Three BKD Associates Win Elijah Watt Sells Award

News Release

NATIONAL OFFICE – Three associates at BKD CPAs & Advisors—Michael Kimble, Benjamin Lyford and Ashley McDowell—have been awarded the 2018 Elijah Watt Sells Award. According to the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), CPA candidates must obtain a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination®, pass all four sections on their first attempt and have completed testing in 2018 to be eligible for the award. Only 110 individuals qualified out of the approximately 86,000 exam takers. 

BKD CEO Ted Dickman said, “It’s not easy to win the Elijah Watt Sells Award, and it couldn’t be accomplished without intensive dedication. Ashley, Michael and Benjamin are excellent representatives of BKD values, and we’re proud of their achievements. Our team is excited to see how they’ll continue to grow their careers. New associates help build the future of our firm, and if these individuals are any indication, we can look forward to great success.”

Kimble received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, and an M.Acc. degree from William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. He’s with the firm’s Louisville office. Lyford graduated with his bachelor’s and M.Acc degrees from Missouri State University, Springfield, and works in BKD’s Springfield office. McDowell graduated from University of Nebraska–Lincoln with her bachelor’s and MPA degrees and is with the firm’s Colorado Springs office. 

Kimble said, “I'm thankful to everyone at BKD Louisville who invested in me during my internship. The experience was invaluable in preparing me to tackle the new simulations in the exam. Ultimately, I fell back on everything I have learned from so many great teachers, mentors, managers, friends and family. They helped me develop the grit that I would need to succeed.” 

According to the AICPA, the Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established in 1923 to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA exam. Sells, one of the first CPAs in the U.S., was active in establishing the AICPA and played a key role in advancing professional education within the profession.

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