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)
Kristin Bivona, CPA (Chair-Elect)
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
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.”
“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
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
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."
"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
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.
"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."