The winners of the 2014 Outstanding CPA in Government Career Contribution Award and the Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Award were announced at the AICPA Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference on August 11, 2014.
Outstanding CPA in Government Career Contribution Award
The Outstanding CPA in Government Career Contribution Award recognizes the impact of significant contributions of the CPA to the efficiency, effectiveness or innovative service delivery of their respective local state or federal employer organization. This award replaces the previous Outstanding CPA in Government Award.
The 2014 awardee is:
Randy C. Roberts, CPA
Randy C. Roberts is the Senior Technical Director for the Arizona Office of the Auditor General. His role in the Office is to provide technical research and assistance to Office staff, auditees, and peers and provide audit and accounting standards implementation oversight. In his previous role as Professional Practice Director, he was responsible for the quality assurance activities in the Office, including providing technical research and assistance; performing quality assurance reviews of Office audit reports and other publications; and giving technical trainings and presentations. Randy’s experience, all with the Auditor General Office’s since 1981, includes auditing most levels of government: the state, universities, counties, community colleges, hospitals, health plans, and school districts.
Randy has been extremely active in the audit community during his career, having served, and continuing to serve in many capacities, and for organizations such as the AICPA, the Government Accountability Office, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the National State Auditors Association, and the Arizona Society of CPAs. For example:
• Served on the Auditing Standards Board during the clarity standards project;
• Served and continues to serve on AICPA task forces;
• Gives technical presentations at conferences and webinars;
• Serves on the Government Accounting & Auditing Update Conference committee;
• Served on State and Local Government Expert Panel, including contribution to the State and local government audit guide and Government auditing standards and A-133 audit guide;
• Participated on the initial and updated version of the Government Audit Committee Toolkit
U.S. Office of Management and Budget
• Served on the President’s task force on improving improper payments and single audits initiative
National State Auditors Association
• Awarded the William R. Snodgrass Distinguished Leadership Award and NASACT’s Special Recognition Award
• Served and continues to serve on various technical and strategic committees
• Gives technical presentations at conferences and state audit offices
Arizona Society of CPAs
• Awarded Lifetime Member Award
• Served on Board of Directors, as well as numerous technical committees
Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Award
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. Current or recent accomplishments (3-5 years) are the focus of this award.
The 2014 awardees are:
Melinda Hitz, CPA - Local Level
Melinda Hitz is the Finance Director for the City of Garden City, a Certified Public Accountant, and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. Melinda is the current Chair of the Kansas Society of CPAs, the first person from government sector to hold that position in its 82-year history.
Melinda’s journey of “firsts” began at Fort Hays State University in Hays, where she received her degree in business with an emphasis in accounting. After 12 years in public accounting, Melinda became the first Finance Director for the City of Garden City where she continues to elevate the Finance Department to rival much larger municipalities. The State of Kansas currently allows GAAP waivers for financial reporting. Melinda used her technical skills as a CPA to provide expanded transparency for the citizens in her community by implementing GAAP financial reporting. The City has received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting every year since 1994. The population of the City of Garden City is highly diverse. Melinda ensures that all citizens are appropriately served and uses innovative technology and systems to create efficient operations for everyone, including City personnel.
Melinda is responsible for the preparation of Garden City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, with assets in excess of $100 million. She is responsible for the preparation of the City’s annual budget – a budget that had $81 million in expenditures for 2013. She handles the City’s debt issues and works with the rating agencies on the City’s credit rating. Utility billing and collection is a major component of her job duties. Melinda also maintains internal control procedures, accounting policies, and procedure manuals. All of this is made possible because of her strong foundation as a CPA.
In addition to the Kansas Society of CPAs, Melinda is active in the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), the Kansas Government Finance Officers Association (KSGFOA), and the USD #457 School Foundation. She has also served on the board of directors for several organizations in Garden City and statewide. Melinda and her husband, Bob, have two grown children, Kristen and Jack.
Gov. Rick Snyder, CPA - State Level
Rick Snyder became Michigan's 48th governor when he was sworn into office on Jan. 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.
With the state's people and economy struggling, 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 describes his approach as "Relentless Positive Action." That means solve a problem with no credit or blame and then move on to the next one.
Bringing that business executive's approach to government has produced impressive results. With Snyder's leadership, the state has eliminated its $1.5 billion structural deficit and produced three balanced budgets without any accounting gimmicks. 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 job-killing 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.
The governor also has led efforts to secure pensions and retirement benefits for state employees and teachers, while reducing long-term costs to taxpayers, and boosted state funding for K-12 education by nearly $1 billion, or an average of $632 per pupil. Early childhood education is a priority for the governor and he's implementing a plan to eliminate need as a barrier to attending preschool by 2015.
Snyder's reinvention of Michigan is working and making a difference in the lives of people across the state. Michigan's economy is at a 10-year high and more than 200,000 private sector jobs have been created in the state during the governor's tenure. Plus personal income and home values are on the rise. Most important is the renewed optimism in Michigan and growing agreement with the governor's view that the state's people and businesses can build a better future by working together.
Ken Williams, CPA - Federal Level
Ken Williams currently serves as an IRS territory manager with 13 employees in the states of Indiana and Kentucky. Ken and his staff service approximately 2,500 volunteers who annually prepare for free over 224,000 tax returns for low income, elderly, disabled, military and English as a second language individuals. His group also assists individuals and organizations via community tax education and Earned Income Tax Credit outreach, financial literacy and asset building efforts.
Among other numerous IRS positions Ken previously served as the SPEC Territory Manager for Illinois, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Ohio. During this period Ken was instrumental in getting a quick tax law change via the Armed Forces Tax Council so troops receiving combat pay were not prevented from receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit. Ken also served in Research and Analysis, National Office Appeals, Regional Appeals and the Examination Division.
Over the span of his IRS career, Ken has received numerous recognitions and awards. In 2014, he received the Spirit of IRS award as an unsung hero in achieving the IRS mission and serving the nation's taxpayers. In 2013, he was recognized by the Financial Planning Association of Greater Indiana for his many years as Chapter Pro Bono Chair and his National FPA contributions. In 2011, he received the Harold J. Hampton Award for outstanding professional achievement and leadership. In 2009 he received the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Indiana CPA Society. In 2008 Ken received the coveted National Heart of Financial Planning Award for his extraordinary work in giving back to the financial planning community and the public. In addition, in 2002 he received the Outstanding CPA in Government Award from the Indiana CPA Society.
Prior to working for the IRS Ken worked for a year at Monroe Shine & Co CPAs.
Ken holds a BS with a double major in Accounting and Marketing and a MBA. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Financial Planner. Ken is a member of the AICPA, Indiana CPA Society, National Financial Planning Association and the FPA of Greater Indiana.
In addition to serving as the Past President and Chair of the Board for the North Downtown Indianapolis Sertoma Club (which raises monies for Easter Seals Crossroads Rehabilitation, Gleaner's Food Bank, Canine Companions and others), Ken actively participates in the Central Indiana Corporate Volunteer Council, the Central Indiana Association for Volunteer Administrators and the National Academy of Finance Regional Board. Ken is also former Pro Bono Chair of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Indiana.
Ken and his children work with the Department of Natural Resources through the Hoosier Musky Hunters Club on conservation, fish stocking and education. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, three children and three grandchildren, traveling, photography, musky fishing and competition paintball.
Ken’s relationships with the AICPA, Indiana CPA Society, National Financial Planning Association, National Financial Planning Foundation and FPA of Greater Indiana have been vital to bringing local and national strategic partners to the table to better serve those in need of tax preparation and Financial Literacy.