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Texas State University

Business Leadership Week

The accounting department was well-represented during the many activities of the McCoy College Business Leadership Week held February 24-28. Many accounting alumni and current students had an active role as panelists throughout the week.

Many thanks to Dr. Carolyn Conn, our department representative on the BLW Committee!

Authentic Roots: Growing a Family Business

Tuesday, February 25th

Briesen Cooper business professional headshot
Briesen Cooper, BBA '19 & MAcy '20

Briesen Cooper, BBA '19 & MAcy '20. Briesen served as a panelist along with her husband, Derek Curtiss, for a discussion about their family business. Briesen has been actively involved with accounting responsibilities for her husband's business, Genera Supplements (a manufacturing company), for which she did transaction processing, payroll and financial reports. She was the 2019 Site Coordinator for the VITA Tax Clinic at Texas State. Currently, Briesen serves as the Vice President of Communications for the Accounting Club and is studying to sit for the CPA Exam. 

Accounting Alumni Panel: Leadership Through Service

Wednesday, February 26th

Bruce Howard, Texas State Career Services with accounting alumni panelists
Bruce Howard of Career Services, moderator. Michelle Seward Davis, Jennifer James, Danny Davila, III, and Florence Carlsson.

On Wednesday, February 26th, Accounting Club, Beta Alpha Psi and the TXST student chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants sponsored an Accounting Alumni panel with the theme "Leadership Through Service". Alumni panel participants included: 

  • Danny Davila, III, BBA 1979. President of DK Partners in Austin and Accounting Department Advisory Board member. 
  • Michelle Seward Davis, BBA 1996. CFO (Retired) of Joeris General Contractors in San Antonio. 
  • Jennifer James, BBA 2017. Treasurer of Keep Austin Fed in Austin
  • Florence Carlson, MAcy 2004, BBA 1999. Controller of BGR group in Washington, D.C. 

The discussion was moderated by Bruce Howard, Career Service's career advisor for all business majors. The panel discussion was well received by more than 180 students in attendance. After hearing panelists' descriptions of working while in school, one student commented: "I didn't know other people had to try to do it all with academics, work and a family. It's good to know I'm not the only one."

The panelists described the importance of making connections with members of the profession, working in an internship and actively participating in student organizations and community service activities. They noted that these can make a student's resume stand out and students can also learn leadership and communication skills. 

Leading with Authenticity: Overcoming Personal Challenges

Thursday, February 27th

ana and sarah after the leadership panel
Ana Tobias, BBA Accounting '21 and Sarah Paciocco, BBA & MAcy '19

In addition to the Alumni Panel, another accounting alumnus, Sarah Paciocco, BBA & MAcy '19 and current accounting major, Ana Tobias, BBA '21 were featured as panelists for a discussion about "Overcoming Personal Challenges". During Sarah's academic career at Texas State, she worked as a graduate assistant in the department, and sometimes held two other off campus jobs wile carrying a full academic load. Additionally, as a single mom, she was rearing her daughter and found time to volunteer at her daughter's school and was an active Accounting Club member. During Business Leadership Week, Sarah also visited the Intermediate Accounting classes of Ludmila Krylova to share insights on academic and career success. She is now a member of the audit staff at Akin, Doherty, Klein and Feuge, P.C. in San Antonio and is delighted to have an opportunity to share her time and talents with current students.

Ana Tobias serves as the chief financial officer for the Hispanic Business Student Association. She provided a unique perspective about overcoming challenges because Ana is DACA student, a Dreamer. She is currently a tutor for multiple business courses in the Texas State Office of Student Diversity & Inclusion. She previously worked as an associate for the loaner vehicle department of an auto dealership with responsibilities that included filing insurance claims. Ana was also a service representative at the San Marcos Outlet Mall where she worked with international customers on sales tax policies for overseas shipments. In spite of working while in school and having a full academic course load, Ana has been on the McCoy College Dean's List and earned a Leadership Award from the Hispanic Student Association. She is also a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and the Accounting Club.