The California Society of CPAs has elected Jennifer Ziegler as its new president and Greg Burke as president of the CalCPA Education Foundation for 2015-2016.

[IMGCAP(1)]Speaking at the CalCPA Council’s annual meeting at the Park Central Hotel, Ziegler encouraged Society members to reach out to state lawmakers.

“A large part of CalCPA’s government relations efforts is based on building and maintaining relationships with elected leaders,” said Ziegler. “With the variety of issues facing our profession, it’s more important than ever to educate policy makers on the real-life impact of legislative proposals.”

CalCPA heard last week at a fundraising breakfast from Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco, about the critical role that CPAs play

At the first-ever fundraising breakfast of CalCPA’s CPA Political Action Committee last Friday, Newsom shared his thoughts about the role of the CPA profession, the political and evolving business climate in California, and what he sees for the future of California.

Given the demands placed on businesses today, including regulations, public pressure and shareholder demands, Newsom said he believes CPAs are the trusted advisers who can help companies through these challenging times.

"What makes California great is the ability to live together, advance together and prosper together," he said.

New CalCPA President’s Priorities
As CalCPA’s new president, Ziegler said her top priorities for the year are advocating for members on issues that affect the profession; attracting, educating and supporting CPAs in their professional and personal growth; and enhancing and promoting the visibility of the profession and CalCPA.

Ziegler sees an important role for firms in CalCPA. “We also look to get firms, including managing partners and firm admins, more involved in all the things we do at CalCPA and really build on our relationship, as CalCPA can play its role as ‘The Universal Firm’ for the profession,” she said.

Ziegler wants to bring more minorities into the profession and make CalCPA more inclusive. “I want to push forward a change in our profession’s diversity and expose people that may not have the opportunity to our profession,” she said. “I know this is no easy task, but this is something that I’m extremely passionate about.”

Ziegler previously served as CalCPA’s first vice chair. As managing director for Berkeley Research Group, Los Angeles, she consults with clients and counsel and provides expertise in forensic accounting, litigation support, expert witness testimony and fraud investigations.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from California State University, Northridge. Besides being a CPA, she has certifications in financial forensics, fraud examination and information technology.

New CalCPA Education Foundation President
The new president of the CalCPA Education Foundation for 2015-16, Greg Burke, previously served as treasurer of the foundation. In remarks to CalCPA’s leadership, Burke, a shareholder in the Sacramento firm of John Waddell & Co., thanked the board and the membership for the opportunity to serve in the face of rapid change.

[IMGCAP(2)]“Our top-quality conferences and courses have helped preserve the integrity of profession for nearly 50 years,” he said. “The digital revolution has brought us into a new world of mobile, on-demand delivery of knowledge whenever needed. New CPE technologies, regulatory drafts and market forces are challenges we will face and meet together.”

CalCPA already delivers continuing professional education to 41 partner states through webcasting and on-demand HD.

Burke addressed the need to develop future trustees and officers from across CalCPA's extended community to ensure relevance.

"With these environmental changes, the strategic plan horizon will be extended to include investment in innovative R&D, evolution of economic models and accounting education, and the reporting and assessment of our offerings—all while maintaining a strong fiscal position,” he said.
Burke served as CalCPA chair from 2008 to 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental economics from the University of California, Davis, and a master’s in taxation from Golden Gate University.

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