By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager
During her 36-year career in the accounting profession, Donna Sciarappa, CPA, has learned to stay open to unexpected opportunities.“When I became a partner, I thought I knew exactly what I was going to do for the rest of my career,” she said. “That could not have been further from the truth.”
Sciarappa, Great Lakes market leader and partner at RSM, was named a Power of Change honoree at the Women, Wealth and Wellness Conference in July. The award salutes individuals who are advocates for women’s initiatives in the workplace and business community, serve as mentors or role models, make a significant impact on their communities or break barriers for other women.
Sciarappa said one of the more meaningful parts of her career was the opportunity to be on the RSM board of directors, a role that gave her a better sense of enterprise leadership.
“It’s been a huge pleasure to have the opportunity to serve and help clients be successful,” she said.
Sciarappa said she considers herself fortunate to have had great mentors in her career and those relationships sparked her interest in doing the same for others. As her career progressed, she said she enjoyed coaching and mentoring individuals within the organization and helping them grow.
“Being able to help others progress in this profession, which I love, has been very rewarding,” she said.
She said she understands what it’s like to be a working mother with young children, and strives to help young women find ways to integrate their work and family lives.
She is also a national sponsor for the STAR (Stewardship. Teamwork. Advancement. Retention.) network, RSM’s women’s employee network group. She has enjoyed helping young women through self-advocacy training and other coaching programs. Looking back on her career she said there were many instances where others helped her get to the next level of her career.
“I learned early on that feedback is a gift,” she said. “And if you look at it like a gift, you’ll accept it willingly and think about how to apply it. I was fortunate to have mentors and folks who cared enough about me to give honest feedback.”