Women of the PICPA have consistently exemplified leadership and mentorship in and outside of the accounting profession throughout the association’s history. They have served as thought leaders and mentors to colleagues within their firms and businesses, and to affiliates of community and professional organizations through their innovative volunteering initiatives.
In recognition of their accomplishments and offerings, the PICPA and the AICPA and present their third annual Women to Watch Awards program.
Pamela W. Baker, CPA, CGFM, is a managing partner with Barbacane Thornton & Company LLP in Wilmington, Del. Having more than 30 years of experience in auditing, with a specialization in nonprofit and governmental entities, Baker ensures that Barbacane Thornton & Company LLP adheres to professional standards in the planning, supervision, and review of compliance and financial audits. She has enhanced the firm’s software systems and implemented improvements to the firm’s personnel policies. Baker also invests in the professional development of individuals within the firm, coordinating videos that demonstrate how to effectively carry out fraud risk interviews as part of an audit among other projects.
Baker is a thought leader in the governmental accounting space, having testified in front of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board and spoken at the national Government Finance Officers Association meeting in Philadelphia. A chair of the PICPA-Department of Community and Economic Development Working Group and a past chair of the PICPA Local Government Accounting and Auditing Committee and the Local Government Accounting and Auditing Conference, Baker has served as a liaison between CPAs and government agencies in various capacities. Baker has also completed several course studies on topics relating to nonprofit and governmental accounting and auditing.
Outside of the accounting profession, Baker has demonstrated mentorship through her involvement in various community service activities. She is chair of the Women United Advisory Council, treasurer of Generations Home Care, and a member of other organizations such as the Forum of Executive Women Delaware, Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, and Child Inc.
Leadership Advice: Leadership requires a quest for learning. Be open to learning and only then will you be positioned to effectively lead others to success.
Megan Kennedy, CPA, is the head of product management for Aberdeen Standard Investments in Philadelphia. In her role, she is vice president and secretary of the North American Fund Complex, where she administers quarterly board materials, financial statements, and the production of materials for board, committee, and annual general shareholder meetings, among other tasks. She ensures proper maintenance and reporting of the North American Fund Complex by coordinating communication between sub-fund administration, counsel, auditors, and other key stakeholders within the organization. Kennedy has played an integral role in corporate transactions, including, but not limited to, tender offers, mergers, acquisitions, due diligence reviews, and entity launches and liquidations.
Kennedy has served in a variety of leadership positions, both inside and outside of the accounting profession. She has served on PICPA’s Greater Philadelphia Chapter Executive Committee, and is on the board of directors and finance committee for the Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA). Outside of accounting and finance, she has served on the executive board of Hedgerow Theatre Company and was president of the board of The Media Theatre. She has displayed mentorship through her volunteer work with the Arts + Business Council for Greater Philadelphia and as a volunteer at the Villanova University School of Business.
In addition to her CPA, Kennedy is a registered representative, having obtained Series 7 and Series 63 licenses. Kennedy is also a member of the inaugural class of Yale School of Management’s Women on Boards program.
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Wendy M. Lakatosh, CPA, is a partner in the audit services group with RKL in York. She leads the firm’s employee benefit plan audit practice, conducting more than 250 employee benefit plan audits per year for clients across a wide range of industries, helping them manage their fiduciary responsibilities and compliance requirements. Lakatosh cofounded RKL’s Women’s Networking Group in 2014, and has helped foster mentorship opportunities within all of the firm’s locations through coordination of networking events. Lakatosh also manages scheduling for RKL’s audit services group, working with engagement leaders and human resources to align firm resources with appropriate jobs.
Lakatosh provides community service in a variety of capacities. She has served on the advisory board and the finance committee for the Salvation Army York, where she has chaired the Boots and Bags fundraising event to provide new shoes for children in need, among other projects. In addition to helping provide necessities for children, she has served as a mentor by presenting financial literacy lessons to students through her partnership with Junior Achievement of South Central Pennsylvania. Lakatosh’s leadership experience within RKL has translated well outside of the firm, having served as president and a member of the board of directors for Service Coordination of South Central Pennsylvania Inc., and on the finance committee of Guinston Presbyterian Church.
Recognized for her contributions inside and outside of the accounting profession, Lakatosh was honored in 2013 among Central Penn Business Journal’s Forty Under 40.
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Tiffany S. Wetzel-Sturtz, CPA, is a partner with Barnes Saly & Company PC in Johnstown, with expertise in audit and assurance, tax, and financial and compliance auditing. The first female partner in the firm’s history, Wetzel-Sturtz serves a diverse client base, including nonprofit organizations, school districts, local municipalities, construction companies, medical equipment suppliers, retail companies, corporations, partnerships, and individuals. She coordinates seminars for members of the firm to help foster employee morale and camaraderie, and has led technology enhancements at the firm. She also serves on Barnes Saly & Company PC’s continuing education and professional development committee, as well as its firm events and volunteer committee. She has helped the firm raise more than $45,000 to benefit patients with breast cancer.
In addition to her firm management experience, Wetzel-Sturtz has also taught auditing and governmental and nonprofit accounting at Mount Aloysius College – her alma mater. As an adjunct professor, she has inspired students to consider an accounting career both through her instruction and by permitting local high school students to shadow her at the firm. Extending her leadership to the community, Wetzel-Sturtz serves as treasurer of the YWCA of Greater Johnstown's board of directors, treasurer for the Windber Pee Wee Cheerleaders, and a member of Young Professionals of the Alleghenies. She is also an advocate for community service, volunteering for Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania and fund-raising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Wetzel-Sturtz is a graduate of the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce’s John B. Gunter Leadership Initiative. She was a 2013 honoree of Pennsylvania Business Central’s Foremost Under 40.
Leadership Advice: Build a team by empowering others around you to achieve success and you will be successful.