Topical Thoughts from MICPA President & CEO, Bob Doyle What About...Bob?

With degrees in engineering, management and a master’s in communications, Bob pivoted from a career
at GM to the world of associations before finding his calling as the MICPA’s new CEO in early 2020. Learn more about Bob by reading this feature article in MICPA Connections.

Catch up on what Bob has to say:

The year is coming to a close, with the start of December heralding a new season of service and gratitude. If you know me, then you know that much of why I feel so connected to the purpose and impact of our CPA members and the accounting profession is the shared passion we all have for serving others. That passion for service is among the greatest reasons we gather once a year to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our members and their selfless dedication to their communities, the profession and the public at large.  

This year’s celebration on November 9 was truly unlike any other before it. By combining our signature events, Accelerate and Celebrate, we were able to provide a unique experience that offered an entire day of learning and connection. Our members in attendance at Accelerate explored what it means to cultivate belonging and acceptance in the workplace while new award categories for Celebrate explored different aspects and achievements in service, including the profession’s ongoing journey toward advancing equity in accounting.  

We were honored to see so many of you this year as we returned in person for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. Though neither of these events were debut programs, we made some adjustments to both that were rooted in member feedback and changes in the profession which resulted in a deeply rewarding experience overall.     
Accelerate 
This year, we acted on your input and offered leadership skills, focusing on growing one member or their entire team by hand picking engaging, energetic speakers that provided insight to skills and trends to foster career growth. The energy in the room throughout the event was palpable, with members and speakers embracing change together, engaging one another to forge new, lasting connections. It was an honor to witness these member reactions and interactions with each speaker and their content in real-time.  

One member’s words in particular truly captured the spirit of the event. “I really enjoy taking non-technical courses, especially those that deal with leadership and communication. I believe that we as a profession spend too much of our time on the technical aspects (which for obvious reasons is very important), but we struggle to communicate those skills to our staff and our clients. I think those that attended were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the speakers!” 


Celebrate   

As Accelerate came to an end in the afternoon, we rolled into a reception welcoming our guests of honor for the evening’s reimagined awards event, Celebrate. We greeted friends, partners, honorees and their teams and families. Connecting with members is such a joy, and I was proud to once again to have the opportunity to acknowledge the many ways our members make an impact through fantastic leadership and generous contributions of their time and expertise.  

The award presentation itself was lightning in a bottle, emceed by Emmy-Award winning journalist for WDIV-TV Local 4 News in Detroit, Paula Tutman. Celebrating together in person was overdue and all the more meaningful following two years of working to enhance our award categories and redefining the purpose of our awards. The event succeeded in providing a unique platform for members to share their stories while demonstrating the immense talent cultivated among our membership across so many segments of the profession.   
 
I am reminded of the moment, just after dinner, that we heard from Angel Stallings, CPA, revenue accountant for the Detroit Pistons, and a past recipient of the Michigan Accountancy Foundation (MAF) scholarship. Her story truly exemplifies the importance of our collective efforts to support the future of accounting. By sharing the benefits of graduating debt free, her career journey so far, the joys of authoring a book intended to help others, and inspiring students to a career in accounting through MICPA high school visits, Angel shows us the potential of the next generation of accountants. Her words emphasized our commitment to honoring the leaders of today while supporting the leaders of tomorrow through MAF’s scholarship and educational programming. Incredibly, Celebrate guests raised $13,340, nearly enough for three full student scholarships and an incredible way to pay it forward. 
 
All of these efforts, of course, would not be possible without our Awards Committee, which is itself comprised of member volunteers belonging to the MICPA’s board of directors. Together, this group not only helps review award nominations but also determines each year’s award categories. This year, they truly went above and beyond to ensure that Celebrate recognized categories relevant to the current challenges facing the profession. With their, and your, continued support, I am confident that Celebrate will continue providing deserving CPAs with recognition they can take back to their organizations to serve as a reference as they grow in their career.  
 
As we look to the start of a new year, myself and all of us at the MICPA are looking forward to continuing our mission to ensure we are providing our members with the best value. That means ensuring our programs and resources are quick to adapt to the changes that arise within the profession so you can continue to be the very best at what you do. Happy holidays to you and yours, and we look forward to seeing you on the other side of 2023! 

View photos from these events here

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