Beverly R. Nichols, CPA, of New Orleans, and JPMS Cox PLLC, of Little Rock, Ark., each received the AICPA’s 2008 Public Service Award. Olivia Kirtley, chair of the AICPA Awards Committee, presented the awards at the spring meeting of the Institute’s governing Council in Washington.
Nichols, who received the individual award, is tax director and director of employee benefits services at Bourgeois Bennett LLC. She has been a volunteer with Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, leading the organization’s Exchange City program, which taught 15,000 students financial literacy. She also is the president of the New Orleans Institute of Mental Hygiene and helped reopen child care facilities in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005.
She is also a founding member of the Priestley School of Architecture and Construction, which opened a year after Hurricane Katrina to prepare students to help rebuild and revitalize New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Her leadership and counsel on the Red Cross Southeast Chapter Board helped stabilize the chapter in the wake of continuing emergency response.
Jim Phillips, managing partner, accepted the firm award on behalf of JPMS Cox. The firm was recognized for its dedication to corporate citizenship. Since the firm’s founding in 1987, its partners and employees have served in nonprofits throughout Arkansas.
The firm is an active partner in City Year, an organization that works to make a difference in the lives of children and transform schools and neighborhoods in the United States and South Africa. Through City Year, firm volunteers performed grassroots service projects, including painting and repairing playground equipment and basketball courts and planting gardens at area schools and community centers.
JPMS Cox sponsors an average of five blood drives a year for the American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas and American Red Cross Blood Services. It also supports the ARC chapter via fundraisers, such as the annual Heroes Luncheon. And volunteers participate in disaster assistance projects, including manning phone banks during tornadoes and floods.
Volunteers also work with Susan G. Komen For the Cure in Little Rock, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the Arkansas Arts Center, Junior Achievement of Arkansas, Just Communities of Central Arkansas Walk as One, Habitat for Humanity of Pulaski County, and Riverfest Inc.