For the past 58 years, certified public accountant Fred Lockwood has served his community in many ways. Now he’s been officially recognized by the Nebraska Legislature for his contributions on both the local and state level.
On March 9, the Legislature passed Legislative Resolution 328, introduced by District 48 State Senator John Stinner of Gering. As chairman of the Appropriations Committee, he works closely with the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board.
“Fred served eight two-year terms as chairman of the Forecasting Advisory Board from 1986 to 2004,” Stinner said. “He was one of the board’s founding members and served for 32 years.”
The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Board came into existence during the governorship of Bob Kerrey. Lockwood said its purpose was to take politics out of revenue projections for the state.
The board consists of nine members, four appointed by the governor and five by the Executive Council of the state Legislature.
Forecasting Board members use a number of nationally recognized benchmarks as research tools to project how much the state will receive from sales, income and corporate taxes. Those projected general fund receipts are then used by the Legislature to craft the state’s budget.
Lockwood said he enjoyed his years on the board in part because he got to work with eight other diverse, knowledgeable individuals … although only one of them lived west of Kearney.
When Lockwood stepped down after the last meeting of this year’s Forecasting Board in February, Gov. Pete Ricketts was there to thank him for his service.
“Fred’s done a great job,” Stinner said. “Anyone who makes that kind of commitment over that period of time needs to be acknowledged. That’s what my resolution was all about.”
“Honored and humbled” is how Lockwood described how he felt when he learned about passage of Stinner’s resolution.
Lockwood is currently the longest active CPA with an active permit in Nebraska. After he was licensed in 1962, Fred opened his first accounting office in Mitchell the following year.
In 1973, the office evolved into Fred Lockwood and Company. Then in 2017, it became E&H Certified Public Accountants.
Troy Hilyard with E&H Certified Public Accountants has been working with Lockwood since 1992.
“He’s been a big part of my career and has been a mentor for me in the accounting world,” Hilyard said. “He’s a wealth of information and everyone I know has enjoyed working with him.”
Through the years, Lockwood has served his community in several other areas. From 2000 to 2009, he was director of the Nebraska Community Foundation. From 1990 to 1999, he was director of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, just to name a few.
He’s also served three four-year terms on the Scotts Bluff County Board of Commissioners with five years as the board chairman.
Lockwood said his love of public service came from his father, John Lockwood. The company John founded, Lockwood Graders, grew into an internationally traded manufacturer of farm machinery.
John Lockwood was a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls. He was also instrumental in the planning for the YMCA building.
Hilyard, whose career grew along with Lockwood’s accounting firm, agreed that service to the community should always be on people’s minds.
“The community gives us so much that giving back should be second nature for all of us,” he said. “That’s the kind of person Fred has always been.”
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