San Diego (July 16, 2003) -- The California Society of CPAs has a new chairman and a very focused agenda for the next year as Steven Wimmers makes financial literacy the society’s top priority.

Wimmers, a sole practitioner, recently served as president of the society's San Diego chapter -- one of 14 throughout the state. He believes the importance of financial literacy in the state of California, and the country in general, is on par with restoring faith in the profession.

“Recent studies have shown us how poorly Americans rate when it comes to financial literacy, even something like understanding bank statements,” Wimmers said. “I believe the initiatives our membership can help put forward in this state will ultimately help restore faith in the profession.”

Wimmers said that California has introduced legislation, which CalCPA plans to support, that would require a certain level of financial literacy among 7th-12th grade students. He also stated that CalCPA plans to work with school districts to develop curriculum and educate teachers.

Other issues on Wimmers’ plate this year include helping prevent any cascade effects from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. For this, he is encouraging members to form relationships with city council members before they enter the state legislature.

“We have short term limits here in California and often legislators leave before we have a chance to establish a relationship with them,” Wimmers said. “This is why I want to encourage [members] to start right away.”

Wimmers feels his leadership experience at the San Diego chapter, as well as other community organizations, have prepared him well for his new role. He has been a member of the CalCPA board of directors and governing council since 1997.

Wimmers is also the first member from the San Diego Chapter to serve as CalCPA's chair since Jim Kuhn was elected in 1969. Kuhn was honored with CalCPA's distinguished service award on the same day Wimmers was elected chair.

In addition to being a sole practitioner CPA, Wimmers served as chair of the Peninsula Family YMCA, the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation, and as president of the Ocean Beach Merchants Association.

--Seth Fineberg

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