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Name: A. Rief Kanan
Title: Director, The Business Support Center
Academic Rank: Lecturer
Department: Dean - School of Business

Expertise Keywords: Auditing, Business planning, Executive development/coaching, Forensic accounting, Forensic financial analysis and litigation support, General financial reporting, Meeting facilitation, SEC reporting, Strategic planning, Team building

Available For: interviews, essays, speaking

Expertise: Thirty-four years of professional management, leadership, financial management and facilitation experience including ownership, consulting or employment in small (under $5 million) through very large (Fortune 500) companies. Practice areas have included private, public and not-for-profit entities as well as educational activities at the university, professional and corporate levels with over fourteen years devoted to executive coaching and facilitation.

Currrent Research: Applied efforts in executive development, coaching, teambuilding, "the role of the CEO" and financial reporting by publicly held corporations. Forensic and valuation services, including litigation support.

Contact Information

Office Phone: 845-257-2936
E-mail Address:
Home Phone: 845-255-5495
Personal Web Site:

Other Information

Positions held prior to joining SUNY New Paltz:
1997-present Vistage International, San Diego, CA Group Chairman n Assemble boards of company CEOs and Presidents to act upon business and personal issues. My mission is to "improve the effectiveness and enhance the lives of CEOs". n Facilitate day-long monthly meetings of from eight to eighteen CEOs and company Presidents to ensure effective sessions. n Conduct monthly one-to-one meetings with the participating executives to identify and frame topics and issues to be presented at the monthly meetings. n Facilitate and orchestrate effective communication among the participating executives. n Facilitate planning sessions and retreats for member companies and others on a consulting basis.

1995-present SUNY New Paltz New Paltz, NY Director of The Business Institute of the School of Business n Conduct continuing professional education seminars. n Design and begin the implementation of Executive Roundtables. n Promote and coordinate consulting and service activities of the School of Business faculty.
Lecturer in Accounting n Prepare and present coursework for upper division accounting courses. n Past Member of the Executive Council of
the School of Business. n Past Member of the University Organization Committee. n Member of the Faculty Development Committee of the School of Business.

1983-1994 Kanan's Plaza, Inc. Middletown, NY President and CEO n Owner of TV & Appliance Express, Inc. Retailer of electronics, home appliances and furniture. Town of Wallkill, New York. n Owner of Kanan's Furniture. Retailer of fine designer furniture. Middletown, New York. n Owner of North End Sales, Inc. Discount retailer of furniture, appliances, electronics, carpeting and housewares. Middletown and Port Jervis, New York. n Owner of Designers' Choice Fine Furniture. Wappingers Falls, New York. n Real estate development. Dunning Farms Shopping Center. Town of Wallkill, New York. Several commercial properties in and around Middletown, New York.

1981-1984 Moore-McCormack Resources, Inc. Stamford, CT Director of Internal Auditing n Manage the internal auditing function for this former Fortune 500 diversified company. n Hire, train and lead the activities of a department of 10 professionals, including Information Technology auditing. n Implement asset risk and inherent risk analysis processes for managing limited resources.

1976-1981 Arthur Young & Co. (now Ernst & Young) Stamford, CT Audit Manager n Client service manager for this "Big 8" (now "Big 4") CPA firm. n Office Director of Education. Scheduled, acquired and lead office training seminars.


Syracuse University 1975 - 1976 MS 1976 Accounting
Bryant College 1971 - 1975 BS 1975 Business Administration

Other professional activities

I consult on executive development, personal continuous improvement, strategic planning and general business matters with over 30 organizations. In addition, The Business Institute of the School of Business engages with businesses, students and faculty in and outside the region on various consulting levels.

Organizational Memberships

Member of International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Listed in 3M Corp.'s "Meet the Pros" site ( )

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Licensed in New York. New York State Society of CPAs: Past Member of Professional Ethics Committee. Past Member of Financial Accounting Standards and Auditing Standards Committees. Member of the Executive board of the Mid-Hudson Chapter, Chairman of Cooperation with Education Committee, Host and Past Chairman of Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) Board.

American Institute of CPAs: Campus Champion and Mentor of college students who are CPA candidates.


"The Impact of Offering Forensic and Valuation Services (including fraud examination services) on the Financial Performance of CPA Firms other than Big Four Firms Since 1999." Presentation to the 5th Annual Financial Services Symposium at St. John’s University (September 9 – 11, 2010).

"The Design, Creation, Establishment and Operation of an Entity to Deliver Services to the Business Community and Enhance the Furtherance Activities of the School of Business: The Business Institute." Presentation to the Teaching and Learning Conference at the International Business and Economics Research and Teaching Conference (January 3 – 7, 2005).

Respondent to Briefing Paper No. 2 - "Computerizing the Uniform CPA Examination"