Dawn A. Laborie, CPA, vice-president of audit and assurance at LaPorte CPAs & Business Advisors, has been selected as one of New Orleans’ outstanding women professionals by business publication CityBusiness.
Laborie is one of 50 recipients whose success in business and contributions to the community have set the pace for the New Orleans region’s future. ‘Women of the Year’ honorees represent innovative leaders who are making waves with their energy, ideas, achievements and commitment to excellence.
Since joining LaPorte after graduation from UNO, Laborie has focused her 12-year career in public accounting on serving nonprofit organizations. She is recognized within the firm as a leader in LaPorte’s Nonprofit Industry Group which is one the firm’s largest industry groups and most successful specialty practices. Laborie has extensive experience in performing and reviewing financial and compliance audits for various nonprofit entities – notably for foundation, educational institution, trade association and governmental organization clients.
Her professional accomplishments include:
- Working personally with more than 20 nonprofit clients in the greater New Orleans area, advising them on financial, reporting and compliance issues.
- Implementing a multi-year training and marketing program in the Houston office to expand the new nonprofit practice there. The individual training programs cover both audit and assurance issues and Form 990 tax practices.
- Joining and helping to expand a new industry group for LaPorte – the Public Sector Industry Group – covering governmental entities.
- Presenting at a Not-for-Profit Workshop this summer at the request of the Louisiana Society for CPAs – as part of a continuing professional education conference for nonprofit organizations. She trained other CPAs on current audit and accounting procedures and upcoming nonprofit accounting issues.
- Since 2010, serving as a one-to-one mentor for two younger professionals at LaPorte. She provides advice and guidance on professional development/goal setting/coaching. Every two years she is assigned different employees to mentor.
Raised in a family that valued the principle of helping others, she has always been a leading proponent of community service – a passion that dovetails with LaPorte’s commitment to voluntarism and civic involvement.
Early in her career, she completed the Center for Nonprofit Management’s Boardworks program – training for service on nonprofit boards. She joined the Board of the East Jefferson YMCA where she served for two years.
She has served on the board of the Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) since 2007 and became Treasurer in 2008, an office she still holds today. She led a year-long effort to prepare the JPAS for the IRS Form 990 Tax revision provisions. She created and implemented compliance policies for the new regulations and established governance changes within the organization. In 2009, she was selected as the JPAS Board Member of the Year.
Chosen one of 23 professionals for the one-year ‘Leadership Jefferson’ program in 2009, Laborie served as an Advisory Board member for the following class. She has also served as a peer reviewer on LANO’s (Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations) Standards for Excellence panel that evaluates area non-profit organizations and awards the ‘Seal of Excellence’ for superior operations/service.
Laborie volunteered with the Young Leadership Council’s College Admissions Project – an effort to lessen the gap in college admissions between upper and lower income students. CAP provides direct support to area public high school students (most of whom are first generation college applicants) through the college admissions process. After training, she was assigned to a student with whom she worked for a year, and who is now a senior at Nicholls State.
Laborie and her husband are active leaders in Catholic Engaged Encounter, sponsor a family and friends annual fundraiser for Children’s Hospitals in New Orleans and Houston, and are Thanksgiving Day volunteers for the YMCA’s holiday meal delivery. She is a member of the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Louisiana Government Finance Officers Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.