Illinois CPA Society Announces 2021 Outstanding Leadership Award Recipients

CHICAGO, April 27, 2021 – The Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)—one of the largest state CPA societies in the nation—is proud to announce the recipients of its prestigious 2021 outstanding leadership awards.

“It’s always an honor and privilege to recognize the remarkable achievements of these diverse and dynamic individuals and the invaluable contributions they make to the CPA profession,” says Todd Shapiro, ICPAS president and CEO. “We’re truly fortunate to have such inspiring members supporting our mission of enhancing the value of the CPA profession and paving the way for future generations of CPAs to find success and make positive change throughout the profession and their communities.”

ICPAS is proud to present the following honorees, who’ll also be formally recognized at the Leadership Recognition & Awards Dinner in Chicago this summer:

Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed on a member who has demonstrated distinguished service to ICPAS and the accounting profession.

• Sara J. Mikuta, CPA, CGMA, CIA, CRMA – Retired (Wipfli LLP)

Women to Watch Awards
In partnership with the ICPAS Women’s Committee and Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, Women to Watch Awards are presented in two categories, Experienced Leader and Emerging Leader, to recognize women who have made significant contributions to the accounting profession, their organizations, and to the development of women as leaders.

Experienced Leader
• Rebecca Shortridge, Ph.D., CPA – Donald E. Kieso Chair of Accountancy, Northern Illinois University
• JoAnna Simek, CPA – Partner, BKD CPAs & Advisors

Emerging Leader
• Danielle I. Martin, CPA – Manager, Porte Brown LLC
• Amanda M. Rzepka, CPA, CGMA – Accounting Manager, Berlin Packaging

Lester H. McKeever Jr. Advancing Diversity Awards
Presented in two categories, Outstanding Leader and Emerging Leader, the Lester H. McKeever Jr. Advancing Diversity Award recognizes individuals who are committed to advancing diversity in the accounting profession.

Outstanding Leader
• Michael J. Santay, CPA, MBA – National Audit Partner, Grant Thornton LLP

Emerging Leader• Charlene Rhinehart, CPA – Managing Director, CEO Unlimited LLC and author of “Dividends Are a Queen’s Best Friend”

Outstanding Educator Awards
Awarded to educators at Illinois colleges and universities, the Outstanding Educator Award honors educators who have made significant contributions to the education of accounting students through their leadership, teaching excellence, and active involvement in the accounting profession.

• Justyna Koc, CPA, CGMA, MBA – Accounting Faculty, Triton College
• Lisa M. Sedor, Ph.D., CPA – Associate Professor, DePaul University
• Gerald A. Thalmann, CPA, CMA – Associate Professor, North Central College

Young Professionals Leadership Award
The Young Professionals Leadership Award recognizes a young professional who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills in his or her career, in public or community service, and through involvement in professional organizations.

• Lauren N. Smaga, CPA – Senior Staff Accountant, Shepard, Schwartz & Harris LLP

Time and Talent Public Service Volunteerism Award
The Time and Talent Public Service Volunteerism Award honors an organization for its outstanding service on Illinois CPA Society or CPAs for the Public Interest volunteer initiatives.

• Mowery & Schoenfeld

Distinguished Service Awards
ICPAS’ Distinguished Service Award is bestowed on members who display a commitment to excellence by taking on extra challenges and responsibilities in their 2020-2021 volunteer service.

• Megan P. Angle, CPA – Porte Brown LLC, Not-for-Profit Content Advisory Group
• Tony Boras, CPA – Crowe LLP, Governmental Report Review Committee
• Anthony M. Cervini, CPA, CFE – Sikich LLP, Governmental Report Review Committee
• Timothy C. Custis, CPA – Gorenz & Associates Ltd., Governmental Report Review Committee
• Samuel Delgado, CPA – Abbott Laboratories, MTWW Scholars Selection Committee
• Brent P. DeMay, CPA – Sikich LLP, Employee Benefits Committee
• Matthew A. Geerdes, CPA – Crowe LLP, Governmental Report Review Committee
• Stan Green, CPA – Larry J. Wolfe Ltd., Taxation Practice and Procedures Committee
• Kathy L. Horton, CPA, CMA, CGMA – Loyola University Chicago, Awards Committee
• Mark S. Klesman, CPA – Klesman & Company PC, Peer Review Report Acceptance Committee
• Luis V. Plascencia, CPA, MBA – Luis V. Plascencia, CPA, Taxation Practice and Procedures Committee and Cannabis Content Advisory Group
• Deborah K. Rood, CPA – CNA Insurance, Taxation Practice and Procedures Committee
• Taylor Schuck, CPA – Mueller CPA, Cannabis Content Advisory Group
• Michael J. Singer, CPA – Michael J. Singer and Company PC, Taxation Practice and Procedures Committee
• Nathan Summers, CPA – Miller, Cooper & Co., Ltd., Cannabis Content Advisory Group
• Randall S. Sylvan, CPA, MSA – Retired (CliftonLarsonAllen), Ethics Committee
• Andrew VanSingel, JD – Internal Revenue Service, Taxation Practice and Procedures Committee
• Larry J. Wolfe, CPA – Larry J. Wolfe Ltd., Taxation Practice and Procedures Committee

We would also like to specially recognize the additional following members who went above and beyond by virtually moderating the Government Report Review Program:

• Stephanie I. Blanco, CPA – John Kasperek Co., Inc.
• John F. Cutrera, CPA – BKD CPAs & Advisors
• Sarah R. Darnall, CPA – RSM US LLP
• Timothy M. Fagan, CPA – Legacy Professionals LLP
• Richard F. Gaul, CPA – RSM US LLP
• Carmen M. Huizenga, CPA – SKDO PC
• Melissa A. Juntunen, CPA – Lauterbach & Amen LLP
• Brian D. LeFevre, CPA, MBA – Sikich LLP
• Patrick C. McCarthy, CPA – O’Conner, Brooks & Co., CPAs
• Carla J. Randolph, CPA, MBA, CISA – CJ Randolph CPA LLC
• Kevin A. Smith, CPA – Eder, Casella & Co.
• Dean R. Snider, CPA – Snider McCree CPAs LLC
• Marites U. Sy, CPA, CIA, CISA, CGMA – Roth & Company LLP
• John C. Williams, CPA – Hearne & Associates PC

Award winner photos can be viewed here.



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Derrick Lilly
Assistant Director, Communications & Publications | 312.517.7614