The American Institute of CPAs bestowed awards upon two members and an accounting firm during its Spring Meeting of Council here this week.

Among those honored were Kate Forbes, who received the AICPA 2004 Public Service Award, which recognizes members who have made significant contributions to their communities.

Forbes was recognized for her work with the American Red Cross, for which she is the current National Chair of Volunteers, the top operational volunteer, and partner to the president and chief executive. She served as vice chair and audit committee chair of the national board of governors to manage the unprecedented donations of $1 billion following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Recognizing that many of the 1,000 American Red Cross Chapters didn't have effective audit committees, Forbes designed an audit committee guide that has been used to increase the effectiveness of audit committees at the chapter level. As part of the Red Cross delegation in Geneva, Forbes also worked to pass resolutions addressing such issues as humanitarian workers being targets of terrorism, uniting humanitarian agencies and governments to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa, and the failure of governments to comply with the Geneva Convention to properly account for military personnel missing in action and casualties of armed conflict.

She is a founder of the Arizona State University Center for Nonprofit Management and Leadership, president of the AICPA Foundation and a member of the AICPA's National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, as well as the executive vice president and CFO of eTec, an engineering firm in Phoenix.

The AICPA also honored Charles H. Smith as the 2005 recipient of its Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award, which recognizes full-time college accounting educators for excellence in teaching and national prominence in the accounting profession.

Smith is the current KPMG Professor of Accounting at Penn State University. He joined the University in 1987 as a member of the faculty of the Smeal College of Business Administration. He served as chair of the accounting and MIS department from 1987-1991, and as chair of the accounting department from 1991-2000.

Smith has been published in many American and foreign journals and has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching, including the Fred Brand Jr. Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Award from the Smeal College, the Lester J. Shonto Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Accounting Education, and the 2004 Outstanding Educator award from the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs.

Smith has served on the AICPA's 150-Hour program committee and the commodity futures subcommittee. He has also served on PICPA's committee on the 150 semester hours requirement, the substantial equivalency task force, and the governance and strategic direction task force.

The Kansas firm of Lewis, Hooper & Dick LLC was the first firm to receive the AICPA's Public Service Award recognizing accounting firms that have made significant contributions to their communities. The award was previously only bestowed on individuals.

The firm helped found the Western Kansas Community Foundation, a philanthropy that awards grants to humanitarian, educational, and cultural groups in the region. Lewis, Hooper & Dick also supports the YMCA, United Way, Rotary, Kiwanis and numerous other organizations.

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