Young CPAs cultivate leadership skills


Thirty-eight young CPAs participated in the 2017 AICPA Leadership Academy.

The graduates attended the four-day program to discuss issues facing the profession and participate in leadership development sessions with leaders in the profession, including Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, 2016—2017 AICPA chair and 2017—2018 Association of International Certified Professional Accountants chair; Barry Melancon, AICPA president and CEO and Association CEO; and Mark Koziel, AICPA executive vice president—Firm Services.

The AICPA Leadership Academy was established to inspire and empower the next generation of CPA leaders through training, access to well-connected professional networks, and opportunities to exercise leadership within the profession.

Participants were selected from candidates recommended by employers, state CPA societies, or both and come from public accounting firms of all sizes, business and industry, consulting, education, and government. Candidates submitted résumés, statements explaining why participating in the Leadership Academy would be important to them personally, and essays responding to the question, "What leadership competencies and characteristics will be essential to successfully lead and advance the CPA profession in 2025?"

The full 2017 class is listed below in alphabetical order:

  • Mark Astrinos, Libra Wealth, San Francisco
  • Kiyosha Baird, Microsoft, Redmond, Wash.
  • Ross Baldwin, Arkansas Legislative Audit, Little Rock, Ark.
  • Amanda Bartlett, Dead River Co., South Portland, Maine
  • Andy Baum, Harper Hofer and Associates LLC, Denver
  • Sarah Bilant, Drake Rose & Associates LLC, Winnemucca, Nev.
  • Josh Borowski, Chief Industries Inc., Grand Island, Neb.
  • Seth Cohn, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, Arlington, Va.
  • Lauren Cox, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Ben Cozad, Entergy Corp., New Orleans
  • Tyler Crawford, Barfield, Murphy, Shank and Smith LLC, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Ho-Ming Fong, Aronson LLC, Rockville, Md.
  • Eric Greene, PwC, Salt Lake City
  • Curt Hurd, Plante Moran, Southfield, Mich.
  • A.J. Hurst, Frazier & Deeter LLC, Atlanta
  • Arey Jhang, Bauknight, Pietras & Stormer PA, Columbia, S.C.
  • Heather Kephart, Koniag Inc., Anchorage, Alaska
  • Sherry Kneip, Spirit Realty Capital, Dallas
  • Josh Lance, Joshua Lance CPA LLC, Westmont, Ill.
  • Anne Layne, McHard Accounting Consulting LLC, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Luke Luckett, Anders Minkler Huber & Helm LLP, St. Louis
  • Eduardo Morales, BDO, New York City
  • Porschia Nkansa, California State University, Los Angeles
  • Renee Prince, Renee Prince CPA PC, Granbury, Texas
  • Ross Replogle, Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co. Ltd., Providence, R.I.
  • Rafael Rodriguez, E.F. Alvarez & Co., Miami
  • Melanie Rollo, Ellsworth & Stout LLC, Las Vegas
  • Erika Ruiz, KPMG LLP, Boston
  • Luke Selvig, Boyum & Barenscheer PLLP, Minneapolis
  • Justin Sensenig, Weinhold Nickel & Co. LLP, Ephrata, Pa.
  • Becca Shane, Hamilton Place Strategies, Washington, D.C.
  • Jessica Smith, Reynolds & Rowella LLP, New Canaan, Conn.
  • Sean Stein Smith, Lehman College (CUNY), Bergenfield, N.J.
  • Wendy Thompson, Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores, Oklahoma City
  • Sarah Timmons, Atlas Van Lines, Evansville, Ind.
  • Elizabeth Watkins, FBMM Inc., Nashville, Tenn.
  • Meagan Wellbrock, Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball Chtd., Hays, Kan.
  • Jessie Wright, Schroedel, Scullin & Bestic LLC, Canfield, Ohio

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