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ACCI Advisory Council

At the Marilyn Davies College of Business, these remarkable individuals make up our ACCI Advisory Council. These distinguished professionals are not only esteemed members of the business community, but they also bring a wealth of expertise and experience to our organization. We have the privilege of highlighting their outstanding contributions and acknowledging their invaluable presence in shaping our student's success.

Kathryn Denson  

Kathryn Denson, CPA

Assurance Director

Kathryn has more than 13 years experience serving clients both public and private companies, including companies with significant global operations. Companies served span across a variety of business sectors including oilfield service, manufacturing, construction, and alternative energy.

Experience includes, but is not limited to, SEC financial reporting, debt and equity offerings, acquisitions, purchase price allocation and valuations, and Sarbanes Oxley 404 compliance.

Kathryn is a member of the Houston Private Equity and Houston Manufacturing industry groups. Kathryn also services on the Young Advisory Accounting Board for the University of Houston.

Education: University of Houston (MAcc.), University of Houston(B.B.A. - Accounting)

Katie Grahmann  

Katie Grahmann

Chief Financial Officier, 
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

After investing seven years with PwC’s audit practice, Katie credits public accounting with giving her a passion for using numbers to make a difference and also introducing her to her husband, Scott. Seeking a more direct connection between her skills and the world around her, Katie signed on as controller for the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council in 2012. While learning to account for cookie sales and inventory badges, Katie spent her newfound free time serving the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as a volunteer. She later joined the Rodeo’s fulltime staff in 2014 and was promoted to her current role in 2021.

For almost two decades Katie has volunteered in the community with the Junior League of Houston. Eventually realizing the synthesis between her professional world and volunteer work, Katie stepped into financial roles within the League, serving as Community Treasurer, Financial Vice President and now as Vice Chair for the Junior League of Houston Foundation Board. Katie is a founding board member of Impact100 Houston, now in its third year. Most recently, Katie has joined the boards of the Houston Botanic Garden and the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston. Each summer, Katie works as a Corporate Fellow with University of HoustonDowntown’s Marilyn Davies College of Business.

Education: Texas A&M University (B.B.A. - Accounting and M.S. - Finance), Licensed CPA in the state of Texas

Marina Kitikar  

Marina Kitikar

Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer,
Magnolia Oil & Gas Corporation

Mrs. Marina Kitikar is the Chief Accounting Officer for Magnolia Oil & Gas Corporation, a Houston based publicly traded oil & gas exploration and production company with market capitalization over $5 billion in 2023. Marina began her tenure with Magnolia as Director of Financial Reporting in 2018, was promoted to Chief Accounting Officer in 2021, and now oversees Magnolia’s accounting department. Prior to joining Magnolia Oil and Gas Corporation, Mrs. Kitikar served in served in roles of increasing responsibility with Ernst & Young and TechnipFMC.

Mrs. Kitikar is a member of Women’s Energy Network Houston Executives group.

Education: University of Houston (BBA –Accounting), Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas

Abbas Ali Mirza  

Abbas Ali Mirza, CPA

Senior Manager,
Ernst and Young LLP, Houston, Texas

Abbas is a Senior Manager in EY’s Tax Services practice in Houston. He has over 15 years of experience, including 9 years overseas in India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE. He started his journey upon graduation from University of Houston – Downtown and then left overseas to work in India for Deloitte, PwC in Qatar and Saudi Arabia and then Ernst and Young in Dubai. During his international tenure, he also did short-term assignments to various countries in Europe. Since his move to the US in 2016, he advises client on tax matters relating to investments in the Middle East Region and investment from the Middle East region to the US.

Education: University of Houston - Downtown in 2007 with a Bachelors in Accounting. He is a CPA, Certified SAFe 4 Agilist and Six Sigma White Belt and is a member of the AICPA and licensed in the State of Texas.

Lisa Paulk  

Lisa Paulk

Senior Vice President/West Region Managing Director,
The Siegfried Group, LLP

Ms. Lisa Paulk is the Senior Vice President/West Region Managing Director for The Siegfried Group, LLP, a financial advisory firm based in Wilmington, DE. Ms. Paulk began her tenure with Siegfried as director in 2011, was promoted to Managing Director in 2015, and now oversees the firm’s Western Region. Prior to joining The Siegfried Group, Ms. Paulk served in various leadership positions with Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Young and Innovar Partners.

Ms. Paulk maintains several professional and personal affiliations, including the Texas Society of CPAs (director), Houston CPA Society, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Good Herdsman subcommittee, and Family Services of Greater Houston. She has also served as a MBA Corporate Fellow for the UH-Downtown Marilyn Davies College of Business.

Education: University of Texas at San Antonio (BBA – Finance, BBA – Management, MS - Accounting)
Bob Shoemaker  

Bob Shoemaker

Chief Accounting Officer,
CITGO Petroleum Corporation

Mr. Shoemaker began his work with CITGO in May 1998 as a financial analyst and has held management positions in finance and information technology with CITGO. Most recently before his current role, he was Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis. Before joining CITGO Mr. Shoemaker served as an accounting and business administration instructor and professor for almost 20 years, teaching at several institutions including State Fair Community College, Sedalia, MO and York College of Pennsylvania, York, PA.

Education: University of Central Missouri (BSBA – Accounting, Personnel Management), Pennsylvania State University (MBA).
Leo Varner  

Leo Varner

Principle, National Leader of State and Local Tax
UHY Advisors LLP

Leo Varner is the national leader of state and local tax at UHY Advisors LLP, a global professional services firm. Leo travels the country working with clients on complex state tax matters. He has over 23 years in state and local tax. A 2000 graduate of the Marilyn Davies College of Business, Leo began his career as an auditor for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. After leaving the Comptroller’s office, Leo entered public accounting and worked with two Big 4 accounting firms. Leo was an advocate for UHD during his time in the Big 4, establishing one of the first Big 4 recruiting partnerships between the Big 4 and UHD, which has led to additional Big 4 partnerships and other major accounting firm recruiting connections. Leo is a CPA, and is a member of the AICPA, Texas Society of CPA’s, Houston CPA Society, and the Institute for Professionals in Taxation.

Education: University of Houston

Glenn Hilman  

Glenn Hilman

Talon Energy Group

Glenn Hilman is an energy executive with broad experience at CITGO Petroleum, a US refining company with annual revenue exceeding $28 billion. He has held profit and loss responsibility for a major division, transformed the corporation through execution of over $1.0 billion of M&A transactions, was a major participant in efforts to weather the 2009 recession, and reported directly to the CEO as a corporate officer. In his last position as the Vice President, Shared Services, he was responsible for procurement, information technology, real estate, human resources, executive compensation, the interface with the Compensation Committee and a $100 million budget. He is known as a strategist, effective implementer, and astute commercial negotiator. After his retirement from CITGO, and forming Talon Energy Group, he continued to serve as an executive advisor to CITGO, with emphasis on downstream and midstream commercial development, compensation, performance improvement, and legal support.

Mr. Hilman holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona and an MBA from the University of Houston. In addition, he is a Certified Public Accountant and has attended executive development programs at Columbia and Harvard. He serves on the board of directors of Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and has formerly served as directors of the Simon Bolivar Foundation and various CITGO subsidiaries. He is a former member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He currently serves as a lecturer with the University of Houston – Downtown Marilyn Davies College of Business.

Education: University of Houston

Student Members

Angie Garcia  

Angie Garcia

Officer for the Professional Accounting Society
Student member of the Texas Society of CPAs

Angie Garcia is a Senior undergraduate student at the University of Houston-Downtown majoring in accounting. After completing her bachelor's degree, she plans on enrolling in the Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAC) program at the Marilyn Davies College of Business. Upon graduating, Angie will have completed 3 internships with various firms. She plans on becoming a CPA in the state of Texas. She will begin her career in public accounting and hopes to one day hold a C-suite executive role. Angie’s initial interest in accounting stems from her family’s experience in being small business owners. While growing up, discussions about finances were a frequent occurrence at the dinner table. Seeing the impact that a good accountant can have on small business inspired her to pursue a career in accounting.

Axel Pineda  

Axel Pineda

Former President of the Professional Accounting Society and Audit Intern,

Axel has currently finished studying for his Accounting degree  at the Marilyn Davies College of Business. He has held the leadership role of Secretary for an accounting organization (Spring 2023) and subsequently served as President (Fall 2023). He is currently working as an Audit intern for KPMG for Winter 2024 and will be an upcoming audit intern for Grant Thornton in Summer 2024.
The reason he choose accounting is because of an interest in learning more about the foundations that create different industry businesses. He looks forward to becoming a Certified Public Accountant where he can excel his skills and make a difference in the industry.

Education: University of Houston-Downtown (BBA Accounting)

Chris Wood  

Chris Wood

Staff-Financial Acounting Advisory Services (FAAS)-Commodities Markets
Ernst & Young (EY)

Mr. Christopher Wood is a 1st year Staff at Ernst & Young (EY), within the Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) - Commodities Markets industry, based in the Houston Texas office. Mr. Wood is a recent graduate from the University of Houston-Downtown where he was actively involved in many student organizations such as the Professional Accounting Society (PAS), Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), and the Texas CPA Student Auxiliary.

Education: University of Houston-Downtown (BBA Accounting, Masters of Professional Accountancy)