[IMGCAP(1)] William "Bill" Sharkeyrecently receivedthe College Mentors for Kids'2016 College Mentor of the Yearin the Accounting, Legal & Finance category, the Indiana CPA Society announced this week. Sharkey has been involved with student initiatives at PwC and the Indiana CPA Society's diversity initiatives.

"When we gather as CPAs, it is important to look around and observe our lack of diversity," stated Sharkey. "I have done this within and outside of my organization. It is striking how far our makeup differs from the general population. A team of people with differing backgrounds will be more creative and successful than a homogeneous team. The profession will be better as it diversifies, and we will all learn more as it changes."

"The award is recognition for six years of dedication to mentoring young men and women with regard to their college experiences and their careers," he added. "I must say I was very excited to win but was also very impressed by the dedication and sacrifice of the other nominees. We can make a difference in the lives of others - and that is the true reward."

Sharkey has additionally been involved with theINCPAS Scholars program - a free, statewide, year-long career and mentorship program for minority high school students. Since 2011, 105 students have participated in the program; 75 percent of have gone on to major in accounting and/or business.

"The reach and success of the Society’s diversity programs would not be possible without the contributions of dedicated members such as Bill Sharkey," said INCPAS president & CEO Gary Bolinger in a statement. "Bill has been instrumental in making our INCPAS Scholars program a model program for diversity recruitment and mentorship in the CPA profession. Thanks to Bill and others like him, the future of the profession in terms of recruiting talented, diverse CPAs is very bright."

Sharkey has been a member of the Indiana CPA Society for 20 years, and has been involved with the INCPAS Scholars program since its inception in 2011. This past fall, Sharkey and fellow Scholar mentor Joe Kalule (EY) spoke to INCPAS leadership about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the profession.

For more on INCPAS, head to theirsite here.