Indiana CPA Society Earns Association Awards

The Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) has received the top honor – a Gold Award – for “Best New App,” and one Silver Award for “eLearning and Live Training” by Association Trends.

Association Trends, a provider of news and information for association leaders, annually recognizes association excellence across the country through its TRENDS All Media Contest. The award was presented Feb. 23 in Washington, D.C. to INCPAs, which has membership of nearly 8,100 CPAs in public practice, business and industry, government and education.

INCPAS created the IndustryUs app in 2015 as part of its strategic plan to increase recruitment and retention among CPA members working in business and industry, and to increase the number of attendees at its 300+ live professional development offerings.

Viewed as a key membership marketing tool, the IndustryUs app provides INCPAS members with an easy and convenient way to search for educational offerings, take advantage of discounts and accumulate rewards to be used on future purchases. It also provides a direct connection to INCPAS staff as well as an HR Hotline for questions and additional information.

The Silver Award was presented for the CPA Center of Excellence® Competency-Based Courses and Talent Academy.

The center is a subsidiary of INCPAS, established in 2014 to improve business skills vital to the success of CPAs and other professionals. The components recognized by this award include:

  • CPA Excellence Online Interactive Courses – The online courses are designed to cultivate non-technical skills, such as communication, critical thinking, decision-making and leadership. Progress is saved as CPAs start and stop at various points. Upon successful completion, a digital badge is awarded.
  • Competency-based Ethics Course – The launch of this first-of-its-kind online course coincided with a landmark rule change that made Indiana CPAs the first CPAs in the nation to be able to take competency-based education as one of three options to meet the ethics requirement for CPA license renewal.
  • Talent Academy – CPA partners, CFOs or those involved in HR often report that they are struggling with recruiting and retaining top talent. To help these companies focus on retention strategies that are innovative, relevant and manageable, the CPA Center of Excellence® hosted a new, live five-day Talent Academy in Indianapolis by instructor David Griffiths, a Wales Ph.D., who is a well-known leader in talent management.

Washington Society of CPAs Board Names Next President/CEO

Kimberly Scott

Kimberly Scott

The board of directors of the Washington Society of CPAs (WSCPA) announced that it has appointed Kimberly Scott as president and CEO, effective June 1.

“Kimberly Scott has the perfect blend of experience, having played an instrumental role in developing our newest generation of members while at the same time earning the respect of our leaders in Olympia and at the AICPA,” says Dave Miniken, chair of the WSCPA board.

Scott joined the WSCPA in 2000 and has served in various senior leadership roles throughout the organization. As WSCPA’s vice president of government and member relations since 2013, she oversees advocacy, membership, college and student relationships, chapters, networking functions, financial education and communications. She has led the organization’s advocacy efforts with the successful drafting and passage of three bills through the Washington State legislature, including a bill that brought $3.3 million to the Washington CPA Foundation. Since 2009, she has also served as executive director of the Washington CPA Foundation. As director of member services from 2002-2013, she led the organization’s membership department, having spearheaded the growth of the young professional members from 7% in 2006 to 26% in 2010.

“I have been deeply committed to the WSCPA and its members for many years and it is a privilege to have this opportunity to continue serving them as CEO,” says Scott. She will succeed Richard Jones, who has served as president and CEO for nearly 12 years and will retire May 31.

Indiana CPA Society Pushes for Competency-Based Learning

The movement toward a new learning model for professionals in the state of Indiana recently gained momentum. Draft enabling legislation supported by the Indiana CPA Society was introduced in the Indiana General Assembly.

The bill has the potential to add competency-based education to the current hours-based education model for CPA license renewal in Indiana. Its purpose is to give CPAs the ability to take only competency-based education, or a combination of competency-based and hours-based education, to satisfy the educational requirements for CPA license renewal.

CPAs in Indiana must complete 120 hours of continuing professional education every three years as part of a system created to maintain professional competency that has remained virtually unchanged for nearly 50 years.

The General Assembly will be considering competency-based options for both professionals and students this session. The draft legislation for CPAs coincides with draft legislation for K-12 education that also calls for competency-based learning.

“We believe that this is the ‘next step’ toward significant reform of the requirements for CPA license renewal in Indiana,” says INCPAS President and CEO Gary Bolinger. “This draft, if enacted, will provide Indiana CPAs with additional flexibility in learning options to renew their Indiana CPA license. It would give the Indiana Board of Accountancy the opportunity to explore this new learning alternative beyond traditional continuing professional education. Competency-based education has been proven to be a much more effective method of learning.”

Connecticut Society of CPAs Names Next Leader

Bonnie Stewart

Bonnie Stewart

The Connecticut Society of CPAs (CTCPA) has announced that Bonnie Stewart has been named the society’s new executive director, effective January 2017.

Stewart will succeed Arthur Renner, who has announced his retirement following 20 years of service as CEO of the society.

“I am thankful for this opportunity and excited to join such a well-recognized organization,” Stewart said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the board and staff to further the CTCPA’s advocacy, community and educational efforts.”

Stewart comes to the CTCPA from the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, where she currently serves as vice president of government and public affairs and general counsel. She joined the CBIA in 1988.

“Bonnie brings a wealth of relevant experience and talent to our organization, and we’re confident she will hit the proverbial ground running in working with the great team we already have in place here at the CTCPA,” says CTCPA president Robert Boudreau.

Boudreau also thanked Renner for his years of service. “Under Art’s stewardship, we have enjoyed many positive accomplishments, including a streamlining of our leadership model, legislative advances, two physical relocations into superior facilities, and a number of meaningful public service campaigns. We’re proud of our accomplishments with Art, and he should be proud as well.”

Baker Tilly’s Wevodau and Lewis Honored as Women to Watch

Colleen Lewis

Colleen Lewis

Chicago-based Baker Tilly Virchow Krause (FY16 net revenue of $522 million) has announced that Colleen Lewis and Colleen Wevodau, both located in the firm’s Washington office, have been selected by the AICPA and Greater Washington Society of CPAs (GWSCPA) as two of the 2016 Women to Watch Awards recipients.

Wevodau, senior manager in Baker Tilly’s real estate practice, was recognized with the Community Leader award for supporting the advancement of women and helping women integrate their personal and professional lives.

Colleen Wevodau

Colleen Wevodau

Since 2007 Wevodau has participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Real Estate Games. In addition to leading the Baker Tilly team, she serves on the event’s executive committee and chairs the team captains committee. Wevodau also serves on the board of directors of Calvary Women’s Services, a not-for-profit organization that offers housing and support services to women in the District of Columbia’s Anacostia community. She is also actively involved in Baker Tilly’s GROW (Growth and Retention of Women) initiative, which promotes the career development of women leaders in accounting, consulting and business professions.

“Helping my peers succeed has always been an important part of my life,” Wevodau says. “I am honored by this award and by the support of my colleagues for their nomination.”

Lewis, a manager in Baker Tilly’s governance, risk and compliance practice, received the Future Community Leader award for her ability to excel in her career while coaching junior colleagues, holding offices in industry organizations and supporting the local community.

Upon earning her CPA, CIA and CFE designations, Lewis created detailed study guides and coached co-workers with managing their career development plans. She also refined insights gained as a new Baker Tilly employee to help develop employee orientation programs for the D.C. office. Lewis is also involved in Baker Tilly’s GROW initiative and captains the firm’s soccer team, in addition to coaching youth soccer. “Playing soccer at the University of Maryland taught me the value of having a strong team,” Lewis says. “I enjoy pushing myself to achieve, while encouraging and supporting my colleagues in their endeavors.”

“Colleen Wevodau and Colleen Lewis are both deserving of this distinction,” Todd Stokes, OMP, D.C. metro region, says. “These dynamic professionals are role models for their contributions to Baker Tilly, to the industry and to our local community.”

The Women to Watch Awards program was established in 2013 to highlight the accomplishments of women in the CPA profession. Awards are given in four categories: Experienced Leaders, Emerging Leaders, Community Leaders and Future Community Leaders. Baker Tilly team members have been recognized every year since the program’s inception.

NYSSCPA Leader Named President of CPA Execs Association

Joanne Barry

Joanne Barry

Joanne S. Barry, executive director and CEO of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), has been appointed the 2016-2017 president of the Certified Public Accountants Society Executives Association (CPA/SEA).

Formed 50 years ago, CPA/SEA is composed of all state CPA state society chief executive officers/executive directors throughout the United States. Through its core strategic priorities of advocacy, leadership, integrity, collaboration and exploration, the association supports its members in achieving excellence in leadership and management of their organizations and provides resources and a forum for networking and communication to enable CPA/SEA members to choose informed courses of action on professional issues affecting CPAs. CPA/SEA’s strategic plan and planning process provide organizational direction, advocate the interests of CPA societies, and prepare its membership for the future.

“To be elected by my peers and colleagues to lead the CPA/SEA at a time when the intersection of technology, generational issues and the shift in firm practice is creating a sea change within the profession, is a special honor and I look forward to it,“ Barry says.

Barry has received multiple awards recognizing leadership in the CPA profession, serves on the accounting and taxation boards for Montclair State University and St. John’s University, received the 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Award by City & State magazine, and has been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting for the past six consecutive years by Accounting Today.

Barry is joined by a newly selected 2016-2017 CPA/SEA board of directors, who include: Ron Gitz, Louisiana Society of CPAs, as president-elect; Michael Colgan, Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs, is secretary /treasurer; Todd Shapiro, Illinois Society of CPAs, and Deborah Curry, Florida Society of CPAs, are directors to the board. Cindy Adams, Iowa Society of CPAs, Kathy Castillo, Hawaii Society of CPAs, Renee Brower, Wyoming Society of CPAs, and Sherri McPherson, Oregon Society of CPAs, return as current board members.

Wallace Receives MSCPA Outstanding Public Service Award

Harvey Wallace

Harvey Wallace

Harvey Wallace, partner and co-founder of St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY15 net revenue of $36.7 million), is the 2016 recipient of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) Outstanding Public Service Award.

The award recognizes Wallace’s significant contribution to his community through service to charitable and civic organizations, as well as his level of leadership, innovation, initiative and involvement.

Wallace serves the St. Louis community in a multitude of organizations. In September 2015, he became chairman of the board of the Jewish Federation after being actively involved as a member of the board of directors since 2002. He has also served on the board of directors for The Magic House – St. Louis Children’s Museum since 2011 and was board chair from 2012 to 2014.

A lover of culture and entertainment in St. Louis, Wallace also serves on the community advisory board for St. Louis Public Radio. Additionally, he sits on the board of directors for the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the St. Louis Men’s Group Against Cancer and the Wyman Center.

Massachusetts Society of CPAs Honors Six Women

The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) announced the 2016 honorees of their Women to Watch Award, which recognizes women who have made an outstanding contribution to the accounting profession, their community, place of employment and/or to the development of women as leaders.

Six Massachusetts women were selected, three in the Emerging Leader category for professionals with 15 years of experience or less, and three in the Experienced Leader category, reserved for women with more than 15 years in the field.

Award winners will be honored on Nov. 2 at MSCPA’s Eighth Annual Women’s Leadership Summit at The Westin Boston Waterfront.

“The MSCPA is celebrating the achievements of these remarkable women and we’re looking forward to honoring them for their outstanding contributions to their peers, their community and their profession,” says Amy Pitter, president and CEO of the MSCPA.

The MSCPA represents over 11,000 members.

The 2016 Women to Watch Award winners are (in alphabetical order):

Experienced Leader:

  • Pamela Kelleher, partner at Ernst & Young
  • Zara Muradali, partner at KPMG
  • Linda Smith, MP at Smith Sullivan and Brown

Emerging Leader:

  • Jeanie Gorlovsky-Schepp, manager at AAFCPAs
  • Laura Gregoriadis, principal at DiCicco Gulman & Company
  • Jessica Platt, principal at CliftonLarsonAllen

Texas Society of CPAs Selects Incoming Executive Director/CEO

Jodi Ann Ray

Jodi Ann Ray

The Texas Society of CPAs (TSCPA) is pleased to announce the selection of its incoming executive director and CEO Jodi Ann Ray, who will step into the role on Jan. 1.

Ray comes to TSCPA from Meeting Professionals International (MPI) where she was the vice president of membership and volunteer experience responsible for governance, as well as community development, which encompassed membership and more than 90 chapters and clubs in 24 countries. Prior to joining MPI, she served as the CEO for chambers of commerce in Connecticut, North Carolina and Texas, where she oversaw all operations including membership, government affairs, economic development and finance.

Past TSCPA Chairman Mark Lee led the task force that worked with an executive search firm on the nationwide search. “This was not an easy task, and it was one that we each put a great deal of thought and care into completing with the best interest of TSCPA in mind. We are confident that Jodi Ann is well-positioned to take our organization into our next 100 years.”

Bowers to Receive 2016 Urbach CPA Community Builders Award

The New York State Society of CPAs is pleased to announce that NYSSCPA member James Bowers, a Syracuse-based CPA from Onondaga County, N.Y., has been chosen to receive the 2016 Urbach CPA Community Builders Award for his leadership in recovering a number of nonprofits throughout his career.

The Urbach Award is named in honor of the late Michael H. Urbach, who was also a partner at Urbach, Kahn and Werlin (now called UHY Advisors); former New York State Commission of Tax and Finance; and former board leader of a number of charities. The New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) and New York Council of Non-Profits (NYCON) co-sponsor the award. The Urbach Award is given to NYSSCPA members who have made outstanding contributions while serving on the board of directors of charitable organizations.

Bowers’ leadership and financial expertise aided two nonprofits in recent years: InterFaith Works, an agency located in Syracuse, which helps bridge the gap between people of different religions, races, and cultures through four major programs, serving over 26,000 people a year; Transitional Living Services (TLS) of Onondaga County, which serves people with developmental disabilities and behavioral health issues.

“I’ve been involved with Interfaith Works for a long time and I feel like they speak to me on a personal level,” says Bowers. “InterFaith Works is the type of organization that is needed now more than ever. During our dialogue circles, we go to schools, hospitals, and other locations to talk about our differences whether it’s racial, cultural, or political and try to understand what those differences are, which could be very hard to do.”

During the early 2000s, InterFaith Works Board wasn’t sure that they could meet payroll and keep the agency alive. During Bowers’ service on the board, he along with others, helped create an emergency planning project that restructured the executive staff, instituted cost-saving methods, built the morale of the remaining staff, and brought the agency through the crisis by 2004.

“In 2002, InterFaith Works faced a severe financial downturn,” says Beth Broadway, president and CEO of InterFaith Works. “Mr. Bowers was pivotal in saving the agency from closing its doors. He spearheaded the financial management protocols that were implemented and established a plan to put the agency back on solid financial ground.”

In addition to the changes made at InterFaith Works, Bowers’ accounting expertise was pivotal in TLS’s development of a new community residence for people with developmental disabilities that also expanded community support services for those with mental health issues. TLS merged with Enable in 2013 and is now called AccessCNY, where Bowers currently serves on their finance committee.

Bowers has been a society member since 1974, is a member of the Syracuse chapter, and has chaired on a number of the society’s Rochester and Syracuse chapter committees.

“I would certainly recommend CPAs to give back to non-profit organizations, says Bowers. “The financial expertise of CPAs is needed to help balance budgets as funding for these programs tighten up. CPAs have a certain way of seeing things, such as how the mission of an organization and its financial status can work together. This is why CPAs should find an organization that they are interested in and give back.”

Bowers has worked as a CPA for clients in the short line railroad industry for more than 40 years and currently works at Bowers & Company CPAs, PLLC as partner-in-charge of the railroad industry. He continues to serve on InterFaith Works of Central New York Board of Directors and chairs the Faith Hope Community Center’s finance committee.