NASACT ANNOUNCES 2021 HALL OF FAME CLASS
Shown above, left to right: incoming President Richard Eckstrom (SC), immediate past president Elaine Howle (CA), David R. Bean, James B. Lewis, David A. Vaudt, and Kinney Poynter.
Three individuals were recognized during a Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on Tuesday, August 17. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the annual conference of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT) in San Diego, California. The inductees were:
- David R. Bean, former director of research and technical activities with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
- James B. Lewis, former state treasurer of New Mexico.
- David A. Vaudt, former auditor of state of Iowa and former chairman of the GASB.
The NASACT Hall of Fame was conceived to honor those who have made major and enduring impacts on state government financial management. The Hall of Fame is meant to memorialize the vision, accomplishments, and lasting impacts of leaders among the Association’s membership and the broader NASACT community.
Nominees to the Hall of Fame were evaluated on four main criteria.
- Promotion or enhancement of government accountability, efficiency or effectiveness.
- Improvement of state government.
- Impact upon the lives of citizens or upon those employed by state governments.
- And peer recognition of excellence and achievement.
ABOUT THE RECIPIENTS
David R. Bean has been a passionate advocate, leader, and teacher in the pursuit of excellence in government financial accounting and reporting.
His advocacy for improved accountability and transparency traces back to his time as deputy director of the Illinois GAAP Implementation Project, which resulted in one of the earliest examples of a state-level Annual Comprehensive Financial Report developed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. His commitment to government excellence didn’t waver as he moved on to become director of GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement program, the last director of the NCGA, and finally to be GASB’s Director of Research and Technical Activities. Over the years, he has consistently and persuasively encouraged governments throughout the nation to adopt GASB standards and follow GAAP. Today, thousands of governments have adopted these practices.
His leadership is characterized by the evolution of GAAP and the maturation of the GASB standards. Under his guidance, GASB standards have become more comprehensive, relevant, and impactful to the changing environment of government itself.
Bean has epitomized the concept of due diligence. He recognized that the process by which proposed standards are debated and adopted is almost as important as the content.
His career demonstrates enduring and positive contributions to the profession of public sector financial accounting and reporting, and he has helped literally thousands of public sector practitioners improve their craft. He is a role model for the next generation.
Known in New Mexico and around the nation for his moral integrity and character, James B. Lewis came from humble beginnings. He began his professional career in 1970 as a U.S. Army military policeman.
In 1982, after hearing negative comments about local and state government, he decided to become part of the solution. Facing great odds, he was elected Bernalillo County Treasurer – the first African American to be elected in the county. Excelling in this role, he was tapped by Gov. Tony Anaya in 1985 to become state treasurer after a scandal led to the removal of his predecessor. With fierce determination, he turned the agency back into one of honesty and integrity, passing 17 pieces of legislation in his first year to improve efficiency, accountability, and transparency.
He moved on to be chief of staff for New Mexico Gov. Bruce King, utilizing his knowledge and expertise to enhance numerous city agencies and commissions, and he received a presidential appointment to serve as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.
In 2005, another scandal plagued the state treasurer’s office, and New Mexican’s once again looked to Lewis when they chose him as the first African American statewide-elected official. He labored to transform the agency, collaborating with an oversight committee and the State Department of Finance, and engaging newspaper editorial boards and community stakeholders to restore faith in the system. After two successful terms, he gained the distinction of being the state’s longest-serving state treasurer.
A great believer in collaboration, Lewis was active in community and professional organizations. He served as president of both NASACT and NAST, and he has received numerous national and state awards recognizing his character and accomplishments.
Lewis contended with significant issues during his time of public service, but he gladly accepted the challenges because he knew he could make a difference. His legacy of honesty and integrity is still felt today as he continues to be a model for future generations.
Beneath his quiet demeanor, David A. Vaudt’s steady, consistent determination and commitment to transparency and the rule of law have served him well.
Spending 25 years working his way up through various roles with KPMG in the 80s and 90s, Vaudt learned the value of hard work and earned practical experience about accounting and auditing, in both the public and private sectors. He put this knowledge to use when he was elected as Iowa’s state auditor in 2002, a post to which he was re-elected twice. As state auditor he was known as a straight-shooter, a citizen advocate, and a noteworthy steward of tax-payer dollars. He managed several investigations in Iowa that resulted in criminal prosecutions and the safeguarding of public funds.
As president of NSAA, Vaudt was a national proponent of government transparency and accountability, navigating the association through issues including finding a sustainable funding source for the GASB, efforts to reform the single audit process, and implementation of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.
In 2013, Vaudt became the fourth chairman of the GASB. During his tenure, he led the board through significant updates to the financial reporting model that underlies governmental financial statements. Other major projects under his purview included retiree healthcare obligations, tax abatements and leases. Vaudt expertly navigated daunting challenges and communicated adeptly to manage complex priorities and partnerships among a diverse stakeholder group.
He was chair of the CPA Examination Review Board, NASBA, and the Iowa Accountancy Examining Board. During his career, Vaudt has received numerous industry awards and recognition at both the state and national levels.
Vaudt has served the citizens of Iowa and the nation with a quiet dignity and an unshakable commitment to finding consensus during an era of unprecedented complexity and polarization.