The Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants has named the winners of its 2019 annual awards that recognize professionals who have made a lasting impact in their industry and in their communities.
The winners were honored at the Thursday, Oct. 3 MICPA’s awards dinner. The evening began with a reception at 5 p.m. followed by dinner and the awards ceremony at 6 p.m. at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
CPAs being honored this year include:
Outstanding Visionary Award: Eric L. Hansen, CPA, COO of BKD CPAs & Advisors and immediate past chair of the American Institute of CPAs. MICPA honors this award to state and national leaders with outstanding leadership and vision.
Hansen has been an active volunteer with the AICPA, including serving as chair of the organization, which has more than 660,000 members. He has also chaired the Finance Committee and served on the Compensation and Audit committees. Additionally, Hansen was part of the Task Force on the Future of Learning, served as a member of AICPA’s Major Firms Group and has been a member of the board of directors and AICPA’s Governing Council.
During his term as AICPA chair, Hansen demonstrated a unique ability to identify and articulate trends impacting the profession. He has been a partner and friend to the MICPA, making a special point to meet with the MICPA leaders and with a group of students during his tenure.
Distinguished Service Award: Alan C. Young, CPA, managing director and CEO of Alan C. Young & Associates, PC. This award honors those who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the CPA profession.
Young has served on the MICPA board for nearly a decade, including a term as chair in 2017-18. An active member, he has served in numerous leadership roles and on a number of committees, including finance, nominations, diversity and inclusion, political action, tax reform and others.
In 1983, he founded Alan C. Young & Associates, PC in Detroit and has had a continuous presence in Crain’s Detroit Business Book of Lists as one of the largest accounting firms in Southeast Michigan and the only minority-owned CPA firm to hold that distinction. He began his public accounting career in 1979 at what has grown to be Deloitte LLP before starting his own firm.
Distinguished Lifetime Service Award: Peggy A. Dzierzawski, president and CEO of MICPA. This award honors those who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the CPA profession throughout the course of their careers.
Serving the MICPA since 1974, Dzierzawski worked her way up from a booking assistant to president and CEO. Under her leadership, the organization has grown from six employees serving 4,500 members to more than 45 team members serving more than 19,000 CPAs.
During her 45-year tenure at the organization, including 22 years as president and CEO, Dzierzawski’s mission has been to create an association that maintains the highest standards of the CPA profession through quality education, integrity and leadership. She believes in the power of partnerships, working with other state and national organizations to focus on initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion, open pathways for women, enhance financial literacy and more.
Dzierzawski has served on numerous state and national committees, supporting professional and philanthropic initiatives including hospice, cancer and education. Her work has received many awards, including recognition by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the Most Influential Women in the state.
Emerging Leader Award — Rebecca Y. Stoutenger, CPA, finance coordinator at American Axle & Manufacturing. This award recognizes new professionals who are committed to the accounting profession and have stepped forward to share their perspectives, time and interest in helping others understand the value of becoming a CPA. Stoutenger began her public accounting career with Plante Moran in 2014, moved to AAM in 2017 and was recently named finance coordinator at AAM’s Three Rivers Manufacturing Facility. Chair of the new Corporate Finance Task Force and member of the Emerging Leaders Task Force, Stoutenger exudes enthusiasm for the accounting profession. Displaying a strong commitment to helping others understand the value of the CPA credential, she volunteers her time and expertise to educate students through classroom presentations and panel discussions along with her activities as a member of the Michigan Accountancy Foundation board of trustees, whose mission is to support continuing growth and excellence in accounting.
Diversity & Inclusion Award — Paul D. Bryant, CPA, partner at Plante Moran. This award recognizes an individual who represents the profession’s immense diversity and richness, and embraces the MICPA’s diverse culture in its leadership, its professional staff, its student recruitment initiatives and in the services provided to its constituents. Bryant began his career at Plante Moran as an intern and was admitted to the partnership in July 2007. He specializes in serving school districts and not-for-profit organizations. He is an original member of the firm’s Diversity Council, partner sponsor for the African American Staff Resource Group and has earned numerous local, state and national awards for his leadership in empowering minority students.
Distinguished Achievement in Accounting Education Award: Albert D. Spalding, Jr., CPA, associate professor of accounting at the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University. This award recognizes full-time college accounting educators for excellence in teaching and for national prominence in the accounting profession. An MICPA member since 1981 and a fixture in the world of business ethics, Spalding has worked tirelessly to enhance the professionals of today while teaching future CPAs. In addition to receiving a 2008 Wayne State University Teaching Award and the 1998 Distinguished Faculty Award, Spalding has been previously recognized by the MICPA for his impact with the Outstanding Task Force Award for his service on the Professional Ethics Committee.
Public Service Award — Leon C. LaBrecque, CPA, chief growth officer of Sequoia Financial Group. This award honors CPAs who have attained a high level of public service, who inform the public of the contributions CPAs are making to their communities and who encourage CPAs to become involved in public service activities. Driven by the philosophy of “intelligent planning and financial literacy for all,” LaBrecque is committed to supporting communities through education and developing deeper financial knowledge. He has initiated and leads several charitable efforts within his company and in his personal life, including working closely with the Hazel Park Promise Zone, which guarantees all resident graduates of Hazel Park schools a tuition-free path to an associate degree. He serves as a member of their board of directors as well as assisting with fundraising for the organization. He is deeply committed to increasing financial literacy by providing resources and educational opportunities to the underserved.
Generous support for this year’s event is provided by this year’s gold sponsors, which include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Dow and EY. Silver sponsors for this year’s event include Deloitte, Emagine Entertainment, Plante Moran, Sequoia Financial and Cohen & Company, UHY and Walsh.
For a complete list of winners, please visit our website.