This is the 62nd open Board meeting that I have participated in. The first was on January 6, 2003. Today is, of course, also my last, since I will be leaving the Board at the end of the week. For that reason, I would like to take a moment to say several things.
It has been a privilege to serve on the Board for the past nine years. Very few people have the opportunity to be part of the creation of a new regulator. For those of us who have spent our careers working in securities regulation, the chance to help strengthen the foundation of investor protection and full disclosure on which our capital markets and our economy rest is very special indeed.
I want to thank everyone on the Board's staff — past and present — that I have worked with over the last nine years. We have come a long way together. I firmly believe that the Board has made a lasting, positive difference in audit quality and in investor confidence in public company auditing. Those accomplishments were possible only because of the dedicated and hardworking staff we have been able to attract. There are too many people to name, so I am just going to mention two — Phoebe Brown, my counsel, and Cindy Vaughn, my executive assistant. Both came over with me in 2003 from Baker & McKenzie, and both are irreplaceable. Phoebe in particular has kept me out of trouble and made me look as if I knew what I was talking about more times than I care to remember. If I have any legacy here, it's Phoebe and Cindy, since they will be staying with the Board and continuing to contribute to its work.
I also want to thank my fellow Board members — past and present. I have served with nine other Board colleagues over the years. Each has brought a different perspective and a unique set of talents. Each has had a deep personal commitment to the Board's mission. The new Board members appointed a year ago have shown extraordinary enthusiasm for the Board's work and intellectual curiosity, and I will miss working with you. I want to particularly thank Chairman Doty for his leadership during the past year and for his friendship dating back many more years. Also, I know how excited Jeanette Franzel is about joining the Board, and I know that she will be a terrific addition.
What I will miss most about the PCAOB is the sense of commitment to investors, and to making auditing better, that pervades this institution. I said that we have come a long way, but of course there is still much more to do. I am going to be following the Board's work with great interest. I wish you all the best of luck and continued success!