Outstanding, informative, insightful, inspiring, motivating, engaging. These are just some of the words students used to describe our second annual Student Leadership Academy.

We welcomed 21 top accounting students from nine universities across Maryland to Towson University on June 2. Over the next two days, the students networked with and asked questions of young CPAs and seasoned executives alike. They learned about the future of the CPA profession, the upcoming changes to the CPA exam, and perhaps most important, themselves.

We kicked off the academy with MACPA CEO Tom Hood, who introduced the students to the profession and its ridiculously bright and constantly changing future. Next, using Gallup’s Strengths Finder and VIA Character Strengths, we identified and discussed each student’s strengths and values — particularly, how their strengths and values show up in the workplace and how they should be used in choosing a career and employer. Karina Khadaran of Roger CPA Review gave an update on the 2017 CPA exam, and through panels of professionals, we covered the best practices in studying and the variety of career paths available to CPAs.



The academy wasn’t all work, though. The students took a break from learning on the night of June 3 and headed to Lock N’ Key Escape Room. At this new attraction in Baltimore’s Federal Hill area, students put their analytical, problem-solving, and collaboration skills to the test as they worked together to complete the challenge in a live-action video game.

Although this was just our second Student Leadership Academy, I am convinced that it has changed lives and made even brighter the future of our great profession.

I can’t thank enough the organizations and people that made the event possible by investing money and time into these students’ future.

Partner of the Profession sponsors

Supporter of the Profession sponsors




Friend of the Profession sponsors

Quincy CFO


Garbelman Winslow

Thanks also to our CPA review providers who donated review course scholarships to be raffled off to our participants.

And to our professional volunteers, thank you! Your expertise and mentorship were critical to our success!

  • Tommy Ashley, CliftonLarsonAllen
  • Rachel Bauder, CPA, American Urological Association
  • Gregory Beerli, CliftonLarsonAllen
  • Avonette Blanding, CPA, Maritime Applied Physics Corporation
  • Tricia Griffis, CPA, Frederick County Government
  • Debbie Hale, CPA, Weil, Akman, Baylin & Coleman, P.A.
  • Karina Khadaran, Roger CPA Review
  • Thao Khuu, CPA, CohnReznick
  • Robert Kollra, CPA, WeberMessick
  • Justin Letke, WeberMessick
  • Mike Manspeaker, CPA, Smith Elliott Kearns & Company, LLC
  • Remi Omisore, CPA, CliftonLarsonAllen
  • Dustin Page, CPA, Weil, Akman, Baylin & Coleman, P.A.
  • Keith Parker, CPA, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Zachary Reichenbach, CFA, CPA/ABV, Ellin & Tucker
  • Arun Subhas, CPA, EY
  • Chanel Trussell, CPA, UMBC
  • Jeff Wilson, CPA, The WII Group, LLC
  • Barrett Young, CPA, The Green Abacus
  • Josh Zimmerman, CPA, Handwerger, Cardegna, Funkhouser & Lurman, P.A.

Can’t wait to see what next year’s academy brings! Check out all the pictures on the MACPA’s Facebook page.

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