Professionals who hold businesses accountable were honored at Beyond the Bottom Line, an award ceremony honoring CPAs on Nov. 10 at the Whitby Castle in Rye.
The event was presented by the Fairfield County and Westchester County Business Journals and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.Wilson Elser and Professional Liability Consulting Services Inc were additional sponsors of the event.
Promising young accountants Gregory Re of Martin, DeCruze & Co. LLP and Ralph J. Martucci of Judelson, Giordano & Siegel CPA PC received the Top Accountant Under 40 Award for their expertise, customer service and ability to develop new business.
“The ultimate goal is to provide clients the best possible service, so you may not always love tax season and all the deadlines and the hours, but the reward is seeing how clients value and appreciate what we do,” Re said.
The Most Trusted Adviser Awards were given to Ita M. Rahilly of RBT CPAs LLP and Brandyn Schmelzer of BDO USA LLP for giving sound advice to clients and helping them make a positive impact on their business.
“Without trust, you have nothing,” said award presenter Dennis Supraner, president and CEO of Professional Liability Consulting Services Inc. “You can’t even have that first conversation if someone is not saying, ‘I trust that person.’”
Schmelzer thanked his firm and his colleagues at BDO for contributing to his success.
“What makes a trusted adviser is not one person, it’s a whole firm,” he said.
The Ahead of the Curve Award was given to George Whitehead of PKF O’Connor Davies LLP and Neema Vaheb of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for keeping up with new legislation and industry trends.
Whitehead said staying on top of the industry can prove difficult because the world of accounting is constantly changing.
“I stay ahead of the curve, because I’ve been behind the curve, and it’s not a very pleasant experience,” he said.
Edward H. Roberts of Citrin Cooperman and Nathaniel Yordon of Capossela, Cohen LLC were honored with the Most Generous Award for providing exemplary service and attention to the nonprofit and government sectors, giving back to the community through volunteer work and sharing their expertise.
“The best thing about giving back is, as much as you give, you always get back tenfold,” Roberts said.
Echoing that sentiment, Yordon, who serves as board member at Open Door Shelter, said that while CPAs can make a good living through their profession, they can only ensure having a good life by helping those in need.
“CPAs cannot and should not hoard our valuable resource only for those who are willing to pay for it,” Yordon said. “We must share it in a way which will benefit our communities and those who are less fortunate and not as lucky as we are.”
The awards were open to accountants working in Fairfield County, Westchester County and the Hudson Valley. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges that included Don Albert Kiamie, president and CEO, an equity owner and board chairman of Windsor Management Corp.; Frederick Harmon, assistant professor of accounting at University of Bridgeport; and Allison Madison, president of Madison Approach Staffing Inc.