Howie’s leadership roles in his career, community, and the profession serve as evidence of the value he has brought to each of those areas.
Howie had a successful career, primarily in public practice, in the areas of owner-managed businesses, public companies, and high-net-worth individuals, with an emphasis on tax planning and structuring. He was a principal partner at MNP LLP for his last five years as a practicing professional, and prior to that he was a partner in local firms starting in 1983 with Shaikh and Shikaze, Moody Shikaze Boulet, and RSM Richter. His portfolio of engagements included complex accounting, auditing, income tax, and litigation support matters.
Howie’s business activities had him serving as an officer, director, founder, and active investor in both private and public companies.
Howie has a long history of involvement in and passion for the profession. He has spent countless hours in service to the profession over the past three decades, including as a member of Council and President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta. Most recently, he served as the inaugural Chair of the CPA Assist Board; his efforts and expertise were essential in both the implementation of this important and worthy endeavour for the profession and its transition from a stand-alone entity to a program within CPA Alberta.
In the service to the community, Howie is past president of the Kiwanis Club of Calgary Downtown and the Calgary Performing Arts Festival (formerly the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival). He is a past director of the Calgary Klein PC Association and the Calgary Japanese Canadian Association. He is a past chair of the Calgary Police Commission, past member of the Calgary Police Foundation, past chair of the YMCA Calgary, and past director of the Rotary Club of Calgary. He currently chairs the Rotary Community Hubs Committee, which is a partnership with the City of Calgary and the United Way Calgary and Area as part of a poverty reduction initiative. Howie also held leadership and directors roles in children and youth activities related to soccer and ski racing.
What or who do you attribute your success to?
In 1942, my paternal grandparents were dispossessed of their home and belongings and displaced from their community. Their friends were dispossessed and incarcerated. My maternal grandparents and my mother lived in poverty. My father became a chartered accountant and built a firm in Edmonton which provided me with a path and a vision. My mother was a housewife with a grade 12 education and a tireless community volunteer who could easily teach ethics at a graduate level. My parents and grandparents always took stock of their plight, never complained about the past and constantly worked to empower us to a brighter future. Embracing this history or narrative has brought me to where I am today.
What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?
In today’s boardrooms and workplaces the buzzword is diversity. But diversity is about inclusion and, for me, receiving this award is an affirmation of inclusion as compared to the experiences of my parents and grandparents. Truth and reconciliation and some of the recent actions towards Chinese Canadians confirm that, still, there is work to be done. I am confident that Canada will continue to be a world leader in building inclusion as the unconditional acceptance of diversity.
The first person I called to share the news was my wife Sher. We have been married for 40 years. 1979 was a big year in my life as, I got engaged, wrote the UFE, got married, and received my passing marks.