News release

Black CPA Centennial's 40 Under 40 Award Winners Include RSM's Kimberly Thomas

Oct 25, 2021
Oct 25, 2021
0 min. read

Kimberly Bartok, National Public Relations Leader,, 212.372.1239
Andreia DeVries, National Public Relations Manager,, 954.449.8096
for media use only 

In 1921, 25 years after the first certified public accountant (CPA) certificate was granted in the United States, John W. Cromwell Jr. became the first Black CPA, opening a door through which thousands of Black accountants would eventually pass. With 2021 marking the 100th anniversary of Cromwell’s landmark achievement, the Black CPA Centennial—a year-long national awareness campaign recognizing Black CPAs in the U.S. and pushing for more progress to be made in achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the CPA profession—is proud to recognize 40 outstanding Black CPAs with its special 40 Under 40 Black CPA Award. The list includes Kimberly Thomas, a Fort Lauderdale-based tax manager with RSM US LLP (“RSM”) – the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market.  

“Speaking on behalf of the Black CPA Centennial’s organizing partners and the award selection committee, we’re extremely excited to recognize the next generation of Black CPAs who’ll build on the success of those who came before them,” said Todd Shapiro, president and CEO of the Illinois CPA Society.

These remarkable individuals are active mentors and leaders, untiring advocates, driven changemakers, and an inspiration to others. They demonstrate determination, innovation and professional success. Building upon the leaders who paved the way for others, these 40 award recipients are serving their communities and advancing diversity in the profession.

“It’s our hope that recognizing the success of this diverse group of accomplished young CPAs will help drive momentum, encouragement, and support for others to continue to overcome adversity and inspire positive change in their personal and professional communities,” said Shapiro.

“We are so proud of Kimberly for being recognized on this prestigious list with other outstanding Black accounting professionals from across the country,” said E.J. Nedder, national tax leader with RSM US LLP. “On behalf of our 13,000+ colleagues in the U.S. and in Canada, I’d like to congratulate Kimberly on this significant professional achievement.”  

“I’ve had the pleasure of serving as Kimberly’s mentor in our AACE (African American and Canadian Excellence) employee network group,” said Jerry Warrick, principal – technology consulting with RSM US LLP. “She is a dedicated colleague and client server, who is so deserving of this special recognition.”

“I am humbled to be included on this list of influencers in the accounting profession,” said Thomas. “It’s an honor and inspires me to continue to strive for excellence while serving our firm’s middle market clients.”

This select group of 40 Under 40 Black CPA Award winners will be formally honored at the virtual Black CPA Centennial Celebration on Nov. 12, 2021. All are welcome to participate in this special event to collectively honor the past, celebrate the progress, and build on the future of the Black CPA community. Event proceeds and donations will go to the Black CPA Centennial Fund and support national scholarships and other programs dedicated to paving the way for Black individuals interested in pursuing the CPA credential.

To learn more about the award winners and to register for the celebration, visit


RSM is the leading provider of professional services to the middle market. The clients we serve are the engine of global commerce and economic growth, and we are focused on developing leading professionals and services to meet their evolving needs in today’s ever-changing business landscape. Our purpose is to instill confidence in a world of change, empowering our clients and people to realize their full potential.

RSM US LLP is the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent assurance, tax and consulting firms with 57,000 people in 120 countries. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and/or connect with us on LinkedIn.