Board of Directors

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


W.G. Spoor II, CPA, PFS, CGMA (Chair)

 

W.G. Spoor II, CPA, PFS, CGMA, and partner at St. Petersburg-based accounting firm Spoor Bunch Franz (SBF), is the 2020-21 chair of the Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA), effective July 1. “W.G. is just the right leader for the FICPA, very humble and effective,” said outgoing FICPA Chair Abby Dupree. “He is masterful at blending diverse opinions into unified action. He understands the needs of the profession and will use that knowledge to guide the FICPA in service to its members.”

With more than 100 years of history as the voice of Florida CPAs, the FICPA has a tradition of leadership and professional service – one that Spoor is eager to continue. He emphasizes continuity and legacy in leading the organization. “The past Chairs have done a great job of working together on agendas over multi-year periods. I’m building on what others before me have created,” he explained. “Our leaders and professional staff are what moves the FICPA forward, on behalf of our members.”

A Tampa native, Spoor specializes in domestic and international tax. He earned a Masters in Accounting from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Florida State University. A member of the American Institute of CPAs Governing Council, Spoor has served on the FICPA Board of Directors and in numerous other volunteer positions. Along with SBF’s partners and staff, Spoor is deeply involved with his local community. He is a board member of the St. Petersburg Police Athletic League. Married, with a son and a daughter, Spoor treasures time with family, coaching his son’s teams and playing tennis.


Kristin Bivona, CPA (Chair-Elect)

 

Kristin is managing partner with GellerRagans, a full-service CPA firm. She lives in Oviedo with husband Joe and Weimaraner Lola. When not busy cheering on their UCF Knights football team, the couple are normally out boating or traveling to add new stamps to their passports (pre-COVID-19). 

How the FICPA is Changing

“We are continuously evolving to meet the changing needs of a multi-generational membership. The FICPA leaders and staff are working hard to ensure all members are engaged and feel that their membership offers value.”

Wisdom to Live By

“The philosophy that is a foundation in my professional development and everyday practice is Joey Haven’s “Be Better”. It’s a commitment to never allow success to breed complacency and always seek to improve myself and my Firm.”

If I weren’t a CPA…

"I would be an attorney. The legal profession has a lot of the same qualities that attracted me to accounting."


Directors


Valrie Chambers, Ph.D., CPA

Valrie is an associate professor at Stetson University in Deland. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois and the University of Houston (Ph.D.)

Tech Talk: Favorite App

“Tax Foresight by BlueJ. The app was designed by tax lawyers who have taken the hottest tax topics (like Innocent Spouse Relief), identified key factors in the body of relevant case law, and designed a Q&A algorithm to determine the odds of a taxpayer prevailing in a case with their set of facts. I can see this revolutionizing the way that we plan, advise clients, prepare a penalty defense before a taxing authority, and defend ourselves from lawsuits on the advice that we give. We no longer must be the only bad guy arguing that we “just don’t think” the taxpayer will prevail in a deduction; we can now say… “I like you, but independent analysis says you only have a 23% chance of winning on this tax issue, and associated penalties for a loss at this level are an additional….”  It may be the biggest tax research innovation I’ve seen since we went digital.”


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

Lydia is based in Miami and owns and operates her own firm, Desnoyers CPA, LLC. She provides educational workshops and courses to small business owners. When not in the office or volunteering with the FICPA, Lydia enjoys time with family and traveling. She is a graduate of Florida State University and Nova SE University.

How the FICPA is Changing

“We are expanding 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 nonprofits and charitable organizations. The make-up of our leadership is younger than in the past…and more accurately reflects the make-up of our profession.”

New Priorities

“I am so appreciative that FICPA has been working tirelessly on providing resources to members and their clients during the pandemic. The FICPA already coordinated three virtual town-hall meetings with congress and the governor to get direct clarity on challenges we are all facing. That was no small feat.”


Julian Dozier, CPA, ABV, CFF, CFE

 

Julian is shareholder, Assurance Services for Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. in Tallahassee. He enjoys biking, travel, relaxing at the beach and volunteering.

COVID-19: Personal Impact

"I am a single parent with a school-aged child. COVID-19 completely upended my normal routines. Work-life balance used to mean working mostly "banker's hours" and doing my best to completely unplug every other weekend. Now it means shifting my entire workweek into those days or hours when my daughter isn’t with me, or when she’s asleep. In mid-March, I shifted from work-life "balance" to work-life "integration" because everything blends, 24/7. There is a major upside: the extra time with my daughter, watching her learn and grow every day, has been incredible."

Why Technology Matters

"…To me, the ever-increasing role technology plays in our daily life is the most obvious. A CPA who is fluent in technology, big data, distributed ledgers/blockchain, cybersecurity, process automation, and the like is exceptionally well positioned to succeed in his or her career."


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

Jennifer is the contracts, grants and funds manager for the Florida Department of Transportation in Tallahassee. Her favorite family activities include attending college football games, New Orleans’ Jazz Fest, hiking Glacier National Park and the beach.

COVID-19: How the FICPA is Changing

"A challenge for our profession and association is the need to significantly modify our in-person meeting practices and educational participation formats. There is something special about being able to learn and network face-to-face, sharing ideas. I am grateful that FICPA staff quickly pivoted to accommodate immediate changes, and am encouraged that we’ll continue finding creative ways for our members to safely network and learn..."

Advice that Serves you Well

"Life can change in an instant. While it is important to develop and maintain healthy habits, it is equally important to be flexible and ready to change when challenges arise. If I make the effort to continually look for the blessing or positive in any situation, I can usually find it."


 
Kathryn K. Horton, CPA, CMA, CIDA, CFE

 

As President of Kathryn K. Horton CPA PA, Kathryn provides audit, accounting and data analytic services for nonpublic and nonprofit entities. She received degrees from Florida International and Florida Atlantic Universities and is active with her local Chamber of Commerce and nonprofit organizations.

COVID-19: Impacting the Profession

"It has advanced our profession significantly in the technology sphere, as all professionals were required to adapt to remote working to effectively continue business operations. COVID-19 has also enhanced our fiduciary role, as both accountants and advisors, in navigating fiscal uncertainties of the current economic environment."

The Rise in Workplace Technology

"Technology is a woven necessity within the profession given the significance of big data and need for relevant insights. Data analytic technology and artificial intelligence are key tools in performing risk-based analysis and understanding the underlying nature of big data, allowing professionals and clients to make better decisions."


K. Alan Jowers, CPA

 

A partner with Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC. Based in Miramar Beach, Alan graduated from Florida State University and the University of Alabama. He enjoys entertaining his wife and five children by playing Beatles and Metallica tunes on piano and guitar…sometimes his wife says he's too loud.

How the FICPA is Changing

"The FICPA and its Board of Directors recognize that continuing education is a key cornerstone of our commitment to competence as a profession. We are committed to providing effective CPE through a variety of services and mediums...[especially considering COVID-19]… We make it a priority to continue to evaluate our content and delivery methods to make sure that our members have high quality education at a reasonable cost."

Words to Live By

"Never wait for an opportunity to be handed to you, but rather, always 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 provides tax and accounting services to small businesses, individuals, and estates and trusts. A managing member of O'Keefe, Somerville & Associates PLLC in Melbourne, she is passionate about financial literacy education and has volunteered with Junior Achievement for nearly 20 years.

FICPA Leadership Challenge

"To serve well I believe we need to consider the needs of all members.  While I can certainly relate better to some members' situations, it's important to remember that the organization represents all Florida CPAs – from those in the big 4 firms to sole proprietors to industry to academia. Each may have different priorities, but all are equally important."

Personal Best

"I first volunteered to present the financial literacy program to my daughters' class in 4th grade and have continued for the last 18 years.  I'm honored to have been named Volunteer of the Year by local programs in California, Virginia and Florida."


Caridad "Carey" Vasallo, CPA, CFE, CVA, CAMS
 

Carey is a partner at VMBG Accounting in Miami. She also serves on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee for the 11th Judicial Circuit Court.

Why Accounting

"While employed by a Weyerhaeuser subsidiary in Houston, Texas that created luxury residential real estate communities, I was matched with the company’s controller during the corporate mentorship process. His passion for the profession, guidance and friendship were keys to my decision to pursue an accounting career."

New Priorities

"The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that by 2030 the millennial generation will comprise 75% of the U.S. workforce. As a Board, we need to aid in developing strategies to engage young professionals, emphasize educational resources aimed specialized accounting areas and promote research on technological changes that could impact our workforce or professional standards."

If I Weren't a CPA…

"I would be a Real Estate law attorney, focused on transactional work."


Jason Watkins, CPA, Accredited Airport Executive

 

Jason is enterprise director of finance at Broward County Aviation Authority (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport). He and his wife love to travel. They already booked a June 2021 European cruise and are planning their 15th wedding anniversary trip to Kruger National Park, South Africa in 2023.

FICPA Priorities

"I see really talented twenty-somethings working in industry accounting and finance roles and who don't have the sense of urgency to pursue the CPA designation or engage with the FICPA [as I did at their age]…We've got to improve how we reach these professionals so they remain engaged over the long term."

COVID-19 Business Impacts

"[The Pandemic] has been devastating to the airport industry… passenger declines are exceeding 90%... we're watching several commercial industry partners struggling to survive. COVID-19 has forced us to dig deeply into contractual agreements and bond resolution to ensure we're operating in full compliance. It's also forcing us into tough decisions about the definition of discretionary spend."