Rick Anderson, chairman and chief executive officer of Seattle-based super-regional firm Moss Adams, has received the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Centralia College.

The first member of his family to go to college, Anderson graduated from Centralia in 1971. He then went to Western Washington University, from which he graduated in 1973, and which named him Distinguished Alumni in 2005, and gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

"I am very proud of this honor, yet I'm humbled," said Anderson. "This recognition really caught me by surprise and I'm very appreciative. Centralia College was an important part of my education."

In addition to his responsibilities at Moss Adams, Andersen recently chaired the high-profile Blue Ribbon Panel on Private Entity Standards, and serves as a trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation. He was named one of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People in 2010.

Anderson's career goal, when he first came to college, was to be an engineer. But he discovered that, while he enjoyed the general classes, he didn't really like the specific classes required of an engineering major. "I went to the counseling office and took a career interest test. Those tests indicated that I'd be pretty good in accounting or in a financial career. So I took the first class in the accounting sequence. I liked it and the subject matter was easy, it just came to me. I never looked back," he said.

Anderson will speak at Centralia College's commencement on June 10, and will be honored at events taking place that day.

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