Governor Abbott Names Chair And Appoints Five To Texas State Board Of Public Accountancy

November 4, 2015 | Austin, Texas | Appointment

Governor Greg Abbott has named Coalter Baker of Austin as presiding officer of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. Additionally, he appointed Ben Pena of Harlingen, Rosie Morris, PhD, of San Marcos, Kimberly Wilkerson of Lubbock, Timothy LaFrey of Austin and Ross T. Johnson of Houston to the Board for terms set to expire on January 31, 2021. The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy protects the public by ensuring that persons issued certificates as certified public accountants (CPAs) possess the necessary education, skills and capabilities and that they perform competently in the profession of public accountancy.

J. Coalter Baker is a self-employed CPA and personal financial specialist in Austin. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Texas Society of CPAs, and a board member of the Stephen F. Austin Society and Austin Boys and Girls Clubs Endowment Fund. He is a past member of the AICPA Professional Ethics Executive and Tax Responsibilities committees, and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy Nominating and Ethics committees. Coalter was appointed to the Texas Board of Public Accountancy in 2003 where he served in various leadership roles, including Presiding Officer, until 2008.  The Governor reappointed him in 2011 to serve through 2017. He is also past president and past executive director of the West Austin Youth Association, a past member of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, and is a graduate of Leadership Austin. He has also been honored to serve on the Tax Practice Responsibilities and Professional Ethics Executive Committees of the AICPA. Coalter also served as a graduate school lecturer at the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business in taxation. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas.

Ben Pena is a partner with Burton, McCumber & Cortez, LLP in Brownsville. He currently serves as director-at-large for the Texas Society of CPAs. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the Institute for Internal Controls. He also serves as Vice-President of the Brownsville Community Foundation as well as a director of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce and steering board member of Leadership Rio Grande Valley. Pena received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from The University of Texas-Pan American.

Dr. Rosie Morris is a professor at the McCoy College of Business Administration, Department of Accounting at Texas State University. Her teaching awards include the 2011 FBD Distinguished Educator Award, Texas Society of CPAs Outstanding Educator for 2002, the Texas State College of Business Administration’s Teaching Excellence Award for 2000, and the Technology Innovation Award from Accounting Instructors’ Report in 2001. She is also has served on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Pre-Certification Education Executive Committee. Dr. Morris was honored as an inductee into the San Marcos Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001 for her civic contributions and has been a nominee to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. Dr. Morris received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Texas Christian University, a Master of Science in Accountancy and a Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration from the University of Houston.

Kimberly Wilkerson is a shareholder with Hund, Krier, Wilkerson & Wright, P.C. For the past 20 years, she has represented clients throughout the State of Texas in matters ranging from employee benefit compliance issues and audits by the Internal Revenue Service and the U. S. Department of Labor, to counseling clients on issues related to design and operation of qualified retirement plans, welfare benefit plans and non-qualified deferred compensation plans and arrangements. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Lubbock County Bar Association and the Lubbock County Women’s Bar Association. Wilkerson received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas Tech University and a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law.

Tim LaFrey is the executive vice president of strategy and business development at Seton Healthcare Family in Austin. Currently, he is chairman of the Board of Directors of Seton Insurance Services and the Seton Health Plan. He served on the Seton Board of Trustees for more than six years before joining the organization as an employee. Previously, he served as president and was a member of the Board of Directors of American Physicians Service Group, Inc. During his tenure, the company was recognized by Forbes and Fortune magazines as one of the country’s fastest-growing public companies. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Society of CPAs and the Travis County Bar Association. LaFrey received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law.

Ross T. Johnson is an audit director with Deloitte & Touche LLP in Houston. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.  He is a deacon at Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston and previously served as a member of the Planning & Zoning Commission of the City of Spring Valley Village, Texas. Johnson received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas A&M University.