The New York State Society of CPAsannounced this week that James Bowers, Syracuse-based CPA and NYSSCPA member, has been awarded the2016 Urbach CPA Community Builders Awardin honor of working with multiple nonprofits throughout his career.

The Urbach Award honors the late Michael Urbach, partner at Urbach, Kahn and Werlin (now UHY Advisors); former NYS Commission of Tax and Finance; and former board leader of multiple charities. The Urbach Award looks to recognize NYSSCPA members who have made significant contributions serving on the board of directors of charitable organizations. NYSSCPA and the New York Council of Non-Profits (NYCON) co-sponsor the award. 

Bowers has been primarily involved with two nonprofits: InterFaith Works, an agency in Syracuse that brings people together different religions, races, and cultures, andTransitional Living Services (TLS) of Onondaga County, which serves people with developmental disabilities and behavioral health issues.

“I’ve been involved with Interfaith Works for a long time and I feel like they speak to me on a personal level,” said Bowers, per a statement. “InterFaith Works is the type of organization that is needed now more than ever. During our Dialogue Circles, we go to schools, hospitals, and other locations to talk about our differences whether it’s racial, cultural, or political and try to understand what those differences are, which could be very hard to do.”

Bowers was also involved in helping to create an emergency planning project for InterFaith in the early 2000's.

“In 2002, InterFaith Works faced a severe financial downturn,” stated Beth Broadway, president and CEO of InterFaith Works. “Mr. Bowers was pivotal in saving the agency from closing its doors. He spearheaded the financial management protocols that were implemented and established a plan to put the agency back on solid financial ground.”

Bowers’ accounting experience also aided TLS’s development of a new community residence for people with developmental disabilities which, in turn, increased community support services. TLS is now known as AccessCNY, where Bowers currently serves on their finance committee.

“I would certainly recommend CPAs to give back to non-profit organizations," stated Bowers. “The financial expertise of CPAs is needed to help balance budgets as funding for these programs tightens up. CPAs have a certain way of seeing things, such as how the mission of an organization and its financial status can work together. This is why CPAs should find an organization that they are interested in and give back.”

Bowers will be recognized during NYCON’s Annual Business Meeting on October 6, at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. (To register, member can contact Melissa Currado at mcurrado@nycon.org.)

For more on NYSSCPA, head to the Society'ssite here.