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How One Emotionless CPA Completely Dominated The Penn State Press Conference

U.S. Steel CEO and vice chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees John Surma spent last night in the hot seat, fielding angry questions from bitter Penn State fans-cum-journalists (read: second year J-schoolers) distraught by this whole scandal nonsense. You see, it fell on his shoulders to announce to the world that the trustees canned head coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier.

Why do we care? Surma got his BS in accounting from Penn State University in 1976 and started off his career at then Price Waterhouse. He is a member of the AICPA and sits on the Bank of New York Mellon’s board. Therefore, he’s a member of the club.

And he handled last night’s Penn State press conference like a gangster. Even when angry “journalists” attacked.

See? This is why you send a CPA into the lion’s den. An architect would have crumbled. An engineer may have cried. A doctor would have cowered in fear. But a CPA? Stone-faced and calm with zero emotion, just how a Board of Trustees vice chairman should be when announcing a beloved coach has been canned due to, er, questionable discretion. And of course, because CPAs aren’t real big on that whole interaction thing, they called Paterno on the phone to tell him the news. Not a sit down or even coffee, but a phone call.

Told you he was gangsta.

Here’s the video:

Help the NJ Society of CPAs Win $10,000 For Its Scholarship Fund

Contrary to what some might claim, we actually enjoy helping when we can, especially if it means money not out of our own pockets for future capital market servants. Therefore, we’re asking you to take two seconds out of your day to help the NJSCPA win a contest.

From NJSCPA Director of Communications Don Meyer:

In our never-ending effort to convince the world that CPAs aren’t dull, and hopefully to win $10,000, the NJSCPA entered a photo in the “Great Event Photo Contest” on Facebook –

If our photo (a Society member salsa dancing at the 2011 NJSCPA Convention & Expo in Atlantic City) gets enough votes we could win $10,000 for the NJSCPA Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to high school and college students.

We’ll be encouraging (or nagging if you prefer) our members to vote for us by promoting the contest on Facebook, Twitter, NJSCPA Connect (, through email and by whatever other means we can think of.

We’re up against some big competition so we’re looking for whatever exposure we can get (hint, hint). Thanks.

Who says CPAs are dull?

You have until August 22nd to vote and can vote once a day using your Facebook profile.

Get on it!