2018 Women to Watch Recipients

WomensHisMon_J_reducedWomen 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 has decided to partner with the AICPA and launch its inaugural Women to Watch Awards program.

Joining CPA honorees from across the country, the PICPA’s honorees of 2018 are Bandana Jha, Elizabeth E. Krisher, Lisa M. Minniti-Soska, and Stephanie A. Stohon.


Jha Bandana

Bandana Jha, CPA

Bandana Jha, CPA, is chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Urologic Consultants of Southeastern Pennsylvania in Bala Cynwyd. Managing the company’s daily financial operations, Jha has leveraged opportunities to streamline business processes and strategic planning practices. As a result, she has helped Urologic Consultants save about $4 million. She also saved the company 20 percent in volume discounts by consolidating vendors. The Philadelphia Business Journal recognized her work by honoring her as a 2017 “CFO of the Year.”

Jha’s open-door policy at work allows mentees to offer any creative ideas they may have. Earlier this year she was selected by the Philadelphia Business Journal to conduct one-on-one mentoring sessions with local businesspeople as part of the nationwide 2018 Mentoring Monday initiative. A former senior financial analyst for Elwyn, Jha was a key figure in the company’s recruiting, training, and mentoring process, helping Elwyn save costs associated with retraining and hiring. While in public accounting, Jha trained and supervised student interns with Elko & Associates Ltd. (now Wipfli LLP).

In addition to helping her mentees with their professional development, Jha continuously works on her own professional development. Having earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Temple University, Jha took five courses toward her master’s degree at Thomas Jefferson University.

Leadership Advice: Decision-making goes well beyond the bottom line.


Krisher_Betsy

Elizabeth E. Krisher, CPA, CGFM

Elizabeth “Betsy” Krisher, CPA, CGFM, is president of Maher Duessel in Pittsburgh, specializing in government and not-for-profit engagements. She serves a wide array of clients, including, community colleges, school districts, environmental and human service agencies, and member-based organizations. Under Krisher’s leadership as both president and managing partner, Maher Duessel has grown to more than 100 employees across six offices in Pennsylvania. Krisher’s career in the accounting profession spans over 30 years.

Krisher formally served as a mentor to several of her colleagues within Maher Duessel, and in 2014 established a formal mentoring program that would develop employees’ technical and leadership skills. Outside of the firm, Krisher is a leader in her community. A former president of PICPA’s Pittsburgh Chapter, she has served on the organization’s Education and Nominations committees. She is a current member of AICPA’s Not-for-Profit Section and chair of the organization’s Tax Resource Panel. Krisher has conducted numerous speaking engagements for the PICPA and the AICPA, in addition to other organizations such as the National Business Institute, Association of Fundraising Professionals Western Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, and the Local Government Academy.

Other community organizations with whom Krisher is actively involved include the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania (and the Local Operating Board for Westmoreland County), where she serves on the board of directors and executive committee, as well as the Executive Leadership Council where she serves as treasurer. Krisher is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh’s XXII class, and has earned an advanced single-audit certification from the AICPA.

Leadership Advice: No one is ever going to care about your career as much as you will, so own it. Decide what success means to you, and then go make it happen.


Lisa Minniti-Soska

Lisa M. Minniti-Soska, CPA

Lisa M. Minniti-Soska, CPA, is a partner with Mazars USA LLP in Fort Washington. As head of the construction group in the firm’s real estate practice, Minniti-Soska serves general construction, construction management, and specialty contractor clients. She is also a member of Mazars USA’s internal inspection team, and provides expert reviews of technical content within the firm. Minniti-Soska uses her construction industry expertise outside of the firm as well, serving as a member of PICPA’s Construction Industry, the National Association of Women in Construction, and the Construction Financial Management Association. She has published articles on industry issues and trends in publications such as Construction Today and the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Minniti-Soska regularly advocates for both professional development and change in Mazars USA. She has assisted the firm in implementing alternative work schedules, and hosts counseling dinners that provide firm partners with opportunities to help staff build their careers. A graduate of Mazars Leadership Academy, she is cochampion of the Women@Mazars Committee for the Pennsylvania office, which supports the development and retention of women leaders within the firm. Minniti-Soska is revered as a mentor not only for advocating professional development, but also for fostering a sense of community in the workplace.

Other organizations with which Minniti-Soska is affiliated include Women Organized Against Rape, where she serves as a board member; Cradles to Crayons; Philabundance; the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others. Recognized for her work in and out of the accounting profession, she was honored as one of Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2016 Women of Distinction.

Leadership Advice: Future leaders should be courageous! They should go outside their comfort zone, embrace challenges, and set goals that stretch their skills.


Stephanie Stohon

Stephanie A. Stohon, CPA, CFE, CFF

Stephanie A. Stohon, CPA, CFE, CFF, is a shareholder and quality control officer with Wessel & Company in Johnstown. She is a member of the firm’s human resource committee, and is well-versed in government and nonprofit accounting, auditing, and consulting, as well as compliance and internal control analysis. She works with several nonprofit and government clients, which include various school districts, Cambria County, the City of Johnstown, and various departments of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Stohon also serves on PICPA’s Not For Profit Committee.

Stohon advocates for the advancement of women in the workplace. She serves as a mentor for women at Wessel & Company, and in 2014 started the firm’s first Women’s Leadership Group to provide mentoring/coaching, career advancement, and networking relationship support. She also developed an internal leadership program for all firm members to help them increase staff knowledge, leadership skills, and personal confidence. Outside of the firm, Stohon serves as a founding member on Women United’s Steering Committee, as well as a founding board member and treasurer of the Learning Lamp, among other nonprofit organizations. She has authored multiple articles on topics such as fraud and identity theft for publications that include the Tribune-Democrat and the Pennsylvania CPA Journal.

Stohon’s achievements in the profession have earned her several awards and designations. She was recognized as the National Women’s Association’s Woman of the Year for 2012-2013 and received the YMCA Tribute to Women Award for Business Leadership in 2007.

Leadership Advice: While knowledge may be the cornerstone to long-term career success, good relationships are the cornerstone to long-term happiness. Take time to mentor others because you never know the difference you can make in someone’s career.