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FOCUS on chairman’s message

Plant the seed I

By Neil Jay, CPA, ABV

enjoy this edition of the CPAFOCUS perhaps more than any other issue all year. Tis is the issue when we get a glimpse

Neil Jay, CPA, ABV is the managing shareholder of Jay & Associates, PC in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A member for 19 years, he has previously chaired   Gold Pen Award recipient.

of the future of our profession. Te OSCPA Trailblazers has been a tremendous opportunity for the membership to see the young talent that will lead our profession in the future. While we celebrate the Trailblazers, we

also are recognizing an equally important member of the OSCPA: Te mentor. Without mentors, there wouldn’t be Trailblazers. Mentor contributions to the Society help shape the future of the CPA profession. To that end, the OSCPA introduces the Path Finder Awards. Te Path Finder Awards were created to honor an elite group of Oklahoma CPAs who are successful and well-respected and have dedicated significant amounts of time to mentoring new CPAs, welcoming them into the profession and showing them how to be successful. Tis new award prompted me to take a moment to consider the people who shaped my career. I think back to when I started my first job two weeks before to my 22nd birthday. While a degree helped me land a job, my real education began on the job. I learned more in that first year of my career than I did during my entire education. It was trial by fire, and I didn’t truly appreciate the level of precision required to meet client expectations. I couldn’t have learned these critical lessons without the help of seniors, managers and very patient partners taking their precious time to invest in me.

I would like to personally thank a couple of people that served as my mentor. My father, Steve Jay, who taught me amazing lessons about business and client management. I try and model my approach to client service on the many lessons he taught me over the years. Second would be Eric Winden, CPA, PFS, CFPA®, a shareholder with Gates, Winden & Associates in Tulsa. Eric was the most patient tax manager on Earth dealing with me as a young CPA. His dedication to the profession and ability to always arrive at the correct answer was a great example to me early in my career. To the inaugural class of Path Finders, I would like to thank each of you for your dedication and your contributions to the Society. To the Trailblazers, I would like to congratulate you on your achievement and remind you that your job is not done. It is now your turn to mentor the next group of CPAs to ensure the future of the profession continues to bloom. Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Don’t judge

each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” Let’s continue planting seeds.



March/April 2019

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