S2E26 - Kimberly Ellison-Taylor | Community, Mentorship, & Adaptability: The Ingredients for a Better Future

Released Monday, 15th April 2019
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Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, a powerhouse in the accounting profession whose drive, energy, and passion is unparallelled. Kimberly is currently a Global Strategy Leader at Oracle, and she has held positions at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Motorola, KPMG, as well as having a role in government in Prince George's County, Maryland.
On top of that, from 2016 to 2018, Kimberly served as 104th Chairman of the American Institute of CPAs, where she received numerous awards and recognition. Notably, she was the youngest person, the fifth woman, and first person of color to serve as chairman in the AICPA's 130-year history. Kimberly was also the second Chairman for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, an organization founded in 2017 that has 667,000 members in 184 countries.
Kimberly has been able to walk the fine line between technology and accounting throughout her career, but she’s been able to leverage her accounting and finance acumen in every role she’s had. Even working at NASA Goddard, Motorola, and now Oracle, she’s always recognized that there were both technology and finance implications of every business decision (as well as people and process implications). “And I've been able to leverage both of those on top of the foundation that my parents set for me when they said very early, ‘don't be afraid, and you need to pay your dues, and work hard to get ahead.’”
Kimberly also learned from her parents and the church that she needs to give back – and she really took it to heart! She’s held executive roles, chair roles, and leadership, and she’s a passionate advocate for state CPA societies.
So why does she do it? 
It all comes back to servant leadership, and recognizing that other people inspired and helped her when she was younger. Some people may just need a little bit of help. Other people may need role models. Other people may need to hear that you made it through some tough times to get where you are. It's about helping people who might just need a small helping hand or inspiration, especially other people from socioeconomic backgrounds that are less common in the accounting and technology fields. 
“It's important to lift as we climb,” Kimberly says. “And I think it is important because the more of us that can give visibility to the options that are available, the more of us that will be attracted to the profession, that will stay in the profession, will be advanced and promoted to the highest levels of the profession. And I think that if not me, who? If not now when? And we all have individual accountability and responsibility to do our part and to pay forward.”

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