Business/ Economic Development/Finance, CEO/President/Executive Director/Head of School, Membership Organizations and Associations, Nonprofit and Social Impact

President & Chief Executive Officer

  • Illinois CPA Society
  • Chicago, IL

This position has been filled.

About The Illinois CPA Society

Founded in 1903, the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS or the Society), with nearly 23,000 members, is one of the largest state CPA societies in the nation. In existence for over 100 years, the Society’s objective is to enhance the value of the CPA profession through the strategic initiatives of education, information, advocacy, and connections.

The Society is poised to tackle leading challenges within the profession today and in the future. ICPAS is the only professional association serving CPAs in Illinois and plays a prominent role nationally in guiding and shaping the future of the profession.

ICPAS delivers its mission through several primary vehicles, including:

Education: The Society offers conferences, courses, continuing education, and chapter programs throughout the year both in-person and through virtual learning. The SUMMIT, a premier event for accounting and finance professionals, is held annually in August and draws CPAs from throughout the country.

Information: The Society strives to keep its members up to date on issues impacting them, their business, and the profession. ICPAS regularly issues special reports addressing the most pressing issues of the day such as the CPA pipeline and the future relevance of the CPA profession. Insight Magazine, and its family of supporting electronic publications, aims to encourage and inspire Illinois’ accounting, business, and finance professionals to create positive change in their professional and personal lives and communities through relevant, meaningful, and insightful thought leadership, news, and information. An additional goal of the magazine is to help its diverse readers excel in their careers through content crafted to help professionals at all stages of their careers engage in navigating the trends and challenges impacting the CPA profession and business communities they serve.

Advocacy: ICPAS is committed to having members’ voices heard through the Government Relations office based in Springfield that directly advocates for the advancement of issues facing CPAs in corporate finance and public accounting currently and in the future. In addition to state legislation and working closely with members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation on accounting issues, the Government Relations team closely monitors regulatory issues and works with state and federal agencies on regulatory issues and compliance.

Additionally, the Society partners with The Endowment Fund of Illinois, which is focused on scholarship and outreach programs designed to support diverse and deserving accounting students and future Illinois CPAs, effectively protecting the future of the profession. Among the Illinois CPA Society’s diversity initiatives is the Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparation Program. This award-winning, annual program prepares students from diverse backgrounds with key skills needed to obtain and succeed in accounting internships through an intense, two-day, all expenses paid program. Participants receive resume advice, interview coaching, opportunities for onsite interviews, and a $500 scholarship.

Connections: Members have access to a wide network of professionals within ICPAS. The Society hosts live events and virtual spaces that foster knowledge exchange, content curation, idea incubation, and professional networking. From speaking and volunteering opportunities, to job boards, and young professionals and women’s events, the Society provides many ways for members to connect within its network.

The Illinois CPA Society oversees the following additional organizations:

CPAs for the Public Interest

A 501(c)(3) charitable organization that connects pro-bono financial, tax, and accounting volunteer professionals to community service projects.

Illinois CPAs for Political Action

A non-partisan state political action committee that directs contributions to state-level elected officials to further the goals of ICPAS, its members, and their employers.

CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois

A 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1998 by Illinois CPA Society members, the Society partners with the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois to ensure ongoing funding for scholarship and outreach programs designed to support individuals who choose accounting as a career and want to achieve the CPA credential. The Fund currently has over $5.7 million in assets and awards approximately $235,000 in scholarships and support to over 250 individuals annually. The Endowment fund has its own Board of Directors, half of which are approved by the Society’s Board, and the CEO serves as an ex-officio member of the Endowment’s Board.

Headquartered in Chicago, IL, the Society has a $9 million budget and a 46 person staff. It is governed by an active Board of Directors dedicated to the future of the profession.

For more information on the Illinois CPA Society, please visit ICPAS Website.

The Opportunity

The next President & CEO will build upon over a century of excellence in supporting the CPA profession in Illinois and beyond. Working collaboratively with the Board, staff, members, and partners, the CEO will lead ICPAS in setting a clear vision for the Society’s next chapter, developing a strategic approach to maximize its impact and value to membership.

The Society is seeking a leader who will elevate the future course of the organization, which includes raising the Society’s visibility; promoting programs and initiatives with partners; diversifying revenue streams; delivering high-caliber and engaging experiences and resources for members; and fostering ongoing membership growth and engagement. While the profession is facing a declining pipeline, ICPAS is well-positioned for growth and impact given the creativity, resilience and dedication of Society’s staff, Board of Directors, membership, and partners.

The CEO will serve as an influential voice, locally and nationally, regarding issues impacting CPAs and the accounting profession. This executive will attract, lead, and retain an exceptional staff that will work as a team to retain the Society’s status as a premiere membership organization and advocate for CPAs nationally. A transparent and visionary leader, the CEO will oversee the organization’s operations, culture, values, talent, and financial performance consistent with the Society’s strategic goals as it continues to grow and evolve.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

A Strategic & Visionary Leader

A visionary leader, the CEO will be a solutions-oriented and inspirational executive, capable of offering creative ideas to enhance and diversify the Society’s offerings and programs to address the changing needs of its members and the profession overall. The CEO will be adept at guiding a multi-dimensional organization and articulating its value to a diverse set of stakeholders with a variety of perspectives and needs. The CEO will use ingenuity, perseverance, and a “roll up your sleeves” approach to leadership and will not shy away from bold decisions that will result in positive change.

Leveraging the subject matter expertise of the Society’s members, Board, and staff, the next CEO will partner with ICPAS’ constituents to refine and implement the strategic plan, direct all operations and activities, and implement policies, programs, and procedures in a manner that is fiscally responsible and consistent with the organization’s values and strategic goals. This CEO will prioritize efforts to build a diverse and inclusive membership and workforce, build upon the Society’s strategies to create a pipeline for equitable leadership within the field, and invest in programming that promotes diversity and inclusion in the industry, serving as a role model for other state CPA societies and professional associations.

An Experienced Manager & Organizational Leader

The CEO is a savvy executive with strong operational and financial management experience. This leader has a track record of sound financial planning, oversight, and accountability, with the ability to clearly communicate financial status to the Board.

The CEO will understand and implement best management practices and planning, ensuring that overall day-to-day operations are aligned with strategic goals. This leader will be effective in diversifying revenue streams, delivering high-caliber and engaging products, and growing and further engaging a membership body. This leader will bring an excellent track record of building and leading high-performing teams to achieve quantifiable outcomes, while encouraging the growth and development of staff. The CEO will demonstrate the ability to lead with transparency, humility, respect, empathy, and compassion. They will be skilled at active listening and learning, with a deep belief in fostering a collaborative, creative, and productive culture.

The CEO will have a rich understanding of and deep belief in the power of celebrating and advancing equity, inclusion, and diversity at all levels, internally and externally. The CEO will strive to achieve organizational impact by recognizing and leveraging individual strengths and teamwork to meet organizational goals. This executive will recognize and prioritize equity and inclusion as a strategic business imperative, and will have the ability to attract, retain, and develop diverse staff, members, and partners.

A Strong Relationship Builder & Collaborator

This leader is a persuasive and authentic communicator with the ability to convene the Society’s constituents, develop strong working relationships with key leaders, and leverage those relationships for the organization and membership. The CEO will demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence with a track record of quickly establishing credibility and trust with new and existing constituents. A partner to the Board, this leader will be a highly visible member of the community, representing ICPAS and the profession locally and nationally. The CEO will steward relationships with critical partner organizations, policymakers, media, and other key external stakeholders. This executive will be an authentic and proactive leader who excels at achieving consensus among differing opinions.

The CEO is a strong collaborator, skilled at listening to and learning from all constituents that comprise the ICPAS ecosystem. The CEO understands the importance of a robust partnership with the Board and possesses the knowledge and ability to ensure the Board is achieving its primary responsibilities of excellence in governance.

A Passionate Ambassador

The next CEO brings a sincere passion for the Society’s mission and genuine excitement about the future of the profession. This leader brings a proven ability to quickly develop an understanding of a profession and its needs. They will work with stakeholders to understand the forces, trends, and challenges impacting current CPAs, the next generation of CPAs, and the CPA profession as a whole. It is imperative that the CEO models a leadership style that stays true to the values of the organization and motivates others to action. The CEO is an ambitious, yet humble, leader dedicated to building a sense of shared purpose and engagement in the future of the Society and profession. Moreover, the ideal candidate is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics, and values; someone who is authentic and can be trusted without reservation.


Illinois CPA Society is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages expressions of interest from people of color, individuals living with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ leaders.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Corina Benitz and Alison Ranney are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express interest in this role please email All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing an accessible search process for all, including individuals living with disabilities. If you need assistance expressing interest online or any aspect of the recruitment process, please email

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit


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