Through the Rising Stars Program, TXCPA recognizes CPA members 40 years old and younger who have demonstrated significant leadership qualities and active involvement in TXCPA, the accounting profession and/or their communities. A TXCPA selection committee named the following 30 up and comers based on their contributions to the accounting profession and their communities. We now introduce you to the members, in alphabetical order, who are the Rising Stars honorees for 2023.
Phillip Arvanetakis, CPA
Senior Associate, Capital Markets & Accounting Advisory
Alvarez & Marsal
Phillip Arvanetakis became involved with TXCPA Houston in 2014 as a student and swiftly progressed in his roles. After obtaining his CPA license in 2019, he dedicated himself to the organization’s committees and activities, notably chairing the Young Professionals Committee for two years. His leadership abilities were clear during his tenure, where he not only supported the committee but also actively encouraged its members to expand their networks and career perspectives.
Phillip’s involvement extended to representing TXCPA Houston on the TXCPA Leadership Council and participating in various local committees. His remarkable contributions were acknowledged when he received the 2020-2021 Outstanding Young CPA of the Year award. Impressively, he displayed a rapid learning curve on governance and industry issues by seeking guidance from experienced leaders. In sum, Phillip is a shining example of a Rising Star, showcasing his leadership in fostering growth and connections among young professionals and more experienced CPAs in the accounting profession.
Melanie Bledsoe, CPA
Thomas Edwards Group
After switching careers from practitioner to recruiter in 2021, Melanie Bledsoe has been an active volunteer in the community. She is a member of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), where she supports the next generation of minority accounting students. She is also a member of the TXCPA Dallas Young Professionals Committee to help plan social and continuing professional education (CPE) events for younger members.
Melanie dedicates her spare time to volunteering at the SPCA of Texas and at Feed the City events by Tango Tab, making lunches for those in need. Looking ahead, she also aims to direct her volunteer efforts toward fostering high school and early college students’ interest in accounting. Described as a “CPA with the heart of a teacher,” Melanie aspires to work within the school system to strengthen the pipeline of new CPAs. Her passion for education and mentorship shines through in her commitment to making a lasting impact for future generations.
Amanda Bobeck, CPA
Mandy Bobeck’s recognition as TXCPA Houston’s Outstanding Young CPA of 2021-2022 highlights her remarkable contributions. Her involvement with the chapter began as a student. Mandy’s notable involvement in the Accelerate Committee showcases her resourcefulness, often taking the lead on projects for events like the Scholarship Extravaganza. Her commitment to the chapter and profession also extended to the CFO/Controller Conference Planning Committee and her efforts to promote accounting careers through local school presentations.
At Crowe LLP, Mandy specializes in ERISA plan audits and is a leader within the firm’s Benefit Plan Services niche, with technical experience in defined contribution plans and 11-K filings. She has obtained the AICPA Advanced Defined Contribution Plans Audit certificate. In the firm, she mentors colleagues and provides training and support during annual level trainings. Her community involvement includes memberships in The Humane Society of the U.S. and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. In essence, Mandy exemplifies a strong focus on professional growth, volunteerism and community engagement.
Drew Chumley, CPA
Fort Worth Chapter
Drew Chumley is an influential member of TXCPA and TXCPA Fort Worth. He completed the chapter’s leadership development program and has been a driving force behind fostering a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere in the chapter. Drew’s leadership extends to chairing the TXCPA Young and Emerging Professionals Committee and actively participating in TXCPA Fort Worth’s committee. He’s also deeply engaged in local initiatives, including delivering accounting career presentations to students and conducting financial literacy outreach with teens through the #Adulting program.
Drew’s community involvement has included serving as the treasurer for Dallas Services, which encompasses the Dallas Day School and the Center for Vision Health, organizations dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities and special needs. Additionally, Drew sits on the Board of the Dean’s Leadership Council at UT Arlington’s College of Business. Colleagues regard him as an outstanding representative of the CPA profession, and his willingness to share his experiences and lend support makes him a valuable asset to his peers.
Mackenzie Craft, CPA
Audit Senior Manager
Weaver and Tidwell LLP
Permian Basin Chapter
Mackenzie Craft is a highly dedicated member of TXCPA Permian Basin, where she has been actively engaged in committee service and events for many years. Her significant contributions extend to her role on the TXCPA Permian Basin Board of Directors and her involvement in various chapter committees. One notable achievement is Mackenzie's participation in the chapter's inaugural Pipeline Committee, reflecting her passion for helping students attain their CPA licenses. As a recent licensee, she is an ardent advocate for the accounting profession, encouraging students to pursue CPA licensure and careers in public accounting.
Beyond her professional commitments, Mackenzie also engages in several community organizations, showcasing her desire to give back. Her volunteerism began during her time at UT Permian Basin, where she was active in the Accounting Association. Mackenzie's professional involvement and community service work exemplify her diligent and sharing spirit, making her an invaluable asset to both the accounting profession and the community at large.
Miranda Curtis, CPA
Miranda Curtis is a CPA and real estate agent seeking to strengthen her profession and community. Her overarching mission is to empower her community through financial literacy and access to homeownership. Miranda serves as 1st Vice President for the Dallas Chapter of National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Through NABA, she champions African American students in pursuing careers in accounting. Miranda actively engages with Junior Achievement of Dallas, nurturing financial literacy and global economy skills in young individuals.
At Crowe LLP, Miranda is both an Auditor In-Charge and co-chairs the Dallas African American Business Resource Group, exemplifying her dedication to fostering workplace diversity and inclusivity. She also serves as a career coach with Christian Young Professionals (CYP), instructs children at Upperoom (UR) Dallas and provides real estate solutions. Miranda became a member of TXCPA in 2022 after two years as a licensed New York CPA. She is looking forward to making a positive difference in Dallas and in the State of Texas.
DMyrian Frederick, CPA
Financial Analyst Sr. - Financial Reporting - Remote
DMyrian Frederick stands out as an impressive individual in the field of accounting. With over a decade of experience spanning various industries and roles, his journey has been marked by increasing responsibilities. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table and his influence extends well beyond his own career. He actively mentors students and plays an important role in the National Society of Black CPAs (NSBCPA) CPA Review, showcasing his commitment to fostering the next generation of CPAs.
DMyrian’s strength lies in his adept critical thinking and problem-solving skills. What truly sets him apart is his eagerness to innovate and bring fresh ideas to the table. His mentorship and forward-thinking approach inspire others, contributing significantly to the growth and success of the accounting profession. He is a guiding light for aspiring CPAs, embodying the values of dedication, passion and forward-thinking that are crucial in a field that is constantly evolving.
Dahlia Garcia, CPA
Beasley, Mitchell & Co.
El Paso Chapter
Dahlia Garcia has been an active member of TXCPA at the local and state level since 2011 and has served on the Board as a Director-at-Large. She has also played vital roles in the local Young CPAs Committee over the years and previously served as president of the committee, contributing significantly to the group’s success. Her career trajectory has been impressive. She has over 12 years of experience and is the leading Audit Partner at Beasley, Mitchell & Co. with offices in El Paso, Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Tucson.
Dahlia is also extremely busy in the community, serving in several leadership positions in the Junior League of El Paso and she is the Treasurer/Secretary for the Center of Hope, an Anti-Human Trafficking agency. She is a strong advocate for those in need and is incredibly generous with her time and resources. Given her accomplishments and contributions, it is clear that Dahlia is a worthy and deserving recipient of the Rising Stars Award.
Adam Hallmark, CPA, CFE
Chilton Wilcox & Fortenberry
San Angelo Chapter
Adam Hallmark has had a profound impact on the San Angelo community since his arrival from Houston five years ago. He has served as the TXCPA San Angelo Chapter President and was chosen as one of only 30 members of Leadership San Angelo for 2022-2023. Adam is deeply involved with the United Way of the Concho Valley, where he has volunteered as his firm’s loan executive for two years and served as the Chair for the Loaned Executive Program. He is also on the local United Way Board of Directors.
In addition to his United Way work, Adam was nominated to serve on the Concho Valley Workforce Development Board. He was involved in establishing a Becker Review course aimed at assisting aspiring CPAs in successfully passing the CPA Exam, helping address the shortage of CPAs. As a member of his church choir, he continues to enrich the lives of those around him. Adam is the true definition of a Rising Star.
Chris Hes, CPA
Assurance Senior Manager
RSM US LLP
Chris Hes has been an active member of TXCPA since 2009. He has served on the TXCPA Leadership Council and Pipeline Task Force, demonstrating his commitment to shaping the profession’s future and strategic planning.
In addition to his involvement at the state level, Chris plays a significant role in TXCPA Dallas. He has served seven years on the TXCPA Dallas Scholarship Committee and has been an influential participant in the Young Professionals Group and Partners in Education and Vision committees. His two-year chairmanship of the Partners in Education committee and his role as TXCPA Dallas Board Liaison illustrate his leadership skills within the organization. He has also served as a Director on the TXCPA Dallas Board. In recognition of his contributions, Chris was named the chapter’s Young CPA of the Year in 2019-20, highlighting his dedication to TXCPA Dallas across all age groups to make a positive difference in the accounting profession.
Alexandra Holder, CPA
Southeast Texas Chapter
Alexandra Holder is highly involved in community service activities, showcasing her expertise in a variety of roles and responsibilities. At Friendship Baptist Church in Beaumont, she actively engages in the worship ministry, where she selects and arranges worship songs and sings lead vocals during services. In addition to her musical contributions, she plays an essential role in the children and youth ministry, providing support to the young members of the congregation. Alexandra is also a valued member of the audio/visual team, stepping in to operate the sound system when needed and she runs the PowerPoint for worship every Sunday.
During her time at Ouachita Baptist University, she was actively involved in the Chi Mu Women’s Social Club. She also served on the leadership team of the International Club and the Hickingbotham School of Business Student Advisory Board. Alexandra’s extensive community service involvement reflects her diligent and altruistic nature, driven by a strong desire to share the benefits of community engagement with others.
James Jones, CPA
Weaver and Tidwell LLP
Permian Basin Chapter
James Jones is a highly respected partner and a key member of his firm’s energy niche team. He has helped to create firm standard workpapers to be used across the practice and has been named the Midland Office Culture Ambassador. In addition, James is known for delivering exemplary client service and for his talent in developing and mentoring his staff. He is a passionate advocate for the growth and development of the teams he collaborates with, consistently leading by example. His strong work ethic is evident in his habit of being one of the first to arrive at the office and one of the last to leave.
James was an active member of the TXCPA Permian Basin committee responsible for planning and hosting the chapter’s first Leadership Day for young CPAs. He also serves on the board for SHARE and the Boy Scouts of America. His multifaceted contributions make him a standout CPA and leader.
Lindsey Kennimer, CPA
Snow Garrett Williams
Fort Worth Chapter
Lindsey Kennimer is a CPA with experience serving governmental entities, specifically school districts. She is an active leader and participant in TXCPA Fort Worth. She has chaired the Young Professionals Committee, supported the chapter’s financial literacy initiatives, encouraged member engagement, and is a frequent speaker for events.
As a young partner in her firm, Lindsey has been proactive in professional advancement and active engagement in the community. These values are mirrored in the support she shows for her employees’ involvement in TXCPA Fort Worth and commitment to community relations. She has served in an advocacy role as a member of AICPA’s Government Audit Quality Center Executive Committee, TXCPA’s Professional Standards Committee and TXCPA’s Texas School District Accounting & Auditing Conference Planning Committee. She also performs peer reviews of other CPA firms throughout Texas through AICPA’s peer review program. She is regarded as a diligent contributor who is ready to make a positive impact on her profession and community.
Katherine Kirk, CPA
Whitley Penn, LLC
Permian Basin Chapter
Katherine Kirk has more than 17 years of tax experience as a third-generation tax CPA. As a Partner with Whitley Penn, she is not only excelling in her career but also passionately lighting the path for others. Her dedication to mentorship is evident, as she consistently seeks opportunities to guide and support new staff members, fostering a culture of growth and development within the firm.
Beyond the office, Katherine’s service in the community shines brightly. She generously volunteers her time with the Midland Odessa Business & Estate Council, making a meaningful impact on local businesses and organizations. One of Katherine’s most notable passions is her work with students, where she actively engages in conversations with local high school and college students about careers in accounting and promotes financial literacy. Her outreach to the younger generation inspires them to pursue their dreams in finance while equipping them with essential financial knowledge.
Kevan Kirksey, CPA
Henry Peters, PC
East Texas Chapter
Kevan Kirksey, an Officer at Henry & Peters, PC, has a passion for both numbers and community service. His journey with the firm began in 2009 after completing an internship. Kevan’s expertise encompasses audit, review and compilation services, as well as tax planning and compliance for diverse clients, including individuals, partnerships, corporations, trusts, and estates.
Beyond his professional prowess, Kevan is an ative community member. He’s a devoted member of Grace Community Church and has contributed to organizations like Leadership Tyler, Smith County Historical Society, Meals on Wheels East Texas, Miracle League of Tyler, and the City of Tyler Traffic Safety Advisory Board. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for TXCPA East Texas. His outstanding commitment is exemplified through his role on the TXCPA East Texas golf tournament committee. His efforts have attracted new sponsors and ensured fundraising goals are met, contributing to the tournament’s recent success. Kevan continues to shine in both his career and community engagement.
Art Lopez, CPA
Burton, McCumber & Longoria, LLP
Rio Grande Valley Chapter
Art Lopez is a Tax Manager at Burton, McCumber & Longoria, LLP. He is actively involved in community service projects and has served as a board member and as treasurer of Keep McAllen Beautiful. He contributes his time and energy to the organization’s city cleanups, Arbor Day Celebrations, tree planting initiatives and various other community projects. Additionally, he volunteers on the Rio Grande Valley United Way’s annual grant audit committee, supporting the region’s many charitable causes.
Within the accounting profession, Art’s leadership shines through brightly. He served as a board member and Vice President for TXCPA Rio Grande Valley, showcasing his growing influence in the field. His commitment to personal growth and community betterment was further demonstrated by his graduation from Leadership McAllen Class 38 in 2019. Art is a rising star in tax management, distinguished by his impressive community leadership and dedication, leaving a lasting impact on both fronts.
Oscar Loy, Jr., CPA
El Paso Chapter
Oscar Loy, Jr. is a standout professional and community advocate. Beginning as an impressive intern in 2014, he is currently a Senior Manager for SBNG’s audit team. His experience consists of audit engagements of real estate companies, joint ventures, construction companies, service companies, employee benefit plans, and non-profit organizations, as well as attestation services such as financial statement reviews, compilations and due diligence procedures. His busy weeks include work, mentoring and community engagement.
Oscar is formerly a board member and treasurer for Project Amistad and provides vital support to the local TXCPA El Paso Chapter President. He’s also a graduate of Leadership El Paso, Class 41. His passion for El Paso and his alma mater, the University of Texas at El Paso, led him to join the UTEP Athletics Fan Council for a three-year term. His passion for his profession and community serves as an inspiration to those around him.
Alexandra MacMartin, CPA
Sutton Frost Cary, LLP
Fort Worth Chapter
Alexandra MacMartin is a dedicated CPA and community leader. Her commitment to TXCPA Fort Worth is exemplary, marked by her enthusiasm and generous volunteer spirit. She is a natural leader, known for her unwavering integrity, strong work ethic and passionate advocacy for local non-profit organizations. She plays an active role in TXCPA Fort Worth, having served on two committees and as the 2022 Leadership Development Co-Chair.
Beyond her professional contributions, Alexandra is deeply involved in the community. She holds various roles with the United Way of Tarrant County, contributes to the North Texas Community Foundation Child Welfare Committee and participates in the Fairmont Trash Pirates initiative. She was named by The Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce as a member of their inaugural 40 Under 40 class. In both her career and community involvement, Alexandra embodies the essence of a rising star, leaving an impressive and lasting impact through her commitment and leadership.
Stacey Mahajan, CPA, CGMA
Stacey Mahajan is an Assistant Controller at Ambiq Micro. She is a passionate advocate for inspiring future CPAs. Transitioning to accounting as a second career, she believes in the limitless career opportunities the profession offers. She is also actively involved in her community, serving as a role model in the accounting profession at state and national levels. At the state level, she has contributed significantly as a member of the TXCPA Branding and Community Outreach Committee, a mentor in the TXCPA Austin Mentor Program and a member of the TXCPA Austin LEAP Group. She frequently works and engages with students, conducting webinars and assisting with resume preparation.
Stacey’s impact extends nationally. She was chair of the AICPA Student Recruitment Committee and serves on the AICPA Americas Region Advisory Panel for the CGMA designation. Her dedication is evident in her numerous presentations, webinars and efforts to promote accounting as a career.
Kayla Marsh, CPA
Kayla Marsh is an experienced Audit Director at Forvis. She has more than 10 years of experience auditing and assisting health care providers. Her expertise includes working with private equity backed health care entities with complex U.S. GAAP accounting issues from initial transaction through exit, as well as governmental and not-for-profit health care systems. Through her exceptional and detailed technical knowledge, she works on auditing and assisting with complex corporate structures, acquisitions and mergers, and reimbursement complexities faced by privately held and governmental health care companies.
Within Forvis, Kayla is known for her leadership in client management and staff development. Beyond her professional achievements, she is deeply committed to the Dallas business community through various organizations and her impact is far-reaching throughout the region. She embodies the qualities of a true rising star, leading by example and helping guide clients and colleagues through her outstanding professional achievements and community involvement.
Bimpe McMillon, CPA
Senior Manager, Government Audit & Accounting
As a Senior Manager, Government Audit & Accounting, Bimpe McMillon is a valued member of the AICPA team. Prior to working at AICPA, she was a Technical Reviewer with TXCPA’s peer review department. She previously obtained extensive assurance experience in a wide variety of industries working at Weaver LLP in Dallas.
Beyond her professional duties, Bimpe is an active volunteer with AICPA and TXCPA. She has served on multiple TXCPA committees, including Diversity + Inclusion, Membership, Business and Industry Issues Subcommittee, Governmental Accounting and Auditing Conference, and Texas School District Accounting and Auditing Conference. She is also dedicated to inspiring the next generation. She took over AICPA’s Instagram for a Day-in-the-Life feature, shared insights on the This Way to CPA website, visited classrooms to engage with students, and served as a panelist for TXCPA’s CPA Roadmap event. Bimpe is passionate about sharing her story and journey to becoming a CPA, making her a strong advocate for the accounting profession’s future.
Kyle Pacheco, CPA
Lane Gorman Trubitt, LLC
Kyle Pacheco is a Partner at Lane Gorban Trubitt, LLC. He has spent a decade dedicated to serving the profession and making a difference. Early in his career, Kyle assumed key positions in organizations like the Young Risk Managers Association, including Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-Chair, Chair, and Past Chair. In addition, he contributed significantly to the TEXO Young Contractors Council, opening doors to further opportunities.
Within Lane Gorban Trubitt, LLC, Kyle’s trajectory has been one of continuous growth. In January 2023, he became a partner. He actively participates in the firm’s Young Professionals group, mentors colleagues to encourage cross-departmental collaboration, leads community outreach programs like the Hope Supply Co. backpack drive, and volunteers at the North Texas Food Bank. Kyle’s expertise also extends to professional development. He co-taught a session on FASB updates at TXCPA’s EXPO Conference. His journey is a testament to his staunch commitment to both his profession and the community.
Kyle Ratliff, CPA, CMA
Director, Corporate Accounting
Kyle Ratliff serves as a Corporate Accounting Director at Tenet Healthcare Corporation, a leading diversified healthcare services company headquartered in Dallas. Kyle has held this role since the spring of 2021. Prior to joining Tenet, Kyle gained extensive experience in audit and advisory positions at multiple Big 4 firms.
A committed member of TXCPA, Kyle has been actively contributing to the organization’s mission since 2019 when he initially joined the TXCPA Dallas Young Professionals Committee and he still actively engages with this group. Kyle further serves the chapter as a member of their Finance Committee and Chair of the Business & Industry Committee. His dedication to career growth and eagerness to advance as a leader in the accounting profession are also evident through his completion of the TXCPA Dallas Leadership Development Academy. His passionate dedication and valuable contributions have positioned him as a true asset not only to his field, but also to the TXCPA community at large.
Rachel Rhea, CPA
Fort Worth Chapter
Rachel Rhea is a Tax Manager at Calvetti Ferguson and is recognized as a leader who actively drives internal initiatives and fosters growth. She has over 20 years of experience in accounting services in industry and over six years of public accounting experience in federal and state tax compliance. Her current focus is assisting family groups and entrepreneurs with tax planning and compliance needs and improving efficiencies whenever she can.
Rachel's dedication extends to TXCPA, where she plays a pivotal role on the ACE committee and volunteers for Santaaccountants, embodying the spirit of giving during the holiday season. She also leads the Santaaccountants gift drive at Calvetti Ferguson, spreading joy and goodwill. In addition to her professional and TXCPA involvement, Rachel dedicates her time to supporting programs at her children's schools in Arlington ISD, underscoring her commitment to education. Her well-rounded contributions in tax management and community service merit her recognition as a TXCPA Rising Star.
Amber Rourke, CPA
Britt Rice Electric, LP
Brazos Valley Chapter
As Controller at Britt Rice Electric LP, Amber Rourke has made her mark in both the accounting field and her community since arriving in College Station three years ago. She is an active member of TXCPA’s Editorial Board. She has also served on TXCPA’s legislative and state taxation committees, as well as a Board Member and newsletter contributor for TXCPA Brazos Valley. Her work on the chapter’s newsletter helped transform it, making the newsletter more engaging and informative for readers.
Amber’s community involvement is equally impressive. She has chaired the BCS Chamber of Commerce State Regulation/Taxation sub-committee and actively participated in important legislative advocacy roles for the organization. Her position at Britt Rice Electric LP as Controller has been instrumental in successful audits, solidifying her proficiency. Her mentorship to her colleagues highlights her strong commitment to excellence. Her contributions and valued expertise help shape both the accounting profession and the community.
A.J. Taylor, CPA
Thompson Derrig & Craig, PC
Brazos Valley Chapter
A.J. Taylor is a Partner at Thompson Derrig & Craig, PC. He joined the firm in 2013 and became an owner in July 2021. He works primarily with business owners and has experience in real estate, professional services and estate planning. He has been an advocate for TXCPA and the profession since he became a member in 2014. He has a passion for the profession’s improvement for the next generation. Over the years, he has dedicated his time and experience to serving on both local and state TXCPA boards.
A.J.’s contributions also extend beyond the profession, as he actively participates in non-profit organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors for BCS Together and the BCS Chamber of Commerce. He embodies the core values of an Aggie: Loyalty, Integrity, Excellence, Leadership, Selfless Service, and Respect. He is a deserving recipient of the TXCPA Rising Star award for his work with the chapter and his tireless efforts to advance the field of accounting.
Jessica Traw, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Work Services Corporation
Wichita Falls Chapter
With over a decade of experience in non-profit finance, Jessica Traw is a driving force in the accounting profession. Her leadership extends beyond her role as Chief Financial Officer at Work Services Corporation. She is a member of the United Way Finance Committee and the Wichita Falls Parks Board. Her commitment to community service shines through her involvement with organizations like the League of Women Voters of Wichita Falls, Impact100 - Wichita Falls, and mentoring young finance and accounting professionals through the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce.
Jessica's remarkable contributions earned her the title of the 2020 Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce Young Professional of the Year. Her curriculum development for Impact100 grant reviewers and the establishment of the ICARE Fund 501c3 showcase her desire to empower and educate others. Her meticulous overhaul of her company's 401k plan to better support employees with disabilities reflects her commitment to inclusion. She is an impressive and visionary leader.
Joshua Wagner, CPA
Your Part-Time Controller
San Antonio Chapter
Joshua Wagner is a CPA with 10 years of experience in public accounting, technical accounting consulting, internal audit, and professional education. His previous experience was with financial institutions ranging in size from $500 million to $3.5 billion in total assets. He now works primarily with nonprofits providing accounting and reporting assistance. He has made a lasting impact through his leadership and commitment to education within the accounting profession.
As a board member and officer of TXCPA San Antonio, Joshua has devoted many years to his role. His dedication is most evident in his leadership of the Financial Literacy Committee, which he faithfully led for several years in organizing the chapter’s Jr. Duel competition. In this capacity, his participation was pivotal in developing a pipeline of students who aspire to join the accounting profession and become CPAs. Joshua’s interest also lies in teaching and mentoring opportunities at the college and university level. His contributions have left a mark on the future of accounting.
Austin Waugh, CPA
Senior Director of Accounting & Legacy Planning
First Liberty Institute
As the Senior Director of Accounting & Legacy Planning, Austin Waugh brings extensive experience in FP&A, consulting, tax compliance/strategy, and full-cycle accounting to his role at First Liberty Institute. In past roles, he excelled in developing economic models and financial analysis tools, particularly in the oil and gas industry. Beyond his technical skills, Austin’s proactive attitude, exceptional organizational and time management skills, and capacity to quickly grasp new concepts and software make him a valuable asset in dynamic team environments.
Austin has been a dedicated TXCPA member since 2016. He serves as a TXCPA Dallas chapter representative on the TXCPA Leadership Council. In addition, his involvement in the chapter’s Legislative Affairs and Finance Committees, along with his active role in the Leadership Development Academy (LDA), set him apart. As chairman of LDA, Austin and his committee revitalized the program after COVID-19 disruptions and introduced impressive changes. His dedication and innovation make him one of the chapter’s most promising members.
Christine Wells, CPA
Central Texas Chapter
Christine Wells is a Technical Reviewer in the peer review department at TXCPA. She was previously an Audit Partner at Brockway, Gersbach, Franklin & Niemeier, P.C., becoming the firm’s youngest Partner in 2020. Her expertise in audit and assurance services spanned diverse industries, including construction, manufacturing, non-profits, water supply corporations, for-profits, and governmental entities. A graduate of Texas A&M University, her accounting career began at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas.
Christine’s community involvement is impressive. She has served as the secretary on the TXCPA Central Texas Board and organized events like the Temple CPE lunch, where she discussed the CPA Pipeline. Her leadership also extends to the Heart of Texas Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), where she served as President and organized informative monthly meetings. Her active role in the Temple business community and Chamber of Commerce further solidify her standing as a community leader. She embodies the professional qualities and high standards of an exceptional CPA.