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State Board Report

November 2016

NASBA Past Chair Carlos E. Johnson and Vice President Emerita Lorraine P. Sachs presented NASBA’s three 2016 awards at the Annual Business Meeting on November 1.

The William H. Van Rensselaer Public Service Award was presented to Billy M. Atkinson, CPA (TX). Mr. Atkinson’s many accomplishments include: NASBA Chair 2009-10; First Private Company Council Chair; Member of the Blue Ribbon Panel seeking a methodology for standard-setting for private companies; and 39 years in public practice with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC. “Just to herd that group of cats [the PCC] required a great deal of talent – which Billy possessed,” Mr. Johnson said. Receiving the award, Mr. Atkinson thanked those who invested their time in NASBA to help it “grow and mature into the type of organization we need.” He called those who worked with him during the PCC’s first three years “unsung heroes” for the work that went into that project. Mr. Atkinson said he offered the State Boards his respect and support as he is committed to their mission.

The NASBA Distinguished Service Award was presented by Dr. Johnson to Robert B. Cagnasolla, CPA (NJ). Having served on the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy for 25 years, he has been an active NASBA participant for 27 years, continuing his participation after his Board service. He has been a valued member of many committees, including the Administration and Finance Committee, and currently serves on the New Jersey Board’s Peer Review Oversight Committee. “When you sit at the State Board table, you leave your CPA license at the door,” Mr. Cagnasolla said in accepting the award. He credited the NASBA Board for selecting David Costello and then Ken Bishop to lead the organization to the point it now has net assets of over $45 million.

Ms. Sachs presented the Standard of Excellence Award to Jim Abbott (ND), who has been both executive director of the North Dakota State Board of Public Accountancy and the North Dakota CPA Society for more than 25 years. Having served on many NASBA Committees, he has been a key participant in the Communications Committee. Ms. Sachs characterized him as “a quiet, thoughtful leader, who encourages teamwork and excellence in all things.” Mr. Abbott saluted the North Dakota Board for “empowering a small staff to do their work.” He noted that involvement in NASBA allows participants to bring back information to help their State Boards.

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