TXCPA Austin offered a new, flexible, value-driven professional development program in the 2019-20 year called Pathway to Leadership. The program consisted of ten, 2-hour CPE sessions that covered a variety of topics, and the sessions were held once a month from August 2019 through May 2020. To graduate from the program, participants needed to attend at least seven of the ten CPE sessions and were required to participate in at least five chapter activities during the year. This year’s inaugural program produced ten graduates. Congratulations to our 2019-20 Pathway to Leadership graduates.

Sarah Burgess-Finley is a Senior Tax Accountant at DK Partners, PC. She said what resonated the most with her throughout the program was the different approaches you need to take depending on the demographics of your employees. Depending on the personality profile, age, and background- there may be different approaches to teaching and leading with one person to the next. Not everyone in your department is uniform, and to be aware of these differences will help you to be a better leader.

Carlton Greenhaw, CPA is a Senior Accountant with The Housing Authority of the City of Austin. Carlton says of the Pathway program: “Excellent Program! Great group of people. I learned so much about several relevant topics, and along the way learned more about myself.”

Mandy Klein, CPA is a Tax Senior Manager at Weaver. She reports that “all the speakers were outstanding and truly had a passion for teaching. The information presented was both relevant and applicable to real world situations that we experience on a daily basis.”

Monica Loera is also a Senior Accountant with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin. “I enjoyed the wide-range of topics that were presented. This course has changed the way I look at problems and people. I am more aware of all the elements that make up a person and how we all cope and deal with many aspects of a group altogether.”

Jessica Lopez, CPA is the Corporate Controller for ID Experts. Jessica shared: “I participated in the Austin Chapter’s Pathway to Leadership Program to improve several soft skills, like goal setting, effective meeting management, and dealing with difficult people, skills not often taught through traditional CPE courses. The program also provided several, meaningful opportunities to be more involved with the Chapter and to work alongside other Austin CPA leaders. I appreciated the flexible scheduling and virtual courses, and I highly recommend the program to anyone interested in growth and helping others succeed.

Jason Lucio, CPA is a sole practitioner in Austin. Jason says “I sought out the program because one of my mentors recommended I participate in a leadership program. As a CPA that focuses on consulting, investing in developing my soft skills is a top priority for me because I have found my clients value my person to person interaction more than my technical expertise. Pathway to Leadership was a fantastic program that gave me some real actionable ways to communicate more effectively.”

Bryan Morgan, CPA is a Tax Senior Associate – Digital Accelerator at PwC. According to Bryan, “The Pathway to Leadership Program takes one of the key benefits of being a part of the TXCPA and amplifies it. The program provided the opportunity to develop the critical knowledge and skills I will need to be successful in the accounting profession, but do so in a group made up of diverse (and at times, even conflicting) backgrounds and perspectives. The opportunity to hear both the successes and challenges faced by other leaders across various industries, company sizes and experience levels has greatly helped me to reassess and fine tune my own leadership skills.”

Jeremy Myers, CPA is a Senior Manager, Audit at Atchley & Associates, LLP. Jeremy’s take on the program is “This was a great program for anyone who wants to expand their career, from goal setting, networking, and ways to better understand yourself and how you interact with others. I would recommend this class to anyone in their career, CPA, public practice, or industry.”

Larry Stephens, CPA, JD/LLM is the Assistant Dean, Business Studies – Distance Learning and External Partnerships at Austin Community College. He says of the program: “I really enjoyed the Pathway to Leadership Program sponsored by the Austin Chapter because it gave me a chance to get a training refresher on working with others and the interpersonal skills that are important traits for a good leader. It has been over thirteen years since I have worked in a corporate environment managing people. Additionally, the program has given me an opportunity to increase my local professional network and meet other members of the Austin Chapter. I am looking forward to serving on the Oversight Committee this upcoming year.”

Sheri Thomas, CPA is a Tax Associate at Gindler, Chappell and Morrison & Co PC. Sheri participated in the Chapter’s Interview and Resume Workshop, volunteered at the Central Texas Food Bank, was an usher at the December Swearing In Ceremony and attended several chapter leadership meetings throughout the year.

TXCPA Austin congratulates these graduates and hopes to see them continue in their pursuit of good leadership for themselves and the CPA profession!

Be on the lookout for information about our 2021 Pathway plans.