Frank Peña of Kaufman Rossin talks about his involvement in the community.
Which organization are you involved in and what is its objective?
I am involved with The Broward Partnership, an organization that built and operates a 57,000 square foot, 230-bed short term residential shelter and serves as Broward County’s Central Homeless Assistance Center. The Broward Partnership believes that an individual’s stay at the center, although time limited, represents a unique (and perhaps only) opportunity to stabilize, engage and acquire the personal tools necessary to break the cycle of homelessness. More than an emergency shelter, the center provides a safe and nurturing environment designed to highlight alternatives to living on the street and provide each resident with the means to reacquire health, housing, and a sustaining income.
What is your role with the organization?
I am a member of the board of directors and I’ve served on the finance committee as an advisor since 2015.
Why did you decide to get involved in this organization?
When my family and I landed in New York in 1978 from the Dominican Republic, our collective wealth consisted of twenty U.S. dollars and the clothes in our very modest suitcases. I was eleven years old and I understood that the United States was (and still is) a land of opportunity. For three months, we all slept in the living room at my aunt’s small Washington Heights apartment. We knew that with a little help from our family in the form of temporary shelter and hard work, we could gain a foothold and improve our lives.
Consequently, I never really understood how anyone could be homeless in the United States of America. As a longtime resident of Broward County, serving the Partnership has taught me that homelessness can happen to anyone and, for many reasons beyond an individual’s control. It is an important lesson that has made me more empathetic to those who have not had the same advantages that my family has been blessed with, and it motivates me to want to help.
How has Kaufman Rossin contributed to your success with this organization?
When our firm website says “service to our communities is one of our core values,” it is not just some tagline for perfunctory public consumption.
Social responsibility is instilled in the firm’s culture and every professional is encouraged to volunteer and provide service to non-profit organizations. Kaufman Rossin has helped me to succeed at the Broward Partnership by not only allowing me to freely direct my professional time to support the mission, but also by providing generous dollars to help fund the various programs that the Broward Partnership is engaged in. I take pride in my firm’s reputation in the community and its long history of helping the public good.
What is your advice for others who are thinking about getting involved in the community?
Find a cause that you care about and want to improve. Share your blessings and give back to the community, it is personally enriching and makes you a better person.
Frank A. Peña, CPA is an assurance and advisory services principal in Kaufman Rossin’s Boca Raton office. Kaufman Rossin has been recognized as one of the best CPA firms in the U.S. Frank can be reached at email@example.com.