AICPA Announces Graduates of 2016 Leadership Academy

AICPA Investing in Future of the Profession by Preparing Young CPAs for Leadership Roles

October 19, 2016

Contact: James Schiavone, 212-596-6119,

NEW YORK (October 19, 2016) - The American Institute of CPAs is pleased to announce the 2016 AICPA Leadership Academy graduating class. These 37 future leaders of the accounting profession participated in an intensive four-day program in Durham, N.C., which concluded earlier this month.

This year’s class discussed important issues facing the profession and participated in extensive leadership development sessions with influential leaders in the profession, including AICPA Chair (2015-2016) Tim Christen, CPA, CGMA, Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, the Institute’s president and CEO, and Mark Koziel, CPA, CGMA, AICPA executive vice president, firm services.

“During my time as chair, I’ve focused on positioning the profession to stay ahead of change and maintain our relevance far into the future. This year’s AICPA Leadership Academy class is a forward looking group that understands the ways technology is shaping the world and how those potential challenges can be seen as opportunities,” said Christen. “I am confident that these young leaders have the vision, skills and sense of urgency needed to steer the profession into the future.”

The AICPA Leadership Academy was established to inspire, and empower the next generation of CPA leaders by providing them with advanced leadership training, access to well-connected professional networks and opportunities to exercise leadership within the profession. The 2016 group is the eighth Leadership Academy class and more than 270 CPAs have now graduated from the Leadership Academy.

“The Leadership Academy was an inspirational experience for me. I was able to form connections with a group of dynamic leaders from diverse backgrounds across all segments of the profession that I hope will last a lifetime,” said Richard L. Ward, CPA, president and CEO of Capital Configuration and a 2016 Leadership Academy graduate. “The insights I gained from Leadership Academy will help me make subtle but important changes in the way I approach my career and my personal life. I feel confident that I have the skills and tools I need to help me reach my full potential as an inspirational leader in the profession.”

The AICPA selected the 2016 Leadership Academy from candidates recommended by their employers, state CPA societies or both. This year’s class included representatives from 33 states. Participants were selected from public accounting firms of all sizes, business and industry, education and government. The class contained a diverse range of ethnicities and was split 19/18 between males and females. The average age of the attendees was 31.

Candidates submitted resumes which included work history, licensure information, professional volunteer activities, community service and awards and honors. Candidates also supplied a statement explaining why participating in the Leadership Academy would be important to them personally and an essay responding to the question, “What leadership competencies and characteristics will be essential to successfully lead and advance the CPA profession in 2030?”

Details for the 2017 Leadership Academy are available online. The application period is now open, with a deadline of May 31, 2017.

The full 2016 Leadership Academy class is listed below in alphabetical order:

  • Vincent Accard, PwC, Tampa, FL
  • Gil Adler, Luke’s Lobster, New York, NY
  • Amanda Barrett-Brough, Squire & Company, Orem, UT
  • Rosie Brammer, Perkins & Co., Portland, OR
  • Melyssa A. Brown, Meyers Brothers Kalicka P.C., Holyoke, MA
  • Martrice Caldwell, OneGoal, Chicago, IL
  • Aaron Clayton, Eide Bailly LLP, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Ayanna Coleman, Friedman LLP, New York, NY
  • Ashley Cooper, HoganTaylor LLP, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Alan Duncan, RCP Companies Inc., Huntsville, AL
  • Brittany Dunn, Eide Bailly LLP, Fargo, ND
  • Mike Ferkovic, BDO USA LLP, University Heights, OH
  • Dana Fogle, PriceRomine PLLC, Shepherdstown, WV
  • Brent Forbush, Forbush & Associates, Reno, NV
  • Ivannia Graber, Insight Accounting Group PC, Goshen, IN
  • Byron Hamlett, Grant Thornton LLP, Charlotte, NC
  • Rich Hassinger, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ
  • Holly Hawk, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  • Jessica Iennarella, Epps Forensic Consulting PLLC, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Elsa Jacobs, Asurion, Nashville, TN
  • Steven Kurinsky, DeLeon & Stang, CPAs & Advisors, Gaithersburg, MD
  • Lori Liddell, Home LLP, Ridgeland, MS
  • James Matthis, Waters & Matthis, CPAs PLLC, Wallace, NC
  • Michelle McVetty, Crane & Bell PLLC, Lancaster, NH
  • Charles Mondesir, Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, NJ
  • Matt Morey, Entergy Services, Inc., New Orleans, LA
  • Philip Nathan, FTI Consulting, Washington, DC
  • Tim O’Neill, Mueller Prost LC, St. Louis, MO
  • Givenson Piard, Jason Industries, Inc., Richmond, IN
  • Paul Preziotti, Johnson Lambert LLP, Vienna, VA
  • John Rainone, DiSanto Priest & Co., Warwick, RI
  • Erin Roche, Elliott CPA Group Inc., Santa Rosa, CA
  • Kathryn Rogers, Independent Case Management, Inc., Little Rock, AR
  • Austin Schuerg, Simms Fishing Products, Bozeman, MT
  • Krystal Siebrandt, HBE Becker Meyer Love, LLP, Lincoln, NE
  • Marie Stiegel, Plante & Moran, PLLC, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Richard Ward, Capital Configuration, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA