NCACPA’s Chair of the Board, Cindy Brown, CPA, CEBS, announced yesterday that long-time Chief Executive Officer, Jim Ahler, CAE, is retiring effective April 30, 2016. Prior to joining NCACPA in 1988, Jim was the Executive Director of the Kentucky State Board of Accountancy in Louisville. While in Kentucky, he was active on various national committees of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
In Jim’s role as CEO, he serves as a registered lobbyist, speaking on behalf of the Association’s members at the North Carolina General Assembly and Executive Branch agencies, and with the state’s delegation to the United States Congress. Jim frequently liaises with the State Board of CPA Examiners and the American Institute of CPAs to discuss issues affecting the profession.
“There are so many exciting things happening at NCACPA, and I can assure you I will be on the sidelines cheering for both the Association and the profession,” said Jim. “Remarkable changes have occurred over the past 25 years, and even more remarkable changes are on the horizon. There are countless reasons why this Association experiences great success, and there’s no question in my mind that NCACPA will continue to be on the forefront in serving its members. I am surrounded by outstanding volunteers and an extraordinary staff, and I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve and work with such great people, both internally and externally.”
In reflecting on Jim’s service to the Association, Cindy said, “During his tenure, Jim has been vital to the success of NCACPA, working closely with the board of directors, committees and chapters. He has a keen understanding of the challenges facing North Carolina CPAs, and has been invaluable in representing our 14,000 members on both professional and legislative issues.”
NCACPA’s Executive Committee held the responsibility of managing the succession process, and made a recommendation to the Board, which was unanimously approved. Sharon Bryson, M.Ed., who has served in numerous positions, including roles in communications, marketing, and professional development prior to becoming COO, has been named the next CEO. Cindy commented, “NCACPA is fortunate to have a strong internal succession plan. Having worked at NCACPA for over 30 years, Sharon continues to play an integral role in the advancement and strategic direction of our Association. She is an enthusiastic and gifted leader, and her contributions have made NCACPA one of the most respected associations nationwide.”
During a meeting with staff, Sharon commented on her gratefulness for the board and staff’s support in the decision, and emphasized the importance of relationships. “The reason I love walking through the door everyday is because of the people, both staff and members. I am fortunate to work with people I truly respect. I’m so humbled, and I will continue learning from those around me. Nothing at NCACPA happens because of one individual’s efforts, and I will strive to preserve the focus on teamwork.”