If you haven’t been living under a rock recently you could not help but know that this is a renewal year for your license and firm permit, and that the Society is 100 years old this year. For staff it has been great learning about the Society’s history, seeing past leaders involved in the festivities, and recognizing members for their contributions, all while knowing members think what we do is of value and thinking about what it has taken to build the Society to the organization it is today.
I am not usually a nostalgia junkie or one to pay a lot of attention to awards and similar recognition, but I have to admit this has been an interesting and fun year and I have found myself caught up in thinking about our history and the men and women who built the Society. I am confident I can speak for all of our staff when I say, “I am proud to work for the profession, the Society and our great members.”
So, what’s my point? Well, let me share these thoughts. Part of the centennial celebration included having the House and Senate issue a resolution recognizing our 100 years of success. This turned out to be one of those proud moments that took me by surprise a little.
After a lot of coordination, applications and conversations, we headed to the State House on March 9 with a small contingency of members: Chair Kent Williams, CPA, CGMA, Vice-Chair Steve Beardsley, CPA, CVA and former State Representative Larry Buell, CPA.
As we were all standing in the hallowed halls of our beautiful State House built of the limestone that is the bedrock of Indiana, overlooking the Rotunda with its stained glass dome, Larry reminisced about his days in the State House and his years as a member of the Society (fun fact – Larry was the only CPA in the legislature and has been a member since 1960!). Following the fanfare of the resolution presentation in the House and Senate Chambers, we did a video with Kent in which he talked about the privilege of representing members 100 years to the day that the legislation passed, in the very building we were standing in, to create the CPA profession in Indiana (that was a very proud moment).
So I returned to the norm of the office pausing briefly a few times to tell the story to staff asking, “How did it go?” and I thought about the importance of representing the profession (that was a proud moment).
Now fast forward to the Friday in May when we really celebrated our anniversary with the glitz and glamour of CPA Celebration. In the company of nearly 800 people, each somehow related to the CPA profession in Indiana, our staff and members experienced an evening of proud moments; and yes, yours truly had many of those. I was tasked with boxing up members’ awards after they came off the stage and had their photo taken for prosperity (no doubt you will see those at our next anniversary celebration.) It was a privilege to share that moment with members whom I respect deeply and have shared so much in my eight years with the Society.
The following morning I flew to Washington, D.C., as part of our delegation of staff and members attending AICPA’s spring Council and making Hill visits to Indiana’s Congressional representatives. I was excited. While it was not my first time to go to D.C., it was my first time to visit with Indiana’s Congressional representatives (a personal proud moment).
For most of our group, this was old hat. They have done this enough times to know where the tunnel is, how to get from one building to the next in time for you appointment, and where the cafeteria was located. For a couple of us, it was the first time we found ourselves armed with talking points and mounting the steps to architectural tributes to our nation’s history like Cannon House and Russell, themselves built with Salem limestone, Indiana’s official state stone.
Nervously entering tiny cramped offices behind ornately carved doors, I was fascinated by the age and beauty, but also had to reflect on the significance of our being at this place to talk about our profession with people who could affect change; this place, where our country has been built and shaped by countless others before us. We were on hallowed ground. And yes, it was another proud moment.
Well, our visits went well, we shared our experiences, and talked about meeting our legislators … or in some cases, meeting with (how can they be that young?) staff. We also debated continuing to try to hail a cab or texting Uber, and safely returned to Indiana, knowing the backlog of work we would need to face in the morning at our respective offices.
So what is my point? It is this: we are each fortunate to work alongside professionals who contribute and make a difference as CPAs. The ordinary and exceptional alike who proudly represent the Society and profession in everything they do. And while the limestone, formed over millions of years from decomposing fossils in Indiana’s heartland will likely still be protecting the hallowed halls of our nation, none of us will be here when the Society celebrates its bicentennial. So, we need to do what we can to make a difference now. So think about your profession, your service, and share one of your professional proud moments with your fellow CPAs in the comments below.