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Congratulations to the 2023 UACPA Award Winners

September 07, 2023

Every year, the Utah Association of CPAs recognizes newly licensed CPAs, 100% membership firms and outstanding CPA professionals at the annual Inauguration & Awards Banquet. This year’s event is Thursday, September 21 at Grand America Hotel. In addition to the awards presentation, the multicultural, multigenerational, global artist and speaker, Alex Boyé. This event is open to all CPAs to come together and celebrate those in the profession. 

This year’s honored guests include the following:

Cleon Butterfield - Distinguished Service Award. Cleon is the senior vice president and CFO of Utah Housing Corporation. He cares deeply about community service and the future of Utah and its youth and has demonstrated this through volunteering on several boards and as an adjunct professor.

Rob Shaw - Outstanding CPA in Business & Industry Award. Rob has managed accounting, finance and IT for Steve Regan Company for the past decade and currently serves on the UACPA’s Business & Industry Council and conference planning committee.

M.K. Mortensen - Outstanding CPA in Public Practice Award. M.K. has been with Grant Thornton for nearly 19 years where he is currently a tax partner, serving corporations and partnerships. He has been involved in several UACPA committees and has chaired the Tax Issues Committee. 

Van Christensen - Outstanding CPA in Nonprofit & Government Award. Van was recently appointed as the director of the State of Utah’s Division of Finance where he plays a critical role in ensuring that taxpayer funds are managed responsibly and that state financial operations are conducted with integrity.

Dennis Spackman – Outstanding Leadership Council Member. Prior to retirement in 2016, Dennis directed the risk research and analytics team of the Risk Management Division of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints. The UACPA Past President has been volunteering consistently through his career and remains active in Leadership Council and on the UACPA’s DEI committee.

Paul Campbell – Outstanding Educator. The Cache Valley native has been a Tax Partner at Jones Simkins for 17 years and has concurrently been a lecturer at Utah State University since 2013.

Dustin Jensen – Rising Star. Dustin is an audit manager at Eide Bailly where he has worked for the past six years. He has been active in the UACPA Emerging Professionals Committee by coordinating activities and graduated from Leadership Academy in 2022.

Valerie Bushell - AICPA Women to Watch: Emerging Leader. Valerie is the corporate controller for BlueWind Medical and is currently serving as the chair for the UACPA’s DEI Committee. Valerie is dedicated to working towards diversity and inclusion within the profession and is committed to finding ways to create equality in the field she enjoys.

Lisa Bell – AICPA Women to Watch: Experienced Leader. After several years working in public accounting, Lisa founded CoPilot CPA to provide her clients accessibility, education, and empowerment, while also providing mentorship to other professionals. Lisa is currently a volunteer for the UACPA’s DEI Committee.

Gary Christensen – Lifetime Member. Gary retired as CFO of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in June after working there for 16 years. The Wisconsin native relocated to Utah in 2005 after his wife accepted a position at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Gary has served on many boards and on the UACPA’s nonprofit committee.

Robert Foley – Lifetime Member. Robert’s career began in Vernal in 1974 working at Lloyd Winward, P.A. He earned his CPA license in 1977 and served as the UACPA’s first president for the Uintah Basin Chapter.

Learn more about this event and purchase tickets for an individual, or a table for eight at For questions about the event, contact Amy Spencer,