Two years ago, at just age 36, Rachel Dwiggins achieved a significant goal when she made partner at BKD LLP.
“There are many accounting professionals, but very few achieve partner status at a firm the caliber of BKD,” she says. “It is very gratifying to set a career goal, work hard and then achieve it.
“I have always been open to accepting new challenges and responsibilities and have tackled them with a positive attitude.”
Dwiggins joined BKD in 1999 as a staff accountant. She is now leader of the government and nonprofit audit practices in BKD’s Southern Missouri Practice Unit, which includes Springfield, Branson and Joplin.
“I lead a group of professionals who serve many large clients, including municipalities, higher education, religious organizations, foundations and other nonprofit organizations,” Dwiggins says. “It is very rewarding to help nonprofits succeed and serve communities locally around the country.”
She recently was tapped to lead initiatives relating to higher education in BKD’s north region and to serve on the firmwide higher education committee to identify needs and bring appropriate products to market. Dwiggins also serves on the advisory board of the Southern Missouri Advisory Committee of the BKD Foundation, which provides support to local nonprofits and encourages employees to get involved in their community.
BKD emphasizes coaching for young professionals, and Dwiggins has acted in that capacity for several people.
“Guiding our young staff through their careers is one of the most important things we do,” she says. “I also serve as an informal mentor to (people) who work with me in our industry niches. I am often approached by other female professionals, especially new mothers.
“My consistent message is that everyone has different circumstances and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all, and that’s OK. The goal is helping an individual find what works for them.”
In addition to making partner, Dwiggins is especially proud of earning the BKD PRIDE Award two years prior to achieving her current position.
“The award is given each year to one partner and one employee who exemplify the firm’s PRIDE values of passion, respect, integrity, discipline and excellence,” she says. “BKD partners and employees nominate their peers ... and the winners are chosen by the firm’s governing board.”
When she’s not working, Dwiggins is involved in multiple community endeavors. She chairs the Junior League’s placement committee, served as treasurer for two of the six years she sat on the board for Habitat for Humanity, and is a graduate of Leadership Springfield. Dwiggins is a volunteer speaker on financial literacy for Missouri State University’s Go Lead program that benefits nonprofit organizations, and she chairs the governmental accounting committee of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants.[[In-content Ad]]