RSM's Michelle Nolan climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as part of last year's inaugural 90-90-9 program.
RSM's Michelle Nolan climbing Mount Kilimanjaro as part of last year's inaugural 90-90-9 program. Michelle Nolan/RSM

Top 5 firm RSM US once again provided nine staff members across the country with $90,000 ($10,000 each) and nine paid-time-off (PTO) days to pursue their own passions via the firm’s 90-90-9: Pursue Your Passion program.

RSM launched the program last year in honor of the firm's 90th anniversary. Nearly 300 staff members applied in 2016 to pursue their goals with RSM's blessing. Last year's contest proved to be a success, and this year the firm received over 200 more submissions to be selected for the program.

“The contest enhanced our already strong sense of camaraderie as we saw each of our winners achieve their dreams through stories, photos and videos," Doug Opheim, RSM's CFO and 90-90-9 executive sponsor, told Accounting Today. "In several cases, new relationships were established as employees reached out to the winners to congratulate them, volunteer their support and help them make connections to facilitate the completion of their projects. It far exceeded our expectations, and we’re thrilled to help even more of our employees’ dreams come true this year.”

RSM’s 2017 90-90-9 program winners, and their stated goals, are as follows:

  • Amanda Brown (manager; Harrisburg, Pa.) – Volunteer at The Bailey House and/or the Ronald McDonald House, facilities that provide respite to family members of hospitalized patients, and purchase “wish list” supplies.
  • Jay Brown (senior associate; Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – Bolster America’s talent pool by sparking interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by capitalizing on the Aug. 21, 2017 total solar eclipse – the first in the contiguous United States since 1979 – through virtual reality, live streaming and in-personal educational experiences.
  • Sarah Greyer (manager; Tampa, Fla.) – Hike Mt. Everest, donating $1 for every meter of altitude hiked to a nonprofit organization in Nepal to help with earthquake recovery efforts.
  • Patti Leonard (administrative assistant; Greensboro, N.C.) – Establish the Sparky Foundation to help provide medical care for animals in need, and to rescue and re-home animals in high-risk shelters.
  • Kyle McNamara (senior associate; Las Vegas, Nev.) – Complete construction of a shelter in the Philippines to keep residents safe during typhoons and other natural disasters, and install a well in a local village to provide water to villagers.
  • Danielle Montes (associate; San Antonio, Texas) – Take quilting classes to fine-tune skills to make and donate 24 quilts and 50 receiving blankets to Threads of Love, a nonprofit focused on premature babies; Setton Home, an organization that teaches parenting and life skills to teenage mothers; and Quilts for Kids, which focuses on children with lift-threatening illnesses, children of abuse and children living at or below the poverty level.
  • Shelley Moreno (senior associate; Los Angeles, Calif.) – Provide travel packages and professional makeovers for seven breast cancer survivors for the 2017 Breast Cancer Thrives Cruise.
  • Hunter Pearson (associate; Gaithersburg, Md.) – Help his grandfather live his dream of returning to Normandy, to revisit life-changing experiences he had during World War II.
  • Nathaniel Rubin (associate; Atlanta, Ga.) – Provide scholarships and medical supplies to enable five children to attend Camp Kudzu, a Georgia-based nonprofit that provides overnight camps and programs to children with Type-1 diabetes.

For more on the 90-90-9 program, head to RSM's site here.