For more than 20 years, Buffalo Business First’s 40 Under 40 program has been recognizing up-and-coming leaders who are making a significant impact on Buffalo and the surrounding community. This year, Freed Maxick is proud to include one of our own difference makers on this prestigious list—Director, Barbara Danner.

Selected from a pool of more than 150 nominees, the 40 Under 40 award is given to professionals like Barb, who demonstrate business accomplishments, community involvement and high levels of achievement within their career fields. This year’s class was selected by a five-person panel of former 40 Under 40 winners.

For anyone who knows Barb, learning that she has been recognized for her outstanding leadership, both in the office and the community, comes as no surprise. Barb’s continued success has served as a source of inspiration for many within our company. She joined our Firm in 1999 as a staff accountant and worked her way up the ranks, becoming a Director in 2012. Today, she is a Director in Freed Maxick’s Assurance & Advisory practice and a lead Director in the Firm’s Employee Benefit Plan, Not-for-Profit and Real Estate practice areas.

“I started as staff at Freed Maxick and worked my way up to Director, so that’s a great success story. Along the way, Freed has been very supportive and helpful in developing my career, which I believe has directly impacted my ability to become a 40 under 40 honoree,” says Barb.

Through the years, Barb has emerged as a strong leader within Freed Maxick, playing an important role in training and professional development. Barb relishes her role as lead Director and loves having the responsibility of training staff, managers and supervisors in her internal practice groups. She also enjoys facilitating trainings that provide information and insight on hot topics to both Freed employees and clients.

Barb has also been instrumental in the development and implementation of the Firm’s EARN (Employee Advancement and Retention Network) program. EARN is dedicated to insuring that everyone at Freed has the proper training, mentoring and advocacy that are critical for career development.

“The EARN program impacts every employee. It’s helping to provide mentoring and other career development opportunities that are vital. We’re here to help advance each and every career whether the path is within Freed Maxick or beyond,” says Barb.

Barb’s generous and giving nature extends far beyond the walls of her workplace. Her extensive community involvement is another important reason why she was selected for the 40 Under 40 honor. Barb is active in a variety of community initiatives, serving on the Board of Directors for Buffalo Place and Hope Chest Buffalo, an organization dedicated to people with breast cancer and breast cancer survivors.

“Hope Chest is really hands-on. It has no employees, so everyone on the board is very much working for the success of the organization. Of course, we all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer, and being a woman, this is a cause that is very close to my heart,” notes Barb.

“I’ve also enjoyed being Treasurer of Buffalo Place. Working downtown has allowed me to see the direct impact that Buffalo Place is having on the area and I am proud to be part of it.”

Barb also appreciates that Freed Maxick supports volunteerism and being involved in the community. This spirit of philanthropy has enabled her to take time out of her day to be able to give back in a meaningful way.

Some of Barb’s other professional affiliations and achievements that contributed to her selection for 40 Under 40 include:

• American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

• AICPA Women in The Profession, Member

• New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants

• United Way Women’s Leadership Council, Member

• International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Member

• Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance, Member

Buffalo magazine’s “Women and Power” 2014

• Building a Better Buffalo Group, Member

• Central Referral Services 2-1-1, former Board Member and Treasurer

Being named to Business First’s 40 Under 40 is a milestone that most professionals would be proud to achieve. So what does it mean to Barb personally to be included on this list?

“It’s wonderful. It’s a huge accomplishment. When you see the list of past 40 Under 40 winners, they are well-known people in our community. So to be part of it is very exciting and humbling.”

Freed Maxick congratulates Barbara Danner and all of the 2014 40 Under 40 award winners. To learn more about Buffalo Business First’s 40 Under 40 program and to see a complete list of this year’s honorees, click here.