Outstanding Indiana CPAs and Firm Honored by Indiana CPA Society

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14 Awards Presented on May 12 at CPA Celebration

The Indiana CPA Society honored the state's top CPAs at its annual CPA Celebration on May 12. Each year INCPAS recognizes CPAs who have served their profession and/or communities in an outstanding manner. The contributions these professionals make reflect positively on the individuals as well as the CPA profession.

  • DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

This award is the Society's highest honor. It is given for making significant contributions to the CPA profession, the AICPA and/or the Society on numerous levels.

Kent J. Williams, CPA, CGMA
Assistant Professor - Business, Indiana Wesleyan University - Marion

Williams has been an assistant professor of accounting at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, since 1995 and has been actively involved with the Society since 2005. He has chaired the Ethics Committee, Finance Committee, Officer Nominating Committee and Leadership Succession Committee. His committee service culminated with five years on the INCPAS Board of Directors. During his year as chair in 2015, he helped lead two of the Society’s biggest milestones: the establishment of the CPA Center of Excellence® as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Society and the celebration of the Society’s centennial anniversary. For his efforts and innovations in education with the accounting program and creation of an entrepreneurship major at IWU, he received the INCPAS Outstanding Educator Award in 2016.

  • CHAIR'S AWARD

This award is selected by the prior Chair for guidance, assistance and support during the Chair's term.

Gary M. Bolinger, CAE
President & CEO, Indiana CPA Society - Indianapolis

Bolinger began his career with the Indiana CPA Society in 1984 as the field activities director and was named executive director in 1990. He has continued in that role while also serving on numerous state and national committees, including as president of the Indiana Society of Association Executives. He is a regular presenter at accounting conferences, business organizations and associations across the country. In 2001, he was named Association Executive of the Year by ISAE. In 2010, he received national recognition as AccountingWEB's Outstanding CPA Association Employee of the Year. In 2014, he received the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash, one of the highest distinctions an Indiana governor can present. This is the second time he has received the Chair’s Award, the first being in 1998.                                             Bolinger was named Accounting Today's "Top 100 Most Influential People" in the profession in 2015 and 2016.

  • BUILDING BRIDGES TO THE PROFESSION AWARD

This award is given to an individual or firm committed to building and diversifying the talent pipeline.

William B. Sharkey, CPA, JD
Partner, PwC LLP - Indianapolis
Sharkey has been involved with the INCPAS Scholars career awareness and mentoring program for minority high school students since its inception. He takes a genuine and active role in developing not only these students, but all young professionals within his firm. He dedicates substantial time to being a constant source of support, encouragement and inspiration for young professionals. He speaks at various INCPAS events and addresses the challenges of working in public accounting to give each student a better idea of what it is really like to be a CPA. His positive impact ultimately is helping build the talent pipeline and diversity with accounting students, candidates and CPAs who are better prepared to meet the current and future needs of the profession.

  • EMERGING LEADERS AWARD (FIVE WINNERS)

This award recognizes up-and-coming leaders who have already demonstrated initiative in the profession and made significant contributions to the overall success of his/her employer.

Michelle E. Boyden, CPA, CGMA
Manager of Tax Services, MAccounting, LLC - Indianapolis
Boyden has played an instrumental role not only on the financial side of her company, but in the operational, marketing and human resources sides. She has successfully implemented cross-departmental communications and procedures to improve work flow efficiency, cash flow and growth. She emphasizes the importance of cultivating a positive work environment and is not only passionate about what she does as a CPA, but also leads by example by living and promoting the importance of a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle that aligns with her organization’s mission.

Garrett R. Cannizzo, CPA
Supervisor, RSM US LLP - Elkhart
Cannizzo has demonstrated incredible leadership skills when interacting with clients, team members and the community. He does his audit work efficiently but never fails to act as an advisor and build meaningful relationships with clients. He also takes extra time to help mentor his engagement team members by helping them understand the concepts behind the work they're doing. Outside of work, he is involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Goshen where he serves as the treasurer. He also serves as an advisor for the Goshen College Athletic Committee and participated in a mentorship program for local high school students who have an interest in accounting.

Kevin R. Koven, CPA
Audit Manager, Somerset CPAs, PC - Indianapolis
Koven has consistently proven that he is a leader in the profession through his involvement in the community in which he serves, the firm in which he works and the organizations to which he belongs. During his tenure as manager, he devoted over 60 hours annually to his firm's recruiting and retention programs while still exceeding the firm's charge-hour goals. He coordinated in-house training for staff and is always willing to help out when called upon to assist. Outside the firm, he contributes to numerous Indiana CPA Society and AICPA initiatives. He was selected as an Indiana representative for the AICPA's Leadership Academy in 2014 and has served on the Young Professionals of Central Indiana board. He is the new treasurer for the Sigma Chi House Corporation at Indiana University and is currently enrolled in the trueU Leader in Training program.

Joseph T. O’ Connor, CPA
Senior Accountant, Estep, Doctor & Co, PC - Muncie
O'Connor's nominators point to both his people and technical skills as being unparalleled. In less than five years, he went from part-time intern to shareholder at his company. He was the first participant in its mentoring program, is now the face for all recruitment fairs and developed a training program for new hires. He also took the time and effort to spearhead his company's participation in the Delaware County Corporate Challenge, coordinating several evening events in which staff signed up for or came out to support. Outside of work, he is a volunteer for the YMCA of Muncie, member of the Muncie Elks Lodge #245, supporter of the Panther Pantry and visitor at his local middle school's special education classes.

Joshua C. Smith, CPA
Senior Accountant - Business Valuation, Blue & Co., LLC - Indianapolis
Smith's nominators highlight his energy, enthusiasm and passion for the profession as reasons why he excels as a leader. He is adamant about helping those around him achieve the highest levels of success, whether they are coworkers, colleagues or clients. He sets aside time to take a pulse on what’s affecting the profession and assess how that will impact the work that needs to be done. He is constantly looking for ways to incorporate new ideas and processes, and does not hesitate to discuss them with the right stakeholders at the right time. He was recently voted to the board of Reach For Youth and also volunteers as an INCPAS High School Ambassador. He was given lifetime membership to Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society which recognizes outstanding academic achievements of collegiate business and management scholars.

  • OUTSTANDING CPA IN COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (THREE WINNERS)

This award recognizes outstanding service to the Society, CPA profession and community over a long period of time.

John W. Perkins, CPA
Senior Tax & Finance Analyst, Accuride Corporation - Evansville
Perkins invests in his Evansville community. He is a board member for Meals on Wheels, president of the Downtown Optimist Club and a volunteer classroom teacher for the Junior Achievement of Southwest Indiana. He also has played a key role for Historic Newburgh, where he currently serves as treasurer, co-created the new Free Movie Night Program in 2015 and served as the director for the 2016 Ghost Walks event. For his contributions and achievements as a young leader, he was a nominee for the 20 Under 40 award by the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Robert E. Reynolds, CPA, CGMA
Director and Shareholder, Brady Ware - Richmond
Reynolds has served in a volunteer leadership capacity for a number of nonprofit boards, committees and taskforces for over 25 years. His history of service to community organizations, professional organizations such as INCPAS and the AICPA, and his alma mater, Wright State University, make him an outstanding role model for others. Most recently he has taken on the role of board chair for the United Way of Whitewater Valley and is helping realign its focus to better address community needs. As a result, the United Way launched the new Hands up Guidance (HUG) Initiative to provide support necessary to overcome the various barriers to overcoming poverty and gaining greater financial stability. Last year he served as the Corporate Walk Chair for the Tri-State Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk.

Ronald Turpin, CPA, CGMA, JD
Chief Financial Officer, Gibson - Fort Wayne
Turpin has been giving back to Northeast Indiana in a variety of volunteer roles over the past 20 years. He currently serves as chair of the Board for Greater Fort Wayne Inc., the City of Fort Wayne’s Joint Legacy Funding Committee and the Finance Committee for Nazarene Theological Seminary. In board and committee member capacities, he has shared his financial and business expertise with the United Way of Allen County, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, Turnstone, Grace Point Church, Indiana Association of United Ways, Leadership Fort Wayne, The Malpas Trust, Kates Kart, Early Childhood Alliance, Tower Bank, Kiddie Prep School, IPFW Advisory Board, University of St. Francis, Fort Wayne Fiscal Policy Committee and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He also has served on various INCPAS task forces and written profession blogs for fellow members.

  • CPA ADVOCACY AWARD

This award recognizes significant contributions advocating for the CPA profession through government relations.

Richard B. Wheeler, CPA
President, Wheeler & Associates, P.C. - Indianapolis
Wheeler has been closely involved with advocacy for the CPA profession and the Indiana CPA Society for many years. He currently serves as a member of the INCPAS Tax Resource Advisory Council and Leadership Cabinet. He previously served on the Tax Advisory Council, which he chaired in 2006; on numerous project teams including the Indiana Department of Revenue, UAA Exposure Draft, Continuing Professional Education, CPE Curriculum Advisors, AccountAbility Indiana, Business Symposium, Tax Institute Conference, Small Firm Conference; as a Discussion Leader for the Knowledge Network; and as a CPA Center of Excellence® Online Beta Forum Community member.

  • CPA CENTER OF EXCELLENCE® OF AWARD

This award is given to an individual or firm embodying excellence through collaboration, development of critical business (soft) skills, knowledge sharing and a competency-based approach to lifelong learning.

Kevin G. Kruggel, CPA, CGMA
Partner, Kruggel Lawton CPAs - South Bend
Kruggel has been instrumental in advancing the mission to enhance vital business skills for the success of CPAs and other professionals. As one of INCPAS’ original Knowledge Management Task Force members and serving as its chair in 2010, his efforts helped lead to the conception and creation of the CPA Center of Excellence®, a wholly owned INCPAS subsidiary established in 2014. Within his own firm, he worked with fellow partners to engage the Center for advisory services to help with staff development and succession. The firm also had the majority of staff choose two of six available competency-based online interactive courses to build the soft skills they needed to advance their careers. He remains involved and is currently serving on the inaugural CPA Center of Excellence® Board of Directors.

  • INNOVATION AWARD

This award recognizes a transformative individual or firm implementing unique, forward-thinking activities designed to address future issues and needs.

Summit CPA Group - Fort Wayne
For the past seven years, the Summit CPA Group based in Fort Wayne has been initiating changes in its business model to thrive into the future. It is a leading provider of Virtual CFO services and Virtual 401(k) audits that has implemented many progressive strategies to differentiate itself among the marketplace. It has moved 70 percent of its business to the Virtual CFO or Controller model which provides flatfee billing to its customers. It resides in a virtual office environment with all but four staff members working remotely. It is now a completely cloud-based accounting firm. It’s grown its workforce from 10 to 40 full-time employees in only three years, employees are located in 10 states and its client base is represented in more than 40 cities across the country.

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About the Indiana CPA Society

Nearly 8,100 CPAs in public practice, business and industry, government and education are members of the Indiana CPA Society. INCPAS is the most trusted business resource and advocate in Indiana. Its members are required to abide by the CPA profession's code of conduct. INCPAS members also receive access to quality educational programs and peer networking for knowledge sharing. Society members are trusted advisors to Indiana's business community. INCPAS celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015. For more information, visit incpas.org.

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Elise May

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