CalCPA inaugurates new chair and elects Education Foundation president

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The California Society of CPAs elected Eileen Pastenieks as president of its Education Foundation for 2018-19 during its annual members meeting in Los Angeles, where the group also heard from Lewis Sharpstone, the chair of CalCPA for 2018-19.

Pastenieks has been on the board since 2012 and recently held the position of first vice president. She is the managing partner of Pastenieks, Bucheli & Falasco LLP in Modesto. Pastenieks is also litigation services chair of CalCPA's San Joaquin Chapter and a former state chair of CalCPA's Management of Accounting Practices Committee.

In accepting her new post, she discussed how technology has changed the way accountants and finance professionals take continuing professional education courses. She pointed out much of the training is now done online by CalCPA and is quickly evolving.

“The Foundation is tasked with rapidly developing innovative products and services to meet the needs of its customers, which include young and seasoned accounting and financial professionals,” Pastenieks said. “Providing education continues to be an extremely competitive environment.”

The latest trend in delivering CPE is referred to as “nano” learning, in 10-minute units. The Foundation plans to launch nano-learning modules within the coming year.

Also at the CalCPA annual members meeting, Sharpstone said he would focus on the P in CPA during his tenure as chair for 2018-19. During his inauguration, Sharpstone said the P reminds CPAs they “have a sacred duty to always act in the public interest and protect the public.”

Sharpstone said he would emphasize the P in a number of ways, including collaborating with other professional bodies, such as the California Board of Accountancy and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, to explore how to better protect and serve the public. He also wants to attract more young people, especially those who are community- and public-minded, to the profession. Sharpstone would like to redesign CalCPA's website to help the public better understand how CPAs can help them. He also intends to celebrate members and firms that donate their time and services to their communities.

In addition, Sharpstone said he would work on enrolling more Big Four members with CalCPA. He pointed out Deloitte has signed up 100 percent of its California partners and managers with CalCPA. Other large firms are also encouraging their California staff members to join CalCPA.

Sharpstone hopes to build on the efforts of his predecessors to increase diversity and inclusion, expand CalCPA's professional forums initiative to provide all members with access to knowledge and information developed by committees and sections, and attract more non-licensed financial professionals to CalCPA.

Before becoming chair, Sharpstone previously served as CalCPA's first vice chair. He is an assurance partner with BDO USA's Los Angeles office. He leads the nonprofit practice in BDO's west region. Over the past 25 years, he has worked with more than 200 nonprofits.

Among those serving with Sharpstone on the CalCPA board of directors are Robert A. Reynolds (first vice chair) of Moss Adams LLP, Jolene N. Fraser (secretary/treasurer) of EisnerAmper LLP, Kathy A. Johnson (past chair) of CPA Forensics Plus, Lynda R. Boman (vice chair) of Boman Accounting Group, Matthew Martin (vice chair) of PDM LLP, Mike A. Ray (vice chair) of California Casualty Management Co., and Eileen M. Pastenieks (CalCPA Education Foundation president) of Pastenieks Bucheli & Falasco LLP.

Separately, George Savitsky of the Beverly Hills firm of Savitsky Satin Bacon Bucci, accepted the Entertainment Accountant of the Year Award from Bill Harrisand Ilan Haimoff, co-chairs of the annual CalCPA Education Foundation Entertainment Industry Conference last week. Savitsky was recognized for his impact on entertainment business management and for his work with charitable organizations, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The award includes a $1,000 donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

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