CEO Connect


It's a word you'll hear me use a lot. It's a powerful word that influences our professional and personal lives. It's also a word that is synonymous with our new website. We're excited about all of its abilities and possibilities – I encourage you to just dive in and check it out for yourself.

Through CEO Connect, I'll keep you up to date on what's happening in the profession, around the state and throughout the country. And on a lighter note, I'll take you on my day-to-day journey and introduce you to members I meet along the way.

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Ron Gitz, CPA, CGMA
Executive Director/CEO


  CPAs are taking on Washington Mardi Gras this week. I'm with our State Govt Relations Director Linda Babin, State Rep Julie Stokes, and LA CPA State Board Members Desiree Honore Thomas at the Committee of 100 Congressional Briefing. We're bringing a little of our "throw me something" spirit to DC. 

We were proud to host the 2017 IRS Practitioner-Liaison Meeting at our Kenner office on January 25. This annual meeting brings together representatives from various tax practitioner groups to hear updates from the IRS and to ask questions and raise concerns. It was also our pleasure to present Sharon Evans, IRS Sr. Stakeholder Liaison, with a certificate of appreciation for her ongoing commitment to maintaining our valued partnership and serving LCPA members. Sharon retires in July after 30 years with the IRS. 
(l-r) LCPA State Government Relations Director Linda Babin, IRS Stakeholder Liaison Earline Brown, Sharon Evans, and IRS Sr. Stakeholder Liaison Aaron Steele.

  Our Chair-Elect Gina Rachel and I attended AICPA Fall Council. The meeting gave us the opportunity to network with other state society leadership and gain a better understanding of the trending issues impacting the profession, and how we as association leaders, can best prepare our membership to remain viable. Here we are with AICPA Vice Chair Eric Hansen (far left) and AICPA President & CEO Barry Melancon (far right).  
  Thanks to Melissa Parker and Kati McDaniels, fund administrators for AICPA's Benevolent Fund, who came to Louisiana to reach out to members in flood-affected areas. The Fund helps members through temporary periods of financial difficulty, and anyone who's seen the impact of the recent floods, knows well that we have CPAs and their families who need help. Glad I had a chance to enjoy a meal with them before they head back home. (9/1/16)
  AICPA is holding its Spring Meeting of Council right here in New Orleans. Boy am I proud to show off our great state — and I get to meet great people to boot — like Nicolle Wallace (center), Political Analyst, New York Times Best-Selling Author, and Former White House Director of Communications. You'll also recognize LCPA member and past AICPA Chair Bill Balhoff. (5/16/16)
  Today I was at the Capitol for the Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy meeting. While waiting for the meeting to start, I caught up with Cynthia Pugh, LDR Director, Audit Intelligence Team, and William Little, Attorney, LDR Policy Services Division. Our Advocacy Team is listening in on the discussion to make sure our members' needs are well represented. (4/8/16)
  Now I know how Ed McMahon felt like. Today, LCPA's "Prize Patrol" paid a surprise visit to Mel Pechon, past president of the Society. It was my pleasure to present Mel with our Lifetime Membership award for his dedicated and distinguished service to the Society and to the accounting profession. He was truly touched, as was I. Thanks, Mel for your 57 years of membership and for helping keep our profession strong. (3/22/16)

We're hard at work advocating for our members this special legislative session. I'm with LCPA State and Local Tax Committee member Roy Austin, discussing tax related bills prior to start of House Ways & Means Committee meeting Thursday morning. (2/18/16)

I was proud to represent LCPA at the Committee 100 for Economic Development’s Annual DC visit that precedes Washington Mardi Gras. The C100 met with the entire Louisiana Congressional Delegation and had an audience with our new governor. Here I am with Melody Woodworth (C100) and Michael Olivier (Executive Director of C100). (2/11/16)

At the NASBA annual meeting Dana Point, CA with Donna Brazile, Lynn Hutchinson, and Mark Harris. Originally from New Orleans and a grad of LSU, Donna was a guest speaker at the meeting. I was glad to be there with fellow LCPA members Lynn and Mark, who also serve on our State Board. (10/31/15)

I'll be attending AICPA Fall Council in a few days so these sweet tickets to the LSU-Florida game this Saturday are up for grabs for TWO lucky members who show us their winning Tiger spirit. Post or tweet a pic of your festive gameday attire, tailgate setup, decorations by midnight Wednesday. TWO lucky members will each get two tickets and a parking pass for the game. ‪#‎geauxLCPA‬

Thanks to LDR Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield (the tall guy, second from the right) and his staff for joining us at our State and Local Taxation Workshop today. We appreciate their participation in this program that brings together more than 180 CPAs to update them on SALT issues. Here I am with Secretary Barfield and LCPA State Government Relations Director Linda Babin and Arthur Parham, chair of our Legislation Committee. (7/24/15)

LCPA was a proud sponsor of the "Taste of the Senate" 20th Anniversary Celebration on May 11, 2015. Linda Babin and I attended the fundraiser hosted under the leadership of Senator Eric LaFleur, current chairman of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee of Louisiana. (5/12/15)

It's official - we opened a legislative office in Baton Rouge! On March 23, we hosted an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Thanks to the members, staff, family, and state legislators who joined us for the celebration. Here I am with Linda Babin, LCPA State Government Relations Director (on the far left), and in the center, Rep. Julie Stokes (next to Linda) and Rep. Regina Barrow (next to me). Next time you're in Baton Rouge, come visit the office at 548 Lakeland Drive. (3/23/15)

Working to advocate on our member's behalf. Here I am with Dr. Ben Carson (potential Republican presidential candidate) at LABI's annual meeting in Baton Rouge. (1/27/15)

LCPA's Facebook page reached its 1000th milestone at the Louisiana Tax Conference. Wyatt Sanders of Alexander & Sanders (our conference Gold Sponsor) helped me congratulate Tina Barrett, our 1000th Facebook fan. Be sure to "like" us too for late-breaking Society and profession-wide news and notes.  (12/19/14)

What a night at the annual LCPA Past Presidents' dinner. We rolled out our new "LCPA Ambassador" program to recognize our esteemed leaders throughout the year. Look for them at upcoming events - they'll be wearing special ribbons. I loved playing host to our many guests, including Lisa and Frank Traina (left) and Maureen and Lonnie Stockwell. (12/17/14)

It was my pleasure to present Joy Irwin with LCPA's 2014 Outstanding Discussion Leader Award. I made the presentation at our Government Accounting and Auditing Conference. (11/13/14)
New Orleans CityBusiness Women of the Year recognizes 50 women from the area whose successes in business and contributions to the community have made them movers and shakers in the region. LCPA members Julie Stokes (second from right) and Amy Walters (not pictured) were honored at a special luncheon today. Here I am with LCPA members (l-r) Steve Romig, Michele Avery, Julie Stokes at the event. (11/14/14)

Northeast chapter members David Soignier, Amanda Hinton, Renee Robinson, Carol Shaver, Ann Colvin were recognized as our 25-year members and given a commemorative pin to mark the occasion. Thanks to LCPA Northeast Chapter President Michelle McEacharn (far right) for hosting the event. (10/23/14)

Dedicated members deserve recognition. Northeast Chapter President Michelle McEachern (left) and I honored David Ahee (center) for his 25 years as an LCPA member. (10/23/14)

It was my pleasure to join LCPA President Tommy Phillips (second from left) in recognizing Austin Robertson Jr. and Thomas Black Jr. for 50-year of loyal membership. Thanks to Shreveport Chapter President Michael Gould (left) for hosting a great event. (10/24/14)

It was a great night at NASBA's Gala at the Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Here I am with LCPA Member and Past NASBA Chair Mark Harris (left) and Walter Davenport, NASBA's newly elected chair. (11/4/14)

At NASBA's Gala at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. It was fun to meet up with friends LCPA Member and Past NASBA Chair Mark Harris (left) and Billy Atkinson, Chair of PCC (Private Company Council) and also a past chair of NASBA. (11/4/14)

AICPA Fall Council was in Boston this year and always a great opportunity to get up to date on the issues facing the profession. Here I am with AICPA Chair Elect Tim Christen (on the far left), LCPA President Elect Brook Harvey, and AICPA President and CEO President Barry Melancon. (10/16/14)

LCPA President Tommy Phillips (far right) and I visited the Central Chapter for its Member Recognition program at Roy O. Martin in Alexanderia. Paul Dauzat and Kurt Oestriecher (center) were among the 25-Year members honored. (10/9/14)

Enjoying my time at Roy O Martin playing a guitar made out of the oldest pine tree in Louisiana. (10/9/14)

It was a great night at the South Central Chapter's Member Recognition event. LCPA President Tommy Phillips (center) and SC Chapter President Kandace Mauldin (far right) joined me in honoring our 25-year members (l-r) Toby Besson and Ronnie Lefort. (10/8/14)

Last night I met Sophia Wang (center), an accounting major at Tulane University. Ann Lupo and I attended the Tulane Business Forum's reception and had a chance to experience the enthusiasm of students (and future LCPA members), like Sophia. She's interested in an audit position at a Big 4 firm. I love being able to help our upcoming professionals get a head start in their careers. (9/18/14)

There's nothing like a little healthy competition. Notice the happy LSU fans (r-l) LCPA President Tommy Phillips, Linda Babin, me, and Lisa Traina...and the not-so-happy David Soignier (past president of our Northeast Chapter) who was in Baton Rouge to cheer on his team, ULM. Although LSU won, ULM managed to hold LSU without a touchdown in the first quarter. (9/13/14)

Here I am with LCPA Member Ted Grant, winner of an LSU Tailgate Package for two. His donation to LCPA's Education Foundation got him his lucky ticket that was picked at the Business & Industry Conference. Donations go to scholarships for accounting students, and Ted and a guest go to an LSU game. Sounds like a win-win for everyone! Watch for more chances to win at upcoming LCPA events. (8/15/14)

Today's Louisiana Sales and Use Taxation Workshop features discussions lead by representatives from the Louisiana Department of Revenue, including Secretary of Revenue Tim Barfield. We appreciate the great collaborative relationship we have with LDR and the assistance they provide to LCPA and our members. (7/21/14)

LCPA Member and LA Representative Julie Stokes joined me for AICPA's State Tax Policy Session in New Orleans. We met with state society executives and Julie served on a panel to provide a local perspective. (7/15/14)

Closing out NASBA Western Regional Conference in St. Louis with LA State Board Director Darla Saux and State Board Member Lynn Hutchinson. (6/13/14)

I'm with LA State Board Director Darla Saux at NASBA's Regional Workshop in St. Louis. I continue to learn how the state board and the state society can better serve CPAs, their clients and the public. Here we're getting ready for a four minute ride to the top of the Arch in a claustrophobic pod! What an unusual team building exercise! (6/13/14)

Thanks to the members who renewed their LCPA membership by May 30th — almost 3000!! The early-bird renewers were entered to win one of 10 Visa Gift Cards valued at $100 each. Big congrats to our randomly-selected winners: Bailey Baynham (SH); Jennifer Blanchard (NS); Faye Campbell (SH); Bridget Kaigler (BR); Gina Kaupp (NO); Melissa Mitcham (NE); Laura Morse (NO); Marjorie Shuler (NE); Norris Songe (NO); Robert Veazey (LF). Advanced thanks to ALL members who renew every year and place their trust in our member organization – we're here for you!

The Baton Rouge Chapter's Annual Crawfish Boil was another huge success. Here I am with BR Chapter President Linda Babin (to my right), my lovely wife, Jennifer, and BR Chapter Prez-elect Lance Kinchen. Thanks to the chapter for sponsoring this fun (and free) event for our members! (5/15/14)

Patrick Gros and Rob Lamb were just two of the members who came out to show their support for the Northshore Chapter's First Annual Run the Numbers 5K Fun Run & Walk. They raised $5,000 for accounting scholarships. (4/27/14)

I'm with Sheri McPherson (CEO) of Oregon Society of CPAs at the New York State Society of CPA's office (right across the street from the Stock Exchange). We're here with other State Society execs attending the CPA/SEA Board meeting and TAC (The Accounting Coalition — which is the "Big 4") to discuss government affairs, CPE and membership. It's important to hear what's going on in other states in these areas so we can improve upon what we offer and provide to our members. (4/3/14)
We had a great turnout for the "2014 Issues of Influence" program on January 16 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. We welcomed AICPA President/CEO Barry Melancon, current AICPA Chair Bill Balhoff, LA Rep. Julie Stokes, and New Orleans Chamber President/CEO Ben Johnson. I had a chance to catch up with two of my LCPA Executive Director predecessors, Barry and Grady Hazel.

LCPA student members Jess Davis and Caleb Atwell joined us for the LCPA Pelicans Night on January 15.