Oakland CPA Chris Yahng has been elected chairman of the California Society of CPAs. He hopes to increase the involvement of minorities and women in the leadership of the organization.

"Over the past 30 years we have made great strides toward increasing the number of women and ethnic minorities in the profession, and I believe CalCPA's membership reflects that, but our leadership does not," Yahng said in a letter sent to the society's 28,000 members.

To promote more leadership involvement by minorities, Yahng plans to revive CalCPA's Leadership Institute, a series of workshops that teach leadership skills. He also hopes to increase the frequency of meetings among CalCPA's current leadership and to encourage the society's 14 chapters to sponsor more meetings for young and emerging professionals.

Yahng was born in China during World War II. His family fled from Japanese forces and eventually moved to Connecticut. Although his father was an accountant, Yahng studied economics at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and later earned a master's in business administration from Emory University in Atlanta.

After serving in the Army, Yahng worked in San Francisco as a systems analyst and customer service office coordinator before returning to school and studying accounting at California State University in 1976. After working for two accounting firms, Yahng started his own Oakland office in 1981 and was joined in 1985 by John Benson, forming Benson & Yahng, known as BAYCPA. Yahng is a member of the board of directors of the Oakland Rotary Endowment, and is a past president of the Wa Sung Service Club. He has previously served on the boards of St. Paul's Episcopal Elementary School, the Greater YMCA of the East Bay and the Rotary Club of Oakland. 

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