CEO Compass - Fall 2022

by Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA | NJCPA CEO and Executive Director | October 12, 2022

Reflecting on a Life-Changing Role

I’ve had the privilege of being CEO of the New Jersey Society of CPAs for 22-plus rewarding years. Today, I announce with both sadness and anticipation that I intend to retire from my position effective June 30, 2023.   

Reflecting on my more than two decades as your CEO, I realize what a transformative time it has been for the profession. We have faced a myriad of challenges together, but, throughout it all, members and staff adapted, overcame obstacles and reinvented the organization into a vibrant community able to adjust to whatever new normal was thrown at us. 

Of course, there were plenty of moments worth celebrating. I will always be proud of the students we’ve helped through our scholarship programs (now totaling more than 2,000 since the Scholarship Fund was first created), the members who have come to us for valuable training, the tremendous advocacy work we’ve done and the awareness programs to promote this wonderful profession. 

And there’s plenty more to come. Later this month, members will be asked to participate in a bylaws vote affecting NJCPA membership categories. The proposed changes update terminology and simplify and consolidate categories, making it as easy as possible for graduates and new professionals to remain NJCPA members and start taking advantage of the benefits of membership. The bylaws vote will take place Oct. 18 through Nov. 1; watch your email for voting instructions.  

I’m also looking forward to celebrating the Society’s 125th anniversary in 2023. We’ll be commemorating the NJCPA’s history, accomplishments and the members who shaped our past — and we’ll be looking toward a future where we’ll innovate and grow, help the profession flourish and foster the next generation of aspiring CPAs. 

Our community is stronger together. We learn from each other’s experiences, build lasting relationships and open up opportunities.  

Member referrals are an important way to grow the Society, which is why we’ve launched our Member-Get-a-Member program. Recommending NJCPA membership to colleagues who are not yet members is an opportunity that will help them thrive in their careers and businesses. And it may help you, too. Many CPAs and colleagues I’ve met in the profession have come to be lifelong friends.  

I am so grateful for our members’ unwavering pride in the profession and commitment to this great organization. Thank you for 22-plus years of fun, camaraderie and life-changing moments. 

Ralph Albert Thomas

Ralph Albert Thomas

Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA, is the CEO and executive director of the New Jersey Society of CPAs. He is a former national and chapter president of the National Association of Black Accountants, was chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s State Society Relations Committee and is a member of the accounting advisory boards of Lehigh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Montclair State, Felician and Thomas Edison universities and Middlesex County College.

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