Donors take different paths to the VSCPA Educational Foundation. Dawn Barnard, CPA, went through her employer to get involved.
Barnard is a manager at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, in Vienna. If that name sounds familiar to you, you might have passed through one of the firm’s most enduring contributions to the VSCPA and Virginia Accounting Students — the Leaders’ Institute.
The Leaders’ Institute is a summer weekend program held at a Virginia college or university that puts Virginia’s top college accounting students (nominated by their professors) in contact with potential employers. In addition to the recognition that comes with being the program’s sponsor, Baker Tilly reaps the same benefits as other firms that attend and has even hired students based on their performance in the program.
“The Leaders’ Institute enhances our recruiting strategy by demonstrating our commitment as a firm to develop future leaders both in our firm and in Virginia,” Barnard said. “Our people have participated as team leads, speakers and mock interviewers. This provides them with opportunities to build their presentation, coaching and interviewing skills.”
Barnard has held several leadership positions with the VSCPA, culminating with her term as vice chair of the Board of Directors in 2009–2010. She’s also been heavily involved with the CPA PAC Board of Trustees and chaired the VSCPA’s Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC) in 2005–2006.
Barnard graduated from South Carolina’s Converse College in 1994 and has been at Baker Tilly since 2003. During that time, she’s become quite familiar with the students and accountants who make up the future of the CPA profession, whether from her work at Baker Tilly, her time at the Leaders’ Institute or her work with the YPAC. She’s made it a point to share her career experiences with the students she meets.
“I have enjoyed organizing fundraising efforts for the Ed Foundation at Baker Tilly and meeting the recipients of scholarships at VSCPA events,” she said.