Warwick, RI – Community College of Rhode Island Business and Professional Studies Professor John “Jack” Renza Jr. has been chosen to receive the Rhode Island Society of CPAs and RI Business Forum (RISCPA) inaugural Industry Legends Award for his unprecedented contributions toward strengthening the CPA profession, higher education, and Rhode Island’s business climate.
Renza, of Hope, RI, celebrates his 48th year of teaching Accounting at CCRI in December and is one of four to receive the Society’s Industry Legends Award at the RISCPA’s 2023 Annual Meeting and Reception on Thursday, April 20 at 6 pm at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, RI. He joins Ernie Almonte, William (Bill) Pirolli, and Alan Litwin as this year’s recipients.
“It is a privilege to be honored by my fellow CPA professionals,” Renza said. “After 48 years of teaching at CCRI, I still feel like the proud parent watching the students I have taught excel in the careers of their choice. I have been so blessed to have such a rewarding career.”
“John ‘Jack’ Renza has been an integral contributor to the Department of Business and Professional Studies for almost 50 years,” said CCRI Department of Business and Professional Studies Chair Maria Coclin. “He has had a remarkable and enduring influence on his colleagues, the college, and, most importantly, his students. Personally, Jack has served as a mentor and role model, and I am proud to count him amongst my friends and colleagues.”
“The decision to honor these four luminaries who are accomplished, celebrated and recognized across Rhode Island was unanimous,” said Melissa Travis, President and CEO of the RISCPA/RI Business Forum. “Each has created a legacy guiding RISCPA and the profession through unprecedented periods of change through their leadership and all have had a profound influence on the careers of industry, business and state leaders, including me.”
After beginning his career in public accounting in 1969 with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Co. (now known as KPMG International Limited), Renza established his own CPA practice in 1975 and joined CCRI as the college’s first full-time CPA faculty member that same year. In 1999, he joined Larry Kahn and Alan Litwin to form Kahn, Litwin, Renza and Co., Ltd. (KLR), one of New England’s premier accounting and business advisory firms.
In addition to teaching thousands of students through the years at CCRI, Renza has assumed leadership roles in several highly-visible activities at the college, including serving as the co-chair of President Meghan Hughes’ inauguration and chairing both CCRI’s Budget and Resource Committee and capital fundraising campaign, “Imagine: The Campaign for Endless Possibilities,” which raised funds to renovate the Warwick Campus Library and the Lincoln Campus’ Dental Assisting Lab in 2009.
A graduate of Bryant University in 1970, where he is currently an active honorary trustee, Renza was inducted into CCRI’s Hall of Fame in 2010. Through the years, he has been involved in numerous professional associations and provided volunteer support to more than a dozen community and educational organizations in addition to serving as a mentor to Year Up Rhode Island, a job training program that helps young adults gain the skills necessary to reach their career and higher education goals.