AICPA Announces Annual Leadership Academy Graduates
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AICPA Announces Annual Leadership Academy Graduates

Oct 13, 2020 · 3 min read

Twenty-nine Emerging Leaders in the Accounting Profession Enhance Their Knowledge and Skills in N.C.

NEW YORK, NY (October 13, 2020) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is pleased to announce the 29 young CPA leaders from around the country who graduated from the 2020 AICPA Leadership Academy, a rigorous program dedicated to inspire, nurture and empower the next generation of CPA leaders.

The AICPA Leadership Academy uses interactive workshops to give participants access to advanced leadership training, networking activities and presentations from some of the profession’s top thought leaders. The 2020 academy was conducted virtually, a first for the program.

The 2020 class discussed key issues and interacted with influential leaders in the profession including, Tracy Golden, CPA, CGMA, AICPA chair; Sue Coffey, CPA, CGMA, AICPA executive vice president, public practice; Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA, CEO of the Business Learning Institute, and Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the AICPA and CEO of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

“This is an interesting time to be a young leader in the accounting profession. The global pandemic is changing how we work, and this year’s Leadership Academy class is an impressive group of diverse professionals readily adapting to new circumstances,” said Golden. “These talented CPAs are great examples of the forward-thinking leaders who will find solutions to the challenges the profession faces now and in the years to come.”

The AICPA Leadership Academy is meant to serve as a succession plan for the CPA profession, ensuring a strong base of competent and committed leaders who understand the legacy of the profession and have the passion and skills necessary to address the challenges of an ever-changing global business environment. The event also encourages self-reflection and a thoughtful exploration of how leadership affects their personal and professional lives.

“The Leadership Academy has greatly increased my capacity to step into bigger things,” said Amy Swartzfager, CPA with Maloney, Reed, Scarpitti & Co. “I feel much better equipped to align my values with my decision making and remain committed to my chosen professional path.”

The program was designed to strengthen and expand the leadership skills of promising young professionals while they network with a peer group of talented and motivated CPAs. The 2020 participants comprised the twelfth graduating class, and more than 400 CPAs have now graduated from the program.

The 2020 Leadership Academy attendees were recommended by their employers, state CPA societies or both. Candidates submitted resumes and a statement explaining how participating in the Leadership Academy would affect them personally and professionally. They also wrote an essay on the topic, “The future will bring significant changes to the accounting profession. What do leaders have to get right, in order to successfully lead?”

“The Leadership Academy helped me to reflect on and analyze what has gotten me to where I am as well as showed me how to understand, build, and use those leadership qualities to the best of their ability,” said Mason Groves, CPA and director of accounting with People’s Electric Cooperative. “Ultimately, this will help me grow in the profession and ensure a bright future for both myself and the profession as a whole.”

This year’s class included representatives from 22 states and the District of Columbia. Participants were selected from public accounting firms of all sizes, business and industry, academia and consulting firms. The class contained a diverse range of ethnicities and was split nearly evenly between males and females. The average age of the attendees was 33.

Details for the 2021 Leadership Academy are available online. The application period is now open.

The full 2020 Leadership Academy class is listed below in alphabetical order:

  • Michael Bridges, Sullivan Bille P.C., Tewksbury, Mass.

  • John Confrey, Mazars USA LLP, New York

  • Nicole Cooper, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Neb.

  • Kerry Duda, WilkinGuttenplan PC, East Brunswick, N.J.

  • Jodi Eckhout, Woods & Durham, Chartered, Holdrege, Neb.

  • KieLee Ellsworth, Porter, Muirhead, Cornia and Howard, CPAs, Casper, Wyo.

  • Matthew Faircloth, Berg Faircloth & Company, Leesburg, Va.

  • David Gantos, ACM LLP, Denver

  • Kellen Garrison, Eide Bailly LLP, Sioux Falls, S.D.

  • Teresa Giese, RMS Energy Co, LLC, Randall, Minn.

  • Jessica Gluck, Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., Honolulu

  • Mason Groves, People's Electric Cooperative, Ada, Okla.

  • Chase Haynes, Landmark PLC, Little Rock, Ark.

  • Scott Hoppe, Why Blu, San Francisco

  • Samuel Kramer, 14 West Administrative Services LLC, Baltimore

  • Matthew Labernik, Eide Bailly LLP, Fargo, N.D.

  • Natalie Ladd, NiSource, Merrillville, Ind.

  • Jessica McClain, Brand USA, Washington

  • Katherine Moline, Weber Clark, Toledo, Ohio

  • Luci Roseman, Cover & Rossiter, Wilmington, Del.

  • Joshua Russell, Patterson, Prince & Associates, PC, Florence, Ala.

  • Seth Serhienko, Widmer Roel, Fargo, N.D.

  • Emily Stahlin Hoffman, Remington Worth, LLC, Princeton, N.J.

  • Amy Swartzfager, Maloney, Reed, Scarpitti & Co, LLP, Erie, Pa.

  • Joshua TeBeest, Huberty & Associates SC, Sheboygan, Wisc.

  • Jennifer Troutman, Beck Flavors Inc., Maryland Heights, Mo.

  • Lauren Ursaki, StoneTurn, New York

  • Kelly Watson, Watson Coon Ryan LLC, Greenwood Village, Colo.

  • Cherie Williams, Windes, Inc., Long Beach, Calif.

Media Contact:

James Gallagher

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