Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, a credentialed Certified Public Accountant, has received the American Institute of CPA's 2014 Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Award: State Level.
Bill Balhoff, CPA, CGMA, CFF, chairman of the AICPA’s board of directors, presented the award at the AICPA’s 30th Annual National Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference in Washington, D.C.
The Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Award recognizes CPAs working in federal, state and local government who have contributed significantly to increased efficiency and effectiveness of government organizations and to the growth and enhancement of the CPA. Accomplishments from the past three to five years are the focus of this award.
“Governor Snyder’s incredible achievements have significantly raised the public awareness of the value of being a CPA. He has boldly tackled his state’s problems with relentless positive action, The governor proudly references his background as a CPA in nearly every speech he delivers. He also uses his CPA credential when presenting the state’s budget, at every State of the State address and whenever he takes on major financial challenges in the state,” commented Bill Balhoff.
Rick Snyder became Michigan’s 48th governor on January 1, 2011. In his inaugural address, he described his vision for reinventing Michigan by creating more and better jobs, revitalizing the educational system, and revamping government to focus on providing excellent service to its customers, the state's 10 million people.
To lessen the financial difficulties Michigan was going through, Snyder infused his administration with a sense of urgency, saying he wanted to accomplish four years of policy reforms in his first year and then maintain that pace. He described his approach as “Relentless Positive Action,” which means solving a problem with no credit or blame and then moving on to the next one.
Under Governor Snyder's leadership, Michigan has eliminated its $1.5 billion structural deficit and produced three balanced budgets. The state's "rainy day" fund has gone from nearly zero to a balance of more than $500 million. The state also has repealed the Michigan Business Tax and replaced it with a Corporate Income Tax that reduced the state tax burden on job providers by at least 80 percent.
When he graduated from the University of Michigan, he had two job offers. One was for a job out of town. The other was a position as a tax accountant for Coopers & Lybrand in Detroit. Governor Snyder chose to stay in Michigan.
Early in his career, Coopers & Lybrand sent Snyder to Chicago to build the firm's mergers and acquisitions office. He was then offered the opportunity to serve as the Gateway computer company's executive vice president in North Sioux City, South Dakota. He eventually became president of Gateway. Under his leadership, the computer company grew from a small operation with 700 employees to become a Fortune 500 firm with more than 13,000 employees. After six years with Gateway, Snyder came back home to Michigan. In 1997, he formed the first of two venture capital funds, bringing investment capital of almost $200 million to the state.