Her remarkable journey has taken Kimberly Ellison-Taylor from the streets of inner-city Baltimore to the top of the accounting and finance profession.

On Oct. 17, she returned to where that journey began.

Ellison-Taylor, a former MACPA chair and current chair of the American Institute of CPAs’ Board of Directors, has been recognized by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh as part of the 2017 Mayoral Citizen Success Citation. The event took place Oct. 17 at the Living Classrooms Foundation at Harbor East.

“She represents, for me, dreams fulfilled,” said Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. “Every educator wants to know that children who haven’t had everything can be the best, and she shows they can.”

The citation is a tribute to Ellison-Taylor’s accomplishments on behalf of not just the profession, but anyone who has a dream.

As a third-grader at Baltimore’s William Pinderhughes Elementary School, Ellison-Taylor heard a guest speaker talk about various professions and decided that day that she would become a CPA. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, her MBA at Loyola University, and a master’s in information technology at Carnegie Mellon University.

She has held leadership positions at some of the nation’s most prominent organizations, including NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Motorola, KPMG, and most recently as Oracle’s global accounting strategy director. When her year-long term as AICPA chair ends in January, she will continue to lead the profession as chair of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. That’s the global accounting organization formed by the joint venture between the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

She attributes her accomplishments not to any personal agenda, but to what she calls life’s “ABCs”:

  • Attitude
  • Believe in one’s self
  • Courage to act with compassion, to take chances, and to be different

“My path is a testament to the power of high expectations,” Ellison-Taylor has said. “They are a blessing. And they’re why I believe so strongly that as a profession, no matter how far we’ve come, we must continue to demand more from ourselves.”

“Kimberly’s story and journey are inspirations to us all,” said MACPA Executive Director Tom Hood. “She is a testament to the power of courage, conviction, and lifelong learning, and we are proud to call her a colleague, a friend, and a Marylander.”

Learn more about Ellison-Taylor’s journey here:

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