The American Institute of CPAs has installed William Balhoff, managing director and chief executive officer of Baton Rouge, La.-based Top 100 Firm Postlethwaite & Netterville, as the new chairman of its board of directors.

Balhoff plans to establish a new Center for Plain English Accounting during his tenure as chairman, he said during his acceptance speech at the institute's Fall Meeting of Council in late October, and discussed the role of CPAs in society. "The quality of our work and our people are the two most important factors in establishing and maintaining our profession's reputation," he said. "CPAs take pride in doing the right thing, the right way. Clients and employers experience that quality and respond to it."

Balhoff, 59, was elected to the one-year volunteer post, while Tommye Barie, CPA, a partner with the Atlanta-based Top 100 Firm firm Mauldin & Jenkins, was voted in as vice chair.

After graduating from college, Balhoff joined Postlethwaite & Netterville in 1976, when it had 22 employees. The firm has now grown to more than 600 staffers. Working for just one firm, Balhoff said he's had the opportunity to tackle a half-dozen job categories in the course of his career, in such diverse fields as technical audit, accounting, consulting and firm management.

Balhoff describes his firm as family, and said he took great pride that most of the firm's leaders and partners came to Los Angeles to see him voted in as chair. "Everything in my life -- from home to school to firm to this profession -- it's all family to me," he said.

Balhoff spent the past year as vice chair of the AICPA, and has a lengthy record of service to the organization. He is a past executive committee chair of the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section, which focuses on firm practice management. From 2003-2004 and again from 2008-2009, he served as a member-at-large of the AICPA's Governing Council. From 2005-2007, he served as a member of the AICPA's board of directors.

Balhoff graduated with an accounting degree from Louisiana State University and also graduated from the National Banking School at the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce. He and his wife, Sandra, have three children. Two daughters are following in his footsteps in the profession. One is already a CPA, and the other is preparing for the exam. He lives in Baton Rouge, La.



Also during the conference, the AICPA awarded former U.S. senator and former Florida governor Bob Graham the AICPA Medal of Honor. Graham has served on the board of directors from 2005-2013. The AICPA Medal of Honor recognizes an individual who is not a CPA whose work has had a significant impact on the profession. The Medal of Honor is the highest AICPA award for a non-CPA.

Susan Whitelaw, CPA, received the institute's Public Service Award for Individuals. She serves as the annual support committee chair of the Arc of Caddo Bossier's Foundation Board and as this board's vice president, and serves as treasurer for the Hap House board and the Louisiana Disabled Persons Housing Corp., and also as chairperson of the Feist Weiller Cancer Center's annual ball.

In addition, 18 CPAs were selected to receive the AICPA's Sustained Contribution Award, which recognizes members who have contributed measurably to the AICPA and the accounting profession through volunteer service. All the recipients have served on an AICPA volunteer group for 20 years or more, and at one time have led a committee, task force or resource panel within the organization.

The following CPAs were recognized at the fall meeting of the AICPA Council:

  • Rick J. Anderson;
  • John Mason Andres;
  • Barry Barber;
  • Ernest F. Baugh;
  • Linda J. Blessing;
  • Diane Sylvia Conant;
  • E. C. Johnson;
  • John L. Kreischer;
  • Deborah D. Lambert;
  • George A. Lewis;
  • Harold Lamar Monk;
  • Belverd E. Needles;
  • Keith Owen Newton;
  • Robert M. Pielech;
  • Gary John Previts;
  • Ronald L. Seigneur;
  • David Joseph Sibits; and,
  • Gordon A. Viere.

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