Meet the 2019-2020 Board of Directors

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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 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 President/CEO, serves a two-year term that runs from July 1 to June 30.


Abby Dupree, CPA, CGMA (Chair)
Image: Abby Dupree
Abby Dupree

 Abby Dupree, CPA, Managing Partner at Tallahassee-based accounting firm Carroll and Company, has begun her term as Chair of the Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA) in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
“Abby is committed to serving the diverse needs of our more than 19,000 members,” said Deborah L. Curry, CPA, CGMA, President/CEO of FICPA. “We’re fortunate to have her at the helm as we work to ensure the FICPA continues offering value to our members and navigates the changes facing our profession.”

Dupree has stated that her major goals are to remain relevant to CPAs at all stages of their careers, especially younger generations, and to help move the organization forward in an increasingly technology-focused profession. “Our profession is changing so fast yet the need for CPAs has never been greater. … The new CPA is an agile business advisor, assuring business transparency and trust in our high-tech environment,” she said in a recent interview for FICPA’s Florida CPA Today magazine.

With more than 100 years of history as the voice of Florida CPAs, the FICPA has a strong tradition of leadership and professional service – one that Dupree is eager to continue. “For the FICPA Board to recognize that they don’t have all the answers but to continually seek them is a powerful way to move the profession and our organization forward. We have to stay ahead of the curve,” she said.
A Tallahassee native, Dupree has more than 24 years of experience in individual, estate, trust, and not-for-profit tax planning and preparation, as well as extensive experience with state and federal campaign finance compliance and consulting. She has been active as a leader within the FICPA for years, having previously served with the Tallahassee Chapter, the Board of Directors, and the governing Council. In 2018, Dupree was chosen as one of the 25 Women You Need to Know by the Tallahassee Democrat. She was also selected as one of the 2018 Most Powerful Women in the Accounting Profession by the AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor magazine. Dupree graduated from Florida State University and is married to Sam Stathis, who previously served as FICPA’s 84th President (2011-2012).


W.G. SPOOR, CPA, PFS, CGMA
Image: Gary Fracassi
W.G. SPOOR, CPA, PFS, CGMA

As a Partner at Spoor Bunch Franz, W.G. Spoor manages the tax department, advising clients on various partnership, corporate, and inbound tax issues. He is FICPA’s Chair-Elect.

Leadership that Reflects Membership

“The FICPA leadership has become more diverse, reflecting the changing demographics of the members. We are constantly striving to learn how we can best serve all of our members. … I was one of the first to joinf the Young CPA Committee, so I saw first hand how the FICPA was and is still actively trying to reach out to our younger members.”

If I Wasn’t a CPA…

“I always say [I might have been an] architect or designer. I love buildings and design and have always enjoyed reading and watching shows on the topics. 
”

Staying Positive

“Whenever we were facing adversity, my father would say: ‘If this is our biggest problem, we don’t have a problem.’ It was a reminder that it could always be worse, and if we remain positive, we will get through it.”


President/CEO Deborah Curry, CPA, CGMA
Image: Abby Dupree
Deborah Curry

Deborah Curry is President/CEO of the Florida Institute of CPAs. She is the FICPA’s fourth President/CEO in the organization’s history.

Curry is a Certified Public Accountant in Florida and Texas. She worked with the Georgia Society of CPAs for six years, serving first as CFO, then as COO. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Curry’s previous experience includes finance positions with Turner Broadcasting System, Time Warner and Pacific USA Holdings Corporation.


Directors


Kristin Bivona, CPA
Image: Kristin Bivona, CPA
Kristin Bivona, CPA

Kristin is a managing partner with GellerRagans in Orlando. She manages strategic initiatives and day-to-day operations of the firm, and also provides assurance and tax services for small and large engagements.

Always Learning

“In public practice, no two clients or jobs are identical ... you are always working to stay on top of emerging issues to better serve your clients and firm.”

Serving Every Member

“[The FICPA] is made up of more generations of professionals working together than ever before.  Each group has different wants and needs when it comes to their membership. We are working hard to make sure that all of our members are engaged and feel that their membership offers value.”


Lydia Desnoyers, CPA, CFE
Image: Lydia Desnoyers, CPA, CFE
Lydia Desnoyers, CPA, CFE

Lydia is based in Miami and owns and operates her own firm, Desnoyers CPA, LLC. She also provides educational workshops and courses to small business owners. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys spending time with family and traveling.

A Digital World

“When I first joined the FICPA, I recall most of the CPE courses only being offered in-person. Since then, the FICPA has provided more online CPE and other online resources.”

Diversity and Inclusion

“I think there was a need for more diversity and inclusion within the CPA profession and the FICPA has made it a point to address the need.”


Julian Dozier, CPA, ABV, CFF, CFE
Image: Shaun Blogg
Julian Dozier

Julian leads the forensic accounting and litigation support group for Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. in Tallahassee. He enjoys, among other things, biking, travel, and the arts – and even serves on the board of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.

Putting Members First

“The FICPA is a member-driven organization. If our members aren’t happy, they won’t be members for long. The FICPA has done a good job changing CPE offerings and ensuring our conferences, seminars, and other courses are timely and relevant.”

Strategic Focus

“Our members, and the profession as a whole, are being impacted by emerging technologies more each day ... The strategic realignment of [the 2019 Technology Conference] to address those challenges is a direct result of the Board’s drive to provide value to the FICPA’s members.”


Jennifer Gunter, CPA, CISA, CISSP, FCCM
Image: Jennifer Gunter
Jennifer Gunter, CPA, CISA,
CISSP, FCCM

Jennifer is the contracts, grants, and funds manager for the Florida Department of Transportation. When she’s not at work, she enjoys her involvement with local nonprofit groups, spending time with her family, and rooting for the Florida Gators.

More than a Job

“As I moved further into my studies, I realized the incredible professional growth and diversity of experience that the accounting field offered, and those possibilities solidified my decision [to become a CPA].”

Positive Changes

“One important way I have noticed the FICPA has changed is through enhanced diversity: in leadership, membership, and programming.”

Listening as a Leader

“Good leaders are able to identify and evaluate the differing (and often competing) priorities of those they represent. Great leaders listen to all ideas and opinions and ensure each person knows they have been heard.”


Tarsha Jacobs, CPA
Image: Tarsha Jacobs
Tarsha Jacobs

As the owner of her own firm, Tarsha provides accounting, auditing, and tax services for small businesses, nonprofits, and governmental entities. She is an avid runner, and serves as a volunteer and mentor in various nonprofit initiatives at home in Orlando.

An Early Passion

“I got involved with serving from the first moment I joined the FICPA. This experience has not only provided me with connections that have helped me with my career, but [also] allowed me to develop leadership skills that I wouldn’t have gained anywhere else.”

Putting Members First

“I feel our priority as Directors should be to make sure we provide the best benefit to FICPA members, and to find ways to improve the accounting profession as a whole.”


Alan Jowers, CPA
Image: Alan Jowers
Alan Jowers

As a partner with Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, K. Alan Jowers works primarily with local governments, nonprofits, and employee benefit plans. He graduated from Florida State University and the University of Alabama.

Beyond the Numbers

“[As an intern] I spent time with a managing partner who counseled me that the calculator does the math. He said being a CPA is about relationships and solving peoples’ problems.”

Evolving with Members

“The FICPA has changed with the shifting demographics of the profession. As the baby-boomers retire, Gen Xers assume a larger leadership role, and millennials come into the profession, the FICPA realizes that the way business has been done won’t be the way it will be done.”

Keys for Success

“Never wait for an opportunity to be handed to you ... look to seize opportunities to improve yourself, take on more responsibility, and grow those around you.”


Key G. O’Keefe, CPA
Image: Key G. O’Keefe, CPA
Key G. O’Keefe, CPA

Key G. O’Keefe provides tax and accounting services for small businesses, individuals, and estates and trusts as a managing member of O’Keefe, Somerville & Associates PLLC. Outside of her work, O’Keefe is passionate about financial literacy education and has volunteered with Junior Achievement for over 18 years.

A Common Commitment

“[Since I joined], the FICPA has actively pursued current relevance while maintaining historic principles. The path has changed, but not the goals.”

Uniting Members

“I believe we need to consider the needs of all members. ... [FICPA] represents all Florida CPAs, from those in the ‘Big 4’ firms, to sole proprietors, to [those in] industry, to [those in] academia. Each may have different priorities, but all are equally important.”


Jason Watkins, CPA
Image: Jason Watkins, CPA
Jason Watkins, CPA

Jason is director of financial operations and treasury management for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority in Tampa. He and his wife have two dogs (Rosie and Dizzy) and are both avid travelers. Jason holds degrees from the University of Florida and University of South Florida.

Laying the Foundation

“After ten years of FP&A and audit roles, I learned my career options would be limited if I didn’t round out my accounting credentials. Accounting lies at the root of everything that is enterprise management.”

On How FICPA is Changing

“I’ve noticed a concerted effort [from the FICPA] to expand beyond a public accounting audience, as well as a clear commitment toward engagement with younger generations.”


Caridad “Carey” Vasallo, CPA, CFE, CVA, CAMS
Image: Caridad “Carey” Vasallo, CPA, CFE, CVA, CAMS
Caridad “Carey” Vasallo, CPA,
CFE, CVA, CAMS

Carey is a partner at VMBG Accounting in Miami. In addition to her work with the FICPA Board of Directors, Carey serves on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee for the 11th Judicial Circuit Court.

How the FICPA Is Changing

“We have expanded to include more community service events, like the CPA Day of Service, in direct response to young professionals’ desire to be more involved in local charities and nonprofit organizations. Additionally, the make-up of our leadership is younger and more diverse than years past, reflecting the current make-up of our profession more accurately.”

New Priorities

“As a Board, we will need to aid in the development of a strategy to engage young professionals, [provide] educational resources ... and promote research on technological changes that could impact our workforce or professional standards.”