The American Institute of CPAs has announced the names of the 34 CPAs who make up the 2012 Leadership Academy graduating class.

During an intensive four day program held last week in Durham, N.C., these rising stars in the profession learned to apply cutting-edge leadership theory to handle complex management challenges.

Now in its fourth year, the AICPA Leadership Academy was established to inspire, nurture and empower the next generation of CPA leaders by providing them with advanced leadership training, access to well-connected professional networks and opportunities to exercise leadership within the profession.

“The Leadership Academy showed me that there is more to being a leader than a vast knowledge of technical skills. Collaboration and communication are the skills that define successful leaders, and the Institute has done a fantastic job bringing together experts in these fields to share their knowledge with us,” said Tim Lyons, a supervisor with Mauldin & Jenkins LLC and part of this year’s graduating class. “The opportunity to learn from these individuals is invaluable from a career development standpoint.”

This year’s class discussed the pressing issues facing the profession and charted the direction CPAs need to take to remain a dynamic and active participant in the global marketplace.

Attendees participated in leadership development sessions with some of the profession’s most influential leaders, including AICPA chairman Greg Anton, president and CEO Barry Melancon, senior vice president of communications and media channels Janice Maiman, and vice president of students, academics and membership Jeannie Patton.

“The future of the profession will depend largely on the ability of young CPAs to harness their passion and develop into effective leaders,” Anton said in a statement. “The 2012 class of the Leadership Academy is a diverse group of talented CPAs who will continue the proud tradition their predecessors have set and impact the profession for years to come.”

The AICPA selected the 2012 Leadership Academy from more than 90 candidates recommended by their employers, state CPA societies or both. Candidates submitted resumes which included work history, licensure information, professional volunteer activities, community service and awards and honors. Candidates also supplied a statement explaining why participating in the Leadership Academy would be important to them personally.

Details for the 2013 Leadership Academy will be available online in early 2013.

The full 2012 Leadership Academy class is below:

Aaron Lee Ackerman, Redback Energy Services, LLC - Oklahoma City, Okla.
Travis Paul Armstrong, Hemming Morse, LLP - San Francisco, Calif.
Evan Benson, PCAOB - Kennesaw, Ga.
Rob Berger, Anders Minkler & Diehl LLP - St. Louis, Mo.
Nina LoConte Chmura, WithumSmith+Brown - New Brunswick, N.J.
Shelley Coleman, Doctors Community Hospital – Lanham, Md.
Amy Kellum Cooper, University of Alaska Fairbanks - Fairbanks, Ark.
Chris Ekimoff, Duff & Phelps Corporation – Washington, D.C.
Michael James Elliott, Dittrick & Associates, Inc. - Burton, Ohio
Kristin L. Ferch, Trek Bicycle Corporation – Waterloo, Wis.
Chris N.Flynt, Daniels, Means & Flynt – Bentonville, Ark.
Mandy Kay French, HoganTaylor LLP - Oklahoma City, Okla.
Debbie Hale, Stoy, Malone & Co., P.C. – Towson, Md.
Kayce LaRae Halley, Eide Bailly LLP - Fargo, N.D.
Andy Hayes, Kahn, Litwin, Renza and Co., Ltd. – Providence, R.I.
Alicia Ann Holland, Beaufort County – Beaufort, S.C.
Ben Hrouda, UDR, Inc - Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Kristine Marie Hull, Omaha Performing Arts – Omaha, Neb.
Lisa Gene Johnston, Custom Accounting & Tax PC - Cave Creek, Ariz.
Waylon Jones, Liberty Mutual Surety - Seattle, Wash.
Kevin Daniel Laird, Edgen Group - Baton Rouge, La.
Tim Lyons, Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC – Atlanta, Ga.
Katie Marion, Cox Communications – Phoenix, Ariz.
Rudy Alexander Mayoz, Baumann, Raymondo & Company – Tampa, Fla.
Trisha Nami Nomura, PKF Pacific Hawaii LLP – Honolulu, Hawaii
Tony Pires, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP -   Boston, Mass.
Jared Plummer, North Carolina State University – Raleigh, N.C.
Paris Powell, Perkins & Company, P.C. – Portland, Ore.
Misty Roberts, Dollar General Corporation – Goodlettsville, Tenn.
Will Robinson, Arnett & Foster, PLLC – Charleston, W.Va.
Rachael Katherine Sarson, Craighead, Lange & Hough PC CPAs – Michigan City, Ind.
Brent A. Simer, Deloitte LLP – Washington, D.C.
Jaymie Lyn Steiner, Rothstein Kass - New York, N.Y.
Heather Zundel, Presbyterian Healthcare Services – Albuquerque, N.M.