Hamm honored as Accountant of the Year

Department also lauds outstanding students at annual awards banquet

Kathleen M. Hamm, BS ’85

Kathleen M. Hamm, BS ’85, founder and managing partner of Pearl Advisory Group, has been named the 2021 Accountant of the Year by the UB School of Management. 

Established in 1984, the Accountant of the Year award honors an alumnus who has been successful in the accounting profession and made significant contributions to the school and its students. Hamm accepted the honor at the department’s annual awards banquet, held virtually this spring due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Hamm has led a distinguished and varied career as a global executive, entrepreneur, lawyer, regulator, public policy advisor and board member. Her expertise ranges from emerging technologies, fintech and cybersecurity to financial regulation, control infrastructures and risk management.

Currently, Hamm advises startups and innovative ventures and serves on several boards, including a financial institution, a new stock exchange focused on long-term value creation and a startup data privacy platform. She also has served as a senior official at the U.S. Treasury Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and as a board member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

A dedicated alumna, Hamm is a member of the School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council and recently created the Kathleen M. Hamm, BS ’85 Accounting Fellowship, an endowment that will enhance opportunities in accounting for UB students who are members of historically underrepresented communities and marginalized groups, including women. Hamm hopes her fellowship, which will be awarded beginning in fall 2022, will encourage School of Management students to explore emerging technologies and data analytics, and use their degree to tackle the most pressing issues of our time. 

Recognizing excellence, remotely

At the virtual awards ceremony, the department also recognized the 2020 Accountant of the Year—John Galiski, BS/MBA ’92, director at AlixPartners LLP—because last year’s banquet was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, many outstanding accounting students were honored for their scholastic excellence, leadership skills and community service. The students and the awards they received were:

  • Noelle Ortiz and Matthew Paul Johnson, the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) Award of Honor, given to a graduating master’s student and undergraduate, respectively, in recognition of scholastic excellence
  • Dilynn Kessler, the NYSSACPA John T. Kennedy Memorial Award, given to a junior accounting major in recognition of scholastic excellence
  • Rebekah Reid, the Lisa Friedman Memorial Award, presented to a female graduating senior majoring in accounting who is highly regarded by her peers for her integrity and potential contributions to the profession
  • Katie Kriner, the Eddy Lin Memorial Award, which recognizes a graduating senior focusing on a career with a mid-size public accounting firm, who actively mentors others, exhibits scholastic excellence and a passion for learning, and has a caring and fun attitude
  • Kriner also received the University at Buffalo Accounting Association (UBAA) Michael S. Dockery Memorial Senior Award, given to a graduating UBAA member who has provided exemplary service to UBAA, displayed exceptional leadership and contributed in a substantial way to the School of Management
  • Milad Ghanatios, the Federation of Schools of Accountancy Award, presented to a student in the fifth year of a 150-hour program based on academic performance and service
  • Sydney Merritt, the PwC Emerging Leader Award, recognizing a role model in the Zeta Theta chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, who demonstrates inclusive and collaborative thinking, a positive attitude, and a drive for professional and personal development
  • Jason Hughes, the David Kim Memorial Award, presented to a Beta Alpha Psi member who promotes inclusivity by exhibiting strong leadership, a willingness to help, an outgoing nature and an uplifting spirit

The department also recognized the following scholarship winners:

  • Atira Boos, Jiamei Li, Jacky Lin, Mary Lin, Daniel Mascaro and Audrey Parks, MS Accounting Scholarships
  • Jeremy Miller, Bradley Pacer and Danielle Waykoff, Department of Accounting and Law Undergraduate Scholarships
  • Waykoff also received a scholarship from the Paul W. Sweet Memorial Health Care Finance Student Financial Assistance Fund
  • Katie Kriner, the Keith M. Stolzenburg Fellowship
  • Donell Carter, Benny Chow and Alex Flores, the Gloria and Oscar Goldstein Memorial Fellowship
  • Carter also received the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students
  • Andrew Hwang, the Judith and Allan Felong Trinkwald Endowed Fellowship for Accounting and Law
  • Carly Linsner and Jie Lin, the Victor and Joan Brown Accounting Master’s Scholarship
  • Jonathan Archer, the PCAOB Scholarship