Alumni of the Fox School of Business at Temple University gathered with business leaders and guests at the Second Annual Accounting Achievement Awards on May 2, 2018, to celebrate their shared Fox School heritage and honor five noteworthy graduates of the Department of Accounting.
The annual event provided a great opportunity for the Fox School community to connect with fellow alumni from classes spanning 50 years, as well as make new industry contacts, meet current faculty and students, and learn about the recent achievements of the Department of Accounting at The Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.
Among the nearly 250 guests were five alumni who received awards reflective of their impressive professional careers and civic service in the Greater Philadelphia region:
- Rising Star Award — Kapish Vanvaria, Senior Manager, EY
- Public Accounting Award — Robert W. Fesnak, CPA, Partner, RSM LLP
- Corporate Award — Kathleen C. Bock, CPA, Principal and Head of The Americas Region, The Vanguard Group
- Community Service Award — Harris L. Devor, CPA, Partner, Friedman LLP
- Lifetime Achievement Award — Wayne O. Leevy, CPA, Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer, StoneRidge Investment Partners
The excitement of the honorees was obvious and their positive energy contagious as each expressed appreciation for the Fox School and enthusiasm in being recognized by their alma mater.
“There are many successful and accomplished accountants who are Temple Alumni. Many of them are sitting here tonight. So I am honored and thrilled to have received this award,” stated Robert Fesnak, Partner for RSM LLP as he reflected upon receiving the 2018 Fox School of Business Accounting Achievement Award for Public Accounting.
“I am ecstatic about being honored by Temple University with the Community Service Award because, for more than any other reason, it has little to do with accounting and everything to do with Community Service,” stated Harris Devor as he received his award. “If I had one thing to tell those young people here tonight, it would be that your achieving success does not make it optional, but instead obligates you to help those who never had those same opportunities, that is, if you believe that we are here in this world to achieve justice for all. Think about the impact you can have on those who cannot advocate for themselves, like low income seniors, like those frightfully short on food, clothing and shelter. Never, never forget that obligation.”
In addition to engaging and reconnecting with alumni and friends, attendees also supported the next generation of accounting professionals by raising funds for the Accounting Achievement Awards Term Scholarship Fund, a scholarship created to support high-achieving accounting students in pursuing their undergraduate and Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degrees.
Eric Press, Chairman of the Department of Accounting, noted that “Several of the honorees at the Second Annual Accounting Achievement Awards made it a point to ask the audience to work for social justice and equity causes. Not only Harris Devor, but Kathleen Bock and Wayne Leevy shared their experiences as gender and racial minorities, and emphasized how satisfying it was to receive recognition for career-long efforts from the Fox School. Another aspect of the event was the opportunity to reconnect with lost friends, faculty, and acquaintances.”
The Third Annual Accounting Achievement Awards is slated to take place in Spring 2019. The nomination process will open in Fall 2018.
There is still time to support the Accounting Achievement Awards Term Scholarship Fund. You can contribute online at www.giving.temple.edu/givetoaccounting
Learn more below about this year’s winners and their connection and affinity for the Fox School and click their names to watch videos.
2018 ACCOUNTING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS
Kapish Vanvaria received the Rising Star Award, presented to a public or private accounting professional who has demonstrated leadership skills and a commitment to the Fox School. Vanvaria, BBA ’09, is excelling as a senior manager in EY’s advisory practice in Philadelphia.
Robert Fesnak, CPA, received the Public Accounting Award, presented to a professional for outstanding success in the public accounting sector. Fesnak, BBA ’78 and MBA ’90, is a partner and management consulting leader with RSM in Philadelphia; furthermore, he has served as a board member for several companies and organizations, including the Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies, where he is currently a member of the board of directors.
Kathleen Bock, CPA, received the Corporate Award, presented to an executive-level professional who has reached a level of success in the non-public accounting profession. This individual has primary responsibility for the financial statements or operations of their organization and has demonstrated technical and/or industry expertise. Bock, BBA ’86, is a member of The Vanguard Group’s International Leadership Team and Head of the Americas Region, where she is responsible for all aspects of The Vanguard Group’s businesses in Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Harris Devor, CPA, received the Community Service Award for outstanding contributions to the accounting profession and local communities. Devor, BBA ’73, is a partner at Friedman LLP. He has served both the Philadelphia and Jewish community in various leadership positions including: President, Gershman YM/YWHA; Board of Directors, Senior Law Center; Chairman, Greater Philadelphia American Israel Public Affairs Committee (“AIPAC”) Leadership Council; and member of AIPAC National Council, Board of Trustees; Federation of Jewish Agencies.
Wayne Leevy, CPA, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to a professional who has advanced the accounting profession through their sustained leadership in public accounting, business, or academic communities. Leevy, BBA ’66 and MBA ’97, has had a distinguished career in the Philadelphia area, demonstrating professional excellence as a managing partner and vice chairman of Mitchell & Titus LLP and currently as the chief financial officer and chief operating officer of StoneRidge Investment Partners LLC, all while actively participating and holding leadership positions in both civil service and the accounting community.