January 29-30, 2019
(AUSTIN) - TXCPA’s Advocacy Day and Midyear Board of Directors and Members Meeting was held January 29 and 30 at the Sheraton Austin Hotel. Nearly 250 members participated in the meeting activities and visits to the Capitol.
The Advocacy Day program kicked off Tuesday morning with a special announcement from TXCPA Chairman Stephen G. Parker, CPA-Houston, who unveiled the re-energized brand and visual identity for TXCPA, our local chapters and our related entities.
The first speaker for Advocacy Day was Joe Gagen. He gave members tips for making the most of their visits to the Capitol later that day. Telling stories and building trust and relationships were some of the core messages in Gagen’s engaging and informative session.
Harvey Kronberg with The Quorum Report shared an analysis of the recent election results and some predictions for this legislative session. And Senator Charles Perry, CPA-South Plains, followed Kronberg with his thoughts on the significance of CPA involvement in advocacy. Perry was recognized by TXCPA with an Outstanding Legislator Award for his support of the profession.
Attendees then received details about TXCPA’s legislative agenda and materials to support them on their visits with legislators. CPAs headed to the Capitol for afternoon visits with legislators before going to the Legislative Reception at the Austin Club that evening.
Wednesday morning’s agenda began with a presentation from Mark Peterson, executive vice president of advocacy for AICPA. Peterson gave an update from Washington on issues affecting CPAs and the accounting profession. Following the Washington update, TXCPA Treasurer Ben Simiskey, CPA-Houston, Treasurer-elect Billy Kelley, CPA-Permian Basin, CGMA, and TXCPA CFO Steve Phillips, CPA-Dallas, CGMA, shared a financial update for both the Society and the CPE Foundation. The report included details on how the Society and chapters are working together to streamline the membership dues structure and hold CPA dues at their current rate for the 2019-2020 year.
Later that morning, members heard an update from Chairman Parker on the 2018-2019 focus areas for TXCPA: successfully navigating Sunset Review, engaging and growing our community, fueling our chapters, re-energizing our brand, and advancing the future of learning. Parker also took time to recognize two longtime chapter executive directors who will be retiring, Kathy Kelly from TXCPA Fort Worth and Ann Tague from TXCPA East Texas.
A report from the Nominations Committee introduced the incoming leadership for 2019-2020. The program wrapped up with reports from the CPA-PAC and the Accounting Education Foundation (AEF). The Austin, Central Texas, East Texas and Southeast Texas Chapters were all recognized for their PAC fundraising accomplishments. Steve Goodman, CPA-Houston, was honored with a Kenneth W. Hurst Fellow Award from the AEF.
Members submitted questions and feedback throughout the program and Parker ended the meeting by addressing those items and encouraging additional feedback in an open forum.
For another take on the meetings, see what members had to say on our social media wall or search hashtags #ADayTXCPA, #TXCPA and #WeAreTXCPA on your social media channels. You can also see photos from the Capitol visits and reception with legislators on TXCPA’s Facebook page.