This is the last time I was with Dawson Grove at his home in Costa Rica this past June and like always he had his typical big smile. Dawson was a great friend (along with his wife, Bette), mentor and truly a great leader of our Profession.
Dawson passed away last Friday evening at his home in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica and will be remembered tomorrow, February 16th at 11AM at the Papagayo Village Community Church. Bette said she will also be planning a tribute in Frederick, Maryland later this year.
Dawson was responsible for appointing me to serve on the MACPA Board of Directors during his tenure as Chairman in 1988-1989. Dawson inspired me to follow in his footsteps and become MACPA Chairman in 1993-1994. During that time I had the privilege of watching Dawson do what he loved most, leading our legislative advocacy efforts.
Dawson worked tirelessly on behalf of our Profession and most significantly increased our legislative and regulatory advocacy on behalf of CPAs and raised our stature with the Governor and the General assembly to entirely new levels. He worked nationally with the AICPA and the various legislative committees and kept Maryland in a leadership role modernizing and standardizing our Profession. The fact that our Profession is one of the most standard and uniform professions in the US is rooted in the work that Dawson led as a volunteer over his career.Dawson was a major force in mobilizing our Profession to play a bigger role in our legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts which we continue to build on today.
One example of Dawson’s legislative success was the passage of the 150-hour Educational Requirement in Maryland as part of a nationwide effort to elevate the CPA Profession. Our history book shows a picture of Dawson, Past-Chair Wesley Johnson, and Executive Director Barbara Zorn along with our lobbyists, George and Nick Manis at the bill-signing ceremony by Governor William Donald Schaefer in 1993.
It must be fate that Dawson would pass on the day that MACPA’s State Tax Advisory Group was in Annapolis testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee to advise the State of Maryland about the impacts of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
I often describe our success at MACPA by the quote from Isaac Newton that says, “If I can see further it is by standing own the shoulders of Giants.”
Dawson Grove was one of those Giants for our Profession and we continue to see further and accomplish more as we stand on your shoulders.
We love you and will miss you!
RIP and Pura Vida!
Tom Hood, CPA – CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs