Jamaican American Makes Forbes Inaugural List of America’s Top CPAs

In recognition of the vital role played by Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in helping businesses thrive and the high demand for accounting services, the editorial staff at Forbes magazine has produced its inaugural list of the Top 200 CPAs in the United States. CPAs were rated on their expertise, innovation, leadership, and service to the community. Listed among these trustworthy and talented professionals is Jamaican American Durran Dunn, Managing Director at Grant Thornton LLP in Atlanta, Georgia.

Grateful to be chosen

Dunn responded to his listing among the top CPAs in the US by saying he was “eternally grateful” for the journey that has taken him from Kingston’s streets to the Forbes list and noted that his journey continues. He thanked his family and others who contributed to his development and called his profession a “lifesaver” for him. Also giving thanks to God, Dunn added that his passion for his profession motivates him to inspire the next generation of leaders in the business sector.

Jamaican American Makes Forbes Inaugural List of America’s Top CPAs - Durran Dunn 2
Jamaican American, Durran Dunn, Makes Forbes Inaugural List of America’s Top CPAs

Dunn’s career path

Dunn attended Jamaica College high school in Kingston where he concentrated on business courses and discovered his accounting talent. He was also a talented athlete who attracted the interest of several colleges offering him academic and athletic scholarships. After graduation, Dunn decided to pursue a BS degree in business administration and accounting at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). At USM, Dunn took on a strenuous academic schedule, ran track and field, and played defensive back on the college football team in his senior year. He also served as president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and Beta Alpha Psi honor society. Dunn credits his professors for his success at college, saying they “made business and accounting class fun.” He also noted their commitment to professionalism and caring for students. He received several offers from major accounting firms upon his graduation and started his career at KPMG, passing the CPA exam in his first two years there.

Athletic endeavors

Dunn relocated to Atlanta in response to his career needs but discovered he could also display his athletic abilities there. Since 2018, Dunn has been a part of RaceTrac’s “Beat The Freeze” promotion, which gives fans of the Atlanta Braves baseball team the chance to defeat professional sprinter Dunn, known as “The Freeze,” in a race between foul poles during the time between innings. In 2021, Dunn was named a World Champion following the Braves’ victory in the MLB World Series. As The Freeze, he has amassed a large fan base and also competes in local, regional, national, and global track and field competitions for athletes 25 years of age and older. He represented the US at several world competitions, including the World Masters Athletics Outdoor Championships in Finland in 2022 where he won two medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events. Complementing his interests in health and wellness, Dunn saw the chance to follow his dream of opening a gym during the COVID-19 pandemic. His  Anytime Fitness Gym in Marietta, Georgia, was featured on 11Alive/MSN.

Atlanta Braves Player and Jamaican Sprinter Durran The Freeze Dunn

Awards and recognition

Dunn has been recognized as a leader many times. He was named the 2007 recipient of the KPMG National Chairman Award. He was also honored as one of the “40 Under 40” professionals by the CPA Practice Advisor in 2020 and The Black CPA Centennial and NABA Inc. in 2021. He serves on the boards of nonprofit organizations, including The National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and The RISE Schools. Additionally, Dunn volunteers at Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, and Junior Achievement USA. He was on the board of directors at Camp Horizon, Inc.

Photos Courtesy of Durran Dunn