Wyoming Society of CPA's Leadership Academy

July 10, 2017

The Wyoming Society of Certified Public Accounts was formed in the 1920's to unite accountants within Wyoming to promote and maintain professional and moral standards within the accounting field. The goal of the organization is to provide opportunities, resources and dedicated leadership to encourage and challenge its members to succeed as professionals with integrity and objectivity in a dynamic business environment. To do this, many events and speakers are arranged for the society's members, with one of them being a two-day Leadership Academy.

This particular event focused on helping professionals to learn more about themselves and how to use their own strengths to become great leaders. The instructor of the academy was Dan Griffiths who utilized the StrengthsFinder® based leadership methodology. While it's hard for some people to talk about themselves, Dan really pushed attendees to examine themselves and find events within their lives, personal and work-related, in which they have already used their strengths in positive ways. He also had them examine events where they used their strengths in excess and how it could be a bad thing. Not once did the group focus on weaknesses but, rather, celebrated who they are and how they can be successful with the strengths they have.

The three employees who attended the Leadership Academy were: Keegan Hall, audit senior associate, Taylor Ockinga, audit senior associate, and Josh Olson, tax supervisor (pictured from left to right below).


Josh provided positive feedback when asked about the academy, stating "The Leadership Academy was an exceptionally valuable resource. As accountants, we tend to focus on numbers and getting our job done accurately and efficiently. Dan Griffiths, the instructor of the Academy, reminded us that we work alongside other humans with differing personalities, and thus, bringing psychology into the profession can help us become effective leaders. One takeaway that I got from Dan was that every action was formed with a thought, so if we can change our thinking we can change the result we want to achieve. This Academy was also a great way to meet and get to know other young CPA's across the state."

The Society also planned for some leisure and relaxation time outside of the conference setting that included bowling and pizza. This informal time gave the attendees time to bounce ideas off of one another and the opportunity to become friends with other CPAs within the state.

When asked about the two-day event, Keegan stated, "The Leadership Academy was a great opportunity to mingle with our peers from the other firms in the state. The speaker was very good and was able to get attendees to open up and discuss their strengths. We all enjoyed it!"

When asked about her experience, Taylor said, "I had no idea what I was in store for when I attended the Wyoming Society CPA Leadership Academy last month, however, I am beyond grateful to MHP, the partners and management team for recommending me and allowing me to attend. There were many items that I took away during the two-day training and would recommend it to all new young CPA's who are starting to take on more leadership roles within their career. I also loved the opportunity of networking with other CPA's that I may or may not have attended school with at the University of Wyoming. I thought it was awesome to really personally connect with others and feel as if I have made friendships outside of the work setting."


Taylor, Keegan and Josh have been so encouraged by the event that they have brought back the idea to MHP as a whole, so they could sit and discuss with their peers what each of their strengths are, how they can use them to work better in our department and even how they can best use them for the needs of MHP across the board.