CIIPA celebrates excellence in accounting at 15th annual awards gala

Thirty-five Caymanians and permanent residents earned accolades for reaching academic milestones in their accounting careers Saturday, 30 Sept. at the 15th annual CIIPA Awards Gala at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

Saneata Smith (Rising Star Award), Kyla MacDonald (Outstanding Member Award) and Layman Daniel “Dan” Scott (Pioneer Award) received special awards in addition to the 35 honourees, who were recognised for having recently earned their bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and/or professional qualification.

“To our new graduates, I encourage you to continue your journey in accountancy,” CIIPA Chief Executive Officer Sheree Ebanks said. “The accounting ecosystem is vast, dynamic, and filled with opportunities for career advancement. The demand for accountants includes areas such as financial services, government, nonprofits, forensics, taxation, technology and data analytics, environmental and sustainability, education, cybersecurity and even artificial intelligence.”

Nearly 350 people celebrated excellence in Cayman Islands accounting in what is believed to be the most attended awards gala since CIIPA — then known as the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants — began holding the event in 2008.

Scott, a former regional managing partner at EY who retired in 2023 after 40 years in the accounting profession, was named the 2023 Pioneer Award winner. He is widely recognised for his contributions in shaping, promoting, advising on and maintaining the Cayman Islands’ funds industry.

“What I always believed was we needed to be pioneers, we needed to innovate,” Scott said. “Whatever today was, we knew tomorrow would change. We needed to be part of that change and embrace it and make sure what we did was relevant and helpful.”

MacDonald, a vice president at Kensington Management Group, was honoured with the Outstanding Member Award after more than a decade working in the profession locally and for her work on CIIPA’s Training Committee.

Smith, a senior manager at PwC, earned the Rising Star Award for her work in the profession after graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in accounting. She started as an associate with PwC in 2016 before earning her CPA in 2018 and eventually being promoted to senior manager.

The 2023 honourees include:

Bachelor’s Degree

Charlene Bellafonte  Leann McLeodRah’Shawn Gardner
Charles Lancaster  Leeroy BoddenRicardo Wright
Diandra McCoy  Maggie BerryRochell Foster
Jhanae Stewart  Michael BartlettTanae Charlery
John TomlinsonMyline ThackerTyra Robinson

Master’s Degree

Cliffany ThompsonJhosta WilliamsLanie Whorms
Dominic OwensJohann WhormsMaya Smith
Gabriela CansellJosue Luis Sanchez-EbanksNinna Bodden

Professional Qualification

Alan Cubas, CPAJoshua Bolland, CPARyan Barnett, CPA
Brittany Scott, CPAMax Pairaudeau, CPAShemina McLaughlin, ACCA
Errol Simms, CPAMaya Smith, CPASimon Butler, CPA
Evy Parker, CPARobyn Downey-Sanderson, ACCA 

“To the honourees – you are the future of the accounting profession both in the Cayman Islands and globally,” KPMG Partner and CIIPA President Rennie Khan said. “Cayman has established itself as a global leader in the accounting profession and financial services industry. It will be your ideas, your collaborations and your tenacity that will guide our industry to new heights.”

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