April 20, 2018


Trendsetters - July 2006

Mike Vogel | 7/1/2006
Every week this past school year, Mia Thomas visited either a kindergarten or high school to talk about numbers and finances. For the kindergarten set, she explained the value of money and earning, saving and spending, using the making and selling of crafts for an example. At high schools, she talked with economics students about budgeting and responsible spending. For the school's finance magnet students, she delved into reading corporate financial statements, valuing companies and even corporate reform law Sarbanes-Oxley. "It's amazing how much curriculum they get in the high school program to even understand Sarbanes-Oxley."
Mia Thomas
Chastang, Ferrell, Sims & Eiserman

High school job:
Waitress, Liberty Tree Tavern, Magic Kingdom.

Vacation spot:
Disney's Vero Beach Resort.

Late-filing misconception:
"A lot of it has to do with getting documentation on time. If they're getting a refund back, they're here on Jan. 10."

Personal filing date:
Usually needs an extension because the K-1, the form on which limited partnerships report earnings and deductions to partners, isn't in hand. "I have an excuse."

A "Numb3rs" or "CSI"-type show on accountants. "That would be so cool."

A New York native who moved with her family to Orlando at age 4, Thomas as a youngster visited an accounting firm with her accountant neighbor as part of a learn-about-careers day. She liked what she saw, majored in accounting at the University of Central Florida and in 1989 joined Chastang, Ferrell, Sims & Eiserman, a now four-office firm. She says most of the work at the Celebration office is tax preparation.

Thomas, 43, a mother of three -- "I have a wonderful husband" -- sits on the board of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is a council member of the national institute.

While at the schools, she doesn't hesitate to talk up her profession as a career, remembering that neighbor who took her to work. "I'm a big supporter of doing the same thing for young people."


» Emilia Quesada, 35, class-action defense litigation counsel for Fortune 500 companies and others, partner, Adorno & Yoss, Miami.

» Katherine W. Ezell, 59, represents guardians and foster care children pro bono, 2006 winner of the Tobias Simon Pro Bono award from the Florida Bar, also a commercial litigator and personal injury plaintiffs lawyer, partner, Podhurst Orseck, Miami.

» Marshall Gunn Jr., 53, governor-appointed board member, Florida Board of Accountancy, which oversees CPAs and CPA firms in Florida, also named by CPA Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential CPAs nationally -- one of seven CPA financial planners on the list -- founding partner, Gunn & Co., Jacksonville. He specializes in tax and wealth planning.

Tags: Trendsetters, Around Florida, Business Services

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