MACPA Chair Marianela del Pino-Rivera and AICPA Chair-elect Tommye Barie hosted our first Women to Watch Awards breakfast on Sept. 23.

Pictured are Lexy Kessler, Aronson; Tommye Barie, AICPA chair-elect; Aileen Eskildsen, Ellin & Tucker; Marianela del Pino-Rivera, MACPA chair; Tammy Schneider, Glass Jacobson; and Elise Brouillette, PWC. 

Past MACPA board member Samantha Bowling chaired the Task Force that developed the program as part of the AICPA’s national initiatives on women, diversity and inclusion.

Our first year set the bar high with an impressive number of nominations (32) and winners in two categories — Emerging Leaders and Experienced Leaders. The winners are:

  • Emerging Leaders: Aileen Eskildsen, director at Ellin & Tucker; and Elise Brouillette, data assurance manager at PWC.
  • Experienced Leaders: Lexy Kessler, partner at Aronson LLC; and Tammy Schneider, principal at Glass, Jacobson.

This program was also supported by the AICPA and its national Women to Watch program. The event also incuded a special announcement from past MACPA Chair Anoop Mehta: the formation of a special minority scholarship in the name of the Mehta family and the first award to Tanyeka Alexander from the University of Baltimore.

The top woman in accounting, incoming AICPA Chair Tommye Barie, CPA, CGMA, offered some inspiration. She made the point that while we have made progress on diversity and inclusion in the CPA profession, we still have a way to go. She commended our MACPA leadership for taking on this very important issue. Then she offered three keys to success in her life:

  1. Embrace opportunities that are outside your comfort zone. That’s the best way to learn new things. Stretch yourself.
     
  2. Aim high. My message here is, “Don’t settle.” You have choices in life. Be bold, be brave and be diligent about what you want.
     
  3. Lead by example. Create a culture of leadership by showing that you’re willing to put in at least as much effort as anyone else. Be an equal partner with your team and other colleagues. Roll up your sleeves, work late, and even work through the weekend if that’s what it takes to accomplish the task at hand.

She closed with this:

“I leave you with this quote by Dr. Shad Helmstetter. ‘You may think that in life, a lot of things happen to you along the way. The truth is, in life, you happen to a lot of things along the way.’ In my mind, this statement exemplifies how you build a career. You are the one to make things turn out the way they do. From choosing a career you love to striving to be the best you can be and seizing all the opportunities available, you make your success happen.”

Congratulations to all of the nomiees and award winners!

Here are pictures from the event on Flickr.

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