2017

Press Release


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Contact(s):

James Schiavone
212-596-6119
James.Schiavone@aicpa-cima.com

AICPA Honors 2016 Top CPA Exam Performers with Elijah Watt Sells Award 


NEW YORK (May 2, 2017) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) today announced the winners of the 2016 Elijah Watt Sells Award. The 2016 award was bestowed upon CPA candidates who have obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination, passed all four sections of the Examination on their first attempt and completed testing in 2016.

A total of 102,323 individuals sat for the Examination in 2016, with 58 candidates meeting the criteria to receive the Elijah Watt Sells Award.
 
“The CPA Examination, along with the education and experience required sets a high bar for entry into the profession. This serves to protect the public interest by ensuring that only qualified individuals earn a CPA license,” said Michael Decker, AICPA Vice President of Examinations. “On behalf of the AICPA, I’d like to congratulate this year’s winners of the Elijah Watt Sells award on their outstanding accomplishment and wish them the best of luck in their careers.”
 
The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established by the AICPA in 1923 to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA Examination. Sells, one of the first CPAs in the U.S., was active in the establishment of the AICPA and played a key role advancing professional education within the profession.
 
In addition to education and experience requirements, the CPA Exam plays a crucial role ensuring that individuals who earn their CPA license have demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to protect the public interest in a constantly evolving business and financial environment. The AICPA recently launched an updated version of the CPA Examination, which reflects the technical knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for CPA licensure. 
 
The individuals listed below are the 2016 Sells Award winners in alphabetical order, followed by their state board of accountancy affiliation, education and present employer: 

  • Daniel Russell Bierley (Michigan), a graduate of Michigan State University with a BA in Accounting and an MS in Accounting, is employed with EY in Detroit, MI.
  • Kevin Branley (Louisiana), a graduate of Louisiana State University with a BS in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with Deloitte & Touche, LLP in New Orleans, LA.
  • Paige E. Burkard (New York), a graduate of Canisius College with a BS in Accounting and Accounting Information Systems and an MBA in Accounting, is employed with EY, LLP in Buffalo, NY.

  • Mingyue “Estella” Chu (California), a graduate of the University of Southern California with a Master of Accounting, is employed with Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Los Angeles, CA.

  • Shannon E. Costello (Texas), a graduate of the University of Florida with a BS in Accounting and a Master of Accounting, is employed with Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Dallas, Texas.

  • Kelly Coyne (New Jersey), a graduate of Rutgers University with a BS in Accounting and the University of Michigan with a Master of Accounting, is employed with Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in Norwalk, CT.

  • Andrew J. Debbink (Wisconsin), a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BBA in Accounting, a certificate in Spanish and a Master of Accounting is employed with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in Norwalk, CT.

  • Anthony J. DePiano (Massachusetts), a graduate of the University of Massachusetts – Amherst with a BBA in Accounting, is employed with RSM US, LLP in Boston, MA.

  • James Scott Deuschle (Massachusetts), a graduate of Cornell University with a BA in History and Boston College with an MS in Accounting, is employed with PwC, LLP in Boston, MA.

  • Sydney Engelke (Texas), a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting and an MS in Accounting, is employed with KPMG, LLP in Houston, TX.

  • Kayla Elizabeth Gawlik (Michigan), a graduate of the University of Michigan with a BA in Economics and Wake Forest University with a MS in Accountancy, is employed with KPMG, LLP in New York, NY.

  • Madeline Hartman (Massachusetts), a graduate of the University of Washington with a BS in Economics and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Master of Accounting, is employed with Grant Thornton, LLP in Boston, MA.

  • Ryan Russell Herrscher (Texas), a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a BBA in Accounting and an MS in Accounting, is employed with PwC, LLP in Dallas, TX.

  • Matthew R. Holt (South Carolina), a graduate of Furman University with a BS in Psychology and Clemson University with a Master of Professional Accountancy, is employed with EY, LLP in Greenville, SC.

  • Amanda D. Jacinto (New York), a graduate of Lehigh University with a BS in Accounting and an MS in Accounting and Information Analysis, is employed with PwC in New York, NY.

  • Bradley Jergensen (Florida), a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Accounting and a Master of Accounting, is employed with Deloitte Tax in Tampa, FL.

  • Anthony Joffre (Florida), a graduate of the University of Miami with a BA in Accounting, is employed with KPMG, LLP in Miami, FL.

  • Peter Kampf (Ohio), a graduate of the Ohio State University with a Bachelor in Accounting and the University of Akron with a Master in Tax, is employed with Cohen & Company, Ltd. in Cleveland, OH.

  • Sahand Kargosha (Virginia), a graduate of George Mason School of Business with a BS in Accounting and an MS in Accounting, is employed with EY, LLP in Tysons, VA.

  • Alexander D. Khan (New York), a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross with a BA in Economics-Accounting, is employed with Deloitte & Touche, LLP in New York, NY.

  • Patrick M. Kmieciak (Florida), a graduate of the University of North Florida with a Bachelor in Accounting and a Master in Accounting, is employed with PwC, LLP in Jacksonville, FL. 

  • Kathleen Koehl (Illinois), a graduate of The University of Michigan with a BA in Economics and Political Science and The Ohio State University with a Master of Accounting, is employed with RSM US, LLP in Chicago, IL.

  • Dena Konneker (North Carolina), a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Spanish and a Master of Accounting, as well as, SIT Graduate Institute with an MA in Teaching English as a Second or Other Language, is employed with RSM US, LLP in Raleigh, NC.

  • Harvey Arvin R. Li (Washington), a graduate of the University of Iowa with a BBA in Accounting and the University of Washington with a Master of Professional Accounting, is employed with Deloitte Tax, LLP in Seattle, WA.

  • Joseph Kane Mader (Texas), a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Government and Sociology and Austin Community College with an Advanced Technical Certificate in Accounting, is employed with the Office of Inspector General – Texas Health and Human Services Commission in Austin, TX.

  • Rosemary Michelle Mantle (Georgia), a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a BS in Accounting and the University of Georgia with a Master in Accounting, is employed with RSM US, LLP in Atlanta, GA.

  • Kelly McHugh (Illinois), a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign with a BS in Accountancy and a Master of Accounting Science, is employed with EY in Chicago, IL.

  • Chu Bing Sabrina McMullin (Kansas), a graduate of Nanyang Technological University with a BS in Accounting and the University of South Dakota with a Master of Accounting, is employed with YRC Worldwide, Inc. in Overland Park, KS.

  • Kevin J. Montminy (Pennsylvania), a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Accounting and Finance and an MS in Accounting, is employed with KPMG, LLP in Philadelphia, PA.

  • Taylor K. Moore (Oregon), a graduate of Brigham Young University with a BS in Management and the University of Portland with an MBA, is employed with Intel Corporation in Aloha, OR.

  • Mitchell Charles Morse (Missouri), a graduate of the University of Missouri - Columbia with a Bachelor of Accounting and a Master of Accounting, is employed with KPMG, LLP in Kansas City, MO.

  • Christopher G. Parsons (Pennsylvania), a graduate of Lehigh University with a BS in Accounting and Finance and an MS in Accounting and Information Analysis, is employed with PwC, LLP in New York, NY.

  • Ryan H. Perez (Pennsylvania), a graduate of Elizabethtown College with a BS in Accounting, is employed with Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz in Camp Hill, PA.

  • Georgina Prataviera (Argentina), a graduate of the Universidad Católica de Córdoba with a Bachelor of Accounting, is employed with Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Cordoba, Argentina.

  • Kimberly Pugliese (California), a graduate of Seattle University with a BABA in Accounting and Finance, is employed with EY, LLP in San Francisco, CA.

  • Jeff R. Pullen (Iowa), a graduate of Clemson University with a BS in Accounting and a Master of Accounting, is employed with KPMG, LLP in Minneapolis, MN.

  • Renata L. Raisanen (Minnesota), a graduate of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a BSB in Accounting and Management Information Systems, is employed with Lurie, LLP in Minneapolis, MN.

  • Louis W. Rizzuto (Illinois), a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a BS in Accounting and Finance and an MS in Accounting, is employed with PwC, LLP in Chicago, IL.

  • Devenie K. Ross (Kansas), a graduate of the University of Kansas with a BS in Business and Accounting and a Master of Accounting, is employed with RubinBrown, LLP in Kansas City, MO.

  • Corey J. Shubiak (New Jersey), a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a BS in Accountancy and a minor in Finance, is employed with PwC, LLP in Florham Park, NJ.

  • Samuel R. Siegel (Pennsylvania), a graduate of Lebanon Valley College with a Bachelors in Economics, is employed with Stanilla, Siegel, and Maser, LLC in Lebanon, PA.

  • Charles Sims (Texas), a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Master of Professional Accounting, is employed with EY in Houston, TX.

  • Abigail L. Singley (New York), a graduate of Hofstra University with a BBA in Accounting and an MS in Taxation, is employed with PwC, LLP in New York, NY.

  • Andrew J. Smith (Texas), a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master in Professional Accounting, is employed with KPMG, LLP in Dallas, TX.

  • Leighton Mark Smith (Washington), a graduate of the University of Auckland, New Zealand with a Bachelor of Engineering and Keller Graduate School of Management with an MBA concentrating in Accounting, is employed with Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, WA.

  • Olivia Spooner (Massachusetts), a graduate of the University of Vermont with a Master of Accountancy, is employed with RSM US, LLP in Boston, MA.

  • Sarah E. Stang (Illinois), a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with KPMG, LLP in Chicago, IL.

  • Liyuan Su (Virginia), a graduate of Fudan University with a Bachelor in Accounting, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics with a Master in Accounting, and George Washington University with an MS in Finance, is employed with Fannie Mae in Washington, DC.

  • Olga Timirgalieva (Florida), a graduate of Florida Southern College with a BS in Economics and Financial Management, is employed with McNichols Company in Tampa, FL.

  • Rachel Weeks (New York), a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting and an MS in Finance, is employed with EY in New York, NY.

  • Christopher Whittall (Pennsylvania), a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Accounting and Finance, is employed with KPMG, LLP in Philadelphia, PA.

  • Kevin Samuel Wilson (New York), a graduate of Georgetown University with a BSBA in Accounting and Finance and a minor in Mathematics, is employed with PwC, LLP in New York, NY.

  • Brian Wright (Pennsylvania), a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Accounting and Finance, is employed with PwC, LLP in Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Ying Wu (New Jersey), a graduate of Shanghai Jiao Tong University with a Bachelor of German Language and Literature, is employed with Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Parsippany, NJ.

  • Xiaoyi Yan (Hong Kong), a graduate of the University of Hong Kong with a BBA in Accounting and Finance and the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with a Master in Accounting, is employed with HSBC in Hong Kong, China.

  • Jing Zhang (New York), a graduate of Baruch College – CUNY with a BBA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy, is employed with EY, LLP in New York, NY.

  • Marina Zhiltsov (California), a graduate of Moscow State University with a BS in Economics and an MS in Economics, as well as, Santa Clara University with a Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency, is employed with EY in San Jose, CA.


    A list of previous winners is available online.

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