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Maximo Mukelabai’s Legacy Paves Way for Future Leaders

Last summer, the CPA profession lost a young champion, a dedicated volunteer and a tenacious leader—Maximo Mukelabai. Only 36, Maximo passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind two young daughters and a loving wife. Maximo was passionate about being a CPA. In fact, his enthusiasm for and devotion to his work, led him to become the youngest professional and first African-American to chair the NCACPA’s board of directors.

As a graduate of the AICPA’s Leadership Academy, he provided his classmates with fresh insights and thoughtful guidance to help them return to their work with new ideas and increased confidence. We were all in awe of his commitment and drive. It seemed only natural that the AICPA should honor Maximo’s memory by creating a new professional award: The Maximo Mukelabai Award, recognizing the outstanding volunteer service contributions of young CPAs. 

This Journal of Accountancy article chronicles Maximo’s career and this memorial web page pays tribute to Maximo and includes a video that explains his legacy to the profession.

I hope you’ll take the time to nominate someone for the Maximo Mukelabai Award and recognize them for their dedication to the profession. Learn more about the The Maximo Mukelabai Award.

Donna W. Salter, Senior Manager - Young Member Initiatives, American Institute of CPAs. Donna oversees the AICPA’s engagement programs for CPAs under the age of 36, including the AICPA Leadership Academy and the Edge Newsletter. In addition, she is a certified professional facilitator providing Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training.


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