FICPA leadership consists of the Board of Directors, Council, and Chapter leaders. The Board of Directors includes the FICPA chair, chair-elect, nine directors, and the FICPA's President & CEO, who serves as the Secretary-Treasurer (non-voting). Together, the Board implements the Council’s policies and oversees the Institute’s activities. Each officer, with the exception of the CEO, serves a two-year term that runs from July 1 to June 30.
Kristin Bivona, CPA (Chair)
Julian Dozier, CPA, ABV, CFF, CFE (Chair-Elect)
Valrie Chambers, Ph.D., CPA
Valrie is an associate professor at Stetson University in Deland. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the University of Houston (Ph.D.)
Preparing for CPA Evolution
“We are looking at a big curriculum redesign in response to CPA Evolution, which will have a three-part common core with at least one of three specializations (financial/audit, tax, and data analytics). While we are awaiting more details on the composition of the new exam, some have suggested that the knowledge to pass the core may be found in undergraduate courses and the knowledge for specialization found in graduate courses. Basic technology skills - often including use of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PowerBI, Tableau, and searches in research data bases like the Accounting Standards Codification and RIA Checkpoint and/or CCH - have been increasingly integrated into the accounting curriculum for years. With CPA Evolution, technological integration is likely to accelerate. As the profession evolves, so does the CPA exam, and so does our curriculum.”
Lydia Desnoyers, CPA, CFE
Lydia is based in Miami and owns and operates her own firm, Desnoyers CPA, LLC. She provides educational workshops and courses to small business owners.
FICPA's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force
“Our members have spoken, and we hear them. We’re working to provide them with resources and tools that they can take back and begin to implement at their own firms. It’s a combination of downloadable content, webinars and curriculum you’ll encounter during conferences. It’s very exciting.”
Why DE&I Matters
“We have to understand the communities that we serve, and our communities are diverse. Our needs are diverse. The way we communicate with one another is diverse. That’s why having diversity within your organization is important. We have to be aware of the unconscious biases that we have, biases that can hinder our growth. We’re a member-based organization. We want to make sure that we let our members know that we hear them, and that we’re providing the resources and tools that they need to support their employees and their clients.”
Jennifer Gunter, CPA, CISA, CISSP
Jennifer is the contracts, grants and funds manager for the Florida Department of Transportation in Tallahassee.
Connecting solo CPAs to colleagues
“One of the unique challenges CPAs in industry face is the reality of working alone. In addition to connecting members, the FICPA provides a multitude of resources in the form of pertinent articles and relevant CPE for those in industry.”
Our advocacy efforts in Tallahassee
“The CPA profession is highly respected, and it’s not by accident. The FICPA protects the profession. In addition to promoting our own interests (such as the recent change to CPE requirements), the FICPA’s legislative team works to educate lawmakers on the implications and potential effects of their legislation. There have been numerous times our FICPA Governmental Affairs team has successfully intervened when well a well-meaning legislator drafted language for a proposed law that conflicted with professional standards or was otherwise not in the best interest of our profession.”
Kathryn K. Horton, CPA, CMA, CIDA, CFE
As president of Kathryn K. Horton CPA PA, Kathryn provides audit, accounting and data analytic services for nonpublic and nonprofit entities in Fort Lauderdale.
The importance of our Young CPAs
“With a focus on leadership development and community involvement, the YCPA committee provides immense value by facilitating the unity of like-minded professionals through active engagement. The YCPA committee is pivotal for creating a strong pipeline of leaders within the profession, and provides our young CPAs the intangible tools necessary in becoming effective leaders.”
Attracting students to accounting
“Creating connectivity between current and future CPAs through mentorship is pivotal in fostering the development of new accounting professionals and bridging the gap between learned skill sets and opportunities. It’s important we actively engage with students and communicate the value of accounting as a career choice, in high school, in college, and into the professional workforce.”
K. Alan Jowers, CPA
A partner with Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, based in Miramar Beach, Alan enjoys entertaining his wife and five children by playing Beatles and Metallica tunes on piano and guitar.
On the essential role of CPAs
“CPAs have been instrumental in assisting their clients through the COVID-19 pandemic. We have kept our clients informed of the constant changes to the CARES Act and PPP loans; helped file PPP loan and forgiveness applications; strategized how to maximize financial assistance with Employee Retention Credits (ERC), PPP loans and other types of government assistance; and performed countless other tasks. Our clients have looked to us as their trusted business advisors in a time unlike any other.”
How we can best serve our members
“We advocate for our members in Tallahassee. We educate our members through our conferences and seminars. We’re adapting to a world that is increasingly virtual and returning to in-person events. The key is to communicate our strengths and to transition our resources in order to meet our members where they are.”
Key G. O'Keefe, CPA
Key provides tax and accounting services to small businesses, individuals, and estates and trusts. A managing member of O'Keefe, Somerville & Associates PLLC in Melbourne, she is passionate about financial literacy education and has volunteered with Junior Achievement for nearly 20 years.
Evolving with the times
“As the leading voice for the profession in the state, the FICPA works to protect our licenses and develop a strong network of professionals. This network challenges us all to maintain the highest standards, as we grow with rapid development in technology and changes in the profession.”
The importance of financial literacy
“Financial literacy is a key pillar of success, not only in business but also in life. It is unfortunate that it’s often not an educational requirement. Without a basic understanding of finances, individuals are unprepared to make sound decisions with respect to both the current and long-term planning necessary for success.”