Accounting Leader. Technologist. Visionary.

Position:Interview
 
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Meet the New CEO

After 14 years as CEO of CalCPA and CalCPA Education Foundation, Loretta Doon, CPA, will be retiring in June. Having led CalCPA to become the largest state CPA society in the country, Doon hands over the leadership to Anthony Pugliese, CPA, COMA, CITP, at an exciting and critical time for the profession.

Pugliese comes to CalCPA at a time of significant change in the accounting profession. Complexity is relentless and ever-increasing. Forces of change are driving disruption and new models. But amidst this backdrop of mounting challenges are also significant opportunities.

We spoke with Pugliese to learn more about him and gain insight into his vision.

Before you share your insights and vision, tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a passionate member of the accounting profession. I hold an active CPA license in North Carolina and California, as well as the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) and Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) certifications from the AICPA, I've spent my career in accounting and served as an advocate for our profession because I strongly believe in the role we play in business and society.

I worked for Deloitte & Touche for over seven years, and having family in California, I also worked in the firm's San Francisco office. So coming to CalCPA as CEO is like coming back to my roots. Beginning in 1997, I assumed a national role at the AICPA, where I spent almost 21 years in several leadership roles. I was most recently the Executive Vice President of Membership, Technology and Learning, and prior to that, I served as AICPA's COO. I also led AICPA teams for assurance services, as well as specialty practice areas of personal financial planning, valuation, financial forensics, IT and others.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Adaptive, genuine and a people-person.

Elaborate on those for us.

I've always tried to adapt to my professional and personal environments as quickly as possible. There's so much being thrown at us in the workplace, the broader market and society in general, that we have to break through that clutter to make sense of it all and adapt to--and get in front of--the changes. Change can be good for the soul and gives me energy because it often leads to something new and exciting. Change is always an opportunity to learn.

I'm also an open book and strive to bring my genuine self to my work and home. There is no artifice to me. ft has a lot to do with my upbringing and the values my parents taught me. I accept people for who they are, and I hope they do the same for me, because what you see is what you get.

I also thrive on engaging with people, whether as a manager, leader, collaborator or colleague. During my career, I've had opportunities to lead teams and work with boards, committees and volunteer leaders. My experience leading two chambers of commerce in North Carolina, however, really helped me expand my thinking around engaging with people in a different way--as more of a nurturer or coach. I wasn't leading as much as I was bringing people together and helping others grow and succeed. I think this fits well with the role of a CEO. CEOs guide resources and lead people to help them achieve their best for the organization, and I believe CEOs need to like working with people to be most effective.

Talk to us a little about your leadership style.

Brene Brown's "Dare to Lead" is a book I feel a strong connection with. It helps you see that who you are is how you lead. Being authentic is central for me as a leader--and colleagues can tell when you aren't being authentic. Strong leaders also listen more than they speak, and I try to do this as much as I can. Being humble and approachable are also important to me as a leader, as is a sense of humor at appropriate moments. My goal is to never stop learning what it takes to lead with integrity

How about a peek into the personal side of Anthony Pugliese.

My family is very important to me. I'm the father of three children: 8-year-old fraternal twin daughters and a teenage son. My husband and I are dedicated to our children and work hard to provide them a quality home life, good education and opportunities to be whoever they want to be. I'm also a twin (my fraternal twin brother is in the U.S. Army) and my mother was a twin, as was her mother. The odds of this many sets of twins occurring so often in a family must be slim, but it's something that's part of my life journey and makes my story more interesting...

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