Celebrate | November 9, 2022 - Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi

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Congratulations to this year’s honorees!

Follow the MICPA on social leading up to November 9 to get to know our honorees with videos, interviews and even more behind the scenes event fun!


Advancing Equity Award

Acknowledges an individual MICPA member who is committed to advancing equity in the accounting profession. Nominees are dedicated to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within the profession, their organization, and/or their community. As an aspiring ally for underrepresented groups, nominees demonstrate a commitment to learning and use this knowledge to foster an inclusive atmosphere and bring awareness to others.

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Mary Barton

Founder, Equitable Accounting Solutions


Mary A. Barton, CPA, is the founder and CEO of Equitable Accounting Solutions in Detroit. Mary has a passion for supporting women- and minority-owned businesses. As a woman of color and small business owner, Mary creates an inclusive culture by challenging race, gender and sexual orientation-related inequalities in the workforce and communities she serves. She understands the importance of investing time in building real relationships with her clients and meeting them wherever they are in life, treating them with dignity, honor, and respect. She has also donated her time to speak at events and workshops in Detroit to help businesses owners, primarily women and people of color, get their accounting needs in order and important questions answered.

Financial MVP Award

Honors a CPA who is employed in businesses, educational institutions, or governmental entities and has contributed significantly to the growth and success of their organization. Through one’s leadership, this awardee has identified opportunities and impacted change in the areas of operations, business challenges, productivity and/or culture. This awardee understands the importance of being a licensed CPA, the impact on the business, and the surrounding communities.

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Jennifer M. Daves

Director of Accounting, UHY Advisors


Jennifer Daves is the Director of Accounting for UHY Advisors, Inc., and related entities. Jennifer is passionate about people-first leadership, operational efficiencies, and transforming accounting teams into value-adding centers of excellence. She leverages her unique skill set to successfully lead innovative process improvement in virtually every area touched. She has led several inter-departmental collaboration and engagement initiatives and projects including the re-envisioning of the firm’s National Finance Office mission: be transparent, build trust, develop relationships, relentlessly learn and grow, and support and encourage each other.

Impact Award - Powerhouse

Recognizes a seasoned professional who has made a significant impact on their organization, the profession, or the pipeline.

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Sarah Mather

Senior Grants Analyst, CS Mott Foundation


Sarah Mather is the Senior Grants Analyst at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint. Sarah exudes the definition of serving communities. She has provided asset stewardship, pro bono, for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Gilbert Family Foundation, The Skillman Foundation and the Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation. She finds working at nonprofit organizations gratifying, adding: “It’s rewarding to work toward progress on issues relevant to our times. Working in the nonprofit space gives you a chance to help make the changes you want to see in the world.” Sarah is also passionate about helping the pipeline of students and colleagues to the CPA designation and has always enjoyed teaching and mentoring.

Impact Award - Trailblazer

Recognizes a professional who is newer in their career but has stood out and made an impact in their organization, the profession or with a specific individual. 

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Sejla Kulaglic

Advisory & Tax Senior Manager, Rehmann


Sejla Kulaglic is the Advisory & Tax Senior Manager at Rehmann. Sejla has a passion for giving back to the accounting profession and her community. Within Rehmann, she serves on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council, is an advocate for women in the profession, and a role model for many, showing support through tough times and has “not once asked for anything in return.” Sejla also lends her time to several organizations including MICPA, Kiwanis, as president of the Detroit chapter, and Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business’s alumni council and student relations committee (co-chair).

Rising Star Award

Recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of an up-and-coming CPA who adds value to one’s organization through strategic and innovative initiatives, exhibits leadership competencies and possesses a commitment to the profession.

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Ray Poirier

Principal/Owner, RPFinancial


Raymond James Poirier III CPA, MSA is the Principal/Owner of RPFinancial in Bay City. He recently left a large firm to pursue his dream of owning his own firm. As the leader of the firm, Ray’s focus is on the development of his team, encouraging, nurturing and promoting their unique strengths. He also volunteers as a graduate assistant with Dale Carnegie where he coaches others in his community and uses the opportunity to promote the CPA profession. His colleagues and clients tout his integrity, work ethic and customer service, stating that “he is a key reason why we have a "clean" single audit annually.”

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Dan Wysocki

Tax Manager, Plante Moran


Dan Wysocki is a tax manager with Plante Moran focused on clients in the real estate industry and large not-for-profit entities and healthcare organizations. Dan is a born leader who sees his role as an opportunity to coach his team, especially junior staff with career guidance and navigating decision making. He is also an advocate for the profession and seeks opportunities to give back. As campus lead at Oakland University, a speaker at several events, he is able to share his experiences and encourage students to pursue a career in accounting.

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Brandon "Sharky" Zayid

Owner, Tax Shark


Sharky is the owner of Tax Shark, a firm that is tailored to the young entrepreneur and built on the promise of being the "New-Aged" accountant that meets the new generation of business owners’ everchanging demand. His passion to be innovative has led him to developing an app that will provide real-time status updates to his clients. Sharky also saw an opportunity to help the community by investing in becoming Michigan’s premier sports and entertainment accounting firm for college athletes. Through workshops and podcasts, he hopes to increase financial literacy among those individuals and empower them to make informed decisions about investing in their future.

Student Champion of the Year Award

Recognizes a student’s contributions, involvements, and achievements through the MICPA's student champion program. Honorees use their passion for the CPA profession to educate other students on the benefits of the CPA credential, recruit students as new MICPA members, and assist with career fairs and presentations.

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Kellie Sauve



Kellie Sauve is an accounting student at Central Michigan University graduating December 2022. Kellie has been an active MICPA Student Champion, advocating student membership, sharing and encouraging other CMU students to attend MICPA events, as well as scheduling and participating in an MICPA campus virtual presentation, providing students information on the role the MICPA holds in supporting CPAs and the accounting profession in Michigan. Kellie’s passion for the profession and the diversity it offers was featured in the MICPA Student E-news when she shared her story of how participating in multiple internships in different pathways gave her a broader view of the opportunities that are available with a degree in accounting.

The Women to Watch Award winners were recognized at the Women to Watch event on August 18.

Women to Watch Award - Experienced Leader

Recognizes an accomplished CPA who has advanced to a high level of leadership, making major or unique contributions to the profession, improving the workplace, mentoring and participating in public and community service.

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Michelle Watterworth

Partner, Plante Moran


Michelle Watterworth is a partner at Plante Moran, leading the national public sector technical office, which oversees emerging accounting and auditing issues within the firm’s government, K-12, higher education, and single audit practices. Michelle is an outstanding leader, both locally and nationally, giving her time to serve as Chair of the AICPA State and Local Government Expert Panel, and an active member of the Michigan Government Finance Officers Association, the Michigan Committee on Governmental Accounting and Auditing and the AICPA Governmental and Not-for-Profit Conference planning committee.

Mentoring and sharing her knowledge with others has been important to Michelle throughout her career. She’s frequently sought out to help others enhance their technical understanding and mentor professionals, both within Plante Moran and externally. She invests in her team and is an advocate for their advancement – assisting many team members with their progression to partner and principal roles at the firm.

Women to Watch Award - Emerging Leader

Recognizes an accomplished CPA who has made significant contributions to the profession and one’s community, but who has not yet reached the highest levels of leadership. This individual participates in public and community service, demonstrates leadership and has made contributions to the profession including creation and implementation of unique initiatives.

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Meghan Gartman

Assurance Senior Manager, EY


Meghan is a Senior Manager in EY’s Audit Practice in Grand Rapids. During her short time in that office, she has helped to lead recruiting efforts, built relationships with various universities and at the same time made several improvements to internal processes.

She leads EY’s People Advisory Forum for Grand Rapids, ensuring that the voices of more than 120 people are heard. She has played a large role in helping to lead DEI efforts, including a recent series of belonging events. She regularly gives back to the community through the EY Connect Day program, the Junior Board for the Van Andel Institute, and other causes that she feels passionately about. And, above all, she’s been a great leader, working to provide growth opportunities and develop strong relationships with clients and colleagues alike.

The Thomas M. Hoatlin award winner will be recognized at the Michigan Tax Conference on November 3.

Thomas M. Hoatlin Award

Recognizes an MICPA member that most significantly contributes to the lasting and mutually beneficial relationship between the MICPA and the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Michael Merkel

Partner, Plante Moran


Mike Merkel is a partner at Plante Moran’s Southfield office where he specializes in providing clients with multistate tax consulting services and solutions to minimize taxes. Mike is also an engaged member of MICPA. He is the chair of the State and Local Tax Task Force and has presented on various topics at our yearly Michigan Tax Conference.

Mike was instrumental in MICPA’s collaboration with the Michigan Department of Treasury on the Flow-Through Entity tax. His expertise in gaining clarity and developing language to address the profession’s concerns with implementation were crucial to the MICPA’s success in pushing forward solutions for the State.