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New addition to CalCPA family.

CalCPA enters a new era of expanded services to our members and the public with the formation of the CalCPA Institute. The Institute is a supporting 501(c)(3) organization and its initial activities will be to support our financial literacy initiative, which was launched last year by CalCPA Chair Steve Wimmers to address shocking levels of financial illiteracy among Californians.

Chaired by Michael Eisenberg, CalCPA's Financial Literacy Committee provides Dollars and Sense workshops for the public in concert with elected officials at the state and municipal levels; partners with Junior Achievement in elementary schools; collaborates with the Jump$tart Coalition; and generally takes the message of personal financial empowerment to as many Californians as we can reach.

While still developing, the program has been incredibly active and has received national recognition. The California Legislature even declared April 2004 Financial Literacy Month, specifically recognizing CalCPA's contributions. For more information on the initiative, visit www.calcpa.org/FLC.

A STRUCTURE FOR THE FUTURE

CalCPA Institute will allow CalCPA to seek and receive financial support for our financial literacy initiative--and future initiatives. Already, the California CPA Education Foundation has committed to a $25,000 contribution. While CalCPA members support the financial literacy program through volunteer hours and dues, CalCPA Institute opens new opportunities for funding from individuals and institutions who share our dedication to improving the financial literacy of Californians.

For instance, other foundations dedicated to improving financial literacy may want to leverage their funding with the volunteer energies of CPAs, understanding that CPAs are in a unique position to provide leadership in this area. CalCPA's retired and life members may want to make tax-deductible contributions to CalCPA's financial literacy program--or scholarships--and we now have one vehicle to accept those contributions.

THE BIG PICTURE

As trusted advisers, you know that we could have accomplished this program without forming a new corporation. But the CalCPA Board and Council formed CalCPA Institute out of a broader vision of how CalCPA can support its vision and strategic focus of strengthening the profession, contributing to members' success and ensuring CalCPA's success.

CalCPA Institute strengthens the profession by demonstrating to the public the profession's core value of public protection. The Institute contributes to members' success by providing opportunities for individual public service that will allow them to improve their presentation skills and demonstrate to their communities that they are trusted professionals. Finally, CalCPA Institute ensures the success of CalCPA by allowing us to seek alternative funding sources for important programs.

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This year, we plan to expand the financial literacy program through the Institute and transfer CalCPA's scholarship program into it. These scholarship programs are a hallmark of our chapters' support of future members of the profession. Scholarships have grown dramatically in recent years thanks to the chapters' tireless fund-raising efforts and including the California CPA Education Foundation's contribution of speakers for events. I share our members' pride in the profession's dedication to the next generation of CPAs.

NUTS AND BOLTS

The CalCPA Board will serve as the Institute's board and CalCPA staff will provide administrative support. I will serve as its CEO. This way, we have created the vehicle we need to advance our efforts in public and professional education, scholarships and public service without creating a new or duplicate bureaucratic structure. The Institute will be located at CalCPA headquarters in Redwood City and meetings will occur in conjunction with CalCPA Board meetings.

This is an economical way to achieve our goals and advance CalCPA's mission of increasing the value and promoting the integrity of the CPA profession, as well as advance the values of integrity, competence, continuing education and lifelong learning, being attuned to business interests and protecting the public.

For more information, or to contribute to CalCPA Institute activities, contact me at susan.waters@calcpa.org or (650) 802-2400. To volunteer for our financial literacy initiative, sign up at www.calcpa.org/FLC. To support chapter scholarship activities, contact your chapter president or coordinator.

In closing, welcome, CalCPA Institute, a new addition to the family of organizations that work together in the interests of CalCPA members and the public.

BY SUSAN B. WATERS, CAE

Susan B. Waters, CAE is CEO of the California Society of CPAs. You can reach her at susan.waters@calcpa.org.
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Title Annotation:From the CEO; CalCPA Institute
Author:Waters, Susan B.
Publication:California CPA
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:May 1, 2004
Words:712
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