The American Institute of CPAs announced its annual public service award recipients this week, honoring Johnny K. Hudson with the 2011 Public Service Award for Individuals and two firms with the 2011 Public Service Award for Firms.
Bell & Company of North Little Rock, Ark., and Bethesda, Md.-based Reznick Group (now CohnReznick) picked up the firm awards, handed out during the fall meeting of the AICPA’s governing council in Amelia Island, Fla.
“The many strong candidates for these awards make it difficult to select individuals and firms,” stated Kathy G. Eddy, chair of the awards committee who presented the awards. “So many make significant contributions to their communities. It is our belief that all of the compassionate and tireless volunteers should be recognized. But this year’s winners, Johnny K. Hudson, Bell & Company and the Reznick Group clearly stand out.”
Individual award winner Hudson, CPA, co-founded Aspirnaut Imitative in Arkansas with his sister Ann Kincl and brother Billy in 2006. The organization is a set of educational enhancements for rural students that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math achievement skills. It was the first organization in the U.S. to outfit a prototype school bus with five LCD/PC computer screens featuring programed math and science lessons for students to gain an extra two hours of learning per day.
Hudson is Aspirnaut’s finance and accounting advisor and legislative liaison, as well as a senior partner at Hudon, Cisne & Co. of Little Rock. He serves on the board at Henderson State University, where he earned a B.S.B.A. in accounting, and is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame and Business Advisory Council.
Bell & Company’s service work included a fundraiser to buy school supplies for children in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. The firm also financially supported a medical clinic in that village and sent two employees to distribute the 400 containers of school supplies and help set up the clinic.
In Arkansas, the firm supports the Arkansas State Mental Hospital, the Salvation Army, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Hearts and Hooves, a therapeutic horse riding and teaching facility for those with disabilities.
The Reznick Group has a “Pay it Forward Initiative that supplies employees with an extra $25 per paycheck with the hope it will be donated to charity or a person in need. The incentive has been turned into hundreds of dollars through employee fundraisers and creative sales, with many employees adding to the initial amount with their own money.
Reznick Group also held an office jeans day, where employees donated $5 to don denim and the firm matched each donation for a total of $40,000 sent to the Red Cross in Japan after the region’s earthquake. Another bake sale fundraiser netted $20,000 for the Red Cross in the aftermath of the tornadoes that hit Alabama and surrounding states. The firm also sent volunteers to Tuscaloosa to help organize the donated supplies. Additionally, Reznick Group’s Austin office developed the Capitol Area Food Bank of Texas program that supplies food products and groceries in 21 Central Texas counties.