The Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants (LCPA) recently honored 11 CPAs for their remarkable contributions to the CPA profession and the community. The awards were announced at the non-profit professional association’s Annual Meeting, July 18.
Bridget Kaigler, CPA, CGMA, CMA, was honored with the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest honor for public service leadership, impact, involvement, and innovation of a Louisiana CPA. She has served in various volunteer roles throughout the Greater Baton Rouge community, including Vice-President for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge. She is a 2018 Great Futures Honoree for Boys & Girls Club of Metro Louisiana. In 2020, she was honored by CareerMastered Magazine for outstanding leadership, an example of excellence for aspiring leaders. Ms. Kaigler has assisted with special projects with other non-profits in the Baton Rouge area such as Junior Achievement of Greater Baton Rouge and faith-based ministry groups. She also is the founder and president of Bringing Leadership Back, LLC, and is a frequent speaker dedicated to inspiring future leaders. Ms. Kaigler is Director of Tax at Amedisys, Inc.
Daryl Purpera, CPA, received a Special Recognition Award, acknowledging his 11 years of service as Louisiana Legislative Auditor. Under his leadership, his office focused on improving communications with the Legislature, providing information to officials and the public in a meaningful manner, and offering advice and assistance to state and local government auditees. He now serves as pastor of the First Baptist Church Central in Baton Rouge and resides in Pride, LA.
Layne McDaniel, CPA, CGMA, received a Special Recognition Award for his enthusiasm and dedication to bolstering the financial literacy of all ages, especially those in under-served communities. He is a key leader and volunteer with Junior Achievement of Greater Baton Rouge, giving classroom presentations and mentoring students on budgeting, entrepreneurship, and business skills. He also is a founding member and supporter of the Louisiana Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Finance. Mr. McDaniel has his own CPA firm in Baton Rouge.
Brandon Lagarde, JD, CPA, received the Distinguished Service Award to recognize his persistent and unwavering service to the LCPA and its members. Mr. Lagarde is a frequent speaker on a variety of tax topics, generously sharing his extensive knowledge with CPAs and other professionals to help them better navigate the complex field of tax law. When needed, he willingly steps up to testify on behalf of the Society in legislative sessions. He has been key to helping LCPA build critical relationships with state and local tax agencies. Mr. Lagarde is a Director with Postlethwaite & Netterville where he leads the firm's Tax Services Group.
Vanessa Claiborne, CPA, of New Orleans, was selected to receive the 2021 Women to Watch Experienced Leader Award. Jointly presented by the LCPA and the American Institute of CPAs, the award recognizes women who demonstrate characteristics that have enabled them to become inspirational leaders in the profession and in their communities. Mrs. Claiborne is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Chaffe & Associates in New Orleans.
William “Ted” Mason III, CPA, LaPorte CPAs & Business Advisors president and CEO, has been honored with the Life Membership Award. The award recognizes his extensive record of achievement to benefit the future of CPAs throughout Louisiana. For over 38 years, Mr. Mason has been a visionary leader, champion of innovation and professional development, and a mentor to many CPAs throughout their careers.
Darla Saux, CPA, CGMA, of Gretna, was honored with a Special Recognition Award for her eight years of dedicated service as the Executive Director of the State Board of CPAs of Louisiana, acknowledging her influential work protecting the public and upholding the integrity of the CPA designation. Now retired, Mrs. Saux continues to be involved in the profession by serving as a volunteer on several LCPA committees.
Robin LeBlanc, CPA, of Broussard, LA, was selected to receive the 2021 Women to Watch Emerging Leader Award. Jointly presented by the LCPA and the American Institute of CPAs, the award recognizes women who demonstrate characteristics that have enabled them to become inspirational leaders in the profession and in their communities. A successful, young entrepreneur and business woman, Ms. LeBlanc is passionate about education and mentorship, whether in her firm or in the community and amongst the various organizations with which she volunteers. She operates her CPA firm in Broussard.
Christopher Barr, CPA, CGMA, of Ruston, was selected to receive the Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry Award for utilizing his comprehensive skills and competencies as a CPA for the effective performance of a company. Mr. Barr is President and CEO of T.L. James & Company, Inc. in Ruston. He led the charge to enhance his company's technology infrastructure and implemented a cloud-based system, which proved essential during COVID, enabling employees to work remotely and business to continue. His internal catchphrase "Team James" is used by employees company-wide when working together on a project – fostering inclusivity. He also serves on the LCPA's Career Awareness Committee, promoting the CPA profession and scholarship opportunities.
Tim Green, CPA, of Monroe, was honored with a Special Recognition Award. This award is presented to CPAs who have demonstrated outstanding, unselfish service in a particular area or field within the profession. Mr. Green is a partner in the CPA firm of Allen, Green & Williamson, LLP. His exemplary leadership and support was instrumental to the establishment and continued success of the University of Louisiana Monroe's Business Academy Program. This innovative program encourages and nurtures Northeast Louisiana high school students interested in accounting and other business-related fields while allowing them to earn college credit in the process. Chase Bank provided the seed money along with Delta Regional Authority providing a $1.1 million grant that facilitates the expansion of the Business Academy Program into all high schools of Northeast LA for the upcoming school year. Classes were provided this past year for all public high schools in the City of Monroe, Louisiana. The Monroe Chamber of Commerce, the City of Monroe School System and The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) were the driving force in the implementation of this program.
David Johnston, CPA, CGMA, CVA, CFF, ABV, also was honored with a Special Recognition Award. An LCPA member for over 50 years, Mr. Johnston's years of dedicated service as a member of the LCPA Political Action Committee Board of Trustees and his efforts in educating legislators and legislative candidates on complex tax issues were vital to advocating for Louisiana CPAs and the clients and businesses the serve. In 2017, he received the Lifetime Membership Award honoring his influential service as a member and chairman of numerous Society committees and conferences. Now retired, Mr. Johnston resides in West Monroe.