Jessica McClain, CPA CISA, PMP, CGFM, controller for Brand USA and a member of The MACPA Foundation, has been named one of five CPAs nationwide to earn the 2021 AICPA Outstanding Young CPA Award.

The annual award, which honors the memory of Maximo Mukelabai and is now in its 10th year, recognizes CPAs under age 41 who personify a commitment to the profession, as demonstrated through successful practices and involvement in and contributions to the interest of the accounting profession. This is the first year in which more than one person was selected for the honor.

“These five individuals have done incredible things in their relatively short careers, ranging from hosting leadership workshops to advancing diversity and inclusion in the profession to mentoring high school accounting students,” said Erin Carson, senior manager of Young Member initiatives on the Diversity and Inclusion for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, representing the AICPA and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

“During a year in which so many lives were disrupted by the pandemic, it is encouraging to see CPAs who embody the values held by Maximo Mukelabai. Bestowing the 2021 AICPA Outstanding Young CPA Award upon them is a tribute to his legacy,” said Sue Coffey, CPA, CGMA, CEO of public accounting for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

The AICPA created the award to honor the legacy of Maximo Mukelabai, a member of the inaugural class of the AICPA Leadership Academy and the youngest chair of the North Carolina Association of CPAs’ Board of Directors. Tragically, his life was cut short at age 36.

Jessica is an active volunteer with the MACPA and the AICPA. In addition to her work on The MACPA Foundation, she serves on several AICPA committees and speaks at conferences. The AICPA Leadership Academy graduate also helps other young CPAs through the AICPA Mentoring Program. She also contributes her time locally to the Maryland Association of CPAs and Greater Washington Society of CPAs, providing an emphasis on enhancing diversity and inclusion within the profession.

The eligibility criteria to apply for the Maximo Mukelabai award are:

  • Holding the CPA license and being between the ages of 22 and 40.
  • Being a regular voting member of the AICPA.
  • Promoting the CPA profession.
  • Volunteering in activities that advance the accounting profession.
  • Participating in community-based organizations that improve people’s lives.
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