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Spotlight » Business » Frank K. Ross
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Name:

Frank K. Ross

Title(s):Business
Other Titles:Entrepreneur, Author, University Professor
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Frank K. Ross, one of the founders of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA), has written a book about his life as an immigrant and successful certified public accountant (CPA) entitled, Quiet Guys Can Do Great Things, Too: A Black Accountant's Success Story. The book, which features a foreword written by Time Warner Inc. Chairman of the board and CEO Richard D. Parsons, is a classic and triumphant American tale, a parable of how one man's awe and inspiration at life's possibilities was not thwarted or halted by the darker realities of racism, segregation and discrimination.

After the death of his father, 7-year-old Ross immigrated from his homeland of St. Kitts to New York with his mother and three brothers. In 1969, he received his CPA certification, joining what he estimates to be only 125 to 150 other Black CPAs at that time. He spent 38 years at KPMG LLC (then known as Peat Marwick), having served as a partner and member of the firm's board of directors. He's currently the Visiting Professor of Accounting and Director of the Center for Accounting Education in the School of Business at Washington D.C.-based Howard University.

His determination to break racial barriers (especially in the accounting field) and dispute the putative, racist beliefs about Blacks that dominated the Jim Crow era inspired Ross and eight other Black men to establish NABA. After the organization's inaugural meeting in 1969 (which took place in his living room!), Ross served as NABA's first president, and he continues to be one of the organization's most senior and active members. He encourages more students to enter the accounting profession, furnishes students with networking and scholarships opportunities, and helps more African Americans obtain key executive positions in the industry.

In a life marked by tragedy, struggle and triumph, Ross' story is an inspiration not only to NABA members and accountants, but to all Black professionals as well. "We need people you can look to, who share your experiences and help you learn from their lessons," Ross said. "Over the years I've met a lot of people through NABA that have helped me, and in return, I've helped a lot of people -- we're all different and we all have different hurdles to overcome in our life, but we're not in this world by ourselves.""

He continues: "Those who have succeeded need to help those who come behind us -- this is what we founders envisioned, and though the words have been updated, this is NABA's core mission.""

"Frank's importance to the genesis, history and evolution of NABA is evident: We would not exist if not for the shared vision of Frank and the other founders," says NABA President and CEO Gwendolyn D. Skillern. "His personal and professional examples are a testament that blacks can, and do, succeed despite obstacles and injustices. For Black accountants specifically, his story is a must-read."

To obtain a copy of Quiet Guys Can Do Great Things, Too: A Black Accountant's Success Story, please visit www.writingourworldpress.com

About The National Association of Black Accountants
The National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. is one of the premier professional organizations in the nation. NABA represents the interests of more than 100,000 people of color in furtherance of their educational, professional, and career goals in the related fields of accounting, consulting, finance and information technology. For more information, visit www.nabainc.org

Article originally appears on Blacknews.com

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