Transitioning in a Year of Nothing Normal

Published July 6, 2020 By Sharon Trabbic, PAFM and Jeanie Price, PAFM

Our dear CPAFMA friends – what a year this has been! 

My time on the CPAFMA board has been so magnificent and although I have another year as Immediate Past Chair, I feel compelled to list some accomplishments we’ve made over the past seven years! I am honored to have served with the best-of-the-best firm managers and COO’s this country’s accounting firms have ever seen.

I was part of this grand organization when, together, we ...

  • changed our name from administrators to managers
  • solidified our relationship with the AICPA and PCPS
  • upgraded our website to include Connect
  • strengthened our MAPCast offerings
  • collaborated with the Association for Accounting Marketing, and the AICPA with ENGAGE, and
  • established a relationship with BDO Alliance to showcase the importance of the operations side of accounting businesses. 

I’ve made life-long friends and had experiences I never would have had if not for CPAFMA. My firm grew and prospered – I listened and implemented, pushed, and prodded and provided lasting change at my firm that never would have happened had it not been for this group of really smart men and women.

Then the Coronavirus struck and we scrambled to reschedule in-person board meetings, change around our June conference, and move something incredible to November (look for information about our Accelerator Workshop after July 15). We knew it was important to provide meaningful support to our member firms on safe ways to be open, and so we worked together as a board to offer that member benefit. Then the tragedy in Minneapolis happened and we again prayed and rescheduled and hoped for a better day.

I have learned a lot this year. I’ve always considered myself a life-long learner but 2020 took on a whole new meaning. 

I have learned ... Life and health are precious ...  Loneliness is really a thing ... Zoom is not just for millennials ... Life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think it should ... You can never have too many disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer ... Things go wrong ... Life isn’t fair ... Washing your hands seven times a day isn’t enough ... Listen to your inner spirit ... Work harder to diversify your firm ... Four-year-olds are not good Face-timers ... Grandchildren, family, friends, meaningful work, and relationships are what make life great. (And my life has been super great!)

Thank you for the incredible opportunity to serve as your Chair during this unique time. I am humbled.

I am now wishing I was literally kicking a beach ball from just outside Toledo, Ohio to Gaithersburg, Maryland for our new Chair, Jeanie Price! Jeanie, I hope you have a wonderful year and I know you’ll accomplish much!

Hi all, it’s Jeanie, your newest Chair of CPAFMA!  Wow, what a year this has been.  We’ve all had to adapt in some way or another and as Firm Managers, we have shined.  CPAFMA has provided us with great resources, MAPcasts and templates to help us all get through these changing times.  We are looking to the future with anticipation and the more we can anticipate, the less we will react.  We are ready for our future. 

Let me take a second to thank Sharon as she moves to Immediate Past Chair.  Her commitment and dedication for all her years of service to CPAFMA have turned into many great accomplishments. Sharon has truly been an inspiration with all her work towards increasing the awareness of the role of Firm Manager for all of us.  We still get another year with Sharon as immediate past chair and hope that even during her retirement she will think of us often!

I would be remiss if I didn’t also say a big thanks to Ann White, PAFM as she completes her tenure with the board.  Ann has been instrumental in helping take the organization to the next level and we will certainly miss her take charge and take no prisoners attitude.  Ann was never afraid to challenge the status quo and brought many great ideas to the table. We will miss her presence at our board meetings, but know that she will always be in our hearts and just a call away.

And there’s one more board member stepping aside this year.  Joyce Arthur, PAFM.  She will still continue to work with us as liaison for the BDO Alliance and CPAFMA relationship and will continue to work with us on a variety of committees.  Joyce has been instrumental in helping with content for our conferences and MAPCasts, not to mention the influence she has with BDO Alliance and encouraging many of their members to join the organization.  We will miss her bright smile but she too will remain in our hearts and always just a call or text away.

I am so excited to introduce this year’s National Board members:

Vice Chair
Alan Alexander, CPA, PAFM
Jackson Thornton CPAs & Consultants

Larry Sheftel, PHR, SHRM-CP, PAFM

Director of Education
Kristine Latchaw, CPA, PAFM
Maner Costerisan

Director of Chapter Development
Tiffany Taft, PAFM
Baker Holtz, CPAs & Advisors

Director of Professional Awareness
Jana Cinnamon
Abdo Eick & Meyers, LLP

Director of Information & Communication
Lauren Fitch, PAFM
Faulk & Winkler, LLC

Director of Membership & Growth
Kim Fitzgerald, PAFM
Squire, Lemkin & Company, LLP

Director At-Large
Daniel Gregory, PAFM
Genske Mulder & Company, LLP

Immediate Past Chair
Sharon Trabbic, PAFM
Business Consultant

Roman Kepczyk, CPA, CITP, PAFM, CGMA
Right Networks

Bill Reeb, CPA, CITP, CGMA
Succession Institute, LLC

Kim Fantaci
CPA Firm Management Association

We are looking forward to working with all of you to help us continue to build this organization.  An organization I have been a member of since the first year of joining my firm way back in 1991. I couldn’t have grown to the level I have without the personal and professional support of CPAFMA and all the friends I have met through the years.  All of which has helped the growth of my firm and their willingness to think outside the box and see the value of an organization like CPAFMA. 

CPAFMA has a lot of great things on the horizon and I look forward to hearing your ideas to help all of us continue to learn and grow. 

Editor’s note:  For those who know our outgoing Chair, Sharon Trabbic, PAFM, she retired from William Vaughan Company as COO after 18 years on June 30, 2020.  We wish her the very best!  You are able to find her on LinkedIn.  We look forward to see Michelle Ford, Director of Administration, and Michelle Klement, Partner, with William Vaughan Company engaged with CPAFMA going forward. Please reach out to both through Connect and say hello!