Accounting & Audit
NYSSCPA Announces Society Award Winners Who Contributed to the CPA Profession
As part of the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) annual awards program, aimed at honoring CPA members who have impacted the profession through their expertise or volunteerism in their careers and/or community, eight members have been announced ...
Jun. 17, 2022
As part of the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) annual awards program, aimed at honoring CPA members who have impacted the profession through their expertise or volunteerism in their careers and/or community, eight members have been announced for 2022.
Arthur J. Dixon Public Service Award
The Arthur J. Dixon Public Service Award recognizes CPAs who have a demonstrated history of public service and volunteerism for a charitable, community or civic organization. Lee M. Cohen is the managing partner and founder of LMC CPAs.
Cohen graduated from New York University in 1993 with a degree in accounting. Upon graduation, he worked as a controller for a chain of retail stores, where he gained invaluable business experience that serves him in helping his clients because he understands what it means to be a business owner. Cohen began building his practice in 1995 while maintaining jobs at two accounting firms, and became certified in 1999.
In 2010, Cohen ventured out on his own to start L.M. Cohen & Co. Cohen states that his firm has “always been more than just a place to prepare tax returns or financial statements; it is our home away from home—a place where we build connections and foster the strong culture that makes me so proud to come to work every day.”
He is actively involved in his community by serving as president of Sephardic Bikur Holim, one of the largest social services agencies in Brooklyn.
NYSSCPA Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award salutes CPA members who have set themselves apart as Society leaders through service within the NYSSCPA and the accounting profession. David Evangelista and David A. Lifson share this honor.
David Evangelista is a graduate of The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.S. in economics, with a concentration in accounting. He left one of the top six national accounting firms in 2021 and started David Evangelista, CPA, a boutique CPA firm specializing in tax and accounting services, as well as ERISA advising and consulting services.
In March 2008, the U.S. Secretary of Labor appointed Evangelista to the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (ERISA Advisory Council) for a three-year term. He was appointed by the AICPA in 2003 to the initial Executive Committee of the AICPA EBP Audit Quality Center. He most recently served as a member of the AICPA’s Task Force to develop a new multi-employer plan chapter in the AICPA Audit & Accounting Guide for Employee Benefit Plans.
Evangelista is the founding president of the Society’s Rockland Chapter and has served in multiple capacities on the Society’s Board of Directors and on the Future of Accounting Education Board of Trustees.
David A. Lifson, is a senior advisor with Crowe LLP based in New York City. He is in the firm’s national Global Private Client Service family office, tax and business consultancy practice, where he develops business strategies and personal financial plans utilizing both his and the firm’s broad range of accounting, audit, tax and business consulting backgrounds, both domestically and internationally. He specializes in advising clients on managing various types of business changes within tax, economic and other related constraints, and in dealing with the tax compliance challenges that accompany change.
Lifson is the recipient of the AICPA 2009 Arthur J. Dixon Memorial Award—the accounting profession’s highest award in the area of taxation. He was also awarded the Sustained Contribution Award in 2011, which recognizes members of the institute who have contributed measurably to the AICPA and CPA profession through their volunteer services. He has chaired the Tax Executive Committee, served as a member of the AICPA Board of Directors, chaired the AICPA National Tax Conference and many more committees and task forces. He is also a former president of the NYSSCPA and has served in various capacities on its behalf.
Lifson chaired the Small Business and Self-Employed subgroup of the Internal Revenue Service’s Advisory Council (IRSAC) during 2010 and 2011, while serving on the council for four years through 2011. IRSAC meets regularly to advise the Commissioner of the IRS and key IRS group leaders on how to effectively administer the tax system. Lifson is a frequently published author, teacher and spokesperson on various tax topics, both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Emanuel Saxe Outstanding CPA in Education Award
This award pays tribute to the contributions of CPAs who have dedicated their life’s work to accounting education. Dr. Nina Terranova Dorata is a full professor of accountancy at St. John’s University, having earned that distinction within seven years of being hired.
Before joining the faculty at St. John’s University, Dr. Terranova Dorata taught at SUNY Old Westbury, where she served as chair of the Accounting and Business Law Department. Additionally, Dr. Terranova Dorata taught at St. Joseph’s College, where she co-founded their Accounting Society. She has taught numerous courses in financial and managerial accounting in both graduate and undergraduate curriculums for over 30 years.
At St. John’s, Dr. Terranova Dorata has been the Department of Accountancy chair and assistant chair for nine years, was responsible for the creation of the Accountancy Scholars Program, the VITA Program and AACSB accounting reviews, as well as for the development of degree programs, learning tracks and certificates. She currently serves as the director of the Bachelor of Science Business program, which is an interdisciplinary course of study and represents the largest and fastest-growing major at the Tobin College of Business.
As the past chair of the Society’s Future of Accounting Education Committee, she is passionate about assisting accounting programs’ leaders, as they navigate curriculum changes due to the CPA Evolution Model.
Outstanding CPA in Chapter Service Award
The Outstanding CPA in Chapter Service Award recognizes NYSSCPA CPA chapter members who have distinguished themselves as chapter leaders through model service within their chapter, the NYSSCPA and the profession. Rosemarie A. Giovinazzo-Barnickel was awarded this honor.
Giovinazzo-Barnickel is a firm owner in Staten Island. She has been a member of the Society since 1988 and is currently a member of the Staten Island Chapter. She is the current Chair of the Society’s Professional Liability Insurance Committee, and served on the Society’s Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee for many years. Giovinazzo-Barnickel also served on and chaired many statewide and chapter committees over the years. In addition, she has served in many positions on the Staten Island Chapter Board and has also been its president.
After graduating from Pace University, Giovinazzo-Barnickel began her career with 10 years at Coopers & Lybrand—now more commonly known as PwC—before moving into private industry for four years, and then finally starting her own practice 22 years ago. She has followed in the footsteps of her late father’s, a former Society member and chapter past president; her son Scott is also a CPA.
Outstanding CPA in Public Practice Award
The Outstanding CPA in Public Practice Award recognizes outstanding service and professional development in public practice. Antoinette Spina is a manager at Bailey, Carr, CPAs, P.C.
She became a CPA in 1984 and has over 40 years of experience in taxation and small business advisory. Spina is a past president for the Rochester Chapter, and the year she served as president, she actively recruited young professionals for the board. Spina was a member of the statewide committee for Bankruptcy and Insolvency Issues. She served on the statewide COAP Committee, as well as serving on and chairing Rochester’s COAP Committee for many years. In October 2017, she received the NYSSCPA Rochester Chapter Hall of Fame Award.
Spina is an internationally known speaker on tax and legal issues for a variety of professional organizations across the United States, including the Monroe County Bar Association and Rochester’s Channel 8 news show. She’s also spoken at Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) conferences in both the United States and Canada.
Spina is also a member of the AICPA and has served on a local, statewide and global level for the IMA. In 2014, she received the IMA Exemplary Volunteer Award at the IMA’s Annual Conference. In addition, the Rochester Chapter’s volunteer award was renamed the “Antoinette Spina Award for Exemplary Volunteerism” the year she was its recipient.
Outstanding Statewide Committee Chair Award
The Outstanding Statewide Committee Chair Award is a new award that celebrates the exemplary service and performance in leading a Society’s statewide committee. These leaders have all demonstrated full commitment to the goals and mission of the committee, undertook efforts to provide robust content and CPE for their committee members, and excel at committee recruitment and retention. This inaugural award was presented to Gina Omolon and Zhoudi Tang.
Gina Omolon is a partner at Mazars USA LLP. With over 15 years of public accounting and three years of private practice background, Omolon has extensive experience providing accounting and auditing services to public and nonpublic domestic and foreign entities, primarily in the financial services industry. She worked with clients in addressing complex financial and reporting issues, including mergers and acquisitions, financial instruments, and credit losses and derivatives.
Omolon has led projects for clients in the institutional and retail sector, securities trading, domestic and international banking engagements and broker-dealers. These included attestation engagements, internal audits, consulting projects, including CECL implementation; group audits; asset quality reviews; conversion from IFRS to U.S. GAAP; SEC registration and IPOs; head office compliance reviews; collateral examinations; internal control; and due diligence.
Prior to joining Mazars, she worked at a Big 4 firm. She was also the CFO of the China subsidiary of an international manufacturing and distribution firm. Omolon graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in accounting, from the University of San Carlos in the Philippines.
Zhoudi Tang is a state and local tax manager at WithumSmith + Brown PC. He has experience assisting individuals and businesses in complying with federal, state and local regulations. He advises clients, with respect to residency, nexus and apportionment issues, with a focus on income and franchise taxes. Tang’s industry expertise includes closely held and family businesses. He received his master’s degree from the Zicklin School of Business of Baruch College. He is also a contributor to New Jersey CPA magazine.
These members were honored during the Society’s Annual Meeting at the Jericho Terrace in Mineola, N.Y. Members of the media interested in covering the honorees should contact Jovan C. Richards, media and government relations manager for the NYSSCPA, at email@example.com.