Accounting Department News Detail

Cheryl Yawman ’86 Named Outstanding Accounting Alumna of the Year at St. John Fisher College


Cheryl Yawman ’86 Named Outstanding Accounting Alumna of the Year at St. John Fisher College

St. John Fisher College held its annual Accounting Awards Banquet on March 21, and announced that Cheryl Lynn Yawman ’86 was named the 2013 Outstanding Accounting Alumna of the Year. Yawman is the Practice Director of Accounting and Finance at Cochran, Cochran and Yale in Rochester.

The award recognizes an accounting alumnus or alumna for achievement in the following three categories: noteworthy career achievement, significant humanitarian effort, and outstanding contribution to the Fisher community.

Yawman joined Cochran, Cochran and Yale in 2005. Prior to that, she was the Recruiting Manager/Division Director at Robert Half International for 14 years. She was also Auditor for May Department Stores, Inc. from 1988-1990, and served as Auditor for Deloitte and Touche, LLP, for two years immediately following her graduation from Fisher.

In her role at Cochran, Cochran and Yale, she oversees the placement of accounting and finance professionals in new career positions. She has extensive experience in the successful identification, evaluation, and recruitment of top talent in the accounting, finance, tax, treasury, and audit disciplines across numerous industry segments. She was awarded Recruiter of the Year for three years in a row in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and then again in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, she received the “40 Under 40” Award from the Rochester Business Journal. And in 2010, she was featured in the Democrat and Chronicle’s “Women to Watch” feature. In addition, she was named a finalist in the 2012 Athena Awards by the Women’s Council of the Rochester Business Alliance.

Yawman is the President of the New York State Society of CPAs Rochester Chapter, and is Past President of the Institute of Management Accountants. She wears several hats for the Sojourner House, sitting on the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee as Board Secretary, and serving as the organization’s Celebrate Sojourner Auction Chair, Board Governance Chair, and as a member of the Major Gifts Committee. In addition, she is on the Stewardship Council and Finance Committee for the Catholic Diocese of Rochester, Alumnae Association Board Member for Nazareth Schools, and team manager for Eastside Girls Basketball. She also serves on Fisher’s Accounting/Finance/MIS Department Advisory Board and Accounting Alumni Society Executive Committee, and has been a long-time volunteer as a mock interviewer for the Career Center and Student Mentoring Committee member.

The College also awarded the Rising Star Award to five alumni at the banquet. The award is given to alumni who have found success early in their careers, and honorees are chosen based on career achievements, involvement with both the community and the College, and demonstrated potential for even greater success as their accounting careers mature. The winners included: Michelle Bellonte ’06, Nicholas Bennett ’05, Erin Hiller ’05, Aimee Jozic ’05, and Jennifer Roberts ’05.

Accounting Awards Banquet

The Rising Star Award recipients (L to R):Michelle Bellonte ’06, Jennifer Roberts ’05, Aimee Jozic ’05, Erin Hiller ’05, and Nicholas Bennett ’05.

Bellonte joined PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Rochester upon graduating from Fisher. She is a licensed certified public accountant (CPA) in New York, and also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Currently, she is a Manager at PwC in the Banking and Capital Markets group of the New York City office. Her accounting experience is specialized in financial services audits, including public financial advisors and broker dealers with clients such as Macquarie Bank, GFI Group, and National Financial Partners Advisors. Belonte is an active member of the recruiting and community service teams within the Banking and Capital Markets practice. In 2007, she received the PwC Shining Star Award, and was named PwC Coach of the Quarter in 2010. Bellonte spent the summer of 2011 on a short-term tour to Australia working in the Sydney PwC office in their banking practice.

Bennett is an Audit & Financial Advisory Manager of Financial Institutions at Crowe Horwath, LLP in New York City. In his position, he plays an active role in campus recruiting, business development, and as a coaching and performance manager. He has over seven years of public accounting experience, providing audit and consulting services in the financial services industry, and has also worked in the areas of governmental and not-for-profit audits. Prior to joining Crowe Horwath, he was a Senior Associate with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Throughout his career, he has focused on providing audit and consulting services to financial institutions; including publicly-traded bank holding companies and financial holding companies; non-publicly-traded banks, thrifts, bank holding companies, and financial holding companies; broker-dealers, mortgage companies, and registered investment advisors; and Commercial Fortune 500 companies. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State CPA Society, the Florida Institute of CPAs, the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute, the South Florida CFA Society, and the Financial Managers Society.

Hiller is a Tax Manager at PwC in Rochester, and has been with the firm since her graduation in 2005. She is also an enrolled agent with the IRS, and serves as the Upstate National Lead for the PwC xTax Competition, which is the firm’s national case competition designed to give accounting students experience and exposure to real world tax issues while teaming with other students and faculty at their school. In her free time, Hiller works closely with youth softball programs.

Jozic is currently a Manager at The Bonadio Group. She began her career in public accounting with firm in September 2005 after graduating Magna Cum Laude from Fisher. She specializes in providing auditing services for a variety of clients with a primary focus on tax-exempt organizations, specifically healthcare and higher education. She has provided services to numerous organizations and has experience in a variety of engagements, ranging from financial statement and single audits to cost report certifications to informational tax return preparation. She resides in Victor with her husband, Dejan, a 2004 Fisher graduate, and their two children.

Roberts got an early start in public accounting when she joined Insero & Company in her junior year as an intern, and spent the next two years balancing a full student load while also working in the company’s audit department. After an impressive internship, Insero offered Roberts a full-time position before her graduation, and she officially joined the company in August 2005. She was placed on the Firm’s “fast-track program” for promotion to her current role of Manager early on in her career. Roberts has experience managing all aspects of audits/reviews for a wide range of clients from small privately held businesses to the large publically traded companies in the Northeast including real estate, manufacturing, employee benefit plans, and compliance audits. She is a licensed CPA in New York State, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. As a result of her infectious and positive personality, Roberts was tapped to take a lead role in the firm’s on-campus recruiting process and is a member of the Training Committee and the IT Committee. She has been involved in Women’s Build Habit for Humanity as a team leader for the past three years, and also was a volunteer for the Tour de Teddi around Keuka Lake. She resides in Irondequoit.

Since 1990, St. John Fisher College has presented the Outstanding Accounting Alumnus of the Year Award to 23 alumni. The awards are sponsored by the Department of Accounting and Finance in the School of Business.

Accounting Awards Banquet

Dr. Bain makes remarks.

Accounting Awards Banquet

The crowd included alumni, faculty, staff, and current students as well.

Accounting Awards Banquet

The Yawman Family.

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