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1. Danielle McLarnon, CPA, CGMA  

It’s the culture at New Belgium that makes us different. I think some of it is that we make craft beer, but a lot of it is when you work for a place that respects you, listens to you, asks for information from you, you care. You feel good about going to work each day.

2. William R. Hagaman Jr., CPA, CGMA  

Once I became a WithumSmith+Brown partner in 1985, I was also tasked to be the partner-in-charge of the New Brunswick, N.J., office. I was only 27 years old. What I recall thinking at the time was that I had this goal to become partner since the day I started with WS+B in 1980, but since I achieved that goal rather soon, I was unsure of what to do next.

3. Steve Watson, CPA, CGMA  

The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., is one of the few for-profit historical properties in the United States. We do not receive any federal or state funding. We are in our third, fourth, and fifth generations of being family-owned by descendants of George Vanderbilt. I know that we have to make a profit in order to preserve the estate, and I know we’ve got to keep our property in pristine condition, and I know that we’ve got to offer world-class customer service in order to get people to come back.

4. Charlie Peters, CPA  

The fun of an international firm is the global nature. We have more than 80 offices in nearly 40 countries. Just the international aspect of dealing with lots of different cultures and business practices is an awful lot of fun. Being with a technology firm, especially a high-growth one, presents a lot of very interesting challenges every single day.

5. Chris Ekimoff, CPA  

I remember when I was younger watching a film called The Untouchables. Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro … kind of the whole, “How are we going to get Al Capone?” The guy who really struck me in that played the accountant (played by Charles Martin Smith) who was working with Eliot Ness.

6. Paula Thomas, CPA, DBA  

I grew up in a small town: Fayetteville, Tenn. What you grow up with, you assume is normal. Many people expected young women to be nurses or teachers. My parents always said you can do anything you want to. I think I was encouraged more than most young women my age.

7. Kelly Richmond Pope, CPA, CGMA, Ph.D.  

My father (Tyronza R. Richmond) always encouraged me to major in accounting. He was business school dean at North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C., for 10 years and chancellor from 1986 until 1992. I took my first accounting course as a ninth-grader at Charles E. Jordan High School in Durham.

8. Ron Stokes, CPA/PFS, CGMA  

Ron Stokes, CPA/PFS, CGMA, pictured in Orange Walk, Belize, with Ruth Ku (standing), principal of New Life Elementary School, and Dalila Mendez, a financial assistant and teacher.My oldest son, Will, who is a student at Vanderbilt University, got involved with The Belize Project based in Nashville. He went to Belize a couple of spring breaks and did some projects.

9. Antonio “Tony” Argiz, CPA/ABV/CFF  

I was born in Havana, Cuba, and it was a great childhood. I still have vivid memories of those times. Those were probably some of the happiest days of my life because our family was together prior to the revolution.My father, who was in the wholesale meat business, was also a minority owner in a bank.

10. How to do as the Chinese when you're in China   CPEDirect

BY Sabine Vollmer
Four years after expanding into China, Merkle, a U.S. company that specializes in customer relationship marketing, employs more than 200 people in Shanghai and Nanjing. Sally Shanks, CPA, vice president and controller at Merkle, will always remember one of the challenges she encountered doing business in China: The document to lease office space looked nothing like the detailed contracts of 90 pages or more she was used to in the United States.
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