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Women to Watch Award Recipients
Women to Watch Awards
The Women to Watch Awards were created by The American Institute of CPAs to recognize outstanding women in the accounting professions and are given in two categories: Established Leaders and Emerging Leaders. Started in 2010, the FICPA Women to Watch Award were created to focus on the outstanding women who not only shape the Florida Institute of CPAs, but also the profession. Congratulations to all of our award recipients.
Congratulations to the 2015 Award Winners!
Susan Thompson has over 23 years of experience in a variety of tax and audit services. She specializes in individuals, developers, pass-through entities, not-for-profit organizations, and foundations. She joined CS&L CPAs in 1991 and currently serves the Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa and Ocala areas. Susan is an active member of many organizations in the community and finds it personally fulfilling to support the non-profit or volunteer organizations related to human, children’s and health services. She has previously volunteered her time with the Mayor’s Homeless Coalition Task Force, was the former Treasurer of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and was a former Co-Chair for the Key to the Cure fundraising event.
Amanda Bonifay is a Director in the assurance department with over 11 years of experience in both public accounting and private business. Amanda graduated from Georgia State University in Atlanta, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in accounting and finance as well as a Master of Professional Accountancy with a major in financial accounting and reporting. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the States of Florida and Georgia and is a member of both the American and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Amanda is Chair of the FICPA Miami-Downtown Chapter, founding Chair of the Ponce Society of Young Professionals, and a past member of the board of directors of the Coral Gables Community Foundation. She was named one of the FICPA’s top 26 under 36 for 2013 and was a Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2013 Rising Star Award Finalist.
Sheri is an equity owner and member of the executive committee of Fiske and Company in Plantation. She is the firm’s director of litigation support and valuation services.
As chair of the Business and Valuation/Litigation Committee for the FICPA, Sheri helped to develop the Valuation and Litigation Section. She is a 26 year member of the FICPA and a past member of the Institute’s Board of Governors and serves on the Valuation and Litigation Conference planning committee.
Sheri has been a role model for 20 years, and proven that the advancement of women to positions of leadership within the accounting industry is possible, without sacrificing one’s personal life. She is involved in the mentoring program for the ABV credential which specifically helps new CPAs in starting a valuation practice and then helps support them while they are developing this niche.
Allison Harrell is Director, Assurance Services at Thomas Howell Ferguson, PA in Tallahassee. She has been involved as an active leader for both the FICPA and the AICPA. She served on the FICPA’s Young CPA Committee for several years and chaired it. Under her leadership, the FICPA furthered its recognition of the importance of developing young leaders in our profession.
Nationally, Allison represented Florida and the FICPA as a member of the AICPA’s inaugural Leadership Academy. That experience taught Allison about the many issues facing our profession and equipped her with new leadership techniques that she applies on the job and when volunteering. Allison served as the Chair for the AICPA’s inaugural Edge Conference in New Orleans. Recently she was appointed as the youngest member of the Executive Committee of the AICPA’s Government Audit Quality Center.
Back at home in Tallahassee, Allison served on the board and became chairman of 2-1-1 Big Bend, an organization providing community support, crisis counseling and suicide prevention services. As a member of Leadership Tallahassee, she was exposed to broader community needs and she helps connect CPAs to organizations where professional leadership is most needed.
Karen is a graduate of the University of South Florida, Fort Myers, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She is a CPA and a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant. Karen has worked in public accounting since 1986 when she joined the firm as an administrative assistant. In 2000, Karen was named Partner in the firm. Karen’s experience includes the medical, construction, retail and professional-services industries.
Karen is the technology leader within the firm and has built a strong team to help clients select and install the best accounting software. Karen is a member of the AICPA; the Health Management Association; and the Florida Medical Group Management Association. She also served on the FICPA High School Outreach and Accounting Careers Committees. In 2011, she spoke at the Medical Group Management Association’s National Conference. She serves on the Technology Committee of the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants; and is an Advisory Board Member and volunteer with the Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is a Board member and Fundraising Committee Chair with the Physician Led Access Network of Collier County; and Treasurer and Board Co-Chair with the Cape Coral Community Foundation. And last but not least, she serves on the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball Executive Leadership Team.
Karen’s many awards and recognitions are too numerous to name here. Among them are Outstanding Chair of the F-I-C-P-A’s High School Outreach Committee; and F-I-C-P-A Accounting for Success Speaker of the Year. She also was the firm recipient of the 2011 and 2012 Best Places to Work award from Florida Trend magazine; of the 2010 Business Ethics Award from the Uncommon Friends Foundation; and of the 2009 Small Business of the Year Award from the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. She has been named the Florida Small Business Development Center Network Regional Volunteer of the Year and was chosen as one of the “40 Under 40” by Gulfshore Business magazine.
Stephanie has focused her professional career on serving the not-for-profit clients. She is responsible for managing the services provided too many of LBR’s large clients and has made it her mission to become the in-house federal and state single audit expert. Stephanie joined the firm’s Audit and Assurance Department in 1999 after graduating from the University of South Florida (USF) with a Master of Accountancy degree. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from USF. She was promoted to Audit Manager in 2006.
Stephanie coordinated the firm’s first one-day continuing education seminar for over 50 CPAs and financial executives of local not-for-profit organizations as well as a breakfast for financial executives. Stephanie serves as a mentor to the firm’s new professionals and plays an active role in the recruiting and interview process. She develops and holds seasonal trainings in order to reinforce their existing knowledge. Since 2010, she has organized the firm’s participation in the UPARC Foundation’s Festival of Trees. In 2011, she became a charter member of Plus One Inc., a women’s philanthropy group focused raising funds and providing grants to non-profit organizations in Pinellas County. That same year, she was asked to chair the inaugural Plus One Grant Committee. In 2012, she returned as committee chair and guided the committee through another grant cycle.
Stephanie has chaired the Homeless Emergency Project, Inc.’s audit committee. She continues to chair HEP’s audit committee and joined the finance committee as a community member. Stephanie is a graduate of the Leadership Pinellas and stays involved through various alumni events. In 2003, she joined the Krewe of Agustina de Aragon, an all-female krewe that volunteers throughout the Tampa Bay area, primarily focused on the interests of women and children. In 2005, Stephanie joined the Board of Directors and served as Treasurer for four years.