By Deanna C. White
STAR Awards are designed to celebrate the achievements of the association profession and the individuals who help make that profession a success in Indiana.
Ali Paul, INCPAS leadership and outreach manager, was honored with an Individual Award of Achievement when she was awarded the Rising Star of the Year Award for her significant contributions to INCPAS and the association/not-for-profit profession.
Paul, who joined INCPAS in 2006, was recognized for her work to improve the association's existing programs and for developing new, innovative programs that serve as models for other organizations. In particular, Paul was honored for creating several pioneering programs to achieve the goals of INCPAS diversity initiatives.
According to Paul, the Society's diversity initiatives are "multifaceted and focus on recruitment and retention." The recruitment programs include Game On: CPAs in Action, a half-day career awareness program, and INCPAS Scholars, a yearlong career awareness and mentoring program for minority high school students interested in business and accounting.
On the retention side, INCPAS hosts Diversity Summit, a day-long summit focusing on diversity awareness. Professionals are given steps to take to implement a diversity strategy, enabling them to move beyond diversity awareness into action and metrics to determine success.
INCPAS also received a STAR Award of Excellence for Innovative Membership Program in the over $750,000 budget category. The Society received the award for its restructuring of recruitment and engagement of INCPAS volunteers.
The Society marketed the new system as a way for members to more fully engage with their "professional home" and enrich their careers through volunteerism. The Society used a campaign of postcards, e-mails, and e-newsletters to direct members to online volunteer interest forms on the INCPAS website.
As a result of the success of the new system, the Society has more than 300 members actively engaged in volunteer activities, including the Society's High School Ambassador program, college campus presentations, and government outreach and legislative committees.
"The work these volunteers do is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the profession," said Courtney Kincaid, INCPAS membership and volunteer manager. "From project planning teams that help to organize conferences to members whose work is integral to building public confidence in the profession, our volunteers are an essential part of the organization's success."
INCPAS has been awarded seventeen STAR Awards of Excellence since 2001 for its focus on innovation and groundbreaking developments – including fourteen in the past five years alone.