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Alumni Honored during Accounting Awards Ceremony

April 16, 2018

St. John Fisher College honored two esteemed alumni—John Almeter ’71 and David Pitcher ’78—during the 29th annual Accounting Awards Banquet, held on Thursday, April 5.

Dean Rama Yelkur presents John Almeter ’71 with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dean Rama Yelkur presents John Almeter ’71 with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Almeter, chief financial officer, retired, for Foundations Contractors, received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the accounting profession and continued support for the College. Pitcher, partner and shareholder in the Audit and Accounting Department of Davie Kaplan, CPA, was honored as the 2018 Accounting Alumnus of the Year, signifying his noteworthy career achievements and humanitarian efforts.

Following his graduation, Almeter began public accounting with a firm in Rochester led by then Fisher accounting instructor Tom Aspenleiter. In 1977, he left public accounting to become chief financial officer at Datagraphic in Perinton, eventually moving with the company to Atlanta in 1981.

In 1998, he entered the world of concrete construction as chief financial officer for Shareholder of Foundation Contractors, and over the next 12 years, he and his partners cultivated relationships to build for many major American companies. Perhaps the most important relationship was with The Home Depot, for whom they constructed more than 170 stores in locations from Green Bay, Wisconsin to Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Today, Almeter continues to hold a Georgia CPA certificate and remains fully engaged as a shareholder at Hemma Concrete where they are currently licensed and building in seven Southeastern states.

He has played an active role in capital campaigns for the Archdiocese of Atlanta and has served as board member and treasurer at Holy Innocents, one of the largest private schools in Atlanta.

Almeter and his wife, Carol, who was among the College’s first female graduates in 1974, have both served as co-chairs of the Fisher Alumni Fund. More recently, they have opened their home for gatherings of Atlanta-area alumni and played a leadership role in the College’s Vision 2020 Capital Campaign.

David Pitcher ’78 accepts his award from Dean Rama Yelkur.

David Pitcher ’78 accepts his award from Dean Rama Yelkur.

In his role at Davie Kaplan, CPA, Pitcher directs the firm’s litigation and peer review services and is responsible for providing expert testimony and advice in a variety of malpractice, criminal, civil, and IRS cases. He is the shareholder on many of the firm’s audit, review, and compilation engagements, and performs peer reviews of other CPA firms pursuant to the AICPA Peer Review Program.

Pitcher is currently a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and New York State Society and Pennsylvania Institute of CPA’s Peer Review Committees.

Outside of the office, he serves on the board of Nativity Preparatory Academy of Rochester, the Al Sigl Foundation, and the Rochester Hearing and Speech Center.

In 2014 and 2015, he was the recipient of the James J. DeCaro Leadership Award from Rochester Hearing & Speech Center. He was also a Knight of the Round Table Inductee for McQuaid Jesuit High School.

At the awards banquet, the College also honored four alumni with Rising Star Awards. Given to alumni who have found success early in their careers, the award honors career achievements, involvement with both the community and the College, and demonstrated potential for even greater success as their accounting careers mature. The winners included: Jason Acker ’08, Daniel Dixon ’10, ’11 (MBA), Greg Parrilli ’08, ’12 (MBA), and Ashley Piper ’08.

Acker is a principal at Bonadio & Co., LLP in Pittsford. He joined Bonadio in 2008 and works in the Small Business Advisors Group, serving small to mid-sized and closely-held businesses and individuals in the greater Rochester area. He specializes in financial statement review, compilation and preparation services, and business and individual tax compliance. In addition, he provides business consulting services in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, financial projections, income tax planning, sales tax compliance, and more.

Prior to joining the Small Business Advisors Group, Acker worked on the Government, Compliance, and Labor team, where he worked on audits of labor unions and their benefit plans, as well as municipalities.

Acker remains active in the Fisher community, and is an annual participant in the Accounting Club Golf Tournament and Bonadio’s on-campus recruiting.

Jason Acker ’08, Daniel Dixon ’10, ’11 (MBA), Greg Parrilli ’08, ’12 (MBA) received Rising Star Awards at the ceremony.

Jason Acker ’08, Daniel Dixon ’10, ’11 (MBA), Greg Parrilli ’08, ’12 (MBA) received Rising Star Awards at the ceremony.

Dixon started his career at Ernst and Young (EY) as an assurance senior. After four years with the company, he moved on to Wegmans Food Markets, where he spent time in their Controllers group as a special project analyst. In 2017, he returned to EY, and now serves as a manager in the Financial Accounting Advisory Services Practice.

Throughout his career, Dixon has remained close to the College through his active recruiting efforts, attending MBA orientation events and accepted student open houses, participating in mock interviews, presenting select technical accounting topics for class lectures, and being an active member on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

In addition, he has stayed engaged with the Rochester community through serving a term on the Rochester Young Professionals Board of Directors and as a recurring volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House.

Most recently, Dixon was a recipient of Fisher’s Young Professionals Ten under 10 award.

Parrilli, who completed his undergraduate degree at Fisher in 2008 and his MBA in 2012, is a senior manager working in PwC’s National Quality Office within the auditing services, methods, and tools group in Florham Park, New Jersey.

He began working in PwC’s Rochester office after graduation, and ultimately worked in assurance within the firm’s Private Company Services Practice in the Washington, DC Metro Office, where he served a mix of family-owned and private equity-owned entities within the advertising, real estate, government contracting, retail, manufacturing, and oil distribution industries.

Piper currently serves as a senior manager in Ernst and Young’s Assurance practice. With 10 years of experience at EY, she has primarily served clients within the media and entertainment, technology, and consumer products industries. She has significant experience with SEC reporting, internal control reporting, public offerings, business combinations, and company restructurings. She currently leads teams of over 20 individuals on 20,000 hour audits.

Piper recently moved to Dallas, Texas to pursue additional opportunities with EY. There, she is a member of EY’s Professional Women’s Network and the Diversity Recruiting Team. She volunteers regularly at Operation Kindness, a no-kill animal shelter in Dallas.

At the banquet, the College also recognized 70 students for their academic achievements at Fisher. The awards are sponsored by the Department of Accounting and Finance in the School of Business.