Accelerate introduces and exposes emerging leaders to various mentoring, networking and leadership opportunities within the profession and community through a professional development and networking program designed to enhance effective and necessary critical skills.

In 2018, the Houston CPA Society will continue this four-week professional development and networking program to enhance the critical skills necessary to be effective within your professions and communities.

“Connecting Future Leaders” Professional Development & Networking Program
CPE Credit: 12 Hours (three hours per classroom instruction)
Class Size: Limited to 12 current and future leaders of the accounting or other business professions

2018 Fall schedule:

Thursday, October 25 - 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.                     

So You’re the Boss Now!

Chuck Cummings


You must learn to become a great leader in order to move forward within your career. Through this course you will gain knowledge on what does it takes to become a great leader. You will also learn how to make a difference in your office and ways to stand out.


Thursday, November 1 - 7:30 a.m  – 10:30 a.m.                    

Personal Branding

David Cook  


This presentation will explain what a personal brand is, how to define and leverage your personal brand for professional growth (create value on the partnership path) within the organization. Participants will take away techniques on becoming a house-hold name, 

developing strategic relationships with Centers of Influence, new client generation, and expansion of advisory services within a client.


Thursday, November 8 - 7:30 a.m – 10:30 a.m.                     

The ABC’s of Selling Professional Services

Meresa Morgan, CPA


This session will break down the stigma of “selling” in a professional services environment into easy steps that become your everyday behavior.  Achieving your goals will become much easier with some step by step techniques and activities related to networking and business development accountability.


Thursday, November 15 - 7:30 a.m – 10:30 a.m.

What it Takes to Be a Leader

Carol Warley, CPA, JD, Kristie Ondracek, CPA, CGMA, and Harvin Lawhon, CPA, CICA 


Learn how to become a more influential person within in your company. Speakers will give real life examples and strategies on how to become a successful leader. Also, gain advice on how to effectively manage day-to-day situations between you and your team. 


Who may participate:
An applicant should be a current Certified Public Accountant, with at least six years of post-graduate, full-time work experience. CPA applicant should be a current member in good standing of the Houston CPA Society. Applicants may be from public accounting or industry. Non-CPAs with a minimum of six years of post-graduate, full-time work experience may also apply.

Program format:
The one-month program consists of one session each week. A different group of 12 participants commit to each of the operating classes in the spring or fall. The evening prior to program’s initial session, enjoy a private happy hour with the other members of the class and Houston CPA Society leadership. You will begin each weekly morning session (7:30 – 10:30 a.m.) on Thursday with continental breakfast and networking time before discussions.

Previous speakers include:  Chuck Cummings, CPA, CFE So You’re the Boss Now; Todd Dewett, PhD Taking Your Team to the Next Level; Christine Spray Developing Your Strategic Plan; Jim Langsdale The Art of the Consultative Conversation; Joe Heller Personal Branding; and a panel discussion What it Takes to Be a Leader and Managing in a Crisis.

Accelerate Application

For more detailed information on this program, or if you or someone in your organization is interested in participating, email Carol Spencer or call 713-622-7733, ext. 320, or 832-831-9232.

Program Graduate Feedback

Content was very relevant; speakers were awesome; helped to expand my knowledge in areas other than accounting; small group format was perfect; this is a great program; I enjoyed the group discuss at the end of each session; the presentations provide leadership knowledge or reinforcement of previously learned concepts; I believe this is a worthwhile endeavor the Society has taken on and I am looking forward to seeing it grow and being a part of it; very insightful – thank you!

Program Alumni Benefits

  • Inclusion in an alumni directory that all alumni members will receive after each session (listing to include name, company, phone, and email address)
  • Access to a private, alumni-only LinkedIn sub-group
  • Invitation to periodic, alumni-only events (Next event: July 13, 2018 includes CPE and networking)
  • Enhanced exposure to leadership opportunities at area not-for-profits