Kevin M. Mitchell, a certified public accountant from Harrisburg, PA, was elected 2009-2010 president of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) at the Institute's annual meeting and conference, held this year in Lake Buena Vista, FL.
Mitchell is a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Harrisburg who specializes in audit and business assurance - consumer and industrial products.
"It is a great honor to represent the public accounting profession and all of our CPAs in Pennsylvania, and it is a humbling experience for the very same reason," Mitchell said during his acceptance speech at the annual meeting. "These last few years as a member of the executive committee, especially this most recent year as president-elect, have provided me with a wonderful opportunity to step outside my world, to meet with CPAs from all across Pennsylvania and to discuss common issues and understand differing points of view."
Mitchell, who has a bachelor's degree from King's College, lists increasing diversity and connectivity within the profession as his top goals. He believes "there are large numbers of CPAs from various ethnic backgrounds - African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanics - with whom we need to connect. We need to increase our commitment to, and connectivity with, diversity."
Mitchell, who acknowledged that his predecessor started the diversity initiative at the PICPA, said, "These diverse groups of CPAs can offer us new ideas, different perspectives, energy, and a great opportunity to move the profession forward."
To make the profession more diverse, the pipeline from college to work needs to be addressed as well. To tackle this initiative, a diversity committee has been created.
"The task of the diversity committee will include researching the issue, learning from organizations that have been successful, developing meaningful programs to attract minority students to the profession, and developing programs that identify role models for leadership positions within PICPA," Mitchell said.
The challenging economy is an opportunity for the CPA profession to become stronger, according to PICPA's new president. PICPA members need to be there for each other during this difficult period and for public servants who propose legislation in efforts to fix the economy.
"We will make sure our legislators understand that the PICPA has resources available to assist them as they deliberate economic recovery plans and regulatory reform," Mitchell said.
In addition to volunteer efforts with PICPA, Mitchell is a former chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy and a former board member of Capitol Area Chamber of Commerce and Susquehanna Housing Inc.
The other officers elected were Rudolph J. Bilich Jr., president-elect (Pittsburgh); Robert J. DePasquale, vice president (Greensburg, Pa.); Cheri H. Freeh, vice president (Hellertown, Pa.); and Sandra E. Sloyer, treasurer (Oaks, Pa.).