The AICPA recently presented its annual Public Service Awards for individuals and firms to recognize members and firms of the AICPA who have made significant contributions to their communities.
Johnny K. Hudson, a senior partner at Hudson, Cisne & Co. LLP, in Little Rock, Ark., received the Public Service Award for Individuals.
Hudson, who grew up on a farm in Grapevine, Ark., co-founded with his siblings Aspirnaut Initiative, a program to help enhance science, technology, engineering, and math achievement skills for rural students, designed to help them compete with students in larger, metropolitan areas.
Aspirnaut outfitted a prototype school bus with computer screens and programming downloaded to accommodate different ages and grade levels, to enable students to listen to lessons during long commutes, gaining them as much as two extra hours a day of math and science education.
Bell & Co., North Little Rock, Ark., and CohnReznick, formerly The Reznick Group, Bethesda, Md., received the 2011 Public Service Award for Firms.
Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Bell & Co. raised money for school supplies for children in a remote village, and staff members gathered, sorted, and packed the materials. The firm also supported a medical clinic in the village by providing internet service and funding for a full-time nurse.
In Arkansas, Bell & Co. supports the Arkansas State Hospital, a psychiatric facility, through volunteerism and donations; its staff members serve meals for the homeless at the Salvation Army each month; and the firm is involved in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and Hearts & Hooves, a therapeutic horseback riding and teaching facility for those with disabilities. CohnReznick’s “Pay It Forward” initiative provides employees with an extra $25 per paycheck to donate to charity.
The firm also held “Office Jeans Day,” in which employees donated $5 to wear jeans on a specific work day. The firm matched those employee contributions to raise more than $40,000 to send to Japan Red Cross following the 2011 earthquake. Staff members also held fundraisers and volunteered to assist those affected by tornadoes that hit Alabama and other states in 2011 and to benefit cancer research and children’s charities.