Women's Leadership Committee

The Women's Leadership Committee promotes the growth, advancement and recognition of women in the accounting and finance profession through professional development, mentoring and recognition through the Women to Watch awards.

The Committee objectives include:

  • Develop, advance, and recognize woman CPAs.
  • Develop and host the Women in Leadership Summit at the FICPA Mega Conference that provides practical information and enhances leadership skills for development and growth.
  • Promote, administer and presents the FICPA Women to Watch Awards.
  • Develop and enhance the website with resources that support women initiatives.

Meet the Women in Leadership Committee Members.

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WTW

Started in 2010, the FICPA Women to Watch Awards were created to focus on the outstanding women who not only shape the Florida Institute of CPAs but also the profession. Nominees are eligible for one of two awards:

Experienced Leader: A woman who has advanced to a higher level or leadership position within her profession. Titles include, but are not limited to, partner, shareholder, owner, elected official or appointee, executive, etc.

Emerging Leader: A woman who has made significant contributions to the profession and her community, but who has not yet reached the highest levels of advancement. The candidate should be licensed less than 10 years as of July 1 of the current FICPA fiscal year. Typical roles include business owners, sole proprietors, and small firm principals. 

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Cristina Hale

Experienced Leader

Christina Hale is the Tax Practice Leader at BDO USA’s Tampa and Orlando offices, where she oversees compliance and quality control.

She developed her knowledge and technical skills over a 20-year career that’s taken her from Miami to Washington D.C., Boston, Abu Dhabi and Tampa.

She is a regular volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and Feeding Tampa Bay and sits on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters Tampa Bay. 

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Carmen Velasquez

Emerging Leader

Carmen Velasquez is a partner and owner at Tapia, Rojas & Associates.

She has distinguished herself early in her career through her experience in the Common Interest Realty Associations industry.

She is a member of the FICPA, AICPA and Community Association Institute and serves on the FICPA’s CIRA Committee, Young CPAs Committee and Women in Leadership Committee.

Congratulations to our 2024 Nominees!

Experienced Leaders

  • JoAnn Ackerman, Lecturer, Nova Southeastern University
  • Sharon Bradley, Partner, CohnReznick LLP
  • Kathleen Braica, Client Partner, Anchin Private Client
  • Laura Chirichigno, Founder & Principal, EllentonCPA
  • Ashlie Forum, Partner, Marcum
  • Vivian Gant, Audit Partner, De La Hoz, Perez & Barbeito, PLLC
  • Katie Gilden, Partner/COO, Fiske & Company
  • Marena Loeffler, Owner, Allure International Tax Consulting
  • Barbara Nooney, Partner, Flavin, Nooney, & Person
  • Cristina Hale, Tax Practice Leader, BDO USA, PC
  • Leslie Welsh, Principal Owner, Leslie Welsh CPA, Inc.

Emerging Leaders

  • Katie Carabeo, Assurance Manager, RSM US LLP
  • Neemie Chery, Senior Client Accounting Advisor, PYA
  • Karol Haugan, Manager, Withum
  • Tyler Heckman, Partner, Flavin, Nooney & Person
  • Dana Landress, Senior Assurance Associate, RSM
  • Leah Lewis, Partner, Blue Heron CPAs
  • Emily Ray, Mergers & Acquisitions Tax Manager, RSM
  • Savannah Snow, Associate Director, Berkowitz Pollack Brant
  • Carmen Velasquez, Partner/Shareholder/Owner, Tapia, Rojas, & Associates, PA
  • Alex Welsh, Staff Consultant, A-Lign
  • Katelyn Wonsock, Supervising Senior, Carr, Riggs, & Ingram LLC

Previous Award Winners

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Rosier

2023 Experienced Leader

Marie Rosier, MMR, CPA
MMR Certified Public Accounting
 

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Jackson

2023 Emerging Leader

Elizabeth Jackson
Manager, RSM US LLP

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Malis

2022 Experienced Leader

Jodi M. Malis
Hancock Askew & Company, LLP

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Larriva

2022 Emerging Leader

Veronica Larriva, CPA
McHale, P.A

 

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Hancock

2021 Experienced Leader

Genevieve Hancock 

 

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Abrar

2021 Emerging Leader

Rummesa Abar 

 

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Lake

2020 Experienced Leader

Karen Lake

 

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Horton

2020 Emerging Leader

Kathryn Horton 

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Terry

2019 Experienced Leader

Wendy Y. Terry 

 

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Perez

2019 Emerging Leader

Gretel Perez

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Campbell

2018 Experienced Leader

Jamie Campbell

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Porupuski

2018 Emerging Leader

Amanda Porupski

 

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Markham

2017 Experienced Leader

Gail Markham

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Vasallo

2017 Emerging Leader

Caridad Vasallo

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Leonard

2016 Experienced Leader

Debbie Leonard

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Novikov

2016 Emerging Leader

Natasha Novikov

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Thompson

2015 Experienced Leader

Susan Thompson

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Bonifay

2015 Emerging Leader

Amanda Bonifay

 

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Schultz

2014 Experienced Leader

Sheri Schultz

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Harrell

2014 Emerging Leader

Allison Harrell

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Mosteller

2013 Experienced Leader

Karen Mosteller

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Martin

2013 Emerging Leader

Stephanie Martin