New Jersey Society of CPAs Honors 41 Ovation Award Winners for Exemplary Performance

 – June 17, 2021
New Jersey Society of CPAs Honors 41 Ovation Award Winners for Exemplary Performance

ROSELAND, N.J. – The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) is pleased to announce that 41 individuals are the recipients of its 2021 Ovation Awards. One NJCPA member was honored with the Lifetime Leader Award and other recipients were recognized for outstanding achievements in the following six categories: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Exceptional Educators; Emerging Leaders; Impact; Innovation; and Women to Watch.

The individuals were recognized by their peers, colleagues, members of the community and/or the NJCPA for significant contributions in advancing the accounting profession. The selected winners presented leading-edge ideas on their jobs, with the use of technology or in assisting clients/customers; made an impact in their communities; improved and enhanced the well-being of their employees or staff; exhibited leadership with the next generation of CPAs; made their mark in classrooms; promoted an open and diverse accounting profession; or were honored for a lifetime of dedication.    

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a great time to acknowledge those individuals who went above and beyond during this past year. The accounting profession is on the cusp of so many changes that it’s important to thank those who are leading the charge,” said Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CEO and executive director at the NJCPA.  

The winners in each category are:   

Lifetime Leader

  • John (Jack) F. Dailey, Jr., CPA, RMA, PSA — Retired Partner, Bowman & Company, LLP, Voorhees Township

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Juan Arana, CPA — Accountant, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick
  • Laura M. Crowley, CPA, MBA — Director, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, Livingston
  • Dawn Perri — Chief Human Resources Officer, PKF O’Connor Davies, Cranford
  • Elena Richards — Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, KPMG LLP, Montvale
  • Tannisha Troutman, CPA — Audit & Assurance Senior Manager, Deloitte, New York

Emerging Leaders

  • Carly R. Brancato, CPA — Senior Auditor, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick
  • Sophia Cordero, CPA —Manager, Transportation and Logistics, Mazars USA LLP, Edison
  • Jake D. Dericks, CPA, MPAc — Senior Associate, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, Livingston
  • Larissa M. Hoffman, CPA, MBA — Audit Senior, Deloitte, Parsippany
  • Joseph F. Hunt, CPA, MBA — Audit Senior, SobelCo, Livingston
  • Rudy T. Ipekcian, CPA — Tax Manager, BDO USA LLP, New York
  • Robert N. Slootmaker, CPA — Assurance Principal, Untracht Early LLC, Florham Park
  • Christina M. White, CPA, MS — Manager at Traphagen CPAs & Wealth Advisors, Oradell

Exceptional Educators

  • Dr. George C. Romeo Professor, Rowan University, Glassboro
  • Marshall E. Saunders, CPA, MBA — Accounting Instructor, Rutgers Business School, New Brunswick
  • Douglas P. Stives, CPA, MBA — Specialist Professor, Monmouth University, West Long Branch
  • Ron West, CPA/PFS, CFP, J.D., LLM — Chair, Department of Accounting, Taxation & Law, Silberman College of Business, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison


  • Meggan L. Ciaccia, CPA, MBAPresident, Ciaccia CPA, Sewell
  • Reynold Cicalese III, CPA, MST — Associate Partner, Alloy, Silverstein, Shapiro, Adams, Mulford, Cicalese, Wilson & Co., Cherry Hill
  • Vincent Galluccio, CPA — Managing Director, Deloitte, Parsippany
  • Kenneth Pogrob, CPA — Partner, Mazars USA LLP, Edison
  • Chris J. Schiffer, CPA, CFP, MBA, AIF — Senior Vice President, Wealth Enhancement Group, Warren
  • Marita R. Sciarrotta — Deputy Director, State of New Jersey - Department of Taxation, Trenton
  • Robert J. Valas, CPA/ABV, CFE, CGMA — Partner, Cullari Carrico LLC, Fairfield
  • Joseph H. Wisniewski Jr., CPA — Partner, Premier Accounting Services, PC, Pitman


  • Thomas Hasard, CISSP — IT Director and Principal, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick
  • Alisha A. Jernack, CPA — Partner, Mazars USA LLP, Edison
  • Dr. Ethan Kinory — Assistant Professor, Rutgers University-Camden
  • Jaime C. Rapps, CPA — Audit Senior Manager, Grassi, New York
  • Maria T. Rollins, CPA, MST — Managing Partner, KRS CPAs, LLC, Paramus
  • Xin (Eric) Yuan, CPA — Senior Manager, Ernst & Young, Iselin

Women to Watch 

  • Ashley Ackerman, CPA — Senior Manager, Holman Frenia Allison, P.C., Lakewood
  • Avani Bharucha, CPA, MBA — Associate Partner, Baratz & Associates, P.A., Marlton
  • Kathleen P. Bloch, CPA, MBA — CFO, CytoSorbents, Inc., Princeton
  • Tanya E. Dunbar, CPA — Director, EisnerAmper LLP, Iselin
  • Melissa O’Shea, CPA — Partner, Sax LLP, Parsippany
  • Stacy Palmer, CPA, MBA, MST — Senior Tax Manager, Untracht Early LLC, Florham Park
  • Melissa A. Scairrillo, CPA — Audit Manager, Ernst & Young LLP, Iselin
  • Hayley L, Shulman, CPA — Senior Manager, WithumSmith+Brown, Whippany
  • Catherine Syslo, CPA — Director, Quality Control, CohnReznick LLP, Parsippany

The winners were announced during the NJCPA Annual Business Meeting on June 17 and will also be featured in the fall issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. To learn more about the award recipients, visit

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The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, with more than 14,000 members, represents the interests of the accounting profession and advances the financial well-being of the people of New Jersey. The NJCPA plays a leadership role in supporting the profession by providing members with educational resources, access to shared knowledge and a continuing effort to create and expand professional opportunities. Visit