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Connecticut CPA
May/June 2016
n 2014, Community Accounting
Aid & Services, Inc. (CAAS) found
itself at a crossroads. Executive
Director Jack Collins had retired. The
caseload was declining. Donations
were down.
Longtime CAAS volunteers and Board
of Directors members Rick Merrick
of Merrick & Associates, Patrick
McMahon of Fulco, DiTommaso,
McMahon & Co., and John Purtill of
Purtill & Company, CPAs led the charge
in what would become a massive
overhaul of the nonprofit.
In 2013, CAAS joined forces with
The Village for Families and Children
on several Volunteer Income Tax
Assistance (VITA) clinics across the
state, which led to a dramatic uptick in
their caseload.
The group hired nonprofit veteran
Sheryle McMillan to serve as its new
executive director.
The Board of Directors members got
strategic in their quest to fill vacant
seats on the board, seeking out a
marketing heavy-hitter (GE Capital
Senior Vice President of Marketing
and Communications Jeff Wilson) and
a new and young professional (Sarah
Stover of Edwin R. Muenzner, CPA).
Purtill and McMahon revitalized
fundraising efforts.
McMillan, who has a long history
in the not-for-profit arena, includ-
ing eight years with the credit coun-
seling agency Money Management
International and seven years of
experience as a VITA tax prepar-
er, joined as executive director in
early 2015.
"My goal was to bring attention to us,
to make the community aware of what
we do," said McMillan, who regularly
leverages her abundance of contacts
in the not-for-profit world into referrals
and joint programs. "Our services are
so important."
It's a sentiment the group's President
Merrick wholeheartedly agrees with.
"So many time we hear `if only I had
the money to hire a professional ...'"
Merrick said. "CAS can be that dream
come true. For someone meeting our
income requirements, we can be an
Introducing ... Community Accounting Services
Community Service Affiliate Unveils New Look, Direction
The new Community Accounting Services website
Volunteer tax preparer John Michael, a senior
at Eastern Connecticut State University, assists
a client at a CAS-sponsored site in Willimantic.
Photo courtesy of the United Way of Central and
Northeastern Connecticut.
The Community Accounting Aid and
Services, Inc. name has morphed into the
more succinct Community Accounting
Services (CAS), with a new logo to match.