Three certified public accountants in New Jersey were named to Black CPA Centennial’s 40 Under 40, organized by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants on the 100th anniversary of America’s first Black CPA.
Andrew Coombs of Coombs CPA PC in Newark, Victoria Ghafoor of Merck and Co. Inc. in Flemington, and Brian Rose of BDO USA LLP in Woodbridge were recognized on the list.
The Black CPA Centennial, a year-long national awareness campaign recognizing Black CPAs in the United States, pushing for more diversity, equity, and inclusion in the CPA profession, occurred in honor of John W. Cromwell Jr., who became the nation’s first Black CPA 25 years after the first CPA certificate was granted.
“Speaking on behalf of the Black CPA Centennial’s organizing partners and the award selection committee, we’re extremely excited to recognize the next generation of Black CPAs who’ll build on the success of those who came before them,” said Todd Shapiro, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois CPA Society, one of the organizing partners of the Black CPA Centennial.
The selected individuals are active mentors and leaders, untiring advocates, driven changemakers, and an inspiration to others, according to a Sept. 17 announcement.
“It’s our hope that recognizing the success of this diverse group of accomplished young CPAs will help drive momentum, encouragement, and support for others to continue to overcome adversity and inspire positive change in their personal and professional communities,” Shapiro said.
Along with AICPA and ICPAS, organizing partners include Diverse Organization of Firms, National Association of Black Accountants, and National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants Inc.
“I feel very blessed to make this list, as a young business owner I am honored that I was acknowledged,” Coombs, who is 34, said in an interview with NJBIZ. “When I started this firm three years ago it was only me. Now we have about 700 clients and five employees. [I’m] thankful to have a team that has worked hard to get us here.”
Coombs, Ghafoor, Rose and the rest of the 40 Under 40 Black CPA Award winners will be formally honored at the virtual Black CPA Centennial Celebration on Nov. 12.
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