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Honoring future CPAs at Education Night

By BRUCE M. ZGODA

Buffalo Chapter President

I have often written about making a difference. I have said that we must always be willing to serve others, and by doing so, we will have an impact on the people we touch. This was ever so evident on Education Night on April 18, as our chapter honored our CPAs of the future. Not only did we honor our top undergraduate and graduate students—we had the privilege of presenting awards to a couple of our past presidents.

In March, we honored a very dedicated and knowledgeable past member, who was always there for others. The late Peter X. Bellanti was everything a person should stand for: a man of integrity who gave all to the lives he touched; a top CPA, a loyal partner and a distinguished speaker; a man who spoke the truth and did it with humor. He had a way of always making you feel better. It is for these reasons that we renamed, in honor of Peter, the annual award given to a local student with the highest GPA; and it was only fitting that the person who presented this award on Education Night was Gregory J. Altman, a past president and very active member of our chapter. It was Peter who gave this award to Greg upon his graduation from college.

Our Distinguished Service Award went to Sherry L. DelleBovi, another past president and a still-active member at the state level. Past NYSSCPA president and past chapter president Joseph M. Falbo, Jr. was the one who a while back encouraged Sherry to get involved—and she did, with a vengeance.

I am not sure that either Peter or Joe could have ever imagined the impact they were to make on these two great individuals, Greg and Sherry. We never know, and that is why we should always do what is right and pass our knowledge to others.

We must thank Dan Whelahan, our vice president, for another outstanding job of putting a great evening together with our future CPAs. Our own Raymond N. Nowicki was our presenter, and again he made learning fun.

As Matthew Kelly, a writer, author and speaker, said, “Life is a pilgrimage, but sometimes you need a pilgrimage to discover life.”

As another tax season has passed, it is time to refocus and determine what is important to us. We must find that balance of work and play, as our gift to the world is found in both. Do not let it pass us by. Live each day as if it is your last. Laugh a lot, smile at someone and be kind to all.

Get involved, young CPAs, and make a difference in both your professional and personal journey.

A year ago, I passed my business over to my son so I could watch the fruit of my labor continue and grow. What a wonderful feeling it is to give and be thankful for all of our gifts.

We need to focus on what we have, and not what we do not have. We must plant seeds and allow them to produce more growth.

All of us seasoned veterans must give back our knowledge and wisdom. That will provide opportunities to others to experience the same wonderful things we did. We must also teach the young that everything worthwhile must be worked for. Nothing comes easy, but the rewards can be endless.

Take care of your relationships. Be respectful of your family and friends. We need them, and without them, we can become empty.

Let us all make a deliberate attempt to be aware of kindness as we move through our day. We may be surprised how much of this virtue we find and experience. A simple word can generate kindness. It costs you nothing but a moment of your time. “Thank you,” “I did not mean it,” “it is OK,” I forgive you” and “I love you” are phrases that can make a difference in your life and those you say them to. You can give it and receive it.

One last thing, Are you wealthy? Most people would answer no. But in truth, we all are. Just make a list of all the things you value. Write them down, whether they are things, people in your lives or events: your spouse, your children, your home, your health, your family, your values, love, childhood collections, friends, your hobbies, sunsets, stars in the sky, the sounds of birds chirping, fresh-baked goods, your lifelong memories, mistakes you may have made, your freedoms, vacations, hot baths, dancing, knowledge and wisdom and, most important maybe, life.

Circle them, and even though none may be perfect, you may have the opportunity to reconcile and rekindle the memories.

Are you wealthy? Be reminded that your life has value, and if have little or no money, you probably still have wealth in all that you circled.

I just read something that Chris Hogan, author and expert on retirement, said: “Just because someone may wear Prada, doesn’t mean they have two nickels to rub together.”

Consider the words of John O’Leary, an inspired speaker whom I heard in person: “This is your day to remember that real wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”

Let this be your day to live inspired.

It  has been a pleasure to work with the fine Buffalo Chapter members as they are all wonderful. Remember to give while you live. God bless you all. As I always say, Buffalo is awesome because of its wonderful, kind, compassionate and great people.

bmz4848@aol.com

Upcoming Events

Please click on any course title for more information or to register.

Chapter Nonprofit Accounting and Auditing Update
7/13/2017 1:30:00 PM
Protocol Restaurant, Amherst
Buffalo Annual Summer Symposium Day One
7/25/2017 8:30:00 AM
Millennium Airport Hotel Buffalo, Buffalo
Buffalo Annual Summer Symposium Day Two
7/26/2017 8:30:00 AM
Millennium Airport Hotel Buffalo, Buffalo
Buffalo Chapter Young Professionals Golf Tournament
8/4/2017 12:15:00 PM
Buffalo Tournament Club, Lancaster
FAE Interpreting the New Revenue Recognition Standard: What All CPAs Need to Know
10/5/2017 12:30:00 PM
Buffalo/Niagara Marriott, Amherst

For a full list of CPE Courses available for this chapter, visit myCPE.

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    Chartered Feb.5, 1925, this chapter encompasses the following counties:
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