Speakers

Ash Ahluwalia, MBA, NSSA, CSSCS, CFP:  Ash Ahluwalia is the founder and President of National Social Security Partners, LLC, ("NSSP"), the nation's leading social security planning firm. NSSP works in collaboration with other professionals such as financial advisors, CPAs, and attorneys to help clients navigate the complexitities of social security and maximize benefits.

He received the “National Social Security Advisor of the Year” award in 2016 from the National Social Security Association. He has built a significant practice advising clients on how to maximize their eligible Social Security retirement benefits. He is one of only a few advisors in the nation who has obtained both the Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS) designation and the National Social Security Advisor (NSSA) designation.

Mr. Ahluwalia is one of the nation’s foremost experts on social security and is a highly sought after speaker at conferences and industry events. He also provides CPE and CLE credit for his training programs specifically tailored to legal and accounting professionals.

He has worked in the financial services business for over 25 years, focusing on financial and retirement planning for individuals and business owners.

After graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, he obtained his Chartered Accounting degree (a Canadian CPA). He then went on to obtain an MBA from Wharton Business School. He has also obtained his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
Rachel L. Anevski, MAOB, PHR, SHRM-CP:  Rachel L. Anevski, M.A.O.B., PHR, SHRM-CP, is the founder and chief executive officer of Matters of Management, LLC. Rachel has held executive roles in marketing, business development and human capital for mid-size and large professional services firms. She has spent her career working alongside business owners and managing partners carrying out firm missions, acquiring talent and providing coaching to executives, management and staff. Consulting engagements have consisted of organizational redesign of operations and infrastructure, personnel programming, senior talent acquisition, total benefit and rewards systems, policy and procedure manuals, and providing business development coaching training. She is certified in human resources, has a Masters Degree in organizational behavior from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an undergraduate degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Solon Angel:  Solon Angel is the visionary founder of MindBridge Analytics Inc. His time in Silicon Valley shaped his business philosophy of watching trends and building product-centric companies that solve massive market problems. Solon’s 16 years experience in high-tech firms ranging from venture capital to business analytics and deep knowledge of human fraud detection make him the perfect technology strategist to reshape how organizations around the world detect and prevent corporate risk.
Samuel J. Angelo:  As the Managing Member of Headquarters Advisory Group, Skip Angelo has been providing financial services for select accounting firms and their clients for more than 30 years. Skip specializes in providing expertise in the area of insurance, estate, retirement planning, education planning, portfolio evaluation and asset allocation, and retirement plans analysis. Skip holds the Chartered Financial Consultant, Chartered Life Underwriter and Qualified Pension Administration designations.

Education: Seton Hall University, BS in Government

He has passed the FINRA Series 6, 7, 63 and 65 exams and holds his NJ Life, Variable and Health Insurance licenses.
Susan Ascher:  Susan P. Ascher is President and CEO of The Ascher Group, an award winning national consulting firm, Founder of The Sphere of Excellence in CommunicationTM. and Course/Culinary Connections. Susan is a career / executive coach, keynote speaker, and the author of Dude, Seriously, It’s NOT All About You!, a humorous rant on how communication and protocol have forever changed how we connect and interact with coworkers, friends and family in The New Millennium. Her second book Dude, Seriously, Get Your ASK In Gear! is a compilation of the things we must ask ourselves if we are to be successful leaders in the rapidly changing landscape of the internet age.

Susan’s coaching programs have helped countless corporations and individuals raise the bar in communication, leadership development, teamwork, and client relations. She has coached individuals and teams for clients ranging from the Fortune 50 to emerging growth companies, as well as healthcare organizations, non-profits, and numerous nationally ranked colleges and universities.
An avid golfer, Susan’s Course Connections teaches golf in a low key professional setting, while introducing the value of networking through golf. Off season, her networking/meetup, Culinary Connections, takes place at 4 star restaurants in the metropolitan area.

A graduate of Lehigh University’s first class of women, Susan is a sought after national media resource. Susan has been interviewed on Bloomberg, ABC, NBC, CNBC, CNN, News 12 and My9TV. Susan presents workshops at universities throughout the country including Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Colorado Mountain College in Edwards Colorado, William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, Caldwell College in Caldwell, New Jersey, and Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey. She has been published in Forbes Magazine, Crain’s New York Business, The Star-Ledger, NJBIZ and New Jersey & Company.
Frank R. Boutillette, CPA, CGMA, ABV:  Frank Boutillette, CPA, is a partner in Withum’s New York office and has over 25 years of accounting and auditing experience. Specializing in accounting, auditing and business valuation services, Frank is a licensed certified public accountant in New York and New Jersey. He is a member of Withum’s Financial Services & Investment Group and has significant experience working with investment companies (hedge funds, mutual funds and ETFs), broker-dealers, private equity and venture capital funds, registered investment advisors and closely-held businesses. He also performs peer and quality reviews of CPA firms. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the NJCPA, where he served as president for the 2015/16 term. Frank is also a member of the NJCPA Peer Review Executive Committee, which administers peer reviews on behalf of the AICPA in New Jersey. He is a co-author of three books on accounting. A graduate of Rutgers University, Newark, Frank received his BA degree in accounting.
Nina Chmura, CPA:  Nina Chmura, CPA, is a partner in Withum’s New Brunswick, NJ, office. With more than 14 years of experience in the accounting and auditing field, Nina currently holds a strong role within the Firm’s real estate, consumer products and not-for-profit service areas. Her extensive experience has awarded her with accolades such as becoming the winner of Withum’s Inaugural Innovative Strength Award as well as the nominee for several of Withum’s Marketing and Entrepreneurship Strength Awards.

Nina is licensed as a certified public accountant in the state of New Jersey. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and serves on its Women’s Initiative Executive Committee Task Force. Nina also is an active member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA), Raritan Valley YMCA as a Finance Committee Member, and serves on the New Jersey Food Council as Tax Policy and Trade Relations Committee Members. In addition, she invests time as a dedicated Board Member with CoreNet Global as their Special Events Chair and also is an active member of the Wanamassa PTA.

Nina graduated with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from Boston University. Presenting and speaking at conferences such as the AICPA E.D.G.E, Massachusetts Society of CPAs Emerging Leaders and the AICPA Controllers Conference, she is very much involved in being an industry thought leader and proponent of the internal developmental initiatives of the Firm.
Jeremy Clopton:  Jeremy Clopton, Director at Upstream Academy, gained his real world experience from his work with one of the top accounting and consulting firms in the country, where he led a firm-wide specialty practice. During his 12 years there, he gained extensive experience in data analytics, fraud prevention, and business intelligence, but his real passion was going beyond providing the services clients asked for – to help them determine what they needed for future success. Before he was recruited by Upstream, he launched his own consulting company focused on developing more successful cultures by asking better (more strategic) questions. He created the SQ Method, a framework designed to help firms overcome challenges and more successfully adopt new technology, analyze and utilize data, encourage innovation, and drive employee engagement. A dynamic and insightful presenter, Jeremy speaks both in the US and abroad at industry events, as a faculty member for the ACFE and as an instructor at the Management Development Institute at Missouri State University. His dedication to not just meeting, but exceeding, client expectations makes him a favorite for participants.

Jeremy believes in the potential of data and technology to transform firm practice management, leadership, and firm culture. He is also passionate about employee engagement and the value brought by each generation in the workforce. An avid reader, Jeremy’s leadership style has been influenced by the works of Patrick Lencioni, Daniel Pink and Scott Berkun. Beyond books, he is a fan of TED curated content and cites Shonda Rhimes’ TED2016 talk My year of saying yes to everything as one of most influential talks of his career.
Andrew Donofrio:  Andrew Donofrio is a consultant, coach, and trainer that strives to bring about organizational and professional transformation. As a former leader in law enforcement and later as a business owner, it has always been my passion to enrich the lives of others. I have transformed this passion into a mission. For several years I have studied the works of the masters of influence, business development, personal change, and leadership. I have also received two coaching certifications (John Maxwell certified leadership trainer, educator , and coach / Robbins Madanes Strategic Intervention). It is my now mission to help others by teaching what I have learned through my studies, as well as the life lessons I have been blessed to receive, and mistakes I have been fortunate enough make and ultimately learn from. It is my goal to build on this work and help many others. I am committed to leaders, business owners, and anyone at any level looking to succeed.
Jason Dorsey:  Jason Dorsey is President of The Center for Generational Kinetics. The Center is the leading Millennials, Gen Z, and generational research, speaking, and consulting firm. The Center helps more than 180 clients annually. These clients represent every major industry, from global banks and software companies to automakers, consumer brands, healthcare, retailers, manufacturing, and private equity firms.
Jason and The Center’s Ph.D. research team invented Generational Context™, a unique approach to solving generational challenges with measurable results. This approach leverages all the research strengths of The Center, including quantitative, qualitative, and behavioral design.

Jason Dorsey wrote his first bestselling book at age 18. He’s the most sought-after Millennial and Gen Z speaker and researcher, receiving over 1,000 keynote speaking requests each year. Jason won the “Austin Under 40 Entrepreneur of the Year” Award for education at age 25, one of the youngest winners ever. He is now an advisor to executives, investors, and boards in industries.
John M. Fleming, CPA, M.B.A.:  John M. Fleming, CPA/MBA, licensed as a CPA in Pennsylvania, has served as the Director of Content Development for Kaplan Financial Education, powered by SmartPros, and also as President and Director of Accounting and Auditing for Kaplan Financial Education, powered by Loscalzo Institute. John retired on October 1, 2017. In retirement, John continues to provide seminars as a discussion leader for Kaplan Financial Education, powered by Loscalzo Institute, on a part-time basis.
John’s prior practice experience includes audit, tax, consulting, office management, and human resource responsibilities with Deloitte LLP, Richard Eisner & Company LLP, and Ernst & Young LLP. John is a graduate of LaSalle and Drexel Universities with degrees in accounting and finance.
John served as the 1999/2000 President of the 8,300 member Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). In 2006, the PICPA recognized John as a Joseph E. Sterrett Fellow for his contributions to the accounting profession and in 2007, the Philadelphia Chapter recognized John with their Champion Award for his contributions to the PICPA, Chapter, profession and community. John has also served as the 2002/2003 President of the American Accounting Association’s Mid-Atlantic Region.
Bailey Frumen, MSW, LCSW:  Bailey Frumen, MSW, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, motivational speaker, coach and author. After realizing that her work-life balance was suffering she decided to make a change and since then she’s been leveraging her skills and expertise to author her book, Own Your Power: Your Guide To Feeling Powerful, Fearless, and Free. Through her unique coaching programs, Bailey has helped hundreds of leaders and entrepreneurs to realize their higher purpose and maintain a balance within their lives. When Bailey isn’t coaching she can be found playing at the beach with her husband, Bobby and daughter, Phoebe.
Jim Glassman:  Jim Glassman is the Managing Director and Head Economist for Commercial Banking. From regulations and technology to globalization and consumer habits, his insights are used by companies and industries to help them better understand the changing economy and its impact on their businesses.

Mr. Glassman's work with the firm—combined with his independent research on the principal forces shaping the economy and financial markets—has earned him regular features in the media and as an economic commentator. He is also a long-standing participant in the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Survey of Professional Forecasters and the National Association of Business Economists' (NABE) panel of macroeconomic forecasters.

From 1979 through 1988, he served as a Senior Economist in the Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs departments at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC. While there, he analyzed and forecasted inflation, labor market developments, the Federal Reserve's operating strategies and interest rate markets, and he developed monetary and reserves projections. He joined Morgan Guaranty in 1988 and Chemical Bank in 1993, which, through a combination of mergers, became JPMorgan Chase & Co.

He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University.
Brigid Harrison, MA, PhD:  Brigid Callahan Harrison is Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University, where she has taught since 1994. She is the author of American Democracy Now (McGraw-Hill Publishers, now in its fourth edition), one of the leading introductory political science textbooks in the United States. She is also the author of A More Perfect Union (McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2010), Power and Society (Cengage, now in its 13th edition) and Women in American Politics (Wadsworth, 2003), as well as various peer-refereed journal articles.

Named to PolitickerNJ's Power List 2015 (at #20), Harrison is a frequent commentator in print and electronic media on U.S. politics, Harrison provides regular political analysis to ABC, NBC, and CBS, FOX News, and their local affiliates, to CBS News radio, and to various NPR radio programs. She also is a regular commentator on NJTV. She is a columnist for The New York Observer, PolitickerNJ, and The Bergen Record, and her editorials have appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Star-Ledger, and The Press of Atlantic City.

Harrison has served as a moderator or panelist for numerous political debates, including the 2013 New Jersey Gubernatorial debate, and the New Jersey 2012 U.S. Senate debate.
Harrison currently serves as president of the New Jersey Political Science Association. She also served as president of the National Women’s Caucus for Political Science, a section chair of the Northeast Political Science Association, and as president of the Midwest Women’s Caucus for Political Science. Her research interests include Congress and the Presidency, campaigns and elections, and American public opinion. She is an expert on the politics of the Millennial Generation. She received her B.A. from Stockton University, her M.A. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and her Ph.D. from Temple University, where she was a national MENSA graduate fellow.

Inducted into the Atlantic County Women’s Hall of fame in 2009, she also was the recipient of the “Distinguished Alumna of the Year” from the Richard Stockton College Council of Black Faculty and Staff, and the Atlantic County Zonta’s “Women Who Make a Difference” award.

Working within her community, Harrison has volunteered with Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers and was a charter member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative of the Atlantic County United Way. She also has served on the boards of the Atlantic County Women’s Center and the American Cancer Society – Atlantic County Unit. She is a member of the South Jersey chapter of Families with Children from China, and was the membership chair of the Smithville Elementary Parent Teacher Association for over a decade.
JT Kostman, Ph.D.:  Dr. JT Kostman is a Data Scientist, Mathematician, and Psychologist – and one of the world's leading experts in Applied Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing. JT has hunted terrorists for U.S. Intelligence Agencies, tracked criminal networks for the FBI, advised on analytic strategies for the Department of Defense, and led social media analysis for the 2012 Obama Campaign. In the corporate sector, he served as Chief Data Scientist for Samsung, Chief Data Officer and a member of the ExCom for Time Inc., and has served on several Boards and as an advisor to numerous PE/VC funds and tech startups. Dr. Kostman presently leads the development of Applied Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology solutions for Grant Thornton.
Sarah Krom, CPA:  Sarah Krom, CPA, PSA, is a managing partner at SKC & Co., CPAs, LLC. She works primarily with entrepreneur business owners who have high growth goals for their company. Sarah offers budgeting, forecasting, controller for hirer, HR for accounting department, cost reduction and financing negotiations services. She prides herself on allowing her clients to sleep at night as she shoulders many of the anxieties that tie down successful entrepreneurs. Additionally, she is responsible for recruiting in her firm and heads up the IT committee. Most recently, Sarah began working on developing her own list of clients through aggressive marketing and business development. She is the president-elect of the NJCPA for 2017/2018 and was a former chair of the NJCPA's Young CPAs Council.
James T. Lindell, CPA, M.B.A., CSP, CGMA:  James T. Lindell, CPA, CSP, CGMA, MBA
Dousman, Wisconsin



James (Jimmy) T. Lindell is President of a Wisconsin-based provider of strategic and financial consulting, professional speaking, training, and executive coaching. Jim has an extensive background in senior management including positions as Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Controller, and Corporate Assistant Controller. Jim has worked with a variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, not-for-profit, distribution, and food processing. He has participated in more than 50 M&A projects.



Jim is a CPA with public accounting experience at several local and regional accounting firms. He is a recipient of the Certified Speaking Professional designation, the highest designation that can be earned by a member of the National Speakers Association. He is a TEC/Vistage Chairman (The Executive Committee). He is a member (and instructor) of the American Institute of CPAs and the Wisconsin Institute of CPAs and a member of the National Speakers Association.



Jim is the author of the AICPA book Controller as Business Manager, and author of the AICPA courses: AICPA’s Best Seller Course - Annual Update for Controllers, Analytics and Big Data for Accountants, Strategic Planning: A Simplified and Workable Approach for Private Companies, and AICPA's Controllership: 25 Critical Lessons from the Trenches. Jim also authored and was part of the AICPA video and course, Minimizing the Effects of a Recession on Your Business. He is a contributing author of the AICPA course The Fast Close, Soft Close, Virtual Close? Now Days, Not Weeks.



Jim has received the 2017 AICPA Outstanding Discussion Leader Award for her practical approach, enthusiasm, and lively seminars.

Peter A. Margaritis, CPA, CGMA, MAc:  Peter Margaritis, CPA, is a keynote speaker, communication strategist, and improv virtuoso. Peter is the author of two books, Improv Is No Joke: Using Improvisation to Create Positive Results in Leadership and Life and Taking the Numb Out of Numbers: Explaining and Presenting Financial Information with Confidence and Clarity.

Peter works with financial professionals to help adapt their mindset and believes that strong communication skills are the most effective way of delivering technical knowledge and building strong business relationships.

The underlying premise in everything Peter does is the power of applied improvisation. He focuses his strategies using two powerful words, YES AND along with the concept of listening to understand. This strategy promotes a better connection with customers and clients leading to higher profits and higher retention of employees.

Peter has delivered over 500 keynote speeches and workshops in 38 states in the U.S. and across Canada and the Caribbean. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned businesses, national, regional & local public accounting firms, and national and state associations.

Peter earned is his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky, a Master’s Degree in Accountancy from Case Western Reserve University and he is a licensed, non-practicing, CPA in Ohio. He has worked for companies such as Price Waterhouse, Victoria Secret Catalogue (not as a model), two large banking institutions and has managed restaurants in his day. Don’t be surprised – he is Greek. He was also an assistant professor of accounting and taught in the MBA program at THE Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, OH.

Peter is also a blogger, writer, humorist and a podcaster. His podcast, Change Your Mindset can be found on his website, along with iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. You can visit his website (petermargaritis.com) to watch his videos and read his promotional resources which include a variety of magazine articles, along with his weekly blog.
Ron Martin:  Ron Martin is a senior account executive at QuickFee. He loved math as kid and was pegged as an accountant since first holding a pencil. He became a CPA in Pennsylvania and worked in assurance for a Big 4 accounting firm. For 20 years, Ron has helped accountants find solutions that save money and reduce risk – this includes working with hundreds of firms across the eastern US, helping them with review and implementation of the newest technologies.

With a keen understanding of the challenges accounting firms face, Ron likes bringing new solutions to his CPA colleagues. He always has his client’s best interest at heart and insists on exceptional customer service. Ron holds a BS and MBA from Penn State.
Ellen C. McSherry:  Ellen McSherry is Chief Operating Officer for New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA). She oversees the management of all programs that support the organization's strategic plan, mission and objectives. Ellen provides overall staff supervision as they work to achieve the organization's goals and objectives. She also manages all aspects of budgeting and resource requirements. Ellen has been with the organization for more than 25 years.

Before her tenure at NJCPA, Ellen was a senior manager at Ernst & Young, overseeing audit executions for Nabisco, International and Becton Dickinson along with audits for the firm’s various health care clients.

Ellen holds a Master of Science in Accounting from Northeastern University Graduate School of Professional Accounting and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Assumption College. She holds CPA and CGMA (Certified Global Management Accountant) certificates. She's also a liaison to the NJCPA Board of Trustees and sits on its Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Volunteer Relations and Retirement Savings Committees and liaises to its Council of Past Presidents. She was honored by the Executive Women of NJ as a "Salute to the Policy Makers" recipient and by the NJCPA as a "Woman of Note."

Ellen is a wine enthusiast and enjoys watching basketball, going to concerts, and traveling to her favorite places like Europe or California. She's a Eucharist minister for St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield.
Susanna Metzler:  Susanna Metzler is the manager of finance transformation at BlackLine. She has a broad range of experience in corporate accounting and a proven track record of driving organizations with quality metrics while meeting strategic goals. With over 20 years in accounting, she’s focused on improving efficiencies and streamlining processes. She’s an organizational change leader supporting transformation efforts and continuous improvement while maintaining quality service levels. Before coming to BlackLine, Susanna spent 10 years as a strong, creative ambassador, leading various teams at Tyco International in their transition to BlackLine.
Don Meyer:  Don Meyer is the chief marketing officer of NJCPA. He has an extensive background in public relations, marketing, market research and member service to the 15,000-plus member professional association. Don came to the NJCPA from the Craft & Hobby Association, a 6,000-member group of manufacturers, distributors and retailers of craft and hobby products, where he was director of marketing and public relations. He managed media and new member outreach, directed industry branding and research programs, and supervised marketing for one of the nation’s largest trade expositions. Don is a graduate of the Broadcast School of Journalism at Syracuse University.
Twitter @DonPMeyer
Brad E. Muniz, CPA:  Brad E. Muniz, CPA, is the director of accounting and auditing at Sobel & Company LLC, CPAs, serving small businesses and individuals in the areas of accounting, auditing, tax and business consulting. He has significant experience in the areas of financial reporting, tax compliance and planning for closely held businesses, SEC registrants, nonprofit organizations and strategic business planning, and in industries, such as real estate, construction, architectural and engineering, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Brad is a member of the AICPA and the NJCPA, having served as NJCPA President in 2014/15. In addition, Brad has served as an adjunct professor of accounting at William Paterson University and the College of Saint Elizabeth.
Twitter @BradMuniz
Steven Oroho:  Senator Steve Oroho is currently serving his third term in the New Jersey State Senate. He represents the Twenty-Fourth Legislative District in the northwestern part of the state which comprises all of Sussex County, and parts of northern Warren and Morris counties.

Before entry into public office, Senator Oroho had extensive professional experience in the finance departments of top New York City firms, including work for Price Waterhouse, W.R. Grace and Company, as well as Young and Rubicam where he held the position of Senior Vice President of Finance. Senator Oroho is presently a certified financial planner with Stonebridge Capital Management.

Deborah A. Phillips, CPA, MST:  Deborah A. Phillips, CPA, MST, operates her own tax controversy practice where she specializes in partnership and S corporation tax law as well as IRS audits and procedures. Debbie has been very successful petitioning and resolving tax issues under the jurisdiction of the United State Tax Court. She is proficient in the Section 199A provisions and computations as well as all aspects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. She works with various CPA firms during tax season preparing all types of tax returns. In addition, she utilizes her forensic accounting skills for tax preparation of clients involved in potential IRS criminal prosecution. Debbie retired from the Large Business and International Division (LB&I) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), where she was a Senior Manager in the Flow Through Issue Practice Group (IPG). The IPG specializes in S corporation and partnership tax issues for LB&I. Debbie worked for the IRS for over 32 years. She has extensive accounting and taxation knowledge of individual, corporate, and partnership federal tax returns. She was the Operations and Technical Assistant to the Deputy Commission International, the Technical Assistant to the Director of PFTG, a Territory Manager in the Retail, Food and Pharmaceuticals Industry, a Team Manager in the Heavy Manufacturing Industry, and the IRC Section 263A Technical Advisor. Debbie taught graduate and undergraduate courses in accounting and taxation as an adjunct faculty member at Delaware State University, Wilmington College, and Goldey-Beacom College. She has been a seminar presenter for approximately 20 years as well as a textbook author. In 2015 through 2017, she received the Surgent Outstanding Discussion Leader Award because of her consistently high evaluations for knowledge and presentation skills. Debbie earned her master’s degree in taxation from Widener University.
Christine G. Pronek, CPA, MST:  Christine G. Pronek is an Estate and Trust partner with over 15 years of experience in public accounting and 3 years with the Internal Revenue Service. She has experience in all areas of taxation, including corporate, individual and partnerships.

A recognized industry expert, Christine’s areas of specialty are estate and trust planning, estate, trust and gift compliance, individual income tax, and foreign financial reporting. For the last 10 years her knowledge on the trust, estate and gift area has led her to be a guest speaker on these topics for various professional organizations.

Beyond her role with the firm, she is an active member of various accredited organizations in New Jersey.
John F. Raspante, CPA, MST, CDFA:  John F. Raspante formally worked for North American Professional Liability Insurance Agency (“NAPLIA”) as SVP / Director of Risk Management. Prior to NAPLIA, John was the Director of Compliance and Risk Management as well as the Director of Education for Graf Repetti & Co. LLP, Certified Public Accountants & Business Advisors. John also worked nine years for CAMICO Mutual Insurance Company, of which he was responsible for providing loss prevention services to the organization’s largest insured’s.


John earned a BBA in accounting from Baruch College (CUNY) and a master’s degree in tax from Washington School of Law. He also holds the designation Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. His professional affiliations include memberships in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and multiple state accounting societies. He also serves on NYSSCPA’s Compilation and Review Committee, NJSCPA’s Editorial Board and the Accounting and Auditing interest group, and the National Conference of CPAs’ Ethics Committee. John is an in-demand speaker and has written several articles for the accounting profession on issues relating to risk management and professional ethics.


John’s responsibilities at CPA Protector Plan will include assisting insured's in minimizing professional liability exposures and claims mitigation by implementing a world class Risk Management Program, State Society and Association Endorsements and increasing gross written premium.

Rhonda Schaffler:  Rhonda Schaffler is NJTV's business correspondent, providing a daily report on New Jersey's top business and financial stories. Prior to working at NJTV, she worked as a journalist for Reuters, where she traveled extensively to cover financial stories including to Nigeria, Ghana and Chile. Along the way, she interviewed numerous government officials and CEOs. She also worked at CNN as a business anchor and reporter for several programs, covering the stock market and economy.

While at CNN, she was recognized by the New York Festival awards for a series of reports on investor confidence, and helped produce an in-depth series on poverty and economic inequality. She was a winner of the 2011 Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism, for Multimedia. Rhonda also covered business news for Bloomberg and Dow Jones and has reported on major business news stories including the financial crisis of 2008 and the 9/11 attacks on the financial district.
Joseph F. Scutellaro, CPA:  Joseph F. Scutellaro, CPA, is a Tax Partner in the Eatontown office of CohnReznick, the 10th largest accounting, tax, and advisory firm in the U.S.. Prior to joining CohnReznick, he was a partner in his own firm, founded in 1996 and began his career as an associate for a national accounting firm. Mr. Scutellaro specializes in working with clients in the financial services, technology industries and other professionals; including medical and law practices as well as high-net-worth individuals. With almost 30 years of diversified public accounting experience, he has been involved in almost every aspect of a tax practice, including individuals, partnerships, S-corporations, large multistate consolidated tax returns, and international tax, as well as in tax practice management issues.

He has been an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) having recently served a 3 year term on its Profession Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) subcommittee on Independence-Behavioral Standards. He has also previously served the AICPA as a member of Council; its governing body, and several other committees.

Mr. Scutellaro is also very active in the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA), having served as a member of the Professional Conduct Committee for the last 15 years, including 2 years as Chairman of that Committee. He also previously served two years as Treasurer of the NJCPA. He was recognized in the July 2013 issue of the New Jersey CPA magazine's 50 over 50 list for his ongoing contributions to the CPA profession, Society and the community.

He is a frequent lecturer and author for the AICPA, NJCPA and Western CPE on various technical tax topics, practice management and professional ethics. He helped develop the NJCPA’s New Jersey Law and Ethics course in 2002 when the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy first issued its rules mandating it for all New Jersey licensees. Over the past 12 years he has served as an instructor for this course over 100 times and was involved as an editor on the various updates.

Mr. Scutellaro earned his B.S. in Accounting from Fordham University and has worked toward his M.S. in Taxation from Baruch College.
Shaune Scutellaro, CPA:  Shaune Scutellaro, CPA, is a partner at CohnReznick with 13 years of diverse experience in public accounting. He is a member of the Firm’s Technology and Life Sciences Industry Practice and National Tax Practice. He has a background in corporate, partnership, and individual tax planning and compliance, including multi-state and international companies.

A licensed CPA in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Shaune has an abundance of experience working in the technology and life sciences industry. In addition to general accounting, Shaune’s experience in working with small start-up entrepreneurs includes setting up accounting methods, standards and procedures, state registration, and employment issues. Shaune has also worked closely with public entities and large public affiliated corporate groups, providing services that include corporate tax compliance, partnership tax compliance, sell-side due diligence for companies and shareholders, and ASC 740 work.

Shaune has knowledge and experience in both inbound and outbound international tax issues. In addition to providing US tax consulting and compliance services for multi-national corporations and partnerships, he worked extensively with submissions under the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. His experience includes navigating and interpreting US tax treaties; reporting on foreign investment for US residents; and completing any necessary compliance for US citizens living abroad, US resident aliens, and nonresident aliens with US taxable income and FACTA reporting requirements.

Prior to joining CohnReznick, Shaune worked for a local private accounting firm in Ocean County, NJ, as well as for a West Coast-based accounting firm.
Kyle M. Sell, CPA, MBA:  Kyle Sell, CPA, partner, Deloitte, Parsippany, joined the NJCPA in 2004. He has previously been president of the NJCPA Scholarship Fund and a Board of Trustees liaison for the NJ-CPA-PAC and Student Programs & Scholarships Committee, as well as a member of the Professional Conduct Committee. At Deloitte, Sell is an audit partner, with more than 20 years serving primarily life science, process and industrial companies. He earned his B.A. in economics and business at Lafayette College and his MBA in finance from Columbia University.
Alex Sheen:  Alex Sheen is the Founder of because I said I would, a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to bettering humanity through promises made and kept. Sparked by the loss of his father, Alex and his organization send “promise cards” to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost. Alex is someone who truly honors commitment. He once walked over 240 miles across the entire state of Ohio in 10 days to fulfill a promise. In just two years, because I said I would has sent over 9.81 million promise cards to over 153 different countries. The promises written on these cards have made headlines around the world. His charitable projects and awareness campaigns have been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CNN, The Today Show, NPR, The Los Angeles Times and many other programs.
Bill Sorenson:  Bill Sorenson joined Netgain in 2018 as VP of Strategy for the financial services market and brings over 25 years of IT expertise with 18 years of cloud computing and cybersecurity leadership. Bill’s focus has been on delivering customer-focused solutions to markets where compliance is a key requirement.

Bill is able to match technology solutions to specific customer and industry requirements and speak to all levels of organizations, from the most technical users to the C-suite. His broad customer experience allows him to add value to the ongoing partnership that Netgain has with its clients.
Sean D. Stein Smith, CPA, CFE, CGMA, CMA:  Sean Stein Smith is an assistant professor at Lehman College (CUNY), a member of the AICPA Leadership Academy class of 2017, and has led dozens on sessions focusing on the implications of blockchain and cryptocurrency for accounting. Sean is a member of the Advisory Board of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, where he leads the Accounting Working Group. He is also the incoming chair of the NJCPA Emerging Technology Group, and is a regular contributor to China Global TV as a technology expert. His work and analysis of accounting, blockchain, and the evolution of the accounting profession has been featured in numerous practitioner and academic publications. Additionally, he is the author of numerous books focusing on accounting, technology, and how the profession will change moving forward.
Joseph A. Tarasco, CPA:  Joseph A. Tarasco founded the Accountants Advisory Group, LLC, to assist the leaders of today’s public accounting firms in structuring and managing their practices to increase profitability, maximize value and achieve long-term success.

Working closely with CPA firms, he assists them in achieving higher levels of competitiveness, profitability and longevity. Mr. Tarasco is experienced and insightful in all areas of firm practice management, including succession planning, firm governance, mergers and acquisitions, partner compensation structure, selection of new partners, practice development, and career development for partners and staff. When facilitating partner retreats, he draws on his extensive experience to provide partners and practice leaders with effective and innovative strategies to enhance the value of their practices.

He began his career in the accounting industry with a Big 4 firm and his experience includes 15 years as the managing partner and executive committee member of a 125-person CPA firm based in New York City. In his role as managing partner, Mr. Tarasco was responsible for all areas of the practice, including managing the partner group, marketing, human capital, technology, administration and financial operations.

The Journal of Accountancy, New Jersey CPA, CPA Practice Management, The Practical Accountant, and CPA Leadership Report have published articles authored by Mr. Tarasco regarding the management of accounting practices. Additionally, he frequently gives presentations and webinars that focus on various practice management topics.

He has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Recommended Consultants by INSIDE Public Accounting.
Twitter @JoeTarasco
Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA:  Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA, began his service as CEO and executive director of the NJCPA in 1999. Prior to joining NJCPA, he held various accounting-related management positions at Citibank, AT&T, Potomac Electric Power Company and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He was appointed to the inaugural American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, and subsequently the AICPA Foundation Board. Thomas is a lifetime member and former national and chapter president of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), was appointed chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s (NASBA) State Society Relations Committee, and is a member of the accounting advisory boards of Lehigh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Montclair State, Felician, Thomas Edison universities and Middlesex County College. Additionally, he was selected for the last seven years by Accounting Today as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.” He is also the treasurer of Opportunity NJ. Thomas earned a B.S. in business and economics as well as an M.B.A. from Lehigh University.
Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP, CGMA:  Amy Vetter, CPA.CITP, CGMA, is the CEO of The B3 Method Institute. She is a transformative keynote speaker on the mindful use of technology and creator of the B3 Method for Business, Balance & Bliss. Amy has authored two books, including: Integrative Advisory Services: Expanding Your Accounting Services Beyond the Cloud, published by Wiley. It is the CPA and accounting professional’s guide to the future of delivering advisory services to their clients with the rise of technology-driven DIY financial services. Amy was named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Accounting in 2018” by the AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor for the third year in a row. Learn more at www.amyvetter.com and follow @AmyVetterCPA on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.