Stephanie Mihal believes that success directly correlates to passion.

“The more passionate you are about your career, the easier it becomes to put the time and effort into it,” explains the CPA and partner at McGrail Merkel Quinn & Associates.

After joining the firm as an intern, Mihal currently has more than 16 years of experience with the firm in a vast number of areas including audit, tax, consulting, and compliance. She specializes in audits of not-for-profit organizations, employee benefit plans and foundations and also focuses on the health care, retail and manufacturing industries. She manages firm recruiting for internships and new hires and oversees career development for the firm. As a partner, The CPA uses her communication and relationship building skills to provide exceptional client service, increase firm visibility and provide growth opportunities.

From a young age, her parents have helped to shape her into the person she is today.

“My parents were always examples of hard-work, dedication, passion, respect and commitment. They taught me the importance of so many life lessons that I use every day,” she acknowledges.

Mihal received her bachelor degree in accounting, summa cum laude, from the University of Scranton where she found the professors, staff and peers there changed her life. “I received the best education full of experiences and connections,” she admits.

While having many mentors through her life and career, she has found that each one has taught her something extremely valuable that helps guide her, including her parents who taught her about life and values, and professionally her mentors have been current MMQ partners Dan Gerrity and Mary Ann Novak, in addition to retired partners Frank Merkel and Joe Quinn.

Mihal believes in being be someone you can look up to. “I think it is so important for you to have confidence in yourself and your decisions to shape your personal progress.

I think it is important to self-evaluate often – determine if you are on the right path for yourself,” she notes. She believes in maintaining a work-life balance, and in the past she has trained for triathlons, marathons, and half-marathons which have taught her more about hard work and dedication, but also gave her an enjoyable outlet for work-life balance. “Now my family is my work-life balance,” she admits.

Mihal notes that she would not be where she is today without the support of her family. Her husband, Nayt, always supports her career goals, extra-curricular and volunteer activities right along with her son, Nathan, 6 and step-son Noah, 20. Her parents, brother and sisters have supported her since childhood and continue to help mold her career and success.

She has received the Daniel P. Mahoney Mentoring and Excellence in Profession awards from the University of Scranton, and the Northeast Woman by the Scranton Times Tribune.

She is a member of the board of directors of Outreach — Center for Community Resources for the past 11 years and board president for two years.

She is a member of the University of Scranton Accounting Department Professional Alumni Council, and volunteers time with the University of Scranton Career Coaches program, other student mentor programs, and the Scranton Area Community Foundation for various information sessions. She is also a member of AICPA and PICPA.

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