Illinois CPA Society Announces 2024 Outstanding Leadership Award Recipients

CHICAGO, April 22, 2024 – The Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)—one of the largest state societies serving the certified public accountant (CPA) community—is proud to announce the honorees of its annual Outstanding Leadership Awards program, which celebrates distinguished leaders within the CPA profession through a variety of prestigious awards.

“It’s an honor to formally recognize those who have gone above and beyond in their service to both our organization and the accounting profession,” says Geoffrey Brown, CAE, ICPAS president and CEO. “These outstanding professionals exemplify our mission of ‘enhancing the value of the CPA profession.’ Their achievements in, and contributions to, this profession are truly inspiring and should serve as a guide for the next generation of CPAs to follow in their footsteps. Congratulations to all our award recipients this year.”

ICPAS will formally present awards to the following honorees at the Leadership Recognition & Awards Dinner in Chicago on June 13, 2024:

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.

  • Larry J. Wolfe, CPA | Owner, Larry J. Wolfe Ltd.

Women to Watch Awards
The 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 Leaders

  • Anna C. Gomez, CPA | Global Chief Financial Officer and Partner, Mischief USA and No Fixed Address Inc.
  • Diane L. Yetter, CPA | President and Founder, Yetter Consulting Services Inc. and Sales Tax Institute 

Emerging Leaders

  • Amy Sexton | Manager, Wipfli LLP 
  • Kelsey Straub, CPA | Audit Senior Manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Lester H. McKeever Jr. Advancing Diversity Awards
Presented in two categories—Experienced Leader and Emerging Leader—the Lester H. McKeever Jr. Advancing Diversity Awards recognize individuals who are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the accounting profession. 

Experienced Leader

  • Rose Ann Abraham, CPA | Partner, Baker Tilly US LLP 

Emerging Leader

  • Jonathan C. Acevedo, CPA | Manager, Wipfli LLP

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

  • Susan McCarthy, CPA | Clinical Associate Professor, Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago
  • Kim I. Mendoza, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Iyad Rock | Assistant Professor, Lewis University

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

  • Matthew C. Pelton, CPA | Audit & Assurance Managing Director, Deloitte & Touche LLP

Time and Talent Volunteer Service Award
The Time and Talent Volunteer Service Award honors an organization whose accounting and finance professionals exemplify outstanding service and meaningful contributions to volunteer initiatives that positively impact our communities.

  • Topel Forman LLC

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

  • Tony Boras, CPA – Crowe LLP | Governmental Report Review Committee
  • Elizabeth D. Buffardi, CPA, CFP – Crescendo Financial Planners | Media Expert
  • Amy M. Chamoun, CPA – Cherry Bekaert Advisory LLC | Taxation International Committee
  • Michael Chandler II, CPA – George Bagley & Company LLC | Taxation Individual Committee 
  • Jennifer M. Culotta, CPA – Plante Moran PLLC | Not-for-Profit Organizations Committee
  • John F. Cutrera, CPA – Glencoe Park District | Governmental Report Review Committee
  • Brent DeMay, CPA, CGMA – Sikich LLP | Employee Benefits Committee
  • Erik De Vries, CPA – CohnReznick LLP | Audit & Assurance Services Committee
  • Anthony C. Ferreri, CPA – Allegheny Technologies Inc. | Accounting Principles Committee
  • Melissa A. Juntunen, CPA – Lauterbach & Amen LLP | Governmental Report Review Committee
  • Kimberly D. Meyer, CPA – Meyer & Associates CPA LLC | Peer Review Report Acceptance Committee 
  • Lauren Pflugradt – John Kasperek Company Inc. | Governmental Report Review Committee
  • Michael Ploskonka, CPA, CFE – Selden Fox Ltd. | Audit & Assurance Services Committee
  • Amber Sarb, CPA – RSM US LLP | Audit & Assurance Services Committee

Excel Awards
The Excel Awards recognize the Illinois candidates who earned their CPA certificates between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023, and demonstrated exceptional performance across all exam sections, achieving the highest total average scores among all individuals who earned their CPA certificates in Illinois during the year. The prestigious gold, silver, and bronze medals further distinguish the achievements of those earning the top three scores in the state.

Gold Medal

  • Cal B. Granite – RSM US LLP | University of Illinois

Silver Medal (Tie)

  • Jared D. Dunnett – Shore Capital Partners | Indiana University
  • Tyler J. Thimjon – Ernst & Young LLP | Indiana University

Bronze Medal (Tie)

  • Scott Klamm – Kuhn & Company CPAs | Northeastern Illinois University
  • Collin C. Martin – Gorenz and Associates Ltd. | Bradley University

The award winners list and their photographs can be viewed here.



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Derrick Lilly
Asst. Director Communications & Publications | 312.517.7614