By Candace Rivera
KPMG’s first African American Partner Frank Ross was recently honored at the KPMG African American Network’s (AAN) Leadership Essentials Series (LES) held in Nevada.
The AAN LES is a networking and leadership development experience intended to nurture career potential and growth. The program is sponsored by the African American Network Advisory Board to underscore the firm’s commitment to develop a diverse group of leaders.
Ross was honored with the “African American Network Legacy Award” during LES. This award recognizes KPMG leaders for their commitment and contributions in accelerating the firm’s diversity and inclusion goals and helping to create a shared employee experience for diverse professionals.
KPMG also sponsored two $5,000 scholarships for the NABA Convention, named in honor of Frank Ross. The KPMG Frank Ross Excellence in Accounting Business Scholarships were awarded to two African American college students who are active in their NABA Chapter and have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.
Frank Ross, a retired KPMG partner, is a trailblazer in the accounting profession who overcame enormous personal and professional challenges during his long and successful career. In December 1969, there were only 136 black CPAs out of a total of 100,000 in the United States. That month, Ross was among nine men who met in New York City to establish an organization to address the concerns of minorities entering the accounting profession and to make a commitment to professional and academic excellence. This organization was the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). Ten years later, he became the first African American partner at Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co., KPMG’s predecessor firm.