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Introduction
Stephano Slack's busy season goes to the dogs; PGHJ and Raffa both launch women empowerment initiatives; and more news from CPA offices across the country.
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CALIFORNIA
Green Hasson Janks announced the launch of the GHJ Women’s Empowerment Speaker Series to help women in business network, and featuring guest speaker Natasha Case, founder and CEO of Coolhaus Ice Cream. In addition to the series, announced in conjunction with International Women’s Day, GHJ contributed to The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting scholarship for women, designed to help more women enter accounting.
MICHIGAN
Plante Moran, Southfield, was named to Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the 19th consecutive year, ranking No. 51.
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MINNESOTA
CliftonLarsonAllen’s CLA Foundation, Minneapolis, completed its second 2016 grant cycle by awarding $449,000 to 26 organizations engaging in training, education and career development, bringing its annual total to $749,000 awarded to 43 recipients this past year.
BDO New York offices
NEW YORK
BDO compiled a list of topics that corporate management and boards of directors should plan to address in 2017 annual meetings: Trump Administration, deregulation, trade, tax reform, presidential tweets, cybersecurity, new GAAP, non-GAAP, whistleblower policies, virtual-only shareholder meetings, global economic concerns, director expertise, diversity and time, and M&A opportunities.

Financial Executives International, New York, held a meeting March 9 with the program, “Fraud, Lies and Hermes Times.” Hosted at the Yale Club, the meeting featured speakers Aaron Beam, cofounder and first CEO of HealthSouth; Vic Hartman, former FBI and special fraud agent; and Weston Smith, whistleblower and fifth CFO of HealthSouth.

Prager Metis CPAs, New York, has created a new technology company specializing in cybersecurity, risk intelligence and regulatory compliance called Prager Metis Technology, to be led by Peter Fiorillo as president and CEO.

Mitchell Titus, New York, joined nationwide association BDO Alliance USA.

KPMG came out first among the Bog Four accounting firms on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the third consecutive year, moving up 31spots to achieve a ranking high of No. 12. The ranking – based on five key elements of a corporate culture: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie – coincides with the firm’s 120th anniversary. In other firm news, KPMG was awarded with the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award, achieving “Gold Level” status, by Junior Achievement USA, where KPMG donated more than 15,000 hours of time in the 2015-16 school year and has more than 55 professionals nationwide serving on local JA Boards.
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OHIO
Skoda Minotti, Cleveland, was named a winner in the 2017 Smart Culture Awards, bestowed to Northeast Ohio organizations where culture plays a crucial role in the company’s success. The firm will be recognized at the 2017 Smart Culture Conference, hosted by Smart Business, on April 6, 2017.

Winding River Consulting, Cleveland, the new venture of consultant Gary Shamis, introduced a new Managing Partner Bootcamp conference, a 16-course curriculum taught over two three-day sessions. The 2017 class, held in May and November, is sold out but registration will open in the early summer for the 2018 class, meeting Oct. 25-27, 2017 and May 23-25, 2018.

Blue & Co., Columbus, was ranked on the 2017 Best Employers in Ohio by the Ohio SHRM State Council and Best Companies Group, marking the seventh time the firm has made the list.
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PENNSYLVANIA
Stephano Slack Accountants and Tax Advisors, Wayne, offered employees a tax season respite by inviting rescue dogs from the Providence Animal Shelter from Media, Pa., and Renee’s Rescues from Hockessin, Dele., into the office. Staff from both of the firm’s offices interacted with six terrier mix puppies recently rescued from Puerto Rico.
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TEXAS
UHY Advisors is returning to Texas, opening a new office in Houston at 10613 West Sam Houston Parkway North.

GBH CPAs, Houston, will be a sponsor of the 29th annual ROTH Growth Stock Conference March 12-15, 2017, at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Calif.
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WASHINGTON, D.C.
Raffa launched the Empowering Vital Leaders Initiative, a new e-mentoring partnership with Vital Voices, owner/partner Kathy Raffa, and her mentor teams of back office/operations experts. The initiative combines the forces of Raffa, a majority-owned Top 100 CPA firm, and Vital Voices, which has a mission to invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world to help them achieve leadership, to help women reach their greatest potential. Raffa’s mentor teams bring together a senior level Raffa executive with one or two associates to work with one Vital Voices mentee. For the pilot program, 23 team members from different departments across Raffa and Raffa Financial Services will be matched with a VV mentee based on the areas of interest identified in the mentee’s application. The first group of mentees comes from the Philippines, United Kingdom, Honduras, India, Uganda, Nigeria, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Tanzania, and Jordan.