Meet our Members

This feature spotlights members of ISCPA, their career path, and some fun and favorite things about them. 

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Trisha GrossTrisha Gross

First job: I was babysitting neighbor kids when I was 13, and my next job was stuffing newspapers for the Sunday Des Moines Register on Saturday afternoons. We would stuff the ads/comic inserts, so I liked reading the comics that were coming out in the Sunday paper. All the newspapers were sorted by zip code, so I learned the metro’s west side zip codes well during that time.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: At first, a dentist. Then, I developed a love for computers and wanted to pursue a career in computer science. Accounting was a close second when my parents introduced and encouraged me to look into a business major. Today, I enjoy that management information systems and accounting and finance generally go hand-in-hand.

I was inspired to become a CPA because: In college, I took my first accounting class and was hooked. I loved learning real-life finance/business principles my first semester when all my other classes were general education.

How has your background and experience shaped who you are today? I started in public accounting with McGowen Hurst Clark & Smith PC right after graduating with my BSBA in accounting from Drake. Public accounting taught me about the benefits of hard work, community involvement and building lasting relationships. It cultivated in me the desire to be a lifelong learner and keep sharpening my leadership and technical skills. This is something I continue to do by attending ISCPA education courses and events, and I encourage my team to do this each year. I like to challenge status quo and problem-solve which has served me well in my leadership over the finance and administration at Prairie Engineering.

How has being a member of ISCPA helped you personally? Professionally? Since I joined industry, the Society keeps me connected with other CPAs. I really appreciate the Business and Industry conference and other learning offered to keep up my license. As a committed lifelong learner, you will generally find me tuning into one or two webinars per month about the latest topics or technologies in industry.

Have you had any mentors who helped/influenced you along the way? I had the absolute privilege of working under Kathi Koenig for nine years at McGowen Hurst Clark & Smith PC. Kathi is a strong business leader who demonstrates leadership by servanthood. She is a well-respected partner and shareholder, and her positive attitude, honesty and caring nature have helped so many in the firm and community. She supports and encourages me in balancing my family time and responsibilities as a wife, mother of two young children, CPA and community member. Even though I accepted a position outside of public accounting, Kathi still takes her valuable time to meet, listen and mentor me in my new relationships and opportunities.

See past Member Spotlight features:

Job: Senior director, finance and administration, Prairie Engineering, Inc., a Premier Tech Companu

Hometown:Born in Ft. Worth, Texax, grew up in Waukee

Residence: Polk City

Alma mater: Drake University

Community activities: Active at Keystone Church in Ankeny. My husband and I serve monthly by teaching preschool age 3-4 years. I am also a West Des Moines Leadership Academy graduate, class of 2013.

Favorite vacation spot: Cruising around the Caribbean; we love not only visiting the ports but the relaxing days at sea on cruise ships! I have been on eleven cruises and can’t wait to book our next one.

Family members: Husband, Lee; kids, Emma (6) and Ian (4)

Last book I read: “Crazy Busy - A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem” and I’m currently reading “Little House on the Freeway.”

Favorite food: Chicken wings

Secret or special talent: I have an impressive elephant trumpet sound for my kids.

Favorite line from a film: “What’s it doing?...It’s learning…” War Games

Best advice I ever received: Sometimes, done is as good as perfect.