AICPA names 'Gold Medal Award of Distinction' recipient

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The American Institute of CPAs and the Illinois CPA Society have announced that Chicago CPA Lester McKeever Jr. is the recipient of the 2018 AICPA Gold Medal Award of Distinction. Lewis Sharpstone, a member of the AICPA's awards committee, presented McKeever with the honor on Sunday during the AICPA's Fall Meeting of Council in Amelia Island, Fla.

The highest honor awarded by the Institute, the Gold Medal has highlighted CPAs with a strong influence over the profession since 1944.

“Lester McKeever rose from working part-time for the nation’s first female African-American CPA to working to advance diversity within the profession on a national level and in his home state of Illinois,” said Sharpstone, per a statement. “He serves as an example of the impact CPAs can make on their community, the profession and their colleagues.”

Over the course of his career, McKeever has served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, chair of United Way Chicago, chair of the Chicago Urban league and board treasurer of the University of Illinois, and is a founding member of the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois. McKeever is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, later earning his J.D. with distinction from the Chicago-Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

“Lester McKeever is a passionate leader whose service and influence in the accounting profession are as remarkable and distinguished as his career achievements,” stated Todd Shapiro, president & CEO of the Illinois CPA Society. “What may be most impressive about him is his dedication as a mentor in helping and encouraging young professionals to achieve their goals and earn their CPA credentials. Over several decades now, he has paved the way for countless African-Americans and other underrepresented minorities pursuing careers as CPAs.”

McKeever has also previously received the Illinois CPA Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Illinois CPA Society also honored him in 2016 by renaming its annual Outstanding Leader in Diversity Award and Emerging Leader in Advancing Diversity Award in McKeever’s honor.

For a list of previous Gold Medal recipients, head to the AICPA's site here.

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CPAs Diversity and equality AICPA