We are pleased to announce that we have recently been certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council PA-DE-Snj (WBEC). The WBEC is a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). The certification was officially awarded in November 2018 after a rigorous application process. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women.
“Maher Duessel since its inception has been welcoming and inclusive of all talented CPAs and aspiring CPAs interested in serving governments and nonprofits. We are proud of the number of women team members we have at every level,” says Elizabeth (‘Betsy’) Krisher, who is now President of the firm.
Maher Duessel serves as a model for other CPA firms with respect to women in leadership roles. The president, seven of eleven partners/principals, and over 70% of our management level employees are women. “We created an environment in which all of our professionals have the opportunity to advance to management level (and above) positions while being flexible as to other personal commitments,” says Krisher.
Tracey Rash joined the firm in 2006 as Managing Partner of Maher Duessel’s Harrisburg office. “We believe employees will be the best version of who they are, if they are allowed to be a true version of themselves. We encourage different styles and diverse approaches to our work.A cookie cutter method isn’t practical and detracts from the high quality client service we aim to provide. Our approach not only encourages innovation and leadership, but we also provide role models to others within the firm and community. Our flexible environment in terms of engagement approach and scheduling is one in which women thrive.”
A significant aspect of Maher Duessel’s culture is community service. Many of the firm’s professionals serve on various non-profit boards and are leaders in the community.
“We promote in leadership at all levels. I believe it’s a natural thing for the employees at Maher Duessel to take our mission of community service to heart through participation in non-profit governance, as well as, volunteerism,” says Rash. Ms. Rash is involved with three non-profits as a board and/or committee member including Tri-County Community Action, Leadership Harrisburg Area, and Housing Development Corporation MidAtlantic and volunteers at numerous community organizations.
Partner Lisa Ritter has been with the firm since 2009 and is also based out of our Harrisburg office. “Our firm’s primary focus is serving governments and non-profits so I have a close personal affinity for that mission.I have served on several non-profit boards including WITF Public Broadcasting’s Finance, Executive, and Audit Committee. I am also a member of the United Way Women’s Leadership Network.”
What is Ms. Ritter’s advice for female emerging leaders? “I think there is a myth that it’s the loudest, brashest people who get ahead. That’s not necessarily the case.I think the keys to achieving a more prominent role are to be willing to listen to advice. I advise emerging leaders to not only listen to wise counsel they receive but to quickly act on the recommendations. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ when the situation calls for it. But balance that out with being a willing ‘doer’ who will go the extra mile.”