Monday, December 19, 2011

Giving Back: Jim Shepherd, CPA

Jim Shepherd, CPA, doesn’t lack for professional honors. He’s one of the most accomplished financial planners in the Richmond area and has the awards to prove it, having earned a spot on the Virginia Business “Super CPAs” list several years running.

But it’s in the community where Shepherd (right), co-founder of Kuehl Shepherd Kozlowski & Associates, has made perhaps his greatest impact. His passion for helping other people and using his accounting skills to do so found a natural outlet with the VSCPA. He’s held just about every leadership position possible at the Society, including a term as Vice Chair of the VSCPA Educational Foundation Board of Directors and his current spot on the Society’s Board of Directors.

Shepherd got his start as a VSCPA volunteer with the Society’s Richmond chapter. He served as president of that group before moving on to the Educational Foundation.

“I really met some wonderful people who are still lifelong friends and wonderful acquaintances who I deal with in business situations,” he said. “The Richmond chapter gave me an opportunity to be involved in some great aspects.”

The leadership qualities Shepherd has exhibited with the VSCPA haven’t gone unnoticed by outside observers. In addition to his shelf full of “Super CPA” awards, the Financial Planning Association of Central Virginia honored him with the John H. Cecil, Jr. Lifetime Service Award in 2008.

The VSCPA has benefited greatly from that service. Shepherd has helped shape Society and Foundation decisions for years and has thrown himself into other VSCPA opportunities with gusto. He’s worked as a presenter for the Society’s annual Ethics course, echoing a large reason he got into accounting in the first place.

“I thought this profession had more ethics and more wonderful people than any of the other people that I worked with in business, so I really thought it was a great area to be involved in,” he said. As a result, volunteerism just became a natural outgrowth of that. It was such a wonderful thing to be able to provide opportunities and give back and meet other people who are actively involved in this profession.

“…I’m always astounded by how much the quality of this profession shows through among the people.”

Shepherd’s volunteer efforts have extended far beyond the VSCPA. He’s a former president of the South Richmond Rotary Club and has served on boards and committees for the International Hospital for Children, the Chesterfield Health Center Commission (where he served as chairman) and the Byrd Theatre Foundation.

Through it all, he’s kept perspective on the reasons he donates so much of his time.

“It's nice to be able to see some wonderful things come together that wouldn't be possible without the talents of people volunteering their time,” he said. “It truly makes a difference in the profession and in the community as well.”

Interested in a volunteer position with the VSCPA? Visit and sign up by the Feb. 3, 2012, deadline.

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