CISPA honors pioneers and new accountants

The Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants celebrated both newcomers to the profession and pioneers of the industry at the organization’s annual gala event on Saturday at The Ritz-Carlton.

Michael Austin, Paul Harris, Chris Johnson and Paul Sleep, four of the original six members who signed CISPA’s memorandum and articles of association 45 years ago, received the first CISPA Pioneers Awards.

The honorees were joined by four newly qualified accountants, Matthew Hale, Jerrica Merren, Claire O’Dea and Taylor Wright, who recently received their professional designations, and six graduates with Bachelor’s Degrees in Accounting from the International College of the Cayman Islands or the University College of the Cayman Islands: Katherine McLaughlin, Kaye Bodden, Amaris Coe, Marilee Freeman, Angella Genao and Shushan O’Connor.

CISPA president Baron Jacob said the organization will maintain its strategic objectives in terms of supporting growth and development of financial services in general, increasing awareness of CISPA, providing the membership with development and support, and promoting high-quality practice by the accountancy profession locally.

To that effect, CISPA will build on partnerships with international bodies, the Cayman Islands government and Cayman Finance, and provide certified on-demand training courses for its membership. Mr. Jacob also announced the launch of the first accountancy-focused conference for next year.

In addition, CISPA will work with UCCI, ICCI, the Ministry of Education and international bodies “to investigate how we can work towards an accountancy qualification available right here in the Cayman Islands,” he said.

Mr. Jacob reaffirmed the accountancy society’s commitment to supporting the Ministry of Education’s Maths Recovery and Mathematics in Context programs by presenting a check for $25,000 to Minister Tara Rivers.

The donation continues the organization’s financial contribution to the ministry’s mathematics programs over the past two years.

“During that time, 60 primary school teachers and five secondary school teachers completed an intensive training program, providing the tools to identify and support students struggling with mathematics,” he said.

CISPA members already contribute much of their time to provide numeracy support to public schools in Cayman.

“We currently have more than 30 volunteers donating over 1,000 hours working with schoolchildren across public schools in Cayman,” Mr. Jacob said.

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