Excerpt from the August 2015 issue of Interim Report
Walter Conaway Davenport: Embracing the Future and Honoring the Past
In 1968, Walter Conaway Davenport was part of the Honor Guard for the casket of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while it lay in state before the funeral. The man represented much more than just the Civil Rights movement and the struggles of African Americans in the United States—to Davenport, Dr. King was an inspiration and a mentor, a fraternity brother, a fellow Morehouse College graduate, and an individual of like mind.
“He graduated from Morehouse College,” Davenport said. “We got to know him, and when he was assassinated, that really affected me. As I reflect back, I am reminded that a person is remembered not for his fame or wealth, but for his character, integrity, and reputation.”
During this somber occasion, Davenport became even more determined to make sure that the life he led was influential, and that he gave back in service in any way that he could.
Fast forward more than three decades, and that same college student was elected to one of the most prominent positions in the CPA regulatory profession. In November 2014, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) announced NCACPA member Walter Conaway Davenport, CPA, of Raleigh, as chair of its 2014–15 Board of Directors.
Prior to being named chair, Davenport served as NASBA’s 2013–14 vice chair, and as president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer of the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners, among many other professional, civic, and social organizations including AICPA and NCACPA.
During his inauguration speech titled “Embracing the Future Without Seeing It,” Davenport challenged NASBA and the various state boards of accountancy to consider three crucial areas which will continue to shape the profession: enforcing board rules, education for optimization, and engaging diverse talent. These areas were not thought of arbitrarily, but were instead brought to mind after decades of experience in the profession.
“An added surprise after my inaugural address was receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine presented on behalf of the governor by Nathan Garrett and the members of the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners.” The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest honor bestowed by the state of North Carolina, honors persons who have a proven record of service to the state of North Carolina.