Joliet, Ill. – In less than ten years since earning two degrees from the University of St. Francis (USF), Kenneth (Kenny) Mason, CPA, MBA, has already achieved a tremendous amount of success. His young career has already included roles at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, Legacy Professionals LLP, First Community Financial Bank, and the University of St. Francis, and currently finds him as the CEO of Equibis, an accounting and business advisory services firm he established in Chicago. This summer, Mason’s career path to date was recognized as Mason was presented with the Illinois CPA Society 2022 Young Professionals Leadership Award, which recognizes a young professional under age 35 who has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills in their career, in public or community service, and through involvement in professional organizations.
Mason received the award at the Illinois CPA Society’s Leadership Recognition and Awards Dinner on June 9, 2022, in Chicago, where he formally joined a list of the field’s most talented and inspiring young professionals.
The current owner of two businesses, Mason is already looking to continue his impressive career path with a very specific vision for his future.
“In the next 5 years, I plan to start my third business. In the next 10 years, I plan to begin developing entrepreneurial and business-focused education programs for teens and helping them get their ideas off the ground,” Mason said.
While Mason envisions the best in his career is yet to come, he believes it will continue to be built upon a solid professional foundation he credits USF for helping him to create.
“USF was everything in terms of setting my initial career trajectory. Starting my journey in public accounting, I actually received my first job offer through a USF buddy of mine, Keith Schomig. We were classmates, then friends, and eventually co-workers. I was highly encouraged to enter public accounting from the jump because it would allow me to experience many different businesses,” Mason said.
Mason added that his involvement outside of the classroom at USF also provided him with tools for success.
“Being involved with different organizations and extra-curriculars at USF helped my entrepreneurial spirit and volunteerism. From being a member of Brother 2 Brother, the football team, the Augustus Tolton Honor Society, and many others, I had to learn quickly how to manage many different things and moving parts. Fast forward to today as an entrepreneur the mindset I have is very similar, more mature and evolved, but similar nonetheless,” Mason said.
Mason currently serves on the ICPAS and CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois’ Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparedness Program’s Selection Task Force, where he mentors program scholars to help them achieve success. His advice to these scholars and other college-aged students is to maintain a clear vision of what it is they aspire to achieve.
“Don’t lose your vision. The world will tell you to lose that vision/desire in order to simply play it safe. Although there is wisdom in that, there’s also fear residing in that way of thinking. I’m a testament to doing both. I began a career in one of the most reliable/secure career paths, and I simultaneously developed my ideas until the point where I can dedicate my daily life to it. Whatever you do, don’t give up if it’s on your heart, especially not out of fear,” Mason said.
Photo identification (left to right): Todd Shapiro, the President & CEO of the Illinois CPA Society, Kenneth (Kenny) Mason, and Mary K. Fuller, new Illinois CPA Society Board of Directors chairperson
The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.
University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.
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