March 17, 2020 (Bethesda, MD & Washington, DC) – Patricia Drolet, CPA, PFS, Board Chair at Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, P.C. (CBM), has been named the recipient of this year’s Ruth Coles Harris Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Award. The award, granted annually by the Virginia Society of CPAs, recognizes a Washington, DC metro-area CPA who has championed diversity and inclusion at their company or within the industry, has served as an inspirational mentor or coach, or has actively implemented programs or policies that improve diversity in the workplace. Ruth Coles Harris, for whom the award is named, was the first African-American woman to pass the CPA exam in Virginia in 1962.
“It is an honor to receive this award, named after an accounting professional who had such a remarkable achievement,” said Drolet. “I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of women and minorities whose recognition in the workplace often lags in comparison to that of other professionals. Despite some progress much more remains to be done.”
After founding and serving as managing partner of a successful accounting firm, Drolet & Associates, which operated out of Washington, DC beginning in the late 1990s, Drolet made an immediate impact when her practice merged into CBM in 2014. She and partner Holly Caporale joined as the firm’s first two female partners since the late 1990s. (An earlier female partner, Edna Nick, served at CBM from 1929 to 1980).
During Drolet’s tenure over the past six years, representation of females at CBM has significantly expanded. Currently, 47% of equity leadership is female as well as 65% of the entire CBM team. Last year, CBM was recognized as a top firm in equity leadership by the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance.
In early 2019, Drolet spearheaded the development of an internal group at CBM, D-PATH (“Diversity – Professional Accountants and Advisors Transforming the Horizon”), which provides professional development, education and networking opportunities for female and minority professionals throughout the firm. The group has presented and participated in different social activities at local accounting and professional networking groups.
“Pat’s leadership efforts have changed CBM into a vibrant community of diverse professionals,” said CBM President and Managing Partner Peter B. Reilly. “Our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness assures both our staff and our client voices will be heard, and the accounting world is listening.”
The Virginia Society of CPAs, the statewide association of accounting professionals in the Commonwealth of Virginia, will recognize Drolet at the 2020 Virginia CPA Honors & Awards ceremony at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia on Wednesday, May 13. The ceremony kicks off VSCPA’s annual Leaders’ Summit on May 14.
To learn more about the Ruth Coles Harris award, visit: https://www.vscpa.com/Innovation/talent/vscpa-distinguished-awards.