Illinois CPA Society Announces its 2019 Women to Watch Award Winners

CHICAGO, April 30, 2019 The Illinois CPA Society's Women's Committee and the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants’ (AICPA) Women's Initiatives Committee are pleased to honor the following recipients with their 2019 Women to Watch Awards. These honorees have made significant contributions to the accounting profession, their organizations, and to the development of women as leaders. Women to Watch Award recipients are honored in two categories.

Experienced Leader Category: Recognized for mentoring other professionals, involvement in community service and/or professional organizations, major or unique contributions to the profession, leadership in workplace improvement and for authorship of professional articles and/or speaking engagements. This year’s winners are:

Rebekuh Eley, CPA, MST, Senior Manager, Tax Services, RSM US LLP – Rebekuh has been advising tax-exempt organizations since 2002 and has served as the regional tax-exempt practice leader at various global and national public accounting firms. Her expertise focuses on tax issues impacting tax-exempt organizations including complex rules governing exempt status, excise taxes, unrelated business taxable income, intermediate sanctions, private inurement, lobbying and political activities, compliance and information reporting, alternative investments, charitable gifts and tax controversies.

Rebekuh is a national speaker at various forums where she addresses topics affecting tax-exempt organizations. She also has written several articles and participates on webcasts covering issues pertinent to tax-exempt organizations. In her spare time, Rebekuh serves on the Charitable Ministry Board of Directors for New Apostolic Church USA. She also is a member of her local church’s choir.

Kristen L. Fitzpatrick, CPA, Managing Principal, Miller Cooper & Co., Ltd. – Kristen is responsible for guiding the growth and direction of her organization, ensuring her firm is forward thinking while maintaining a strong succession plan. She has more than 20 years of public accounting experience in the areas of accounting, auditing and business consulting to middle market companies.

Since joining Miller Cooper & Co., Ltd. in 1995, Kristen has led her firm’s professional teams to guide clients through a variety of business transitions including acquisitions, sales, restructuring, significant periods of growth and family leadership changes. Additionally, Kristen serves as Board Director-at-Large for the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She also is a member of the Young President’s Organization of Vistage International, an executive coaching company.

Emerging Leader Award Category: Recognized for demonstration of leadership, contributions to the profession, creation and implementation of unique initiatives in their workplace, involvement in community service and/or professional organizations, and involvement with their alma mater, high school or college level finance and accounting students. This year’s winners are:

Julia M. Haried, Audit & Assurance In-Charge, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Co-Founder and Executive Director, MakerGirl – In her current role, Julia supports Fortune 500 clients as well as start-ups in technology. She also has worked in the Deloitte Forensic practice and performed market research for the Deloitte CFO program.

In her spare time, Julia co-founded and is currently the Executive Director of MakerGirl, a nonprofit organization working to bridge the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by educating girls aged 7-10 about STEM through 3D printing. She also serves on the auxiliary board of the Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST). Julia has been featured by several media and financial organizations, including Forbes Magazine,, WGN-TV and

Charlene Rhinehart, CPA, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Wealthy Women Daily – Charlene began her professional career as a Big Four accounting firm auditor. She also served as a financial analyst and associate controller for a major bank. She is a member of the Illinois CPA Society’s Tax Committee and serves as Managing Director of CEO Unlimited LLC, a strategy consulting firm that provides accounting and business development services.

Charlene has been featured in many publications, including the HuffPost online, Black Enterprise Magazine, the National Association of Black Accountants’ Spectrum Magazine, the Illinois CPA Society’s Insight Magazine and the AICPA’s blog. Charlene also has worked with talent in local TV productions of Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. In addition, she has delivered speeches around the world to showcase the benefits of becoming a CPA

The Women to Watch Award winners will be recognized at the Illinois CPA Society’s Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday, May 10. More information on this year’s winners, past award recipients and details about the Women to Watch Awards are available at this web link.



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Derrick Lilly
Asst. Director Communications & Publications | 312.517.7614