FIU Accounting Association at 2007 ALPFA National Convention in Orlando, FL
“South Region Student of the Year.” “ALPFA National Student of the Year.” “South Region Chapter of the Year” award. Regional winners, KPMG case competition.
Those honors accrued to students and alumni from the College of Business Administration during the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting’s (ALPFA) annual convention, held in Orlando, Florida, from August 4-8, 2007. The college boasts the largest student chapter of ALPFA in the country, and 37 of its members—all sponsored by the School of Accounting in the College of Business Administration—were among the 2,400 attendees. Students affiliate with ALPFA through their membership in the FIU Accounting Association (FIU-AA).
Krystel Ramos, Alfredo Cepero, and Zameer Upadhya play leadership roles.
Krystel Ramos (BACC ’07), former president of FIU-AA and now its consulting officer, received the two student awards, with the national one of particular significance.
“It was amazing to gain national recognition, especially when there are so many other deserving candidates,” said Ramos, who has begun the college’s Master of Accounting (MACC) program.
“Ramos has brought innovative ideas to the chapter, excels at delivering her message, and serves as a role model to many ALPFA students.”
—Alfredo Cepero (MACC ’90, BACC ’88), audit partner, BDO Seidman LLP, founder of the Miami chapter of ALPFA, former chapter president, ALPFA president
“I am extremely proud of the leadership Ramos has exhibited,” said Alfredo Cepero (MACC ’90, BACC ’88), audit partner, BDO Seidman LLP, founder of the Miami chapter of ALPFA, former chapter president, and now president of the national organization. “She has brought innovative ideas to the chapter, excels at delivering her message, and serves as a role model to many ALPFA students.”
FIU Accounting Association members enjoying one of many student sessions attended during the convention
Ramos summarized some of those innovations when she spoke at the gala, also acknowledging the many people who have supported her since her experiences at her first ALPFA Miami Gala in 2006.
“Little did I know that I would proceed to initiate an honors society dimension to the Miami student chapter, establish a corporate advisory board for the organization, and bring further accolades to ALPFA in my university,” she said. “The establishment of the ALPFA Miami Honors Society has been the staple of my presidency, as it added further distinction to the ALPFA brand and celebrates Hispanic excellence in the academic world.”
She singled out Zameer Upadhya (BACC ’02), founder of the university’s chapter of ALPFA in 2001, the first student to sit on the national board, current president of the ALPFA Miami Chapter, and South Region Director as a “mentor, friend, and inspiration.”
Upadhya, who was the “ALPFA National Student of the Year” in 2002, accepted this year’s “South Region Chapter of the Year” award for the Miami Chapter.
Fall, 2007 FIU Accounting Association executive board, from left to right: Krystel Ramos, Catalina Zorrilla, Katherine Leal, Yanicel Caceres, Carlos Canasi, Ligia Espinoza, Gilbert Perera, and Damian Penichet
“He has exemplified great leadership in his presidency of the ALPFA Miami Chapter over the past three years, which culminated with this award,” Cepero said. “He is a mentor to many students and professionals and is a very valuable ALPFA national board member.”
Upadhya, whose term as president ends in September, will hand over the reins to yet another graduate, Maria Yip (BACC ’91), who recently joined the college’s School of Accounting Advisory Board.
Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam sits on ALPFA’s corporate advisory board.
College team wins regional KPMG/ALPFA 2007 case study competition.
FIU Accounting Association at welcome reception at the ALPFA convention
FIU-AA members Maxine Anderson, Jovanny Cossio, Alejandro Euse, Syed Ibrahim, Gabriela Manrique, and Shakeel Ramzan participated in the KPMG/ALPFA case competition held during the convention, winning at the regional level at which 27 teams vied for honors. The team competed directly against Baruch College, Georgia State University, St. John’s University, St. Mary’s, University of Southern California, University of Texas–Austin, and UT–Pan American, and advanced to the nationals with San Diego State University.
The case revolved around a pharmaceutical company whose warehouse a competitor burned, after which the company decided to invest the insurance proceeds in the production of a new product. Contestants had to address three specific questions related to accounting, R&D risk, and possible litigation. The team met for about twelve hours weekly starting in February, researching the accounting literature and practicing their presentation.
Euse had competed in 2006 in a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) case competition, traveling to the firm’s corporate headquarters to present at the national level, an experience that helped him in the KPMG case.
“I learned how to listen to teammates and how not to listen to butterflies.”
—Alejandro Euse, KMPG case competitor
“I learned how to listen to teammates and how not to listen to butterflies,” he said.
“They did a great job,” said Upadhya, who, along with Tessie Brunken, adjunct professor, School of Accounting, gave feedback to the students during a practice session between the regionals and the finals the next day.