4 UNDER 40
Recognizes up-and-coming CPA members who are committed to the accounting profession and giving back. They have stepped forward to share their perspectives, interest, and time to help others understand the value of becoming a CPA.
Timothy P. Cowley, CPA, ABV, CFF, CFE
Owner of Cowley CPAs, PLC, Farmington Hills
Tim is an experienced educator at Oakland Community College and Walsh, an active member of MICPA and AICPA, mentoring young CPAs and developing materials on a national level for the ABV/CFF exam review.
An experienced educator, Tim Cowley, CPA, ABV, CFF, CFE and owner of Crowley CPAs, PLC, has been teaching accounting courses at the collegiate level for more than 10 years between Oakland Community College and Walsh College. He is an active member of the AICPA, having served on several committees and task forces including multiple AICPA mentorship programs. He has presented many young CPA topics at EDGE conferences, developed materials for the ABV/CFF exam review and CPE courses and was recognized with the AICPA FVS Standing Ovation in 2015.
In addition to his work with the AICPA, Tim also volunteers as the treasurer for three organizations, the Detroit Rugby Football Club, Michigan Rugby Union and the Live Life Credit Union board of directors. Additionally, Tim has been an active member of the MICPA with roles on the Educators Task Force and High School Leaders Conference Planning Task Force.
Brittani Shantel Jackson, CPA
PhD Candidate, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Bloomington, IN
Brittani Shantel Jackson, CPA, is described by her peers as a RARE (Rejuvenating, Attentive, Relatable and Encouraging) woman deserving of recognition for the work she has done to move the CPA pipeline forward.
Brittani Shantel Jackson, CPA, is described by her peers as a RARE (Rejuvenating, Attentive, Relatable and Encouraging) woman deserving of recognition for the work she has done to move the CPA pipeline forward. A Ph.D. candidate, Brittani is pursuing her advanced degree at Indiana University where she also serves as a teaching assistant for Introduction to Financial Accounting. She is an active participant in the Ph.D. project and a frequent guest speaker during the Kelly School of Business Accounting Leadership Weekend.
Brittani demonstrates an avid dedication to expanding the CPA pipeline, particularly among underrepresented students, by participating in a variety of events and conferences which promote the profession. She also works with her sorority and sisterhood in community outreach efforts and visits Detroit Public Schools regularly to encourage students to pursue college and the CPA profession, specifically.
Beyond the realm of formal education, Brittani uses social media to share financial literacy tips. She has spoken at conferences and appeared on numerous podcasts to impart the basics of bookkeeping, tax and financial planning, and the importance of hiring a CPA. Using her influence, Brittani is encouraging the CPAs of tomorrow and the business leaders of today to perceive the accounting profession as respectable and desirable.
Regina T. Nock, CPA
Principal at Capocore Professional Advisors, Lake Orion
Dedicated to fostering growth in young accountants and paying her success forward to future generations of CPAs, Regina’s colleagues describe her as passionate and ready to help in the office and beyond.
Regina Nock, CPA, and Principal at Capocore Professional Advisors has a track record of strong leadership and experience, but colleagues were especially impressed this year by her response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When businesses were struggling to navigate the variety of issues brought forth by the pandemic, Regina stepped up to serve on MICPA roundtables and webinars to share how CPAs play a vital role in their communities during times of uncertainty. Further, she assisted the Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, where she is a member, with a presentation on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Regina also supports her community by volunteering time to various organizations and events. She is a board member for the Hospital Hospitality House food pantry, is the treasurer of the Lakes Area Community Coalition and has spoken at Divine Child High School and Wayne State University about the value of the CPA profession and membership with the MICPA. Dedicated to fostering growth in young accountants and paying her success forward to future generations of CPAs, Regina’s colleagues describe her as passionate and ready to help in the office and beyond.
Melissa A. Seguin, CPA, CSEP
Tax Principal at Baker Holtz, P.C., Grand Rapids
Melissa’s peers describe her as a consistent, positive source of encouragement and resonating advice. Her ability to empathize with clients and colleagues assists her in resolving difficult situations.
Tax Principal at Baker Holtz, P.C., Melissa Seguin, CPA, CSEP, is focused on growing others, particularly women, as a dedicated advocate and mentor. Melissa’s peers describe her as a consistent, positive source of encouragement and resonating advice. Her ability to empathize with clients and colleagues assists her in resolving difficult situations.
Outside the office, Melissa regularly empowers women within her community by providing a system of support for career and personal growth. It is her personal mission to provide a network or support for other young women currently working through college or early in their career who do not have systems of encouragement. Through her actions, she aims to show other young women that they can find success no matter their background.
Melissa also contributes as a member of several community organizations, including the Visser Family YMCA Board, St. Pius X Catholic Church, West Michigan Local Advantage, Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance and West Michigan Estate Planning Council where she demonstrates a keen sense of leadership and desire to give back to her community.
Acknowledges an individual MICPA member or organization who is committed to advancing equity in the accounting profession and the student pipeline. Nominees are dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within the profession, their organization, and/or their community. As an aspiring ally for marginalized groups, nominees demonstrate a commitment to learning and use this knowledge to foster an inclusive atmosphere and bring awareness to others.
Sara R. VanderVeen, CPA
Tax Sr. Manager at Crowe, LLP, Grand Rapids
Sara is described by her colleagues as a champion of awareness and knowledge for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts within their organization and the profession.
State and Local Tax Senior Manager at Crowe, LLP, Sara VanderVeen is described by her colleagues as a champion of awareness and knowledge for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts within their organization. Her dedication to making the profession a more diverse and equitable industry is proven by the initiative she has taken on within Crowe to lead a DE&I book club, host office-wide discussions and coordinate educational events. According to her colleagues, the results of Sara’s enthusiasm for DE&I include an ongoing awareness campaign within the office, the expansion of Crowe’s diverse workforce, multiple community events and fundraising.
Beyond the office, Sara’s efforts have also made an impact by expanding Crowe’s Grand Valley State University (GVSU) endowment and supporting the Boys and Girls Club, demonstrating her will to grow a more inclusive and diverse pipeline of future CPAs. Sara also supports GVSU’s Accounting Careers Awareness Camp and frequently participates with the Literacy Center of West Michigan. Ever cognizant that it takes a village, Sara humbly reminds that the work Crowe’s office DE&I Council does is every bit a group effort.
Honors CPAs who have attained a high level of public service; inform the public of the contributions CPAs are making to their communities; and encourage CPAs to become involved in public service activities.
James N. Lopiccolo, CPA, CGMA
Founder, Managing Member, Capocore Professional Advisors, Lake Orion
Jamie is described by his colleagues as instrumental in leading the profession through the trials of the previous year, becoming an invaluable asset to both the CPA and business community.
The COVID-19 pandemic proved a critical moment for CPAs and the profession as a whole. James N. Lopiccolo, CPA, CGMA, founder and managing member of Capocore Professional Advisors is described by his colleagues as instrumental in leading the profession through the trials of the previous year. By taking the initiative to keep abreast of changing and emerging policies, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Employee Retention Credit (ERC), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and other tax changes, Jamie became an invaluable asset to both the CPA and business community.
An active MICPA member, Jamie currently serves on the finance committee, the executive committee as board secretary, and is a two-time past chair of the Small Firm Practitioners Task Force. During the pandemic, Jamie shared his more than 30 years of experience by participating in round tables, open forums, educational panels and presentations to assist other CPAs in the State of Michigan with questions and uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beyond the past year, Jamie has also been an active volunteer within the Lake Orion community for many years. His service includes membership on the Orion DDA’s Economic Vitality Committee and being treasurer of the Lake Orion Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. As acknowledgement for his service, he was recognized with the Lake Orion 2020 Businessperson of the Year Impact Award.
WOMEN TO WATCH – EMERGING LEADER
Women who have demonstrated characteristics that will enable them to become leaders in the profession.
Jessica R. Boyd, CPA
Controller, Michigan Humane, Bingham Farms
Jessica was known by her students to stay beyond office hours to answer questions and address concerns individually, inspiring many to pursue careers within the profession.
Jessica R. Boyd, CPA, Controller at Michigan Humane. Women to Watch Emerging Leaders are those young professionals that, from early on, take initiative to not only grow themselves but those around them through their contributions, collaboration and mentorship.
An enthusiastic mentor and leader, Jessica Boyd elevated to the role of director in a remarkably short amount of time. By taking lead on several organizational priorities such as process improvements, deploying new accounting systems and increasing employee engagement, Jessica demonstrates that CPAs are a force for change.
WOMEN TO WATCH – EXPERIENCED LEADER
Women who have made notable contributions to the accounting profession, their organizations and the development of women as leaders.
Susan J. Koss, CPA
Partner and Managing Director, O’Keefe, Bloomfield Hills
Susan has served as an expert witness for numerous prominent law firms and companies within the Detroit region and has earned a reputation as a valuable asset to any litigation team.
One of the few women in the Detroit Metropolitan Area that serves as an expert financial witness, Susan Koss, CPA, ABV, CFF, CVA, Partner and managing director at O’Keefe, is someone whose reputation precedes them. Known for her clear, concise ability to communicate complex financial concepts to juries and judges, Susan’s clients rely upon her throughout some of their most important financial transactions. She has served as an expert witness for numerous prominent law firms and companies within the Detroit region and has earned a reputation as a valuable asset to any litigation team.
Able to keep a calm and rational demeanor amid stressful situations, Susan leads resolutions by exuding a sense of calm amongst clients, attorneys and consultants that results in effective solutions. In addition to her testimony expertise, Susan is also an accomplished author and presenter for several professional organizations, including the MICPA. Of course, her firm isn’t the only observer to take notice of her inspiriting brand of leadership as she was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business with their 2018 Notable Women in Finance Award.
Loni E. Winkler, CPA
Principal, UHY LLC, Farmington Hills
Her colleagues describe her as the ideal leader of today, capable of great empathy, inspiration and willingness to give others a voice.
With over 15 years of experience in public accounting, Loni Winkler, CPA, Principal at UHY, LLC is known among her clients as a creative problem-solver and an asset to any firm. Her colleagues describe her as the ideal leader of today, capable of great empathy, inspiration and willingness to give others a voice. Her ability to adapt quickly to change made her instrumental in advising clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and she was often a featured presenter during many webinars on the PPP and CARES Act at leading industry associations across the country. One association, TechServe, recognized Loni for her contributions during the pandemic with its 2020 Supplier Excellence Award.
Aside from her proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Loni has found other ways to volunteer within her community and the profession. She is a mentor in UHY’s mentorship program, a member of the firm’s nonprofit, UHY Cares, leads the firm’s Women Investing in Success and Excellence Michigan Chapter and is a board member of the Michigan Women’s Tax Association.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Volunteers are the backbone of the MICPA. From task force members to board members, they provide the insight needed to ensure the MICPA is always moving forward. This award recognizes a volunteer member(s) for their leadership and outstanding service to the CPA profession and the MICPA throughout the last year.
Adam C. Schubatis, CPA
Audit Senior Manager, KPMG, Detroit
Adam is described as “the best” for his dedication to sharing knowledge and engaging with leaders in the community and other members within the organization.
Audit Senior Manager at KPMG in Detroit, Adam Schubatis, CPA, serves on the MICPA Emerging Leaders Task Force and Membership Committee. Adam is described as “the best” for his dedication to sharing knowledge and engaging with leaders in the community and other members within the organization. Examples of his dedication to furthering the profession include his involvement on the High School Leaders Planning Committee and MICPA Mentorship Program, where he has been known to recruit colleagues at KPMG to his cause.
Adam shows his ability to lead by stepping up as a presenter for multiple organization events including his video presentation of the Student Accounting Academy’s “Technology and the Future of Accounting” session. His future plans as a presenter include the upcoming MICPA Spring Accounting Educators Conference.
STUDENT CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Recognizes a student’s contributions, involvements, and achievements through the MICPA’s student champion program. Honorees use their passion for the CPA profession to educate other students on the benefits of the CPA credential, recruit students as new MICPA members, and assist with career fairs and presentations.
Student, Walsh, Troy
Internal Controls Co-Op, Masco Corporation, Livonia
Katie shows an eagerness to begin her career by taking opportunities to network with those already working in the profession.
Currently a graduate student at Walsh working toward a master’s in accountancy, Katie Farah is a dedicated student, maintaining a 3.9 GPA and is an active member in multiple extracurricular activities. Her accounting journey began through early entrepreneurship as she worked to build her own business as a violin instructor.
An active MICPA student member, Katie is always promoting MICPA events on social media and student membership among her fellow Walsh classmates. Katie shows an eagerness to begin her career by taking opportunities to network with those already working in the profession. For example, she recently attended the AICPA’s Meet the Incoming Chair Event and makes a point to register for as many events as she is able to attend.
ACCOUNTING TEACHING EXCELLENCE
Recognizes educators who excel in teaching accounting and promoting the CPA profession. The stellar individuals who receive this award not only emphasize the importance of accounting education to the profession, but the role professors play in supporting CPAs.
Dr. Stacy L. Boyer-Davis
Assistant Professor of Accounting, Northern Michigan University, Marquette
Colleagues and students familiar with Dr. Boyer-Davis describe her as an educator with unparalleled energy and dedication.
An Assistant Professor of Accounting for both undergraduate and graduate students at Northern Michigan University, Dr. Stacy Boyer-Davis serves as the College of Business Assistant Department Head for Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Cyber Defense, Finance, and Risk Management programs. She is also the Global Campus Extended Learning and Community Engagement (ELCE) scholar.
Colleagues and students familiar with Dr. Boyer-Davis describe her as an educator with unparalleled energy and dedication. Indeed, her many accomplishments throughout her tenure are directly impactful to expanding the pipeline, including developing the university’s new 4+1 MBA with a concentration in Accounting which allows students to sit for the CPA exam and earn their MBA within just 5 years.
Dr. Boyer-Davis has been recognized more than once for her outstanding contributions, recognized by the Dean of NMU’s College of Business as representing the accounting profession in the highest fashion and has received several College Awards, both teaching and scholarship, including the inaugural On-Line Teaching Award.
DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN ACCOUNTING EDUCATION
This award also serves as Michigan’s nomination for the AICPA award, determined by Educators Task Force. This award recognizes full-time college accounting educators for excellence in teaching and for national prominence in the accounting profession.
Associate Professor of Accounting, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Her work at the Ross School of Business is unparalleled, responsible for a curriculum redesign that not only increased enrollment but also resulted in improved learning outcomes.
A passionate instructor, dedicated to extending her students learning beyond the classroom, Associate Professor of Accounting at the University of Michigan, Cathy Shakespeare is an asset to teaching and the profession. Her work at the Ross School of Business is unparalleled, responsible for a curriculum redesign that not only increased enrollment but also resulted in improved learning outcomes.
The Ross School of Business Accounting Chair notes that Cathy is an educator that knows how to command a room and communicate information in an engaging way. She possesses a focus on developing a future generation of accounting professionals with the skills and framework necessary to think through complicated world problems.
Beyond teaching, Professor Shakespeare is a respected researcher and boasts extensive involvement with accounting standard-setting at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).