CalCPA Honors Blake Christian With Its Public Service Award

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For services to his community, the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) has presented Blake Christian, a Long Beach, Calif., CPA, with its statewide Public Service Award (PSA) for 2011

Blake Christion Long Beach CPA
CPAs have extremely useful skill sets, including budgeting, financial controls, financial literacy and developing business plans, which are invaluable to the not-for-profit sector.

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For services to his community, the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) has presented Blake Christian, a Long Beach, CA, CPA, with its statewide Public Service Award (PSA) for 2011.

A tax partner in the firm of Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt, LLP (HCVT), Christian is involved with numerous community organizations, including Vision360, the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Long Beach, for which he was named 2010-11 Businessperson of the Year and is serving as its 2011-12 president.

CalCPA annually presents the PSA to one member with a record of commitment to public service through participation in charitable, governmental and volunteer work that significantly affects the community, state or nation.

Pam Kelty, CPA and chair of the PSA selection committee, praised Christian’s work with the Long Beach Chamber, noting that his ideas “led to improved job placement for unemployed workers and stimulated job growth” in the Long Beach area. Christian also raised funds for various organizations including the Long Beach Symphony’s outreach program to local schools and is active with the Long Beach Symphony, Assistants League, various schools and Vision360, an organization of business people and local pastors who help establish churches.

Pam Kelty, (CalCPA PSA awards committee chair) and CPA Johnny Nguyen, managing director of Converj, LLC, (who nominated Blake for the PSA award) introduced Blake and his public service accomplishments at a luncheon attended by members of the CalCPA board and senior staff.

Highlighting his16 year professional and personal relationship with Blake, Nguyen noted that: “Public Service is not all glamour – it is often a gritty process that requires hands-on attention and it takes someone with passion, concern and quality time to invest in another person. Blake Christian was that person for me. He taught me not only the skills I needed to enter the CPA profession, but also gave me ongoing personal and business guidance during college and later on in my professional career.”

Christian, says his public service passion formed during his years at “Big 4” CPA firm, KPMG where he “found a community with a very vibrant philanthropic business culture. Keesal, Young & Logan (attorneys), Farmers & Merchants Bank, Windes & McClaughrey (CPAs), and Halbert, Hargrove Russell (Investment Advisors), had key partners and management members on virtually every not-for-profit board in the city. These community leaders were not simply writing checks, they were devoting time and contributing their professional expertise and molding these not-for-profit entities into well-run, sustainable, organizations. I was very impressed by the commitment level and positive impact these businesses had on youth, the poor, the homeless and the aged. The results of their efforts ranged from capital projects and other programs such as the Aquarium of the Pacific, the California State University Long Beach Pyramid Sport Facility, homeless shelters, health clinics, parks and educational programs.”

Christian is a graduate of CSULB (Accounting/ Finance - 1980) and USC (MBT - 1985), a resident of Cypress. His wife Vicki is also an active supporter of numerous organizations, including: LB Rotary, LB Chamber, Vision 360, Assistance League, Symphony Pops, CSULB, LBCC, Westerly School of LB, Long Beach Rescue Mission, NAACP and others.

In his acceptance, Blake thanked the board and PSA Award Committee for spotlighting the community service needs throughout the state and pointed out that “CPAs have extremely useful skill sets, including budgeting, financial controls, financial literacy and developing business plans, which are invaluable to the not-for-profit sector”. He also stressed the need for the CalCPA Board members and other public and private sector CPAs “to leverage the CPA industry’s current community participation by motivating others, particularly Gen Y students and employees, to follow the public service path that the CalCPA Board members have established over the previous decades.”

As incoming Rotary Club of Long Beach President (2011-2012), Christian’s community project consists of high school and veteran mentoring, financial literacy, and career counseling by partnering Rotary’s 310 local members with LBUSD and other local agencies focused on mentoring, training and career counseling. Blake can be reached at (562) 216-1800, blakec(at)hcvt(dot)com or online at http://www.blakechristian.com.

About CalCPA
Headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) (http://www.calcpa.org) is the nation’s largest state accounting organization and the largest CPA association in California. It serves 38,000 members in public practice, private industry, education and government. Through CalCPA Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CalCPA members provide financial literacy programs to high schools and community groups.
CalCPA is expanding their current high school and college mentoring and financial literacy programs and also allow free CalCPA memberships to these students for the periods prior to beginning their careers.

About HCVT
HCVT is a full-service CPA firm formed in 1991 and, in its 20 years, has grown to 28 partners and a total professional and administrative staff of over 250. The firm provides accounting, attest, tax, merger and acquisition, business management and financial consulting services to large, owner-managed businesses, high-net-worth individuals, estates, trusts and qualified retirement plans. HCVT has seven offices in Southern California for the convenience of their clients and employees. The Southern California CPA firms are located in Westlake Village, Pasadena, Costa Mesa, Encino, West Los Angeles and Camarillo.

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Janet Mocilnikar
HCVT
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