Kent State Accounting Alumnus Recognized for Work with College
Christopher Chizmar, a 1990 graduate of Kent State University’s College of Business Administration’s Accounting Department, is the recipient of the 2014 Accounting Alumnus of the Year Award.
Chizmar received the award at the 2014 Annual Accounting Awards Banquet, presented by the Accounting Association and Kent State’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi.
“I feel very honored to receive the Accounting Alumnus of the Year Award,” Chizmar said. “I am very blessed and thankful for all that Kent State has done for me.”
With more than 24 years of experience, Chizmar is currently a tax partner at the Cleveland offices of Deloitte, LLP, where he has held numerous leadership roles. Chizmar lead the Northeast Ohio tax practice, served as the real estate industry leader and, most recently, lead the development of Indian tax practice.
Chizmar and Deloitte LLP have had a continuing presence at Kent State. Each fall, the company recruits students for both full-time accounting and internship positions. Chizmar has presented to some of the student organizations in the College of Business Administration and continues to connect with faculty within the Accounting Department.
Chizmar said one professor he has stayed in contact with throughout the years is Linda Zucca, Ph.D., Accounting Department chair. He said Zucca was the first professor he had when he attended Kent State, and it was involvement from professors like her that made his experience at Kent State so great.
“The professors’ involvement and the opportunity to meet professionals really helped me to get placed in my career,” Chizmar said.
Chizmar said he knew he wanted to pursue a degree in accounting after high school and chose Kent State not only because of its location and price, but also because of its reputation.
“Kent State’s College of Business Administration has a history of great education and it’s only gotten better,” Chizmar said. “It continues to increase standards.”
He said once students choose the right school, there are things they can do to prepare for future employment. Students must do well in class, but it is also important to be able to differentiate themselves from their peers.
“Students should get involved,” Chizmar said. “It helps you learn about the field and, more importantly, network with professionals.”
Chizmar said getting involved on campus shows employers that students have the ability to network and build relationships. He said employers also want to know that students know how to maximize opportunities.
“Do something that tells us about you,” Chizmar said. “Whether it is sports, art or another job; we want to see something beyond school work. We look for experience and leadership.”
Chizmar sets an example for students by being involved in several organizations in addition to his work. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and served in various roles in organizations including the Cleveland Zoo, Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland, Leadership Cleveland and Urban Vision. Currently, he teaches high school introduction to business and introductory accounting courses at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.