Mag_2016_cover-422649-edited.jpgWhen I was a lad (am I really old enough to say that?), I attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory High School in San Francisco\’92s Sunset District. I was not raised religious in my home, but my parents stood by the idea that private schooling would provide me a better education and left me to make up my own mind regarding religion when I hit the age of 18. I will leave the religion discussion for another time, but attending private schools such as S.I. did instill in me one thing: the value of volunteer work. 

My high school had a requirement that each student complete 200 hours of volunteer work before graduating, which I did. I started this work begrudgingly as a good ole fashioned volunteer at Kaiser Permanente in Terra Linda. I can\’92t lie: I hated the fact I had to get up early during my summers to go work at a hospital, running things from here to there for doctors or running wheelchairs up to patients and getting them out to the curb to meet their family for pick up.

I bolstered the rest of my hours working for Marin Abused Women\’92s Services, where my Mom was an office manager for part of my high school career. I would help paint the office or help move furniture. Again, I approached the jobs as cutting in to my summer time when I could have been out causing trouble with the other teens. 

Looking back, though, I cherish that requirement and the value it instilled in me: Giving back is a good thing. A really good thing. In my adult years\’97with a full-time job, friends, love and just, well, life\’97it can be hard to find the time. I used to tutor kids in the Bay Area and I used to work for Habitat for Humanity \’85 and I have to admit these days it boils down to very little here and there\’97maybe even just spending money at a fundraiser.

But I always strive to do more, and it all comes from that little seed planted in me when I was young. Find the time. Give back. No matter how little. I have so much, and there are always people that need whatever I can afford to give. 

And this is what impresses me so much about the man who graces the cover of our September issue: John Jones, CPA. Jones is a managing partner at Linkenheimer LLC CPAs & Advisors, a job which I imagine is no walk in the park, who finds time to travel around the world providing eye care to those that need it in third world countries. He has been everywhere from Haiti to Nicaragua, stayed in all sorts of homes and huts, and traveled miles into and through wild jungles all in the name of giving back.

I don\’92t want to spoil it all, so please read the interview about Jones, our 2016 Public Service Award winner. His tireless efforts impress and inspire me in my own efforts to give back. Hopefully he will do the same for you. 

Speaking of faces on the cover, we would like to see some new ones! Finding and securing authors for the magazine is one of my most important tasks as managing editor, and we have had an endless list of greatly appreciated and talented volunteers over the years. But we\’92re always looking for new voices to put in the magazine\’97and new faces to show on the cover.

California CPA reflects the enormous pool of skill sets, talent and wisdom of you, the members, as well as the diversity. That’s why I’m extremely interested in giving ink to new members, rising stars from the young and emerging professional category, or just someone who has never written for us before and would be interested in putting yourself out there. I promise my editor-in-chief, Aldo Maragoni, and I will make the process as easy as possible for you. So if you, or anyone you know, are interested in sharing your knowledge from your field of expertise with the membership, contact me and let\’92s work out an article idea together. I look forward to working with you. 

There are a few other pieces I don\’92t want you to miss in the September issue:

  • Daniel D. Morris and Victor H. Miesel broach the increasingly important topic of transfer pricing in today\’92s brave new world, which is part one of a two-part series.
  • Tech columnist Bruce Gray provides readers with a handy review of the gadgets and gismos aplenty that have flooded the market\’97a very useful tool in a sea of choices (yes, those are allusions to “The Little Mermaid.” Don\’92t judge me.)
  • You also don\’92t want to miss the report from CalCPA\’92s trusty government relations team, which shares  some proposals on California tax reform, something which hasn\’92t happened for nearly 81 years.

As always, read on.