The New York State Society of CPAs attracted a large crowd Thursday evening at its 114th Annual Election Meeting & Dinner.

While the dinner and the speeches went on a bit longer than planned, the event was still enjoyable, and there were some inspirational stories being told on the dais. For example, one young CPA, Kelvin Joseph, told of how his life was changed by the Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession, or COAP, program at Pace University in New York. He passed the CPA Exam on his first try at the age of 22 in 1996 and is now the controller of Steiner Sports in New York and CFO of Samanta Shoes, a business he co-owns with his wife.

Among the honorees was Samuel Dyckman, who has been a member of the NYSSCPA since 1947. A retired professor of accounting at Baruch College in New York, where he taught for over 30 years, he received the Dr. Emanuel Saxe Outstanding CPA in Education Award from the society. During his speech, he joked that even though he was now retired, he would be glad to discuss the tax law changes for 2011 anytime, anywhere. The award was fitting because he was actually a student of Dr. Saxe back in the day.

Also receiving the Saxe education award was Ann Burstein Cohen, an associate professor of accounting at the University of Buffalo’s School of Management. The CPAs in Government Award was presented to Michele Levine, director of accounting services at the New York City Office of Management and Budget. The Distinguished Service Award went to Alan Weiner, a former tax partner at Holtz Rubenstein Reminick in New York City, and the late Franklin Federmann, director of internal audits at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Federman's widow accepted the award on his behalf.

Beatrix McKane, a retired partner at Holtz Rubenstein Reminick, was presented with the Arthur J. Dixon Public Service Award, and J. Michael Kirkland, a director at Deutsche Bank, received the Outstanding CPA in Industry Award.

Two members were inducted into the CPA Hall of Fame: former NYSSCPA presidents Michael Borsuk and Robert Fagliarone.

Finally, NYSSCPA president Peggy Wood, a partner at Grant Thornton, handed the reins to the new president, Richard E. Piluso, a retired vice president of internal audit at Loews (see New York CPAs Elect Richard E. Piluso as President). She wished him luck and he saluted the honorees on the dais as the NYSSCPA looks ahead to its 115th year.