Men Take Leadership Roles in Women's Accounting Group

While Dennis Lusin is neither a woman nor an accountant, that hasn’t stopped him from becoming president of a chapter of the American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA).

Lusin, a Billings, Mont., broker, told the Billings Gazette that he got involved in the group three years ago because he was asked to join after making a presentation on college savings plans. "But I didn't expect that so soon they'd ask me to be their president," he said.

While Lusin is the only male member of the Billings Chapter, it turns out that he is not the only male chapter president. According to the ASWA website, Jacob Chase of the Edward Chase Corp. of Honolulu, is president of that city’s chapter. Women fill the top leadership positions.

The ASWA, formed in 1938, now numbers 6,000 members in more than 100 chapters. It has allowed male members since 1974, but its mission is to help women “achieve their potential” in the accounting and finance fields. Member services include affordable continuing professional education, scholarships for displaced homemakers, management skills training, and other benefits.

Men and women can benefit equally from ASWA membership.

Lusin said: "It gives the ability for people to step into leadership roles and be educated, trained and mentored to do the best job they can."

Billings Chapter members mentor students from Montana State University-Billings and the private Rocky Mountain College. Like local chapters in other cities, members raise funds and award scholarships for high school and college students, both male and female, who are working toward careers in accounting or finance.

The Billings group recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, and Lusin's presidency reflects how much the organization has changed, the Gazette reported. The chapter formed in 1976 with about 20 women members, but today membership has more than tripled.

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