Governor Ivey recently re-appointed Ron Stokes, CPA, to the Alabama College Counts 529 Plan Board. Stokes was originally appointed to the board by then-Governor Riley in 2010. Governor Ivey has re-appointed Stokes to a full 4-year term. The Alabama College Counts 529 Plan is one of the leading college savings plan in the nation.
I am a backpacker (noun). That is, I regularly hike or travel carrying everything I may need in a backpack. I go backpacking (verb) because I love being outside and exploring areas best seen on foot. I am also a CPA (nerd) and I am forced to spend extended periods of time indoors in an office. I love backpacking. I also love (love-hate) my profession – especially when I get to help others improve their financial quality of life. It feeds my soul to be able to turn off the spreadsheets, throw on my backpack and head into the wilderness.
In early August, I traveled to northern Belize for phase 2 of the financial stewardship and reporting project. I worked one-on-one with five parochial schools and the general manager’s administrative office to finish building an accounting and financial reporting system using QuickBooks software. These schools are in the Orange Walk Town and Corozal areas of Belize. On average, the schools have approximately 110 students and New Life Elementary School has almost 250 students. Only five years ago, New Life School had to close due to lack of financial support. Through the leadership of principal Ruth Ku, the community of Orange Walk, and The Belize Project in Nashville, the school is now full of students, the teachers are getting paid to serve, and the building itself is a striking presence! With a financial accounting and reporting system in place, the schools can more effectively manage resources and can apply for much needed grants from the government of Belize. I am humbled to serve the wonderful people of Belize and I look forward to a long-standing relationship with the schools as they grow and prosper.