Rhode Island CPAs kick off leadership program

Acknowledging a growing need to cultivate strong leaders within the business community, the Rhode Island Society of CPAs has launched a new Leadership Program for its members.

The program is designed to provide young CPAs with real world leadership training. Spearheaded by entrepreneur, real estate investor and noted public speaker, David Lucier, CPA and John Ayers, CPA, of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the program will feature several three-hour classes, beginning at the end of the summer. Both Lucier and Ayers are members of the RISCPA’s Board of Directors. Participating CPAs will also earn CPE credits for their participation.

“We will begin with an introductory course, geared toward our young RISCPA members, but everyone is welcome,” said Lucier.

Lucier said the introductory classes will be followed with more specific topics, including: Leadership in Your Community; Sales Leadership; Marketing Leadership; Management Leadership, as well as others. The program, he added, reflects a national movement in education and business.

“There is a leadership void in business right now,” said Lucier. “MBA programs all around the country now have a leadership component. It is not good enough to have technical skills and management tools, you have to be a mentor to people who work for you, and you have to know how to motivate people.”

Lucier pointed out that a large number of CPA firms across the country are looking to merge or sell. That, he said, suggests there is an opportunity at hand for young professionals with the desire to lead.

“These firms are looking to merge because they don’t necessarily have leaders waiting in the wings,” he said.

The leadership void is not limited to the accounting profession or business community at large, he said. Rather, it is a societal concern that needs to be addressed. By way of example, Lucier cited two individuals who have held leadership roles both within RISCPA – and outside of the professional association.

“We need to have more CPAs involved in their communities,” said Lucier. “People like Ernie Almonte, who is running for General Treasurer, and Arthur Lambi, who serves on the Cumberland Town Council. That’s leadership in your community.”

RISCPA Executive Director Robert A. Mancini described the Leadership Program as the proverbial win-win, particularly for young CPAs building a foundation for their careers. It is exactly the kind of member service the Society is looking to provide, he said.

“The effort being placed on this program is important as it both assists firms and companies who have identified young talent within their respective ranks on track for leadership roles,” said Mancini. “It provides competent focus not just in technical areas, but affords young and aspiring participants an excellent opportunity to gain insight into areas ranging from the importance of business development to community and civic involvement.”

For more information about the Leadership Program, call the RISCPA office at 401-331-5720 or visit www.riscpa.org.