Number of firsts mark 2010 School of Accounting Awards Banquet.

This spring, for the first time, the School of Accounting combined its semi-annual awards ceremonies into one festive evening. Members of two student organizations at Florida International University (FIU)—Beta Alpha Psi and ALPFA at FIU—were recognized for their achievements and in turn recognized advisors, professors, other supporters and each other for their invaluable contributions.

Each honoree received a plaque.

For the first time, the school named an “Alumnus of the Year,” Alfredo Cepero (MACC ’90, BACC ’88), assurance partner, BDO Seidman, LLP and an “Honorary Alumnus of the Year,” Morrie Hollander, partner, assurance services, MarcumRachlin, a division of Marcum LLP—both members of the school’s advisory board.

For the first time in a long time, a national figure served as the keynote speaker, Robert Harris, chair, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

Left to right: Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam; Robert Harris, keynoter speaker; and Sharon Lassar

Honorees express their gratitude.

“I was very humbled and honored to receive the school’s first annual “Alumnus of the Year,” award,” said Cepero, who founded the Miami chapter of ALPFA, served as its president and was also president of the national organization. “Many of my peers were just as worthy of winning it.”

Alfredo Cepero and Ed Duarte (BACC ’98)

He thanked the administrators, professors and staff of FIU, the College of Business Administration and the School of Accounting “who have always been very supportive of me both during my collegiate and business careers,” he said.

For Hollander, the award “legitimized” his relationship with the college. He has long been an avid supporter, speaking to student organizations or classes and “helps us in any way he can with our initiatives,” according to Sharon Lassar, director, School of Accounting.

Morrie Hollander and Mario De Armas (BACC ’85)

“I was absolutely delighted at becoming an ‘honest alumnus,’” he said. “I have always felt like one and been thought of as one. What I get is awesome and what I give is appreciated.”

In addition, Richard Perez (BBA ’84), who was president of the predecessor to Beta Alpha Psi, was named “Honorary Alumnus” by the organization.

The School of Accounting Awards Banquet drew an enthusiastic crowd of 264, including many students.

For the first time in a long time, the event took place on campus, with a private champagne reception for Harris at the Patricia Frost Museum and the dinner, attended by 264, taking place in the Graham Center Ballrooms.


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