Illinois CPA Society Announces 2020 Women to Watch Award Winners

CHICAGO, Sept. 8, 2020 – The Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS), in partnership with the ICPAS Women’s Committee and Association of International Certified Professionals Accountants, is proud to announce the winners of the prestigious 2020 Women to Watch Awards.

Each year, the Women to Watch Awards are presented in two categories, Experienced Leader and Emerging Leader, to recognize outstanding women who are committed to making significant contributions to the CPA profession, their organizations, and to the greater development of women as leaders in the business world.

“It’s an honor and privilege to recognize the inspiring actions and achievements of these remarkable women,” says Todd Shapiro, ICPAS president and CEO. “We are fortunate to have such dedicated leaders striving to increase gender equality in the CPA profession and paving the way for future generations of women in accounting and finance.”

The following honorees will be formally recognized at ICPAS’ Leadership Recognition and Awards Celebration on Sept. 17, 2020 and will be featured guests at ICPAS’ Women’s Leadership Forum on Oct. 23, 2020—both events will be held virtually this year.

Experienced Leader Award

To honor the experienced professionals positively impacting the accounting and finance profession, the Experienced Leader Award recognizes women dedicated to mentoring other professionals, making major and/or unique contributions to the profession, taking leadership in workplace improvement, staying involved in community service and/or professional organizations, and authoring professional articles and/or speaking at engagements. This year’s winner is:

Carol M. Jessup, Ph.D., MBA, CPA, CFE – Jessup is a professor of accountancy and accounting department chair at the University of Illinois Springfield where she primarily teaches auditing and governmental and nonprofit accounting. Her research interests include fraud and online learning, and she has also written questions for the Uniform CPA Exam.

In addition to her academic positions, Jessup serves on the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln’s audit committee, is the editor-in-chief of The North American Accounting Studies research journal, and chairs the editorial board for the Journal of Government Financial Management of the Association of Government Accountants. Jessup is also a frequent speaker and lecturer at national, regional, and state conferences.

Previously, Jessup held several positions in state and local government, served on the team that implemented GAAP in Illinois, and provided expert witness testimony in utility regulatory proceedings.

Jessup received her Ph.D. in business administration from Saint Louis University and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in accounting from the former Sangamon State University, which is now part of the University of Illinois system. She is a licensed CPA in Illinois and a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Emerging Leader Award

Bestowed upon professionals under the age of 40 and with less than 15 years of experience in the accounting and finance profession, the Emerging Leader Award recognizes women demonstrating outstanding leadership, contributions to the profession, creation and implementation of unique initiatives in the workplace, involvement in community service and/or professional organizations, and involvement with their Alma Mater or high school or college-level finance and accounting students. This year’s winners are:

Lauren Bruce, CPA, CIA – Bruce is a senior manager at Grant Thornton LLP with 13 years of internal audit and business risk consulting experience. She has earned success overseeing Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance and internal audit programs that provide effective risk management for companies, including developing and deploying new methodology and data analytics initiatives across the firm.

Bruce also leads the Women at Grant Thornton Business Resource Group for the Chicago office and is passionate about advancing women in the accounting profession. As part of her role, she serves as a mentor to women across Grant Thornton, including to new moms returning to work and those looking to advance their careers in internal audit. Bruce also serves as the treasurer for the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Northwest Metro Chicago Chapter. Previously, she was an internal audit manager at TransUnion. She is a licensed CPA in Illinois and a Certified Internal Auditor.

Hollis A. Hanson-Pollock, CPA – Hanson-Pollock is an associate practice fellow with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in Connecticut, leading the project on replacement of interbank offered rates, which is intended to propose guidance to address related accounting and financial reporting implications. She also is currently working on GASB projects related to revenue and expense recognition and other pre-agenda research. Previously, she worked on Statement No. 92, Omnibus 2020, and the implementation guide for Statement No. 87, Leases.

Outside of her two-year GASB fellowship, Hanson-Pollock is an audit manager at Crowe LLP in Oak Brook, Ill. where she provides audit and consulting services to municipalities, community colleges, school districts, and transportation agencies. Hanson-Pollock received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Iowa’s Wartburg College. She is a licensed CPA in Illinois.



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Derrick Lilly
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