Congratulations go out to all of our local Western New York young professionals named to Buffalo Business First’s 30 Under 30 award list for 2014. Included in that list is our own Kelsey Thomas, CPA, recently promoted to Manager in the Buffalo office.

30 Western New Yorkers in the early stages of their careers, who are achieving at high levels at work and in the community, were carefully evaluated and chosen for this prestigious honor. The group was selected from more than 100 nominations. Among the factors considered for the third annual award program — career achievements, leadership and initiative, community engagement and each nominee’s potential to become a community leader on a grand scale.

Kelsey’s nomination detailed her strong work ethic, technical expertise and dedication to the Firm and her clients, along with a passion for activism and engagement with her community. Kelsey is currently a volunteer Board Member of the Buffalo Niagara YMCA – Delaware Branch,  member of the Board of Trustees for the Community Music School of Buffalo, and a volunteer with Junior Achievement of Western New York and Kids Escaping Drugs among many other community activities.

A passion for activism and engagement with her community is one of the key qualities that positions Kelsey as an ideal and worthy candidate of the 30 Under 30 honor. When you ask Kelsey to elaborate on what giving back to her community really means to her, she speaks enthusiastically about the local boards she sits on.

“I’ve been involved with music (specifically singing) since I could talk. When I lived in other cities, I wasn’t able to find an organization where I could sing (in a group or take individual lessons). The mission of the Community Music School is to share the gift of music with all ages for a lifetime. The School even provides financial assistance to those who may not typically be able to afford music education otherwise. This is a mission that I wanted to stand behind and also one that I’ve found is unique to Buffalo – I want to do everything I can to help others find creative outlets and continue or newly develop their love for music, which is why I joined the board,” says Kelsey.

We’ve come to learn that our accountants at Freed Maxick are so much more complex and multifaceted than the stereotype portrays. Kelsey is no exception, and in addition to a passion for music, fitness is another one of her interests and something she believes everyone should have access to.

“Similar to the financial aid offered by the Music School, I don’t believe that anyone should be limited by economic circumstances as it relates to fitness. The YMCA provides financial assistance both to families and individuals. The YMCA is different than a lot of other fitness facilities in that it focuses on youth and leadership development as well as community involvement. I think that the Y will continue to be a crucial leader in promoting awareness of health and fitness within the Buffalo community and this is something that I want to help drive, which was my reason for joining the Board.”

Kelsey is truly passionate about Western New York.  One of the biggest reasons she decided to come back to the area was to have the opportunity to be able to give back to the community that raised her, and to continue to do so for years to come.

“Western New York is my home and I have a vested interest in wanting to see it succeed. I hope to continue and increase my involvement within the community and become part of the next generation of leaders in Western New York.”

In addition, Kelsey posesses several other professional accomplishments including:

  • Certified Public Accounting in North Carolina (active) – licensed since July 2009
  • Certified Public Accounting in New York (active) – licensed since March 2014
  • New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (member)
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (member)

We at Freed Maxick recognize Kelsey as a true “rising star” and have no doubt that she is already proving herself as one of those rising leaders in our local business community. Through her work for the Firm, and her dedication outside of the office, she has demonstrated her value daily…not only to our Firm, her clients and co-workers, but to her community, and we are proud to share her efforts and successes with you.

Congrats to Kelsey and to all of the 30 Under 30 award winners.
You can check them all out here!