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Press Release

Joanne Barry Announces Retirement

Jovan C. Richards
Published Date:
Oct 7, 2021

For Immediate Release
Contact Person: Jovan C. Richards, Media & Government Relations Manager
E: | T: 212.719.8392


Press Release
New York State Society of CPAs CEO Announces Retirement

 NEW YORK – (October 4, 2021) – The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (NYSSCPA) Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Joanne S. Barry, CAE, informed the NYSSCPA Board of Directors of her intention to retire at the conclusion of the NYSSCPA fiscal year in May 2022.

Barry, who has served as CEO and Executive Director since January of 2010, has become a pillar in the accounting profession for New York state and nationwide. Throughout Barry’s 40-year tenure at the Society, she has also served as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Accounting Education, Inc., and The Moynihan Scholarship Fund, Inc, and as Treasurer for the CPA Political Action Committee.

Externally, Barry served as a Montclair State University Accounting, Law and Taxation Advisory Board member; a St. John’s University’s Peter J. Tobin College of Business Department of Accounting and Taxation Executive Advisory Board member; a member of the Accountants Forum Board of Directors; as President of the New York Society of Association Executives; as past President of the CPA Society Executives Association; and as past Vice Chair of the AICPA Foundation Board of Trustees.

“My journey with our organization has been amazing, as I witnessed the transformation of the profession through the decades,” Barry said.  “I had the privilege of working with so many CPAs who were passionate about their profession. Together, we built a powerful and well-respected organization in New York.”

With Barry at the helm, the NYSSCPA has been active from the Adirondacks to the Long Island Sound. The NYSSCPA claimed legislative victories in Albany, such as e-signatures for tax filings, marihuana taxation and regulation, and ensuring that the accounting profession was deemed an essential service in the state throughout the pandemic, while working with national partners to handle federal issues like extending national tax deadlines in 2020 and 2021. Barry also oversaw the creation of a pipeline for young, future accountants of color in a decades-long program to address the dearth of those individuals underrepresented in the profession. Through an NYSSCPA not-for-profit affiliate, Barry and the NYSSCPA have introduced thousands of high school and college students to the accounting profession.

Throughout Barry’s tenure, she has received 26 commendations recognizing her excellence in communications, advocacy, publishing, sustainability and leadership from organizations such as the International Association of Business Communicators, the Public Relations Society of America, and the New York Society of Association Executives. Barry has been named a recipient of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting since 2012, and its Most Powerful Women in Public Accounting since 2015. She earned her Certified Association Executive credential in 2010.

Barry has also been recognized by leaders in the accounting profession. Robert Garrett, the New York metropolitan area managing partner at KPMG US, thanked Barry for her leadership and vision, collaboration and camaraderie.

“Joanne and I met and were promoted into new leadership roles around the same time. We both understood the value of a CPA and the Society, and we took the opportunity to renew and reinvigorate ways to work together for the profession. As a result, CPAs have mobility in New York, onerous fiscal incentives to expand the Martin Act did not occur, and the regulations governing the profession were safely and successfully updated,” Garrett said.

Barry’s “leadership of the Society has provided the blueprint for our continued success” said former NYSSCPA President and current CPA PAC President Scott M. Adair. He continued, “Joanne’s ability to make sure that our voice is heard at all levels has truly solidified our reputation as the ‘Trusted Professional.’  Whether Joanne was talking to an individual member at a chapter meeting, elected officials in Albany, other State Societies or the AICPA, she showed care and a true desire to learn and assist however our Society could.” Adair summed up his feelings regarding Barry’s retirement when he stated, “Joanne has been a dear friend whom I have shared many conversations, phone calls or texts about life, the Society and the profession. I for sure will miss her in her Executive Director role, but she will always be a ‘trusted professional’ in my book.”

“It’s impossible to express what Joanne has done for the NYSSCPA, our members and the profession over a 40-year career with the Society. When I learned that Joanne would be retiring, I began to think about all of the trips across the state we made together to meet with members. She had this way of letting me know when we met a member that she thought a lot of or someone that could have a bright future as a volunteer. She would simply say, “They have a big Society heart.” On behalf of the tens of thousands of CPAs whose lives that you have touched, thank you to the lady with the biggest ‘Society heart’ of all,” said Joseph M. Falbo Jr., the tax partner at Szymkowiak & Associates CPAs, PC, and former NYSSCPA President.

The current NYSSCPA President Rumbi Bwerinofa-Petrozzello, commented, “Maya Angelou said, ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ That is most important about my time working with Joanne. Joanne has always made me feel heard and that I can dare to imagine what has never been done. I have often been impressed by Joanne’s thoughtfulness, and her astuteness has helped us navigate many complicated situations. Her passion for the NYSSCPA, for the CPA profession and for our future has been tireless, and is much appreciated.” President Bwerinofa-Petrozzello continued, “I wish Joanne a fantastic retirement—she has more than earned it—and I know she will be greatly missed.”

The Board of Directors will be commencing its search for a new executive director. Details will be announced shortly. Barry will work with the individual selected and with Society leadership to ensure a smooth transition. She is expected to remain at her post until May 31, 2022.

For all media inquiries, please contact Media & Government Relations Manager Jovan C. Richards at


About the NYSSCPA

Founded in 1897, the New York State Society of CPAs ( is the premier professional accounting association for approximately 23,000 licensed members residing and practicing in New York state, encompassing all areas of public practice, including government, education, technology, nonprofit, real estate, health care and industry. It is the oldest—and the third largest—such state society in the United States.