Skip to main content


AICPA Recognizes Three Tax Experts with Awards During Fall Tax Division Meeting

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has announced that N.C. State University’s Poole College of Management’s Roby Sawyers, Ph.D, CPA, has received its Arthur J. Dixon Award. Also, Grant Thornton’s Jamie C. Yesnowitz, J.D., L.L.M. and Jeff Martin, ...

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has announced that N.C. State University’s Poole College of Management’s Roby Sawyers, Ph.D, CPA, has received its Arthur J. Dixon Award. Also, Grant Thornton’s Jamie C. Yesnowitz, J.D., L.L.M. and Jeff Martin, CPA have received the Jonathan Horn Distinguished Service Award. AICPA honored these three tax experts on November 18, 2020 at its Fall Tax Division Meeting online gathering.

“We are living in extraordinary times. While 2020 has been challenging, our future remains strong and bright thanks in large part to AICPA volunteers’ passion and commitment for advocating on behalf of the profession and taxpayers,” said Chris Hesse, CPA, chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee and principal, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. “It is my pleasure and honor to recognize Roby Sawyers for the Arthur J. Dixon Award. He has spent tireless efforts as a volunteer and leader. His generosity as a teacher has benefitted accounting students, committee members and AICPA staff alike, and we are so grateful for his knowledge and service.”

Sawyers is professor of accounting and director of undergraduate programs at NC State University’s Poole College of Management. His areas of expertise include federal estate tax issues, North Carolina’s tax structure, behavioral aspects of income tax decision-making, tax patents and state and local tax. For more than two decades Sawyers has participated as a chair or member on numerous AICPA task forces, committees and Technical Resource Panels (TRP). Recently, he chaired the Tax Legislation Tax Force from 2012-2014 and since 2018 has been a member of the Tax Practice Responsibility Committee.

Yesnowitz is a principal serving as Grant Thornton’s State and Local Tax (SALT) leader in its Washington National Tax office. He is a member of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee (TEC) and serves as the TEC liaison to the AICPA SALT TRP, which he served on and chaired several years ago. Yesnowitz testified in Congress on the effect of the Wayfair Supreme Court decision on small businesses, representing AICPA on this issue earlier this year, and he previously testified to the Multistate Tax Commission (MTC) on behalf of the AICPA. Yesnowitz often represents the AICPA on SALT issues at meetings with other organizations, such as the Council On State Taxation (COST), Tax Executives Institute (TEI) and the American Bar Association SALT committee. Yesnowitz also often assists the AICPA with press inquiries and has authored articles in The Tax Adviser.

Martin is a partner in Grant Thornton’s Washington National Tax Office in Washington, DC and is Grant Thornton’s tax technical leader in the areas of compensation and employee benefits. Martin is the immediate past chair of the AICPA Employee Benefits Tax TRP. He is also the tax chair for the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Conference.  Martin is a regular speaker at AICPA conferences and has authored articles in the Journal of Accountancy and The Tax Adviser.

“AICPA and the accounting profession thank these three individuals – Roby, Jamie and Jeff – for their tireless efforts in assisting with our advocacy efforts and in providing resources for members. Their guidance and support make it possible for AICPA to have valuable and productive relationships with Treasury, the IRS, members of Congress and other important stakeholders,” said Edward S. Karl, CPA, CGMA, AICPA vice president of taxation. “Roby, Jamie and Jeff have also had an instrumental role in providing meaningful support to state CPA societies, accounting students, and AICPA staff.”   

The Arthur J. Dixon Award is the highest award given by the accounting profession in the area of taxes. It is given to the CPA who demonstrates true professionalism in the spirit of Arthur Dixon. Dixon was a recognized leader in the profession, serving on various state society and AICPA committees, with a long record of service to the Tax Division, culminating in his chairmanship of the Tax Executive Committee from 1977-1980. Following his passing in 1981, the Tax Executive Committee established the Arthur J. Dixon Memorial Award in his honor.

The Jonathan Horn Tax Division Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding current contribution to the AICPA Tax Division. Recipients have made a substantial contribution to the Tax Division’s work product through notable, extraordinary personal effort, and are nominated by members of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee. The Distinguished Service Award’s name was recently changed to posthumously recognize and thank Jonathan Horn, CPA, a former TRP volunteer, AICPA staff member and past recipient of this award.