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State CPA Society News and Updates – August 2023

State CPA Society News & Updates is a round-up of recent announcements and initiatives by CPA associations in the United States and its territories.

State CPA Society News & Updates is a round-up of recent announcements and initiatives by CPA associations in the United States and its territories.


The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) recently announced that Jason Harrell will join the FICPA as Chief External Affairs Officer, effective July 17, 2023.

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Harrell will be stationed at the FICPA Governmental Affairs office in Tallahassee and will direct all aspects of the FICPA’s public policy, advocacy, governmental affairs and regulatory efforts.

As a member of the executive team, Harrell will work alongside FICPA President & CEO Shelly Weir, Chief Growth & Innovation Officer Carrie Summerlin, and Chief Financial Officer Kristin High to lead and execute the strategic direction of the FICPA.

Prior to joining the FIPCA, Harrell was the Director of Government Relations for the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers (FCCC) since 2018, leading five successful legislative sessions for the FCCC’s in-house advocacy program. He also previously served as budget and communications director of the Clerks of Court Operations Corporation (CCOC).

Harrell previously served in the Florida House of Representatives Majority Office as deputy staff director under former speakers Will Weatherford and Steve Crisafulli. He also served in the Governor’s Office of Policy and Budget and in the Office of the Chief Inspector General.

Harrell holds a master’s in public administration (MPA) and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida State University.

The Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) honored its top members in six different categories at its 92nd Annual Meeting and Convention held in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 13-15, 2023.

The TSCPApex Awards Program recognizes the many ways that individuals contribute significant time, energy and intellect to developing our profession and fostering its success. The awards celebrate those who are emerging leaders, innovators, educators, volunteers and others who have made a substantial impact in accounting.

Lifetime Achievement Award
This award is given in recognition of a TSCPA Life member who has exhibited leadership, made significant contributions to the profession and had an outstanding record of service to the society and the local community.

Ray Adams, CPA – 2023 TSCPApex Lifetime Achievement Award
Adams and Plucker CPAs – Greeneville, Tennessee

Claude Blankenship, CPA – 2023 TSCPApex Lifetime Achievement Award
Blankenship CPA Group – Brentwood, Tennessee

Will Pugh, CPA – 2023 TSCPApex Lifetime Achievement Award
Pugh CPAs – Knoxville, Tennessee

CPA of the Year Award
The CPA of the Year Award recognizes a CPA who has made outstanding contributions toward advancing the accounting profession.

John Thomas, CPA – 2023 TSCPApex CPA of the Year Award
John W. Thomas, CPA – Cordova, Tennessee

Impact Award
This award acknowledges a TSCPA member who has distinguished him or herself in philanthropic activities. The society seeks nominations for those individuals known to be actively involved in their communities, whether in humanitarian, civic, government, religious or professional activities.

Julie James, CPA, CISA – 2023 TSCPApex Impact Award
National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – Nolensville, Tennessee

Gina Pruitt, CPA/CITP, CRISC, CISA, CCSFP – 2023 TSCPApex Impact Award
Kraft CPAs PLLC – Hermitage, Tennessee

Special Recognition Award
These awards are given to individuals who have contributed to the success of a TSCPA project or initiative – contributions of an outstanding nature and where the project or initiative deserves special recognition.

Dr. Perry Moore, CPA, CIA, CRMA – 2023 TSCPApex Special Recognition Award
Lipscomb University – Brentwood, Tennessee

Dimeta Smith Knight, CPA – 2023 TSCPApex Special Recognition Award
Dimeta Smith, CPA LLC – Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Emerging Leader Award
This award is given to someone who has been working in the accounting profession 10 years or less. The individual should have made noteworthy professional accomplishments; combined personal and professional achievements that merit special recognition; actively participated in the advancement of the profession or TSCPA; and stands out in the areas of professional knowledge, skill, integrity and leadership.

Lohan Kotze, CPA – 2023 TSCPApex Emerging Leader Award
Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC – Jonesborough, Tennessee

Keith O’Connor, CPA – 2023 TSCPApex Emerging Leader Award
Pugh CPAs – Knoxville, Tennessee

Women to Watch Award
This award highlights the accomplishments of women in the profession and demonstrates to emerging female leaders that success is not out of reach. The award is given in two categories, Experienced Leaders and Emerging Leaders.

Dr. Michelle Freeman, CPA – Women to Watch (Experienced Leader) Award
East Tennessee State University – Greeneville, Tennessee

Ellen Lipe, CPA, SFO, CMFO – Women to Watch (Emerging Leader) Award
Greeneville City Schools – Greeneville, Tennessee

The Ohio Society of CPAs or OSCPA recently announced the Power of Change honorees for 2023. The Power of Change award recognizes women making a difference in their professional and personal communities.

The 2023 honorees are:

  • Patty Basti, CPA, KPMG
  • Dr.Tami Bolder, CPA, CBIZ
  • Tanya Crawford, CPA Deloitte 
  • Tenesha Hartgrove, CPA Ncrease Financial Services 
  • Denise Harlan, CPA, SSB
  • Heidi Howes, Motherful  
  • Sara Martin, BMF
  • Kim Murphy, CPA, Packer Thomas 
  • A’Shira Nelson, CPA, Wellspring Advisors 
  • Rita Russell, Huntington National Bank 
  • Phyllis Seven Harris, LGBTQ Community Center of Greater Cleveland  
  • Cynthia Turner, The Ohio State Fisher College of Business   

The Maryland Society of CPAs or MACPArecently announced that KPMG’s Christine Aspell has been named chair of the 2023-24 Board of Directors of the Maryland Association of CPAs.

Aspell was elected chair by the MACPA membership during the association’s 2023 Annual Meeting, held on June 22 at the Junior Achievement of Central Maryland offices in Baltimore. She succeeds UHY LLP partner Herbert J. Geary III, CPA, CGMA, who served as 2022-23 chair.

An MACPA member since 1991, Aspell has more than 25 years of experience in providing assurance services to clients in the financial services industry and specializes in serving clients in banking, investment services, insurance, and real estate.  She is partner-in-charge of the Baltimore chapter of KPMG’s Network of Women, where she established the chapter in 2004. Aspell has also been named among Maryland’s “Top 100 Women” in 2012, 2015 and 2018.

Joining Aspell on the 2023-24 MACPA Board of Directors are:

• Vice chair: Thomas White, CPA, CGMA, director of accounting, CareFirst BlueCross / BlueShield

• Secretary / treasurer: Maxene M. Bardwell, CPA, CIGA, CIA, CFE, CISA, CITP, CRMA, assistant inspector general for audit in the Office of the Inspector General for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission

• Past chair: Herbert J. Geary III, CPA, CGMA, partner, UHY LLP

• Karl Ahlrichs, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, CSP, senior consultant, Gregory & Appel

• Jackie Cardello, CPA, president and managing partner, GRF CPAs & Advisors

• Bo Fitzpatrick, CPA, director of executive programs, 20-20 Services, LLC

• Robert Goldstein, CPA, division controller, Baltimore Scrap Corp.

• Michael Kimbrough, Ph.D., CPA, professor and chair, Department of Accounting and Information Assurance, University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business

• Gregory Repas, CPA, vice president and comptroller, McCormick & Co., Inc.

• Brett Sanders, CPA, senior accounting manager, Bird Global Inc.

• Savedra Scott, CPA, owner, Savvy Financial Solutions