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Hazelbaker awarded OSCPA's highest honor: 2009 Gold Medal for Meritorious Service to the Accounting Profession.

Thomas D. Hazelbaker, CPA is the 2009 winner of the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service to the Accounting Profession. Hazelbaker received OSCPA's highest honor at the Members Summit and Annual Meeting on June 30. The Gold Medal recognizes Hazelbaker's significant, positive influence on the growth and development of the CPA profession and the Ohio Society of CPAs.

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Hazelbaker, a shareholder with Clark Schaefer Hackett & Co. in Middletown, received the call that he had been selected as the 2009 award winner from OSCPA's immediate past chair and fellow shareholder, Jim Haubrock, CPA.

"I took the call on a Friday evening in downtown Cincinnati while walking to an OSCPA/PAC event with state senators at Great American Ball Park," he said. "I was very surprised and humbled, l realized that a lot of previous winners are people I look up to and respect a great deal. It's a wonderful thing to be included among such notable achievers."

An Ohio Society member since 1981, Hazelbaker has served the profession for many years. Most recently he was active in the Centennial Campaign to benefit The Ohio CPA Foundation. Under his leadership, Clark Schaefer Hackett & Co. was the first firm to make a leadership gift to the successful $1.5 million fundraising campaign.

"Tom put the campaign's mission ahead of apparent roadblocks and obstacles," said Jerry Esselstein, CPA, chair of the Centennial Campaign. "He took a 'leap of faith' in making Clark Schaefer Hackett the first leadership firm--a commitment that was instrumental in driving the campaign."

Hazelbaker also served on the campaign's Regional and Local Firms Committee. His other volunteer work for OSCPA includes serving on OSCPA's Executive Board, the Council of Leaders, Strategic Planning Committee, Nominating Committee and numerous other committees and task forces over the years. A strong champion of the Ohio CPA/PAC, he encourages his fellow shareholders to support the purpose of the PAC as a lobbying tool.

With nearly 30 years of experience with Clark Schaefer Hackett & Co, Hazelbaker has led in many roles, including treasurer, president, executive vice president and shareholder-in-charge of both the Middletown and Dayton offices. He has also served on several firm committees, including Accounting and Auditing, Tax, Marketing, Strategic Planning, Recruiting, Orientation and Retention. He currently serves as chair of the firm and on various management committees.

Hazelbaker has also invested in the lives and careers of many other CPAs.

"He was the driving force behind me," said Haubrock. "I never missed one of my daughter's basketball games, home or away, because Tom knew I would come back and still be able to do what needed to be done from a professional standpoint. He gives you that extra leeway as a professional to really and truly be a professional."

Hazelbaker's current and past professional affiliations include the accounting advisory boards of Miami University and Ohio University, in addition to serving in the AICPA's Keyperson program and Political Leadership Cabinet.

Hazelbaker's community service includes past president of the Middletown Rotary Foundation, Rotary International's District Scholarship Committee, Board of Directors for the Middletown Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Business Technical Advisory Board for Miami University in Middletown, and the Anthony Munoz Foundation Advisory Board.

"Luke 12:48 says that 'To whom much is given, much is expected.' In this profession we have the privilege of working primarily, if not exclusively, with well-educated and financially successful clients," Hazelbaker said.

"Our interactions are with a very small slice of the overall population. Having been raised in an economically deprived, but community-oriented

area; I learned the importance of helping people in need," he said. "My mother was a school teacher in a very small four-room school. She never had a student she considered unteachable. The desire to help others become their best drives me to volunteer for organizations that help those less fortunate."
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Title Annotation:Membership
Publication:Catalyst (Dublin, Ohio)
Date:Jul 1, 2009
Words:637
Previous Article:Corrections and clarifications.
Next Article:More than 1.5 million reasons to salute the 2009 Outstanding Member Volunteer: Jerry L. Esselstein, CPA: Jerry L. Esselstein, CPA, owner of Jerry...
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