Accountants honor past and future leaders

The Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants celebrated 45 years at its annual gala Saturday at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. 

The night included a “Where are they now?” feature with past gala honorees Lauren Knight, Garth Ebanks and Habte Skale. Guests were taken farther back in time to 1967, when the first chartered accountant, Paul Harris, arrived in Grand Cayman. CISPA pioneers Michael Austin, Paul Harris, Chris Johnson and Paul Sleep, four of the original signers of CISPA’s Memorandum and Articles of Association in 1970, shared stories of the early days of the financial services industry in the Cayman Islands. 

CEO Sheree Ebanks shared many of CISPA’s accomplishments over the past year, including contributing to 10 public consultations, participating in the National Risk Assessment project, and awarding 2,118 training hours to date to members and non-members. 

In terms of sustainability, Ms. Ebanks explained, “We have submitted the amendments to the Public Accountants Law that will reflect all of our membership, not just public practice and to ensure that the quality assurance regime meets international standards.” 

Looking forward, CISPA President Baron Jacob addressed building on partnerships with international bodies, and announced CISPA is working with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to provide on-demand courses which will be recognized by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. He presented a check to the Ministry of Education for $25,000 in support of the Ministry’s mathematics programs. 

Recent business graduates from University College of the Cayman Islands and International College of the Cayman Islands were also recognized: Katherine McLaughlin, Kaye Bodden, Amaris Coe, Marilee Freeman, Angella Genao and Shushan O’Connor. 

The evening ended by celebrating four Caymanians – Matthew Hale, Jerrica Merren, Claire O’Dea, and Taylor Wight – who recently attained their professional accounting designations. 

CISPA celebrated four new accountants who received their professional designations: Claire O’Dea, CPA; Matthew Hale, CPA; Jerrica Merren, ACCA; and Taylor Wight, CPA.