After more than 20 years at its helm, New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants Executive Director and CEO Ralph Albert Thomas will retire next year.
The organization Thomas has led since 1999 made the announcement Oct. 12. His retirement is effective June 30, 2023.
“I will truly miss my time at the NJCPA – all of the members, staff and colleagues from other state CPA societies and national organizations that work so hard to keep the CPA profession relevant – but it is time to find new frontiers,” said Thomas. “I look forward to what lies ahead for me, my family and the new connections still to be made.”
A fixture atop the NJBIZ Power 50 Accounting list, Thomas has represented NJCPA’s more than 13,000 members on state and national stages within the industry – speaking on business panels – and outside, advocating for the profession in Trenton and beyond along with offering his expertise and insights to media outlets, and has been named a “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting” by Accounting Today for the past 11 years.
His work has furthered NJCPA’s mission to promote and maintain professional and ethical standards in the field in New Jersey, along with developing and improving education and advocating for not just group members, but the public as well.
“Ralph is sincerely a one-of-a-kind CEO who makes everyone feel special, from the interns just starting out to the managing partners and CFOs that have the pleasure to meet him,” said Chief Operating Officer Theresa Hinton. “We will all miss him dearly, but we know he is only a phone call away.”
NJCPA said a search committee and external search firm have been set up to find the group’s next CEO.
Thomas was tapped by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-19th District, to serve on the state’s Sales and Use Tax Commission. His expertise was also sought by former Senate President Steve Sweeney, who enlisted Thomas to join his bipartisan Economic and Fiscal Policy Working Group. Thomas is also a member of Sweeney’s current venture, his public policy center at Rowan University.
He’s also been a big supporter of NJCPA’s Scholarship Fund, which has expanded the number of minorities and women entering the profession, awarding more than $7 million since its inception in the 1960s, the organization said. The program was expanded under Thomas’s lead to assist additional students of color through the Deloitte Foundation’s NJCPA Scholars Award, the introduction of sophomore awards to attract interest from those students attending two-year colleges, and other awards in conjunction with the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) – Northern New Jersey Chapter. NJCPA said that Thomas and his wife, Valerie, also provide additional student scholarships."