Press Release: BRC has been selected as a co-sponsoring firm for the 2024 George Willie Internship & Scholarship Program by the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS)

Press Release: BRC has been selected as a co-sponsoring firm for the 2024 George Willie Internship & Scholarship Program by the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS)

For Release:  March 3, 2023

Contact: Kim Ripberger, Chief People Officer, Partner, 919.703.2194,

GREENSBORO, NC – Bernard Robinson & Company LLP, an Accounting Today “Regional Leader,” is pleased to announce that The American Institute of CPAs® (AICPA®) is now accepting applications for the Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) George Willie Ethnically Diverse Student Internship and Scholarship program. 

The George Willie program provides a paid internship and scholarship to ten ethnic minority accounting students who intend to pursue the CPA licensure and have interest in working with a public accounting firm. Each student receives up to $10,000 (USD) toward their final academic year tuition. 

Ten PCPS member firms will each sponsor a student for an internship during the 2024 busy season. The participating member firms are: 

  • Apercen Partners LLC  
  • Bernard, Robinson & Company LLP 
  • Blackman & Sloop CPAs 
  • Brown, Edwards & Company, LLP 
  • Premier Group Services Inc 
  • Mazars USA LLP 
  • REDW 
  • Smith Patrick CPAs 
  • Withum 

This program was created in honor of George Willie, CPA, CGMA, a former chair of AICPA’s PCPS Executive Committee and the AICPA Minority Initiatives Committee. During his more than 35-year career, Willie has promoted the benefits of a career in accounting to students and young professionals in pursuit of the CPA license. 

The George Willie program is open to ethnic minority students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in accounting or an accounting-related major. Students interested in the program can click here to view all eligibility requirements, selection criteria and more. Applications are open through April 30, 2023. 

“We are very excited to be recognized and selected as a 2024 co-sponsor for this internship and scholarship by the AICPA and to be among other top firms in the US who have, as the AICPA states, have shown ”Diversity is critical to the future of the CPA profession,” said BRC’s Chief People Officer, Kim Ripberger.

“This program showcases a firm’s commitment to working to build a more diverse workplace,” said AICPA Diversity and Inclusion Director, Crystal Cooke. “This opportunity goes far beyond simply bringing diverse professionals into the workplace. This enables firms to create an environment where people feel heard, valued, and have a sense of belonging, where they can thrive. This program will help firms understand how they can better support diverse staff while also allowing the students to have firsthand experience of what they will encounter in the future. It also often leads to full time employment for the student, which we consider a win-win as this then becomes part of our larger goal of increasing diversity in the profession.” 

The AICPA is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the profession, and this program is one of ways the AICPA is working to broaden the pipeline of talent entering the profession. The U.S. census projects that minorities will comprise the majority of the population in the U.S. by 2045. A more diverse and inclusive profession will be better equipped to address the shifts in entrepreneurial capital that will result from these changing demographics. In addition, studies have shown that businesses that are more diverse perform better than their peers. 

About AICPA & CIMA, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants AICPA® & CIMA®, together as the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants® (the Association), advance the global accounting and finance profession through our work on behalf of 689,000 AICPA and CIMA members, candidates and engaged professionals in 196 countries and territories. Together, we are the worldwide leader on public and management accounting issues through advocacy, support for the CPA license, the CGMA designation and specialized credentials, professional education and thought leadership. We build trust by empowering our members and engaged professionals with the knowledge and opportunities to be leaders in broadening prosperity for a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient future. 



BRC is a Certified Public Accountant and Advisory Firm with business advisors serving today’s leading middle market companies, private companies, not-for-profit organizations, small businesses, individuals and government entities.  For more than 75 years, BRC has served several key industry sectors with dedicated teams and with clients nationwide.  In business since 1947, the Firm has an excellent reputation as an employer and is currently listed by Accounting Today as the one of the “Best Midsized and Large Firm to Work For” in 2022.


Media Contacts

Andrew “Andy” Harding, Director of Practice Development

BRC (Bernard Robinson & Company, LLP)

Tel (336) 232-4421 /

Kim Ripberger updated cropped 473 x 315

Kimberly Jessup Ripberger CPA, Chief People Officer, Assurance Partner

Kimberly is an assurance partner at BRC with more than 21 years in public accounting.  Her previous experience included working in Industry in process improvement and project management.  She works primarily with clients involved in the governmental, nonprofit and affordable housing industries, including tax credit properties, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and […]