CPAs in Maryland and beyond are mourning the loss of a true friend and advocate.

George Nick Manis, best known to MACPA members as the co-founder of Manis Canning & Associates, the lobbying firm that has worked tirelessly with the MACPA to protect CPAs and their clients before Maryland’s General Assembly, died unexpectedly on Aug. 13 at the age of 85.

“George’s knowledge of our state’s government and his savvy lobbying instincts were hugely important to our profession,” said Tom Hood, CPA, executive director of the MACPA. “Our legislative advocacy has been a cornerstone of the MACPA since 1901. George was a key to the development of our grassroots member involvement, our Key Person Program and our PAC activities for more than 30 years. Our members and their clients are stronger than ever today thanks to the efforts of George and his firm.

“More important,” Hood added, “he was a loving husband, a devoted father and grandfather, and a true friend. He will be terribly missed.”

During the MACPA’s annual CPA Day in Annapolis in January — an event that Manis helped the association create — former MACPA Chair Anoop Mehta put forth the following resolution in Manis’s honor:

Whereas legislative advocacy is part of our core purpose and the reason we were founded in 1901 with the enactment of the CPA law;

Whereas, George Manis and his firm, Manis & Canning & Associates, have represented the MACPA for over 30 years;

Whereas, George Manis helped us establish our grassroots membership efforts, including CPA Day, and has helped educate us about the legislative process;

Whereas, George Manis was a driving force behind our recognition in Annapolis as a group with integrity and objectivity, recognized by the legislators and leadership in state government;

Be it resolved that the Maryland Association of CPAs wishes to recognize George Manis for all of his efforts and significant impact on CPAs in Maryland through the passage of many proactive laws that help CPAs and the prevention of proposed legislation that could have hurt CPAs in Maryland. Thank you on behalf of our 10,000 members.

“CPA Day won’t be the same without his smiling face and fun 1040 tie,” said MACPA Chief Operating Officer Jackie Brown. “George was a very kind and very smart man who cared deeply about every relationship he had — and he had so many that will miss him dearly.”

For CPAs, the work Manis did on behalf of the profession perhaps overshadows his many other remarkable achievements. Among them, according to his obituary:

  • He was a star basketball player at Annapolis High School and went on to play point guard for the University of Maryland before graduating in 1953.
     
  • He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, attended the University of Baltimore Law School, and acted as an assistant state’s attorney in Maryland for several years.
     
  • He was a founding partner of Turk, Manis & Duckett and later of Manis, Wilkinson & Snider, then took on his first lobbying client — the Motion Picture Association of America — in 1974. He co-founded Manis Canning & Associates 17 years later and worked there until his death.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Manis’s name to support the University of Maryland basketball program. Checks may be made payable to the UMCP Foundation / Gary Williams Point Guard Scholarship Fund (note: in memory of George N. Manis) and mailed to the attention of Brittany Fertig, 0715 Xfinity Center, College Park, Md., 20742. 

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