Walter Davenport has been elected as the new chair for The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy board of directors. Davenport, along with a slate of newly elected board members, was installed into office during NASBA’s 107th Annual Meeting.

A retired audit partner from Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, Davenport was engaged in financial and business consulting for not-for-profit entities and was responsible for firm-wide not-for-profit operations as director of the firm's Not-for-Profit Industry Group. He is the second African-American elected to lead NASBA, which is charged in preserving the public trust through the regulation of the accounting profession across the 55 U.S. jurisdictions.

Davenport's inaugural address titled, "Embracing the Future Without Seeing It," challenged NASBA and Boards of Accountancy to embrace change and give consideration to three critical areas (3Es) that will position Boards of Accountancy for growth and shape the future of the accounting profession. These 3Es include: Enforcing Board Rules, Educating for Optimization and Engaging Diverse Talent.

Further, he urged member boards to 1) be attuned to necessary changes to the standards to ensure proper accreditation of educational institutions and learning providers, resulting in quality education for CPA candidates and licensees; 2) strengthen the enforcement of board rules on peer review and continuing professional education (CPE) more efficiently through the utilization of tools such as the Accountancy Licensee Database; and 3) bring greater relevance and a broader perspective to the profession by introducing careers in accounting to a younger, more diverse demographic, and by considering diverse talent (i.e., African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Women and other minorities) for board appointment.

"Today, we have the information gathering ability, technology knowhow, resources and a diverse pool of talent that our predecessors ten years ago only dreamed of," Davenport said in a statement. "Together, we can make things happen!"

President and CEO, Ken Bishop, is confident of Davenport's ability to advance NASBA and Boards of Accountancy as board chair. "I have known and admired Walter for many years and welcome the new leadership perspective he will bring to NASBA," Bishop said in a statement. "He has demonstrated the ability and skill to bring people together an attribute that will be very important during the upcoming year as we take on important issues impacting the profession. I look forward to working with Walter this year."

Prior to being named chair, Davenport served as the Board's 2013-14 vice chair. From 2003-2012, he served as director-at-large and as Middle Atlantic regional director of NASBA. He is also the former chair of NASBA’s CPA Licensing Examinations Committee, CPE Committee, Strategic Initiatives Committee, Audit Committee and Administration & Finance Committee, and a former member of NASBA’s Compliance Assurance, Examination, Relations with Member Boards, Nominating, Licensing Requirements, and Uniform Accountancy Act Committees, as well as the Standards Study Group.

In addition to his involvement with NASBA, Davenport is a past president of the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners. He also served as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Board of Examiners from 1999-2005.

A graduate of Morehouse College, Davenport began his career in public accounting in 1970 with Arthur Andersen & Company in Atlanta, GA. In 1974, he returned to North Carolina to join Nathan Garrett, and in 1998, Garrett & Davenport, P.C., the largest and oldest minority-owned CPA firm in North Carolina, merged into Cherry, Bekaert & Holland. Davenport retired from Cherry, Bekaert & Holland in April 2008.

Additional board appointments include:

  • 2014-15 Vice Chair (serving a 1-year term)
  • Donald H. Burkett, CPA, of West Columbia, S.C.
  • Directors-at-Large (serving 3-year terms)
  • A. Carlos Barrera, CPA, of Brownsville, Tex.
  • Jimmy Burkes, CPA, of Jackson, Miss.
  • Richard N. Reisig, CPA, of Great Falls, Mont.
  • Laurie J. Tish, CPA, of Seattle, Wash.
  • Regional Directors (serving a 1-year term)
  • Southwest - J. Coalter Baker, CPA, of Austin, Tex.
  • Southeast - Maria E. Caldwell, CPA, of Miami, Fla.
  • Middle Atlantic - Robert J. Cochran, CPA, of Farmville, Va.
  • Northeast - John F. Dailey, CPA, of Voorhees, N.J.
  • Great Lakes - W. Michael Fritz, CPA, of Columbus, Ohio
  • Central - Janeth Glenn, CPA, of La Vista, Neb.
  • Pacific - Ed G. Jolicoeur, CPA, of Spokane, Wash.
  • Mountain - Benjamin C. Steele, CPA, of Carson City, Nev.


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