AICPA Recognizes Top CPA Exam Performers in 2017 with Elijah Watt Sells Award

58 CPA Candidates from Across the U.S. Won the Award

NEW YORK--()--The American Institute of CPAS (AICPA) today announced the winners of the 2017 Elijah Watt Sells Award. The 2017 award was bestowed upon 58 CPA candidates who have obtained a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the CPA Examination, passed all four sections of the Examination on their first attempt and completed testing in 2017.

“Passing the Exam is a career milestone. And the extraordinary performance of this year’s Sells Award winners is truly an impressive accomplishment.”

A total of 95,858 individuals sat for the Examination in 2017, with 58 candidates meeting the criteria to receive the Elijah Watt Sells Award.

“The CPA Exam protects the public interest by ensuring, along with education and experience requirements, that only qualified individuals are able to become licensed as Certified Public Accountants,” said Mike Decker, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants vice president of examinations. “Passing the Exam is a career milestone. And the extraordinary performance of this year’s Sells Award winners is truly an impressive accomplishment.”

The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established by the AICPA in 1923 to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA Examination. Sells, one of the first CPAs in the U.S., was active in the establishment of the AICPA and played a key role advancing professional education within the profession.

The CPA Exam is updated regularly to maintain its relevance and reliability and ensure the content is consistent with the knowledge and skill requirements of newly licensed CPAs. The AICPA recently launched new technology updates for the CPA Exam, improving the user experience and enhancing the tools and functionality available to more closely resemble the business environment a CPA would experience in their everyday work life.

The individuals listed below are the 2017 Sells Award winners in alphabetical order, followed by their state board of accountancy affiliation, education and present employer:

  • Michael Anthony Allen III (California), a graduate of Arizona State University with a BS in Accountancy and Computer Information Systems and MS in Taxation, is employed with Frank, Rimerman & Co. in Palo Alto, California.
  • Mark Austin (Arkansas), a graduate of Brigham Young University with a BS and MS in Accounting, is employed with WalMart, Inc. in Bentonville, Arkansas.
  • Amit Bansal (Arizona), a graduate of Panjab University with a Bachelor of Commerce in Audit and Accounts, is employed with Deloitte in Gurgaon, India.
  • Douglass Y. Bartley (Wisconsin), a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a BBA in Accounting and MS in Management-Professional Accounting, is employed with EY LLP in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Mark Belio (New York), a graduate of Baruch College with a BBA and MS in Accountancy, is employed with PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP in New York, New York.
  • Matthew R. Bradford (Connecticut), a graduate of University of Connecticut with a BS and MS in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • Zhuojun (Mary) Cao (California), a graduate of Southwestern University with a BS in Finance Management and a MS in Professional Accountancy from University of California-Davis, is employed with Sensiba San Filippo, LLP in Pleasanton, California.
  • James V. Celia (Pennsylvania), a graduate of University of Delaware with a MS in Accounting and Economics, is employed with EY, LLP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Jennifer Chan (California), a graduate of San Francisco State University with a BS in Accounting, is employed with RSM US LLP in San Francisco, California.
  • Michael Byron Conan (Washington), a graduate of Oregon State University with a BS in Accountancy, Finance and International Business, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Portland, Oregon.
  • Michael Cote (Massachusetts), a graduate of Bryan University with a BS in Business Administration and MS in Taxation, is employed with RSM US in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Paul M. Diegnau (Minnesota), a graduate of University of Minnesota with a BSB in Accounting and Finance and a MS in Accountancy from University of Denver, is employed with Boulay PLLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Morgan Dye (Ohio), a graduate of Indiana University with a BSB in Accounting and Finance, is employed with EY Columbus in Grandview Heights, OH.
  • Katherine Ehlers (California), a graduate of University of Michigan with a BBA, is employed with EY LLP in San Diego, California.
  • Terri Fayard (Texas), a graduate of Texas A&M with a BBA in Business Honors and Accounting and an MS in Accounting, is employed with EY LLP in Dallas, Texas.
  • Thomas Jerzy Galewski (Arizona), a graduate of Arizona State University with a BS in Accountancy and MS in Taxation, is employed with RSM US LLP in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Alexis Gandal (New York), a graduate of Tulane University with a BSM in Finance and MA in Accounting, is employed with Deloitte in New York, NY.
  • Caitlin Geary (Illinois), a graduate of University of Notre Dame with a BBA in Accountancy, is employed with KPMG in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Adam F. Gifford (Massachusetts), a graduate of Bryant University with a BS in Business Administration and MS in Professional Accountancy, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Tim Glew (Michigan), a graduate of Michigan State University with a BA in Accounting and MS in Accounting, is employed with Deloitte in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Christopher Sutton Groll (Georgia), a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a BBA in Finance and MS in Accounting from College of William and Mary, is employed with KPMG in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Travis Marin Guzzardo (Texas), a graduate of Rice University with a BA in Mathematics and Sports Management and MS in Accounting, is employed with Deloitte and Touche LLP in Houston, Texas.
  • Peter H. Hamilton (Wisconsin), a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BBA in Accounting and MS in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Eric Joseph Hauptman (Colorado), a graduate of University of Colorado with a BS in Business Administration and MS in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Denver, Colorado.
  • Marshal Herrmann (Illinois), a graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS and MS in Accountancy, is employed with KPMG in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Caleb R. Jackson (Pennsylvania), a graduate of Bloomsburg University with a BSBA in Accounting and BSBA in Finance, is employed with EY, LLP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Erin Kilpatrick (Louisiana), a graduate of Louisiana State University with a BS in Accounting and MS in Accountancy, is employed with EY, LLP in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Hyungmin Kim (Texas), a graduate of Seoul National University with a BBA and MS in Professional Accountancy from The University of Texas at Austin, is employed with The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan.
  • Alexa Victoria Koch (California), a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona with a BSBA in Accounting and MS in Accountancy, is employed with CliftonLarsonAllen LLP in Glendora, California.
  • Trenton Kohl LaFrano (Texas), a graduate of Texas A&M with a BBA in Accounting and MS in Financial Management, is employed with Financial Accounting Standards Board in Norwalk, Connecticut.
  • Spencer Jared Lang (Wisconsin), a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a BBA and MS in Professional Accountancy, is employed with Baker Tilly in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Yueyi Li (Illinois), a graduate of Renmin University of China with a BS and MS from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is employed with the Lenovo Group in Beijing, China.
  • Alison Katherine MacKay (North Carolina), a graduate of Clemson University with a BS in Accounting and MS in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Kaitlyn McCollian (New York), a graduate of Lehigh University with a BS in Accounting and Finance, is employed with KPMG in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Kevin Miller (Maine), a graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in History and Russian and MA in History from Stanford University, is employed with ThayerONeal in Sugar Land, Texas.
  • Robert Don Moon IV (Pennsylvania), a graduate of Andrews University with a BBA in Accounting, is employed with RSM US LLP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Hudson Moore (Alabama), a graduate of University of Alabama with a BSBA in Management Information Systems and MBA from Harvard Business School, is employed with Altec, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Joseph Moran (Illinois), a graduate of University of Notre Dame with a BBA in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Elan J. Nagel (New York), a graduate of Yeshiva University with a BS in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, New York.
  • Nicholas Nikolov (Wisconsin), a graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS of Accountancy, is employed with Deloitte and Touche in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Aubrey (Ramsdell) O’Rourke (Illinois), a graduate of Wake Forest University with a BS in Accountancy and MS in Accountancy, is employed with P PricewaterhouseCoopers in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Christopher Pacitto (Massachusetts), a graduate of Elon University with a BS in Accounting, is employed with RSM US LLP in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Nathaniel Proto (Massachusetts), a graduate of Stonehill College with a BSBA in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Laura Alissa Rose Rau (California), a graduate of University of Oregon with a BS in Psychology, is employed with S.R. Brooks Company, Inc., in Palos Verdes Estates, California.
  • Joseph Alvin Rebentisch, IV (Mississippi), a graduate of University of Mississippi with a BS in Accounting and MS in Accounting, is employed with Deloitte in Dallas, Texas.
  • Tyler Reindl (Wisconsin), a graduate of University of Wisconsin with a BBA and MS in Accounting, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Harrison Robinow (Minnesota), a graduate of University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a BSB in Accounting and MS in Accountancy, is employed with EY, LLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Linette Marie Rousseau (Virginia), a graduate of University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a BA in Psychology and MS in Accountancy from Georgia Southern University, is employed with University of Wisconsin, Madison in Madison, Wisconsin.
  • Kyle Sassenberg (Minnesota), a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a BA in Public Accounting, is employed with Olsen Thielen & Co., Ltd. in Roseville, Minnesota.
  • Max Schwein (Michigan), a graduate of University of Michigan with a BBA and MS in Accounting, is employed with Deloitte & Touche LLP in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Elizabeth Smith (Tennessee), a graduate of Athens State University with a BS in Accounting and MS in Taxation from Florida Atlantic University, is employed with Mary Warner Beard, CPA in Tullahoma, Tennessee.
  • Maureen Patricia Sweet (California), a graduate of Fordham University with a BA in Spanish Language and Literature and a MS in Professional Accountancy from University of Texas at Austin, is employed with Deloitte Tax, LLP in San Jose, California.
  • Wesley Sweigart (North Carolina), a graduate of University of North Carolina with a BS in Accounting and MS in Accounting, is employed with RSM US LLP in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Quan Vu (New York), a graduate of Providence College with a BS in Accounting and Finance and BA in Mathematics, is employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, New York.
  • Katherine Anne Warlick (North Carolina), a graduate of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a BA in Journalism and MBA from George Mason University, is employed with CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Recent winners of the Sells Award are listed on the AICPA website.

About the American Institute of CPAs

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) is the world’s largest member association representing the CPA profession, with more than 431,000 members in 137 countries and territories, and a history of serving the public interest since 1887. AICPA members represent many areas of practice, including business and industry, public practice, government, education and consulting. The AICPA sets ethical standards for its members and U.S. auditing standards for private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination, offers specialized credentials, builds the pipeline of future talent and drives professional competency development to advance the vitality, relevance and quality of the profession.

The AICPA maintains offices in New York, Washington, DC, Durham, NC, and Ewing, NJ.

Media representatives are invited to visit the AICPA Press Center at www.aicpa.org/press.

About the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) is the most influential body of professional accountants, combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 667,000 members and students across 184 counties and territories in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs, CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally.

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Release Summary

The American Institute of CPAs honors the 2017 Elijah Watt Sells Award winners for outstanding CPA Exam performance.

American Institute of CPAS (AICPA)