Last week, five California CPAs were awarded theCalifornia Society of CPAs' (CalCPA)Women to Watch Awardsduring the Society'sWomen's Leadership Forumheld at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, CalCPA announced on Monday.

Sophia Loh (Frank, Rimerman & Co., Danville) and Esther Phahla, a sole practitioner in Temecula, both received Experienced Leader awards. Loh also received the CalCPA's Trailblazer Award for her philanthropic work.

Additionally, Hiromi Young (Moss Adams Construction Practice Group, Santa Rosa); Deepa Bhat (Abbott Stringham & Lynch, San Jose); and Heather Schlenger (Moss Adams, Stockton) were honored with Emerging Leader awards.

Loh is in charge of the Frank, Rimerman's family office department. She holds a bachelor's in accounting and finance from the University of California, Berkeley, and volunteers for the Hass School of Business's annual Women in Leadership Conference. She is the treasurer for Sustainable Contra Cosa and also serves on its board of directors. She is also on the board of directors of Rubicon Programs - an organization that helps low-income individuals achieve financial independence. Lastly, Loh is also developing a financial literacy educational module for theWomen's Global Leadership Initiative.

Phahla, a certified tax coach (CTC), actively participates in several organizations including the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Temecula. She holds a master's in taxation from Golden Gate University and a law degree from the University of South Africa.

Young is a certified construction industry financial professional (CCIFP) and provides assurance and advisory services in the Greater Bay Area. She serves as a business assurance senior manager at Moss Adams and holds a bachelor's in accounting from Sonoma State University.

An associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Bhat serves as a senior audit manager at Abbott, Stringham & Lynch and is also a certified fraud examiner (CFE). She holds a master's in commerce in accounting and a bachelor's of commerce and tax from the University of Mumbai, India, as well as a master's in economics from Rutgers University.

Schlenger, a tax senior manager at Moss Adams, handles tax planning, compliance and tax provision preparation for manufacturing and distribution organizations, as well as food and agriculture operations. She is a founder of the nonprofit Global Leadership Education Assistance Ministry, which seeks to eliminate poverty through education. She holds a bachelor's in commerce (accounting) from Santa Clara University.

CalCPA selected the award recipients in partnership with the AICPA and theirWomen's Initiatives Executive Committee. In order to be selected for the awards, recipients must have demonstrated past community or public service. Candidates for the Emerging Leader award were judged on their past instances of leadership, contributions to the profession, creation and implementation of original initiatives, and academic involvement. Experienced Leaders were evaluated on authorship, contributions to the CPA profession, and mentorship of fellow professionals.

For more on CalCPA, head to the Society'ssite here.