The American Institute of CPAs is convening its first Leadership Academy this week with 28 CPAs under the age of 35.

The three-day event, led by AICPA chairman Ernest Almonte, will include training workshops in which attendees can develop their leadership skills. “We have decided to identify and develop people who not only have superior technical skills but also have the ability to shape our future,” said Almonte. “The 28 professionals we’ve selected have that potential.”

Attendees are divided equally between men and women and represent a cross-section of the profession, working in public accounting, business and industry, government, and academia. Upon graduation from the Leadership Academy, the AICPA will assign each attendee to either an AICPA volunteer committee or a state society volunteer committee in the participant’s home state. Former institute chairs and members of the board of directors and governing Council will serve as personal mentors.

The institute selected the 28 participants from more than 100 candidates sponsored by their employers, state CPA societies or both. All candidates submitted résumés that included work histories, licensure information, professional volunteer activities, community service, and awards and honors. In addition, each candidate supplied a statement explaining why participating in the academy would be personally important. AICPA senior leadership reviewed and evaluated each submission, a selection committee recommended the participants, and Almonte personally approved all attendees.

Marty Linsky, adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, will lead many of the sessions over the course of the three days. J. Clarke Price, president of the Ohio Society of CPAs, will discuss volunteerism. J. Thomas Hood III, executive director of the Maryland Association of CPAs, and Janice Maiman, AICPA vice president of communications and media channels, will co-present a session on Internet-based social media.

The Leadership Academy will take place July 7-9 at the Westin O’Hare near Chicago.

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