Virginia Society of CPAs announces 2021 Distinguished CPA Awards winners
Each year, VSCPA members nominate CPAs to recognize their professional and personal accomplishments as well as commitment to service, diversity and innovation.
Honorees will be recognized during the VSCPA Virtual Leaders’ Summit on May 13.
Outstanding Member Award: Alan Witt, CPA, CGMA, Newport News
The VSCPA Outstanding Member Award recognizes a CPA member who has provided outstanding service to the profession through participation in VSCPA activities, civic engagement and charitable activities that promote a positive image of accounting and the CPA profession. Alan Witt, CPA, CGMA, recently retired as CEO of PBMares in Newport News, 40 years after co-founding the firm. He is also an executive in residence at Christopher Newport University’s Luter School of Business. Alan is the current chair of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors after years serving in leadership roles at the Chamber. Active in activities and organizations in the Hampton Roads area, including the City Center development, Alan also has years of volunteer service in a variety of VSCPA committees, including serving as a chapter president and being named the 1991 Public Servant of the Year.
Ruth Coles Harris Advancing Diversity & Inclusion Award: Tyrone Dickerson, CPA, Richmond
The VSCPA Ruth Coles Harris Advancing Diversity & Inclusion Award, sponsored by Keiter and Deloitte, recognizes a VSCPA member who champions diversity and inclusion in accounting by implementing initiatives to help ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace environment; champions policies and programs aimed at improving diversity in the profession; demonstrates a commitment to raising awareness of diversity principles; and serves as a role model or mentor. Tyrone Dickerson, CPA, has owned his own firm in Richmond for 37 years. He served as a member of the Virginia Board of Accountancy for eight years, and in 2012 chaired the diversity work group of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), tasked with increasing the diversity of NASBA’s leadership. That work group turned into the Diversity Committee, which he also chaired. A member of Virginia Union University’s Board of Trustees since 2005, Tyrone enjoys promoting the accounting profession — particularly to students of historically Black colleges and universities.
The VSCPA Top 5 Under 35 Award recognizes emerging CPA leaders under the age of 35 who have notable professional achievements, VSCPA accomplishments on the state or chapter level, community contributions and/or dedication to the CPA profession. The 2021 Top 5 Under 35 recipients are:
- Amanda DiStasio, CPA, Optimal Accounting, Suffolk. After spending a few years at Robert Half recruiting CPAs, Amanda started her own accounting firm in the Hampton Roads area in 2020. At the VSCPA, she has served on the Young Professionals Advisory Committee and Educational Foundation Scholarship Committee, and written articles for Disclosures magazine. She is passionate about attracting students to the CPA profession, participating in events for students and promoting the profession on social media.
- Victor Geagla, CPA, Baker Tilly, Tysons. An assurance senior manager with the commercial team at Baker Tilly, Victor started at the firm as an intern 10 years ago. Active in internal leadership, he’s served on the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee and chaired the National NextGen Committee. He is also part of the Greater Washington Board of Trade’s Emerging Leaders Network, Economic Club Emerging Leaders Network and Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
- Iris Laws, CPA, DHG, Richmond. A senior tax associate at DHG, Iris has held several leadership positions at the organization, including founding and chairing the Richmond Emerging Leaders Network and co-chairing the IMPACT Committee, among several others. At the VSCPA, she is currently vice chair of the Political Action Committee Board of Directors and received the inaugural VSCPA 2020 Women to Watch — Emerging Leader Award.
- Brad Lester, CPA, Brown Edwards, Roanoke. A senior associate at Brown Edwards, Brad is a dedicated volunteer with the VSCPA Roanoke Chapter, where he has worked to improve the chapter’s infrastructure. He served as vice president and president and is passionate about promoting the accounting profession in the Roanoke area as well as educating accounting students about the profession’s opportunities.
- Evan Wrinkle, CPA, WellsColeman, Richmond. A senior staff accountant at WellsColeman, Evan began his career in assurance but has decided working in taxation is his calling. He started on the board of the VSCPA Richmond Chapter in May 2017 and will serve as president this year. He also sits on the VSCPA Young Professionals Advisory Council and participates in programs to promote the profession to students.
For more information about the VSCPA Distinguished CPA Awards, visit www.vscpa.com/Awards.