AICPA names 2021 Leadership Academy graduates


The American Institute of CPAs announced the 30 graduates of its 2021 AICPA Leadership Academy, held virtually this year from Oct. 25-28.

The AICPA Leadership Academy offers young CPAs a hands-on learning workshop with topics ranging from leadership training to professional networking. This year’s featured speakers included William (Bill) Pirolli, chairman of the American Institute of CPAs; and Barry Melancon, AICPA president and CEO.

“Being a CPA is about relationship building and working to improve yourself and those around you,” said Pirolli in a statement. “This year’s Leadership Academy class is a testament to the future leadership of the profession. I look forward to seeing the great things they’ll accomplish in their careers.”

Leadership Academy attendees were recommended by their employers or state CPA societies. Candidates submitted their resumes and a statement explaining how the Leadership Academy would help them both personally and professionally. Participants 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?”

This year’s class included 30 participants from 21 states, and the average age of participants was 32. More than 445 CPAs have participated in the AICPA Leadership Academy to date.

The full 2021 Leadership Academy class, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

  • Chelsea Abercrombie, Integrity Squared CPAs, Bolivar, Missouri;
  • Jessica Adams, Northwest Baptist Foundation, Vancouver, Washington;
  • Josh Alexander, Alexander & Williams, Dallas, Texas;
  • Esteban Alfaro, PPFA, New York, New York;
  • Janella Andrews, Lund & Guttry LLP, Palm Desert, California;
  • Jeffrey Bowley, Joseph W. Bowley & Co., LLP, Blackwood, New Jersey;
  • Karla Bryk, ATLAS CPAs & Advisor PLLC, Marion, Illinois;
  • Ruben Delgado Powell, Buchbinder Tunick & Company LLP, Bethesda Maryland;
  • Melissa Diaz, High Rock Accounting and Rebel Rock Accounting, Scottsdale, Arizona;
  • Amr, Elaskary, Clark Schaefer Hackett, Monclova, Ohio;
  • Kendall Gonzales, University of Wyoming Foundation, Laramie, Wyoming;
  • Lauren Graves, Johnson Lambert LLP, Burlington, Vermont;
  • Amanda Halverson, Eide Bailly, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;
  • Kathryn Horton, Kathryn K. Horton CPA PA, Coral Springs, Florida;
  • Jennifer Korbely, BurgerBusters, Suffolk, Virginia;
  • Shara Lucio, Dean Dorton, Louisville, Kentucky;
  • Mary Maxion, Eadie and Payne, LLP, Riverside, California;
  • Aaron McCarthy, Luttrell Wegis LLP, Irvine, California;
  • Grace McKoy, Anderson ZurMuehlen, Missoula, Montana;
  • Carey Miller, Veris Consulting, Inc., Annandale, Virginia;
  • Ade Oluwalayemi, Intuit, Newnan, Georgia;
  • Liz Pabst, Cotton and Company LLP, Houston, Texas;
  • Arpit Padhiar, KNAV PA, Atlanta Georgia;
  • Micah Pulliam,Coast Professional, Inc., West Monroe, Louisiana;
  • Casey Savatski, Insight Enterprises, Inc, Tempe, Arizona;
  • Chris Smith, Schellman & Company, LLC, Tampa, Florida
  • Carey Vasallo, VMBG Accounting, Miami, Florida;
  • Chris Vineyard, Brown Smith Wallace LLP, Saint Louis, Missouri;
  • Catherine Weissert, Lewis & Clark Bank, Portland, Oregon; and
  • Michael Williams, DSJCPA, Westbury, New York.

The application period for the 2022 Leadership Academy is now open. More information is available on the AICPA’s site here.

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