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tr ailblazer


“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here


by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” –St. Terese of Lisieux


LizzyDuda, CPA


Lizzy Duda, CPA, is positive that had she not chosen accounting as her profession, she would have been a teacher. Te daughter of a middle-school teacher realized, even at a young age, the huge impact her mother had on students’ lives. Tat’s why, when she had the


Getting to know


lizzy


opportunity, she volunteered to be a tutor for Reading Partners at Eugene Field Elementary in Tulsa. “I was paired with a second‐grade


If you weren’t a CPA, what would you be? A starving artist


What is your favorite app? On a phone or before dinner? The Apple Watch Activity Tracker if the former and Torchy’s queso if the latter!


Do you have any quirky talents? I don’t know if it’s a talent, but I know a lot about beer. I can identify quite a few styles by appearance, smell and taste.


16 CPAFOCUS


What is your favorite holiday? St. Patrick’s Day… which also happens to be my birthday!


What is your personal theme song? Jump in the Line by Harry Belafonte


Where will we find you on a Saturday night? Splitting a pizza at Andolini’s with my husband


boy and was so excited to start changing his little life,” Duda said. “I was, however, quite alone in my anticipation to go to Reading Partners each week. My little friend was not so keen to walk outside in the bitter cold every Wednesday morning, past the swings, and to a squeaky trailer with a less than reliable space heater to warm our time together. He was also not entirely enthusiastic about the differences between long and short vowels, singular and plural nouns, nor what Pete the Cat could teach us. Nevertheless, I showed up every week, ready to drag my partner through whatever consonant blend the day’s lesson had in store. I fought to get a muffled response through barely- parted lips and started to question what sort of impact I could possibly be making on this kid—or worse, if I was making him hate reading more than he already did.” “Ten it happened,” she continued. “I can’t quite remember what we were working on that day, if it was a sentence or just a single word, but he got it! He knew every letter, every sound and he got it! My frustrated friend cracked the first smile I’d ever seen in three months of working together, and right then I knew that my one hour every week was making a difference. Such a small


March/April 2019


sacrifice, but such a huge reward to see a child finally start to understand a skill that would help him go so much further than he could ever imagine.” Duda said that event makes her cherish her volunteer time even more. “It is so easy as an adult to get bogged down in career, in finances, in family and in self,” she said. “Tat’s why one of my very favorite hours of the week is the one I get to spend at Reading Partners. Te feeling of helping someone else, especially a child, without the expectation of anything back is hard to match, and that’s why I’ll continue to give my time and myself back to our community.” Active in the OSCPA Tulsa


Chapter, Duda is a past secretary and is currently flexing her leadership muscles as the chair of the chapter’s New CPAs and Community Education Committees. Former Tulsa Chapter President


Greg Jones said, “She is absolutely blazing trails for our chapter, our profession and our community.” Duda, the director of finance at AMTRA Capital Partners in Tulsa, just transitioned from public accounting, but says her experiences have impacted her feelings about her chosen field. “Sure, I haven’t stood in front of a tax court or busted up an international fraud scheme,” Duda explained, “but I have helped widows navigate filing their first return alone and established private foundations for clients wishing to put their hard‐ earned income to charitable use for years to come.” “I now realize just how important


this profession is to both the people we serve, and to myself as an accountant.”


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