CHICAGO, October 22, 2018 – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS) are pleased to announce that Chicago’s Lester H. McKeever Jr., CPA, is the recipient of the 2018 AICPA Gold Medal Award of Distinction.
The Gold Medal is the highest honor granted by the AICPA. Since 1944, it has been bestowed upon CPAs whose influence on the accounting profession has been especially notable. Lewis Sharpstone, CPA, CGMA, a member of the awards committee, presented McKeever with the award on Sunday, October 21 at the fall meeting of AICPA’s governing council.
“Lester McKeever rose from working part time for the nation’s first female African-American CPA to working to advance diversity within the profession on a national level and in his home state of Illinois,” said Sharpstone. “He serves as an example of the impact CPAs can make on their community, the profession and their colleagues.”
McKeever has served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, chair of United Way Chicago, chair of the Chicago Urban league and board treasurer of the University of Illinois. He is also a founding member of the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois.
“Lester McKeever is a passionate leader whose service and influence in the accounting profession are as remarkable and distinguished as his career achievements,” said Todd Shapiro, President & CEO of the Illinois CPA Society. “What may be most impressive about him is his dedication as a mentor in helping and encouraging young professionals to achieve their goals and earn their CPA credentials. Over several decades now, he has paved the way for countless African-Americans and other underrepresented minorities pursuing careers as CPAs.”
A previous recipient of the Illinois CPA Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award, McKeever also received special recognition in 2016 when the Society renamed its annual Outstanding Leader in Diversity Award and Emerging Leader in Advancing Diversity Award in McKeever’s honor.
McKeever’s volunteerism at the national level has included terms on the AICPA’s Small Business and Minority Business Development Committees. He is also a member of the Chicago Business Hall of Fame, and the Chicago Urban League created the Lester H. McKeever Jr. Individual Service Award in his honor in 2016.
He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and later earned his juris doctorate (J.D.) with distinction from the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
A list of previous recipients is available on AICPA’s website.
Lester H. McKeever Jr. (left) pictured with Todd Shapiro, President & CEO of the Illinois CPA Society