A Conversation with Anthony Cilibrasi, partner, Citrin Cooperman
Tony Fasciano, Director of Communications for Volunteer New York! speaks with Anthony Cilibrasi, a partner at Citrin Cooperman, and a father of three who is focused on corporate social responsibility because he wants to make the world a better place.
TF: Tell me about Citrin Cooperman?
AC: Citrin Cooperman is among the largest, full-service assurance, tax, and business advisory firms in the United States. Rooted in our core values, we provide a comprehensive, integrated business approach to traditional services, which includes proactive insights throughout the life cycle of our clients wherever they do business, across the globe.
TF: What does Corporate Social Responsibility mean to Citrin Cooperman?
AC: Citrin Cooperman is extremely committed to social responsibility. The firm has invested in several initiatives, including a women’s initiative, diversity and inclusion program, CC Cares committee for charitable donations, and more. On a personal level, I’m involved in my firm’s initiatives, as well as my own efforts to give back to the communities I live and work in.
As a CPA, I have a responsibility to act ethically in providing professional services to my clients, but it goes beyond that; I’d like to leave the world a better place for my three children.
TF: Tell me more about the employee engagement program Citrin Cooperman. As a volunteer program it has shown to be quite successful.
AC: Our firm’s CC Cares committee hosts an annual day of service, CC Cares Day, in which all of our locations are closed for the day and almost all of our 1,000 employees volunteer in their local communities. The committee organizes the volunteer opportunities, and we work with several charitable organizations in the Westchester community, including Blythedale Children’s Hospital, Food Bank for Westchester, Green Chimneys, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement- Hudson Valley, My Sister’s Place, Ronald McDonald House, SPCA of Westchester, and The Sharing Shelf, among others.
TF: As a local business leader, how would you describe the Rockland County community?
AC: Rockland is a tight knit and caring community. I am grateful for the relationships I have, both with Rockland residents and businesses. There’s a sense of closeness and a great neighborhood feel to the area. Rockland has a lot to offer, there’s a ton of opportunity for business, and with so many great, like-minded people here, it’s easy to find people to partner with and build out relationships.
I’ve been an RBA member for about four years now, and the association has been an incredible place to learn about Rockland, and engage with and listen to other business leaders in the area. The events are a wonderful networking opportunity where I’ve met several business associates and friends. I attend the construction and real estate development committee meetings on a regular basis, which are great for sharing knowledge and keeping current with the industry. I credit the RBA for helping me get integrated into the community and getting to know people, both personally and professionally.
TF: What is your favorite thing about Rockland?
AC: After having grown up in Brooklyn and living there most of my life, I moved to Rockland County nine years ago with my wife, who grew up here, and I’ve never looked back. Rockland has so much to offer and there is the perfect blend of convenience and space. It is an amazing place to have and raise a family. We have planted our roots deep!
TF: Citrin Cooperman’s daily mission is “Focus on what counts.” What does this mean to you?
AC: Focus on what counts means adding value and helping others wherever I can. This is a philosophy I live by every day both in my professional and personal life. I care for my clients and for those within my organization. It all comes down to people, respect, and how can I help. I’m always wanting to understand the concerns of others, and if there’s an opportunity for me to be of assistance in anyway, I genuinely want to help. Lifting people up and help them succeed and reach their potential is how I focus on what counts.
If there’s an activity involved, and it’s fun, I think people love to show up and get involved.
TF: What are some CSR initiatives that you’ve seen work well in Rockland or for businesses?
AC: The types of initiatives I’ve seen work to raise awareness for corporate social responsibility are fun events that bring people together. If there’s an activity involved, and it’s fun, I think people love to show up and get involved. Fun runs (or walks) are a great way to get the word out. There are also small steps businesses can take, such as setting a goal to go paperless and breaking that down into smaller yearly or monthly goals. At the very least, businesses should make a commitment to their staff and to their clients or customers that they will provide their services and products ethically and with integrity.
TF: What is your biggest challenge as a local business leader?
As a business advisor, it’s my job to help businesses reach their full potential. The biggest challenge is encouraging business leaders to step out of their comfort zone and adjust how they operate, so they can take their business to the next level. I’ve seen companies run their business a certain way for so long, so they don’t think it’s necessary to do things differently, even if they’re not quite meeting their goals. Being open to evolving, and not being afraid to fail, can be incredibly difficult, but equally as rewarding for those who are open to change. I’d like to work with more Rockland businesses, helping them reach their goals and bettering the community.