Have your eye on a special young CPA superstar within your firm? Nominate that individual to take part in an inaugural Leadership

Academy sponsored by the American Institute of CPAs.

Held July 7 to 9 in Chicago, the three-day workshop is aimed at young CPAs between the ages of 25 to 35 years old who have a minimum of three years' work experience.

"We are looking for leaders, who have the potential to make a difference within your organization, the community and the profession," said Ernie Almonte, CPA and chair of the AICPA Board of Directors. "In recommending candidates, I would appreciate your giving consideration to our desire to increase the diversity of our leadership, including greater ethnic and gender diversity."

The goal at the end of the program is to appoint Academy graduates, depending on their areas of interest and expertise, to either an AICPA or state society committee. Graduates will also work with an AICPA mentor, become part of the Academy Alumni Association and have access to a protected Web site so they can communicate and network with one another.

Those candidates interested in applying must fill out an application by May 1. The final candidates will be selected by Almonte and Bob Harris, vice chair of the AICPA board of directors, with input from the association's staff. The Academy registration fee is $850, which includes hotel accommodations. A limited number of scholarships are available.

Academy participants can expect an agenda including breakouts and peer reflection. Sessions include "Courageous Conversations," which addresses difficult issues preserving relationships; "Exercising Leadership versus Exercising Authority;" and "Opportunities of Social Networking the Web." Almonte and Barry Melancon, president and chief executive of the AICPA, will also give a presentation on the landscape of the profession.

For more information contact Jay Rothberg, vice president – office of the CEO at (212) 596-6005 or jrothberg@aicpa.org.