Former AICPA President Phil Chenok died Tuesday at the age of 77.
Chenok, who was one of the most influential executives in the AICPA’s history, served as president of the Institute from 1980 to 1995. He led the organization during an eventful period that included the implementation of a plan to restructure professional standards, which strengthened self-regulation in the profession. During his tenure, the organization also dealt with a liability crisis that led to a battle to secure legislation against frivolous lawsuits.
Chenok helped lead the way on other important issues, including dealing with rule changes regarding accounting firm ownership and educational requirements for CPAs.
Bob Israeloff, who was the last board chair to work with Chenok during his time as president, remembers Chenok as a low-key, but influential, gentleman.
“He was certainly a very distinguished leader of the profession,” Israeloff says. “He always emphasized serving the public interest.”
Chenok was a partner at Main Hurdman & Cranstoun before taking over as president at the AICPA. He had plenty of prior experience with the organization, including serving as chairman of the Institute’s Auditing Standards Board and its predecessor, the Auditing Standards Executive Committee, from 1976 to 1979.
Chenok, a New York City native whose father also was an accountant, graduated from New York University in 1957. He started his career in public accounting on the audit staff of a small CPA firm called Pogson, Peloubet & Co., which was located in the city’s financial district. He later received an MBA from NYU’s Graduate School of Business.
Although he lived in Tucson, Ariz., Chenok died at Columbia University Medical Center’s New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He is survived by his wife, Linda Stack, his sons, Dan and Dave Chenok, and five granddaughters.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at Fairchild Sons Funeral Home at 1201 Franklin Ave. in Garden City, N.Y. The funeral home can be reached at 516-746-0585. Contributions in Chenok’s memory can be made to the Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701. The museum can also be reached at 520-624-2333.
—Chris Baysden (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a JofA senior editor.