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Two Oklahoma Christian alumni named OSCPA honorees

The Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) announced the names of its 10 Trailblazers and five Path Finders for 2019. Of the 15 award recipients, two are Oklahoma Christian University alumni.

Zach Dudley—CPA, ABV, a tax manager with Regier, Washecheck & Jones and still active with the Oklahoma Christian Accounting Advisory Board—and Hannah Hankey—CPA and Senior Associate II with BKD CPAs & Advisors—were selected as Trailblazers.

“It’s truly an honor to be named an OSCPA Trailblazer,” Hankey said. “I was chosen from a pool of very qualified individuals, and for me to be selected is quite the honor.”

Dudley said it was humbling to be recognized as a Trailblazer.

“The Trailblazer is awarded to competent young accountants who are active in the community and the profession,” Dudley said. “It’s rewarding to have the quality of your work products and effort I’ve put into my career and education recognized.”

According to the OSCPA website, “The Trailblazer program was established in 2010 to recognize the innovation, professional dedication and community commitment of the OSCPA’s New CPAs, defined as members who are under the age of 40 and have five or fewer years of CPA experience.”

The 2019 honorees will be celebrated at the OSCPA’s 101st Annual Members Meeting on June 7, 2019, in Broken Arrow, OK.

“The OSCPA Trailblazers program has been a tremendous opportunity for the membership to see the young talent that will lead our profession in the future,” said OSCPA Chairman of the Board Neil Jay, CPA, ABV. “While we celebrate the Trailblazers, we also recognize an equally important member of the OSCPA—mentors. Without mentors, there wouldn’t be Trailblazers.”

Hankey graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 2014 and has worked at BKD CPAs & Advisors since. While a student, she was a member of Pi Zeta Phi, the Accounting and Finance Club and Delta Mu Delta. Hankey said Elaine Kelly was one of her favorite professors.

“[Kelly] always pushed me to do my best and was always available to help when I didn’t understand something,” Hankey said. “Her classes were tough, but I learned the most from her in my time at Oklahoma Christian. She’s a big part of why I’m in the field of accounting that I am. Unlike most students, I actually enjoyed her tax classes, which is why I’m still in that field today.”

After attending Camp Impact at Oklahoma Christian as a child, Hankey said she fell in love with the campus and wanted to attend college here. She said her mom got a position on campus so Hankey could afford to attend.

“Attending Oklahoma Christian helped shape the person I am today,” Hankey said. “Having to attend chapel and take Bible classes helps keep your focus on the important aspects of life rather than just getting a college degree. I also think having smaller class sizes really helped me to learn more. The professors at Oklahoma Christian truly care about your success and will do anything to help you.”

According to Hankey, the most fulfilling part of her job is the opportunity she has to build relationships with her clients.

“Tax work isn’t fun for anyone, but I thoroughly enjoy building relationships with people, and I have the opportunity to do that every day,” Hankey said.

Dudley, who graduated from Oklahoma Christian in 2010, was a member of Chi Lambda Phi, president of the accounting club and a resident hall director of University House while a student. After graduation, Dudley said he started his career with Eide Bailly, a top 25 national accounting firm. He then worked for a Forbes top 25 high net worth family where he served as an internal CPA for the family, their trusts and their businesses.“I personally enjoy saving clients money on taxes,” Dudley said. “It’s very rewarding to be able to quantify how much money your client saved by using your services.”

According to Dudley, he is grateful for his time at Oklahoma Christian. He said he has formed lifelong friendships and met colleagues who are now his clients.

“I owe a lot to [Elaine] Kelly and former accounting professor Michael Cady,” Dudley said. “Kelly challenges you in every class and on every assignment, which gave me a strong foundation for the CPA exam. Cady had invaluable real-world experience. I specifically remember asking Michael Cady which socks and tie to pair with my suite for a job interview, and I got the job.”

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