The Soapbox and Toolbox for New York State's Nonprofits

September 14, 2016

CPA to Receive 2016 Urbach Community Builders Award

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Doug Sauer, CEO
518.434.9194, ext. 103 /

NYCON announces James A. Bowers, CPA as the Recipient

Albany, NY – September 14, 2016 – James A. Bowers, CPA of Syracuse, NY is the 2016 recipient of the 13th annual Michael H. Urbach, CPA Community Builders Award. The New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. (NYCON) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) co-sponsor the award, which recognizes exemplary achievements of a certified public accountant who serves in leadership positions on charitable organizations’ boards of directors.

Originally from Albion, New York, Jim Graduated from St. John Fisher College, B.B.A (Accounting), is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and also holds a Certificate of Educational Achievement in Business Valuations. Mr. Bowers has been involved in serving Short Line Railroad Industry clients for over 40 years and has been an influential force for the Short Line Railroad industry on a national level, playing an important role in the creation, lobbying, and securing of the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation Tax Credit, and speaks often at National and Regional ASLRRA conferences.

Mr. Bowers’ extensive knowledge, experience and service to nonprofits in his region has not gone unnoticed. Beth Broadway of Interfaith Works of CNY in nominating him, stated he “is a quintessential non-profit volunteer, and his service to the agencies in the Syracuse community has not only strengthened our work, but has allowed both of our agencies and others to survive through serious financial challenges.” Jim has served on the Interfaith Works Board since 1986, including as Board President from 2001-2004 and past Treasurer. He was essential to an emergency planning project; staff transitions; board recruitment, conducting fundraising efforts; new financial management systems, including reviewing and providing technical support related to their financials, as well as increasing their financial stability. “Mr. Bowers is incredibly generous with his and his accounting firm’s “time, talent and treasure” He and members of his firm, Bowers & Company, CPAs, go above and beyond to enhance life in Central New York. His professional success coupled with his selfless dedication to community is a model for all.”

Additional organizations and foundations that have benefitted from Jim’s volunteerism and leadership include St. Joseph's the Worker Church where he served as Chair of the Finance Committee for the last 33 years, and a Trustee for the last 3 years; Transitional Living Services; Dunbar Association; and the Faith-Hope Center. He has also served as a member, officer and board member of both the Rochester and Syracuse Kiwanis Club for 35 years. Under Mr. Bowers’ leadership with Transitional Living Services (TLS), that organization was able to build a new community residence for six people with developmental disabilities and expand their community support services for people with mental health issues. Robert A. Goodfellow, Jr. retired Executive Director of TLS noted in his letter of support that Jim also “established the groundwork for a merger with Enable in 2013” due to his vision for the future.

Another testament to Mr. Bowers’ accomplishments and leadership was his guidance during The Dunbar Association’s financial crisis and near declining life cycle. In support of his nomination, Sharon Jack-Williams, former Director, remarked that “[he] worked diligently to devise financial strategies that would enhance Dunbar’s infrastructure and reduce yearly deficits.” She added, “Mr. Bowers was committed to engage in work that would not only boost Dunbar’s profile but, more importantly, its capacity to service is constituency….he is an individual of sound character, ethical fortitude and ever dedicated to the betterment of the whole.”

The Community Builders Award is named in honor of the late Michael H. Urbach, CPA, a former partner of Urbach, Kahn and Werlin, NYS Commissioner of Tax and Finance and Chair of the State Employees Federated Appeal. He served on the boards and as an officer on numerous New York State charities including NYCON, Equinox, Inc., Albany Jewish Community Center, Albany Boys and Girls Club, United Way of Northeastern NY and St. Peter’s Hospital Associates, and many others.

The 2016 award will formally be presented at NYCON’s Annual Business Meeting, slated for the afternoon of October 6th at Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY. The Luncheon will take place during Camp Finance, a two-day retreat aimed at boosting the financial expertise and accountability of nonprofits. To register for the luncheon on October 6th, contact Melissa Currado at or call 1.800.515.5012, ext. 100. To register online or for more information, visit

NYCON and NYSSCPA would like to recognize The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region for their contribution towards the Michael H. Urbach, CPA Community Builders Award.


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About the New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc. (NYCON) NYCON, the Soapbox and Toolbox for New York’s nonprofits, works to develop and promote an effective, vibrant charitable community in New York State. With close to 3,000 nonprofit members, NYCON strengthens the business and organizational capacity of nonprofits, acts as an advocate and unifying voice, helps to inform philanthropic giving, and conducts research to demonstrate the relevance and impact of nonprofits. We provide practical solutions and answers you can trust. A complete continuum of services is offered through NYCON, Governance Matters, Council Services Plus, and Innovative Charitable Initiatives. Visit to learn more.

About the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) Founded in 1897, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants is the premiere professional accounting association for more than 28,000 members in 15 chapters across New York State, encompassing all areas of public accounting and industry including government, education, healthcare, real estate, technology, small business, entertainment and financial planning.

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NYCON develops and promotes an effective and vibrant charitable nonprofit community throughout New York State.  We strengthen organizational capacity, act as an advocate and unifying voice, help to inform philanthropic giving, and conduct research and planning to demonstrate relevance and impact.