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State Board Report

July 2014

Does your Board or Society have a diversity and inclusion initiative? Does it have a program to identify minority rising leaders and to mentor them? These were the questions posed by NASBA Diversity Group Chair Tyrone Dickerson (VA) and Group Member Leonard Sanchez (NM) at the Regional Meetings. They reported the group is implementing two of the recommendations developed by last year’s committee:

  1. Develop engagement programs that bring NASBA’s staff, Executive Committee, current Board of Directors’ members and the Nominating Committee’s members together with volunteers; providing opportunities to become familiar with potential volunteer leaders.
  2. Help expand the diversity of NASBA’s volunteer base by developing and distributing resources that encourage Boards of Accountancy to emphasize the importance of diversity to those who nominate, recruit and/or appoint the members of the Board.

 

From L: Tyrone Dickerson, Leonard Sanchez

Many of those present at the breakout sessions agreed withNASBA Chief Relationship Officer Alfonzo Alexander when he observed: “A big void of minority talent in the accounting profession is because of lack of exposure. That limits people from even considering the profession.” Regina D. Hunter (MA) remarked: “I did not know what a CPA was until I had an accounting teacher in high school who was an African American.” She told the breakout session: “It is up to each of us in this room to engage students in conversation. We have to encourage dialog with the younger generation. ” Reflecting on her own efforts, Ms. Hunter said, “For a long time I was involved with child care, my job, husband, etc., and did not have time to give back: Now I do.”

Mr. Dickerson recalled: “I was told if I became a CPA, I would never have to worry about a job: The industry is recession proof. The first day at college I changed my major from physical education to accounting.”

As the Governor appoints the members of the State Board in most states, to achieve diversity on the Boards means groups have to become politically active to attract the Governor’s attention, NASBA Vice Chair Walter Davenport (NC) pointed out. It will be difficult to move diversity along if the Governor does not have a pool of people from which to select, he noted.

Mr. Dickerson said he is coordinating NASBA’s diversity activities with the AICPA’s.

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