One hundred and eighteen years ago, the New York State Society of CPAs held its first annual meeting. Back then, this was a relatively small affair—understandably so, since the profession had been created by legislation in New York only two years prior, in 1896, and the NYSSCPA founded by six of the first licensees. By the end of the 1920s, however, our membership totaled nearly 2,000 CPAs and our annual meeting was a formal affair where the men came tuxedoed and the women came gowned to a grand ballroom at posh addresses such as the Waldorf Astoria or the Ritz-Carlton. It was the event of the year for the NYSSCPA; to miss it would be unthinkable.
Today, the Society boasts tens of thousands of members, but for the past few years, it has been a challenge to fill the room at what used to be a can’t-miss occasion. So we made some changes—we changed venues, we added live music, we switched up the program a bit—and members noticed.
This year, on May 19, the NYSSCPA’s annual gala will be held from 5–9 p.m. at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, where guests in black tie (which will be optional) and evening gowns will sip cocktails on the Hudson River, enjoy cuisine prepared by celebrity chef Abigail Kirsch, and be entertained by a Grammy-award winning artist. This gala affair will maintain the tradition of annual dinners past, when we vote in our new slate of officers and board members, as well as honor the presidential year of Joseph M. Falbo Jr. and celebrate incoming president F. Michael Zovistoski. But this year, all funds raised through ticket sales and sponsorships will be earmarked for the Moynihan Fund, which supports the charitable activities of the Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) and scholarship programs. To that end, we will also be honoring Frank M. Ross with the newly established NYSSCPA Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifelong dedication to creating a more diverse accounting profession. Frank was a cofounder of the National Association of Black Accountants and is the director of Howard University’s School of Business Center for Accounting Education, as well as a lifetime member of the NYSSCPA. Honoring Frank for his life’s work is a privilege for the NYSSCPA.
Last year, you helped us raise more than $200,000 for the Moynihan Fund; this year, our goal is $500,000. We have made individual tickets available for sale at the very low cost of $175 per person up until May 14 (tickets will cost $225 after that date); however, only 150 individual tickets are available. The remaining 250 seats are reserved for corporate and individual sponsorships of $10,000 or more. If you are interested in learning more about a sponsorship opportunity, please reach out to Alonza Robertson ([email protected]) for more information.
We are very excited to celebrate the profession and the NYSSCPA on May 19, and I hope you can join us. To miss it would be unthinkable.