Leadership / Management

Patti Bissell, first woman to chair MACPA, dies

Bissel The MACPA family has lost one of its own.

Patricia Bissell, a longtime MACPA volunteer and the first woman to serve as chair of the association's Board of Directors, has died.

Patti served as chair during the 1983-84 fiscal year, a groundbreaking sign of the progress women have made in the profession over the years. She often told friends that when she began her career in the 1950s, she was required to wear a hat and gloves when she paid visits to clients.

"Although it took a long time for women to assume leadership roles in the profession, Patti was still ahead of her time," said Jackie Brown, the MACPA's deputy executive director. "Her passion for the profession was only surpassed by her love for family."

Patti started her own firm in 1970 in Hyattsville and went on to become the first woman to serve as chair of the Montgomery College Foundation board. She was also the first woman to chair the MACPA's Capital Area Chapter.

"Patti was a great mentor," said Patricia Biscoe, a friend and colleague of Patti's and a longtime MACPA volunteer. "She was very interested in helping her employees achieve success in the business. She suggested I get involved in the MACPA and introduced me to many other CPAs who have been great resources in my career. She was dedicated to giving back to the community. Patti was awesome at remembering people. She made clients feel comfortable and always asked after their families.

"Patti was a great advocate for women in the business," she added.

We're thinking of Patti's family today. We're also remembering all of the tireless work Patti did on behalf of the profession and the MACPA. Her leadership is an important chapter in our history.

We're saddened by her death, but we're so grateful for her service and friendship.


Bill Sheridan