the projected budget shortfall, changes to the Franchise Tax are not expected, so that revenue will not be affected.

To learn more about the 2010-2011 Board of Directors meeting, follow the link http://tscpa.org/Content/51093.aspx and log-in with your TSCPA user ID and password, or contact one of the Chapter representatives listed earlier.