Tara M. Baldwin, CPA: Tara is a manager at WilkinGuttenplan, specializing in servicing the real estate industry. She provides audit, review and compilations services to real estate entities such as condominiums, cooperative corporations and homeowners associations throughout New Jersey. Tara also contributes to the development of WilkinGuttenplan's entry-level staff and is responsible for coordinating the firm's community services initiatives through the WeGive program. Tara was a 2018 NJCPA Volunteer Award recipient and is a member of the NJCPA, the NJCPA's Emerging Leaders Council, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), and the Community Associations Institute (NJ Chapter) Membership Committee.
Ryan Berdnik, CPA, CFP®: Ryan is a senior manager in the accounting and advisory group at Mazars USA LLP. He has over eight years of experience providing accounting, tax, financial planning and advisory services to individuals and businesses in the professional services industry. His clients include law firms, food and beverage, textile and linen, manufacturing and distribution and other specialized, service-related professions. He has a substantial background in income tax planning, accounting services, costs savings, profitability studies and value-added consultation. He is also a member of the NJCPA Emerging Leaders Council, and a mentor through the NJCPA mentor program.
James C. Bourke, CPA, CITP, CFF, CGMA: Jim is a partner at WithumSmith+Brown, where he serves as director of firm technology and managing director of advisory services. He is a frequent speaker at many international accounting and trade associations, such as the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and state CPA societies, as well as industry technology organizations, incubators, accelerators and others on topics specifically related to various accounting, technology, practice management and advisory services. Jim is also global advisory and technology leader for HLB International. He is a past president of the NJCPA and past board and council member for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.
Frank R. Boutillette, CPA, CGMA, ABV: Frank is an emeritus partner of WithumSmith+Brown, PC (Withum) with over 35 years of accounting and auditing experience. He is a licensed CPA in New York and New Jersey and has significant experience working with SEC registrants, small and large private entities in various industries, including hedge funds, private equity funds and finance companies. Frank is a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and was a former member of the AICPA Peer Review Board. He is a past president of the NJCPA and currently chairs its Peer Review Executive Committee. Frank is a frequent lecturer on accounting and auditing and is a co-author of three accounting books.
Ryan Brandt, CPA, MSA: Ryan is the tax team leader of Withum’s Cannabis Services and a member of the Private Client Service team and Teaching Fellowship Program. He has more than 15 years of experience in tax planning and compliance issues with a focus on closely-held business and high net worth individuals. Ryan has extensive experience with federal and multi-state tax issues and has represented clients in state and IRS examinations. He is responsible for identifying and resolving tax and business issues as well as overseeing the tax compliance on federal and state matters. He is a resource on tax planning for businesses (mainly partnerships and S corporations) and individuals.
Alexander K. Buchholz, CPA, M.B.A., CGMA: Alex is an audit partner in the Not-for-Profit and Health Care Practices of PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP. He has eighteen years of experience in public accounting. His areas of specialty include audits of not-for-profit entities, health care entities and special needs clients, cost reporting as applicable to health care and not-for-profit entities, and single audits conducted in accordance with the Uniform Grant Guidance. Alex is also an adjunct professor of accounting at the City University of New York. He serves on a number of professional and academic affiliations and is a board member of the New York State Education Department State Board for Public Accountancy. He has authored articles on accounting, audit, tax and education and he has presented on both a professional and academic level.
Sean Byrnes, CPA, CFA: Sean is the chief accounting officer at Kearny Bank. Based in the Fairfield corporate office, he directs all aspects of corporate accounting, including income tax, financial and regulatory reporting, financial planning and analysis, accounting policy and the allowance for credit losses. Before joining Kearny Bank, Sean was the senior accounting officer for Amboy Bank. Prior to that, he served as managing director/controller for New York City-based Cantor Commercial Real Estate. He is a member of the NJCPA Business & Industry Professionals interest group.
G. Scott Clemons, CFA: Scott joined Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in 1990, and has held a variety of investment roles at the firm over the past 31 years. His career began in international equities, where he was an analyst and portfolio manager of European and Asian equities, working out of the firm’s New York and London offices. He since broadened his responsibilities into domestic equity management and research, and managed the New York office of the firm’s Private Wealth Management business. In 2010 he was appointed Chief Investment Strategist, and is today one of the firm’s primary writers and speakers on topics related to the economy, financial markets and investing. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the CFA Institute. Scott serves on the boards of the Morgan Library and the Grolier Club in New York City, as well as the board of the Research Corporation for Science and the Journal of the History of Ideas.
Zachary B. Cohen, CPA: Zack is a manager at CFGI, providing technical accounting and advisory services for both public and private companies for the firm’s New York City office. His 10 years of experience spans the retail, consumer products, software, insurance and oil and gas industries. Zack also has experience in internal audit and risk management, which includes business-wide risk assessments, controls testing (including Sarbanes-Oxley compliance) and root cause analysis. Prior to joining CFGI, Zack worked in internal audit for a global insurance company for seven years. He is an alumni of Deloitte’s audit practice. Zack is a member of the NJCPA and the incoming chair of the Emerging Leaders Council. He is also a member of the NJCPA’s Student Loan Debt Task Force. Zack was recognized by NJBIZ in 2021 as part of their “Next Generation of Leaders,” and was awarded the NJCPA Emerging Leaders Ovation Award in 2019 and 2020.
Sofia Cordero, CPA: Sofia Cordero is a senior manager at Mazars USA LLP. She is a member of the NJCPA Emerging Leaders Council and the Student Programs & Scholarship Committee.
Melissa A. Dardani, CPA, MAcc: Melissa is the founder and managing member of MD Advisory, a boutique forensic firm. She is also the leader of the NJCPA Cannabis Interest Group, a member of the Student Loan Debt Task Force and a member of the Emerging Leaders Council. She has an extensive background in forensic accounting, data analytics, and cash flow analyses, as well as in diagnosing and remediating business problems.
Mark W. Eckerle, CPA: Mark is a senior manager at Withum and an active member of the firm's Technology and Emerging Growth Services Group. He is also the team leader for their Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology group, providing audit, tax and advisory services to clients within the industry.
Christopher Emigholz: Chris is vice president of Government Affairs for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) covering taxation, budget and economic development. Previously, he was a budget director for the State Senate Republican Office for eight years and directed education policy and legislative affairs in the New Jersey Department of Education. Chris has a Master of Public Policy degree from Rutgers’ Bloustein School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University.
James B. Evans, CPA, J.D., LL.M.: Jim is a shareholder at Kulzer & DiPadova, P.A. He is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, is a member of the Bar of the State of New Jersey, and is a member of the Camden County Bar Association, the New Jersey Bar Association and the American Bar Association. Jim is a member of the tax sections of the NJBA and the ABA. In addition, he is a former president of the NJCPA, and has served as chairperson of the State Taxation Interest Group. He is a past president of the Southwest Jersey Chapter Board of Directors. Jim is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and serves on AICPA Council, its governing body. He is also a member of the New Jersey Tax and Fiscal Policy Commission and chaired the New Jersey Corporation Business Tax Review Commission.
Jay H. Guttmann, CPA: Jay is currently a partner at SRG Advisors, LLC. He began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Legg Mason and BDO Seidman, where he worked mainly in financial services and various departments. He has been serving clients in accounting, tax and auditing at various Fortune 500 companies as well as local businesses and organizations. Jay specializes in and devotes a substantial amount of his time consulting and planning with clients in the real estate and not-for profit industries. He is also the leader of the firm's New Business Formation and the Credits & Incentives programs. He provides tax and consulting advice to many of the firm's individual and small business clients as well as works on the firm’s financial statement audits, Part Time CFO program, and estate and trust issues. Jay was a certified EMT in the US and Israel, but is currently a non-active member.
Kenneth A. Heaslip, CPA, CGMA, M.B.A.: Kenn is a director at Cullari Carrico LLC, a regional CPA firm in Northern New Jersey. He also has extensive experience teaching all levels of accounting, auditing and other practice-related areas. Kenn has been a Professor of Accounting at several universities including Seton Hall, where he was the students’ choice as “Educator of the Year” two years in a row, as well as in the Executive Masters of Business Administration program at Rutgers University. In addition, he was the National Director of the Becker CPA Review. Kenn is an active member of the NJCPA, where he has served in positions, such as Vice President, Trustee Chapter President, Committee Chair and Task Force Chair. Kenn currently serves on the NJCPA Professional Conduct Committee, the Federal and State Taxation interest groups, Governmental Accounting & Auditing Interest Groups and the Nonprofit Interest Group.
Theresa Hinton: Theresa is the chief operating officer of the NJCPA. She oversees the management of all programs that support the organization's strategic plan, mission and objectives. Theresa 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. Theresa has been with the organization for more than 15 years. Prior to her role as COO, Theresa worked with NJCPA chapters, committees and interest groups as director of member engagement.
Bryan Hornung: Bryan is the CEO of Xact IT Solutions, an award-winning certified firm. He is a recognized cyber security expert featured on CNN, Fox Business and Fox News as well as in Fortune Magazine, Forbes and many others. Bryan has co-authored two bestselling cybersecurity books, Under Attack and Adapt & Overcome, which help businesses with the challenge of securing data and systems and provide practical advice to help companies identify risk and look at the current cybersecurity landscape amid COVID-19. Bryan built a strong reputation developing software for the U.S Navy and currently heads up a top cyber security firm. His business is one of only 30 other firms that has earned the CompTIA Security+ Trustmark Certification. He has worked with hundreds of firms, including Northrup Grumman and BET365.
Barry H. Horowitz, CPA, MST: Barry has over 30 years of professional accounting experience and works in Withum's New York office. He is the team leader of Withum’s Tax Services State and Local Tax Group and advises clients in residency and nexus issues, entity level taxes, sales and use taxes and other business and personal tax matters. He also counsels clients in strategic planning, transaction reviews, risk assessment, tax law compliance and corporate restructuring. As an active member of the New York State Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) and the NJCPA, he lectures on tax issues to chapters and to organizations including Baruch College and CW Post College. He is a current member of the NYSSCPA’s Multistate & Local Taxation Committee and served as chairman in prior years. He is also a member of the NJCPA’s State Taxation Interest Group. He was formerly an appointed member of the Commissioner’s Advisory Council for both the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance and the NYC Department of Finance. He is a contributor for The Trusted Professional as well as several other industry and professional publications. He was also a former editor of The CPA Journal.
Joseph F. Hunt, CPA, PSA: Joe is a senior in the accounting and auditing group at SobelCo, primarily serving not-for-profits and small businesses. He takes pride in understanding how he can help any organization reach their goals and continue to serve those in the community. Joe has contributed to New Jersey CPA magazine and for the NJCPA website. He is a member of the NJCPA Emerging Leaders Council and was a 2021 Emerging Leaders Ovation Award winner. Joe is also a member of the Finance Committee at The Salvation Army Morristown Chapter.
Michael S. Kaplan, CPA: Michael is a director of A&A at Smolin, Lupin & Co. As a licensed CPA in New Jersey and New York, he assists clients with their annual audit requirements in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, life sciences, construction, real estate, broadcasting, retail, restaurants, apparel, publishing, software, technology and professional services. He has practiced public accounting for more than 20 years and also served private clients, assisting with audits of employee benefit plans, including 401ks, 403bs, 11Ks, and health and welfare benefit plans. He has been a speaker on employee benefit plans and had presented on national webcasts, at seminars and at continuing professional education (CPE) courses. In addition, he has written articles on various employee benefit plan topics. Michael is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Tara Kovaleski: Tara is an experienced Solution Architect with TierPoint, helping clients protect, grow and transform their businesses through technology for over 20 years. She is a hands-on leader designing technology solutions for a multitude of business challenges.
Alex E. Krasnomowitz, CPA: Alex is the managing member of Alex E. Krasnomowitz, CPA, LLC, which caters to small and medium size businesses and high net worth individuals, and specializes in the cannabis industry with clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is the leader of the NJCPA Cannabis Interest Group and is a member of the Federal and State Taxation interest groups. He is the vice president of the North Caldwell New Jersey Board of Education and is a volunteer for the Professional Golf Association, United States Golf Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and World Cup Soccer. He has spoken on practice management and tax planning.
Jay L. Levine, CPA: Jay is a partner of Prager Metis, a member of Prager Metis International Group. He has over 30 years of experience in the accounting profession, servicing family businesses and manufacturing, advertising, public relations and wholesale and distribution clients with accounting, audit, and advisory services. Jay has particular expertise in all matters related to mergers and acquisitions, such as financial due diligence and budgeting for businesses. He helps provide his clients with peace of mind, often acting as a sounding board or confidant, and ensures that they achieve their goals, financial and otherwise. Jay is a noted presenter. Prior to joining Prager Metis, he was a member of LFL Veritas LLC. Jay is a member of the New Jersey Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs.
James T. Lindell, CPA, M.B.A., CSP, CGMA: Jim is president of a Wisconsin-based provider of strategic and financial consulting, professional speaking, training and executive coaching. He 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. He is also 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 of the American Institute of CPAs and the Wisconsin Institute of CPAs and is a member of the National Speakers Association. Jim authored the AICPA book, Controller as Business Manager, and developed several AICPA courses.
Jon Lokhorst, CPA, ACC: Jon is an executive leadership coach and consultant based in Minneapolis. He partners with CPAs, CFOs and other leaders who face massive change in their industry and recognize the need for a new approach to leadership to navigate those challenges. Before launching Lokhorst Consulting LLC, Jon enjoyed a 30-plus year career as a CPA, CFO and organizational leader. He has a Master's in Organizational Leadership and is recognized by the International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach. Jon serves as adjunct faculty in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and speaks regularly for CPA conferences and firms.
Rose Ludgate: Rose is a human resources professional at Paychex. She has over 30 years of HR experience in many different industries, and has worked at Paychex for more than 10 years. She is passionate about working with business owners and managers and assisting with federal and state employment compliance laws.
Gene Marks, CPA: Gene is a columnist, author and owner of the Marks Group PC, a provider of technology and consulting services to small and medium sized businesses. He writes daily for The Washington Post and weekly for Forbes, The Huffi Post, Inc Magazine, FOX Business, Entrepreneur.com and Philadelphia Magazine. He has written 6 books on business management, specifically geared towards small and medium sized companies. His most recent is The Manufacturer’s Book of Lists. Gene frequently appears on FOX News, MSNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg and CNBC discussing matters affecting the business community. Prior to starting the Marks Group PC, he spent nine years in the entrepreneurial services arm of KPMG in Philadelphia.
Karolis Matulis, CPA, CVA: Karolis is a supervisor at WilkinGuttenplan, focusing on real estate taxation and planning, transactional planning, business valuations, litigation support and technology implementation. His range of focus areas allows him to contribute unique professional expertise to a variety of problems. Karolis is the chair of the firm’s Innovation Council and has overseen multiple automation projects.
Alysse McLoughlin, Esq.: Alysse is a partner in the Tax Practice Group at JonesWalker, focusing on state and local tax planning and controversies, with an emphasis on issues facing financial services companies, insurance companies and utilities. Alysse provides broad-ranging state and local tax counsel to clients across the country. With years of experience in private practice, as in-house tax counsel at leading financial institutions, and as an attorney in the Chief Counsel Division of the Internal Revenue Service, she understands the goals and priorities of businesses and tax authorities. She advises on multistate tax matters, with an emphasis on New York and New Jersey issues. She has represented airlines, media and entertainment companies, banks and financial institutions and other taxpayers before the New York State Tax Appeals Tribunal and the New York Appellate Division with respect to corporate income tax, insurance tax, bank tax and sales tax issues. She has represented pharmaceutical companies, utilities, and other clients in New Jersey courts. Alysse previously served as head of state tax for Barclays and was state tax counsel for Lehman Brothers.
Walter Merkas, MBA: Walter (Wally) is a senior manager in Withum's Cloud Technologies practice with extensive expertise in business process outsourcing, organizational transformation, IT and sales management. Through his ability to define and extrapolate an organization's requirements, Wally expertly faciilitates the business system and vendor selection process. He leverages over 20 years of business system installations to help his clients with enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), product lifecycle management (PLM), material resource planning (MRP), optimized production technology (OPT) and supply chain management (SCM).
Anthony Mongeluzo: Anthony is a serial entrepreneur, computer expert and president/CEO of PCS, LLC, an IT service and support company that provides managed technology solutions for organizations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. Local and national media have consistently rated PCS as one of the fastest-growing firms in the country. He owns four other technology companies and cruises to meetings daily in the Tech Tank, a one-of-a-kind mobile office. Anthony is FOX-TV’s IT expert in Philadelphia. National, regional and local media frequently call upon him for his expertise and opinion on IT and small-business issues. Previously, he was a computer technician, earning more than 10 industry certifications from both Microsoft and CompTIA.
Brad E. Muniz, CPA: Brad is a member of the firm and director of accounting and auditing at SobelCo, serving small businesses and individuals in the areas of accounting, auditing, tax and business consulting. He has significant experience in 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, and was a former NJCPA president. In addition, Brad has served as an adjunct professor of accounting at William Paterson University and the College of Saint Elizabeth.
Daniel Munoz: Daniel is an award-winning journalist who covers business, consumer affairs, labor issues and the economy for NorthJersey.com and The Bergen Record. He previously covered the statehouse, COVID-19 pandemic, casino industry and economic development for NJBIZ, and graduated from Rutgers University in 2015.
Paul Nebb: Paul has spoken on cybersecurity to audiences of CEOs and leaders at NASDAQ, Harvard Club of Boston, the New York City Bar Association, Microsoft, AT&T and West Point Military Academy and has appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News TV and talk shows across the country. Founding Titan Technologies in 2008, a managed IT and cybersecurity services provider, he has worked largely with CPAs and law firms on implementing strategies that have emphasis on security and productivity. Paul presently sits on the board of directors for local organizations and is a past officer and volunteer EMT for the Morganville First Aid & Rescue Squad since 2003.
Susan O'Malley: As the first female president of a professional sports franchise, Susan is a pioneer in two fields: sports and business. Once an intern with the Washington Capitals and the Washington Bullets (now the Wizards), Susan joined Washington Sports and Entertainment in 1986. In her first season handling off-court activities, the team experienced the largest ticket revenue increase in the history of an NBA franchise. The club also achieved the highest renewal rate of season tickets ever by the franchise, including the year following the 1977–78 Championship season. Susan helped attract over 21.2 million patrons at the Washington, DC-based Verizon Center. She then earned her law degree from Georgetown University, where she also taught a sports business marketing class and was awarded the Adjunct Professor of the Year Award. She served as St. Joseph’s University’s first sports marketing professor and is currently a full-time faculty member at the University of South Carolina. She also consults with The Sports and Entertainment Company (Sports-EntCo).
Chuck Phaneuf: Chuck is the northeast manager of channel sales for CallTower, where he focuses on developing channels and strategic partnerships to improve CallTower’s premier solutions. As a proven leader in the development and growth of sales channels, he has an exceptional track record in channel business models. His passion is delivering tailored cloud strategies and direction to customers, which improves their overall business communications requirements. Chuck has extensive experience in the communications industry, with a strong focus in Microsoft Office, hosted voice and UC solutions.
Deborah A. Phillips, CPA, MST: Debbie operates her own tax controversy practice where she specializes in partnership and S corporation tax law as well as IRS audits and procedures. She has been very successful petitioning and resolving tax issues under the jurisdiction of the United States Tax Court. She is proficient in Section 199A provisions and computations as well as all aspects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Previously, Debbie worked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for more than 32 years, with experience in its Large Business and International Division (LB&I) and its Flow Through Issue Practice Group (IPG), along with various retail and manufacturing industry groups. In addition, 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.
Todd W. Polyniak, CPA: Todd is a partner at Sax with more than 30 years of in-depth auditing and accounting experience. He has been tasked with kick-starting several new practice areas for the firm over the years from conception to long-term success. Currently, Todd leads the firm’s Cannabis, Transaction Advisory and Not-for-Profit Practices. As the leader of Sax’s Cannabis Practice, Todd understands the intricacies of the rapidly expanding and evolving industry, and provides advisory services to cultivators, dispensaries, extractors, investors and manufacturers to help structure entities and accounting practices. As Head of Sax’s Transaction Advisory Practice, Todd assists private equity companies by thoroughly analyzing and validating financial, operational and strategic measures that capture opportunities and minimize loss and liabilities through the transaction process. In addition, he has presented over 100 educational programs to professionals and to the public, and has lectured on various accounting and auditing matters. He is actively involved in the training and education of clients and staff on the new auditing standards put forth by the Auditing Standards Board. He is also the creator of the Smart Good podcast.
Kathleen F. Powers, CPA, CGMA, PSA: Kathy is the CFO at the Matheny Medical and Educational Center, a licensed special hospital and school serving developmentally disabled individuals, and is the 2022/23 President of the NJCPA. In 2018, she was appointed to the Governor's Independent Developmental Disability Fee-for-Service Transition Oversight Board and the Governor's Independent Mental Health & Addiction Fee-for-Service Transition Oversight Board as a representative member of the NJCPA and continues to serve on these boards. Prior to working in the nonprofit space, Kathy worked in public accounting for 17 years, most recently as a senior manager for ParenteBeard, LLC, specializing in healthcare and nonprofit industries. Kathy is a member of several NJCPA interest groups including the Governmental Accounting & Auditing Interest Group, the Nonprofit Interest Group and the Education Foundation Board of Trustees.
Renee Rampulla, CPA, CGMA: Renee is the founder of Rampulla Advisory Services, LLC and has over 30 years of professional experience. She writes and lectures on technical accounting and auditing issues, having extensive experience in the auditing of public and privately held entities ranging from the manufacturing and service sectors to financial services. She was a partner in a regional accounting firm in the northeast. By devoting several years of her career at both regional and Big Four accounting firms Renee accumulated a wealth of technical and practical knowledge. In addition, while working for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), she performed professional ethics investigations; worked closely with senior technical committees; presented technical guidance before standard setters; and authored and updated several AICPA publications. Renee is a frequently requested speaker and is an instructor and author of several continuing professional education (CPE) courses for the AICPA, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (NYSSCPA) Foundation for Accounting Education (FAE), and other organizations.
Jorge Rodriguez, Esq.: Jorge is a senior tax manager in the New York office of RSM US LLP and works with the firm’s state and local tax department. He has more than 20 years of tax experience in both law firms and accounting firms including serving in a tax advisory role for organizations ranging from closely-held entrepreneurial companies to global Fortune 500 enterprises as well as for domestic and foreign individuals. Jorge services entities in numerous legal forms, with knowledge of partnerships and corporate and individual taxation.
Jason L. Rosenberg, CPA, EA, MST, CGMA: Jason is a senior manager at Withum in the State and Local Tax Practice in New York. He has over 10 years of experience, within State & Local Tax at large international accounting firms. As a specialist, he provides compliance, provision and consulting services for a wide array of clients within a mixed industry base, which includes manufacturing, bioscience, real estate and technology. His practice areas include Multi-State Income Tax Planning, Business Compliance, Nexus Considerations, Income Tax Accounting, Group Filings, State Apportionment, Personal Residency and Audit Defense. Jason is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is licensed as an Enrolled Agent by the Internal Revenue Service.
Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA, CITP, CGMA: Donny is a founder and senior member of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies (ITK) LLC's consulting and management team. He offers diverse experience in IT governance; strategy, planning and budgeting; technical and process project management; business systems application development; financial and systems auditing; knowledge management, including change management and organizational design/alignment; and business process redesign. While working in a Big Four environment and with a variety of businesses since then, Donny gained a wide range of experience in several industries, such as retail, hospitality, state government, defense, nonprofits and education.
Shekhar C. Somaiya, CPA, MBA (Finance), PMP, CSM: Shay is the CEO and managing partner at Equus Strategy, LLC, a boutique consulting firm that provides accounting, finance, business, IT and project management advisory and is a NetSuite reseller and certified solution provider. Shay has over 30 years of experience spanning accounting, finance and information technology. Having been a project director and solution architect for Oracle ERP applications, leading and managing projects from startup through execution and closure for over 20 years, he has deep industry expertise in business processes, cloud technology and enterprise software. Prior to becoming an IT professional, Shay worked as an accountant and a controller and performed audits and tax preparation services for high-net-worth individuals in a top CPA firm in NYC.
Philip Sookram, CPA,MAcc: Philip is a tenure-track assistant professor of accounting in the Department of Accountancy & Business Law at Saint Peter's University. He has four years of experience teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels, accompanied by five years of accounting experience in the public, private & non-profit sectors. In 2020, Saint Peter's University was ranked the "Best Accounting Degree Program" by NJBIZ. Also in 2020, he was awarded the "Emerging Leader" Ovation Award and has since been named to CPA Practice Advisor's 40 Under 40 list. Philip is a member of the NJCPA and is an appointed member of its Emerging Leaders Council. He also participates in the Student Programs & Scholarships Committee and Cannabis Interest Group.
Heather Sperduto: Heather is vice president of Sales Operations for the ADP Accountant Channel. With a career spanning two decades, Heather steadily progressed through the global human resources and payroll company, moving from district sales manager and corporate sales trainer to her current position. Throughout her career with ADP, she has leveraged her expertise in roles that take advantage of her competencies in sales, human resources, benefits administration, talent management and talent acquisition. This encompasses internal associate and leader engagement to drive results, as well as well as a high level of interaction with the accountant community. Heather is sought after nationwide to lead speaking engagements such as interactive workshops to foster attendees’ personal and professional development. She has coached thousands of professionals on improving selling and overall communications skills. She is also a board member of the Hope for Children Foundation.
Sean D. Stein Smith, CPA, CFE, CGMA, CMA, DBA: Sean is an expert and sought-after speaker, focusing on the intersection of financial services, blockchain and cryptocurrencies. He is a regular contributor to IBM’s Blockchain Unleashed website, analyzing applications for blockchain technology on business at large, as well as being a regular expert guest on China Global TV Network discussing blockchain and related applications. Sean is a member of the Advisory Board for the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, which coordinates with the AICPA in developing standards and reporting frameworks in this emerging area. Sean continuously works with, and consults for, the AICPA and several professional training organizations in the creation and delivery of blockchain and cryptocurrency related content. He is currently under contract to publish two books focusing on blockchain applications for financial services and other industry sectors. Sean is the host of the NJCPA TechTalk Podcast and is a past leader of the NJCPA Emerging Technologies Interest Group.
Joseph A. Tarasco, CPA: Joe founded the Accountants Advisory Group, LLC to assist the leaders of public accounting firms in structuring and managing their practices to increase profitability, maximize value and achieve long-term success. He advises CPA firms on how to achieve higher levels of competitiveness, profitability and longevity. Joe is experienced 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 accounting career 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.
Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA: Ralph is the CEO and executive director of the New Jersey Society of CPAs. He was appointed to AICPA’s National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion and the AICPA Foundation Board. Ralph is a former national and chapter president of the National Association of Black Accountants, was chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s State Society Relations Committee and is a member of the accounting advisory boards of Lehigh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Montclair State, Felician and Thomas Edison universities and Middlesex County College. In January 2018, he was invited by Senate President Steve Sweeney to join his bipartisan Economic and Fiscal Policy Working Group. Additionally, Ralph was selected for the last eight years by Accounting Today as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.”
Stacey D. Udell, CPA/ABV/CFF, CVA: Stacey is a director of Valuation and Litigation Services at HBK Valuation Group, which specializes in valuation, forensic accounting, economic damages and litigation support services. Her experience includes valuations of businesses and professional practices for purposes of estate and gift tax planning and compliance, divorce, business succession planning and mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, she has prepared damage study reports in connection with stockholder, insurance claims, and lost profits litigation, as well as reports in connection with bankruptcy proceedings utilized by the courts and trustees. Stacey also provides accounting and tax services for closely-held and family businesses including financial statement preparation, business and personal income tax planning and compliance, estate and business succession planning. She is a member of the AICPA, NJCPA, NACVA and New Jersey NACVA, and was previously the leader of the NJCPA Cannabis Interest Group.
Kecia Williams Smith, Ph.D, CPA: Kecia is an assistant professor and director of the Master of Accountancy (MACC) Program in the Department of Accounting and Finance at North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T). Prior to her role at NC A&T, Kecia served as an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting and Information Systems at Virginia Tech. Her research interests include audit regulation, audit quality, regulatory communications, and auditor judgment and decision-making. Prior to entering academia, she was a senior manager at Deloitte where she led engagement teams in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. Immediately prior to starting her doctoral studies, she was an associate director at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) where she created and led the Inspections Training Office that served over 400 inspection personnel.
Harry P. Wills, CPA, CGMA: Harry is a partner with Bowman & Company LLP in Voorhees and the Immediate Past President of the NJCPA. Harry's area of focus is in taxation and the audits of employee benefit plans. His clients include law firms, insurance agencies, construction and manufacturing corporations, wholesalers and distributors, hotels and investment entities. Harry is also a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs (PICPA). He was a former adjunct instructor at Drexel University LeBow College of Business and Rutgers – Camden. He is also a board member and finance chair of Symphony in C and was a past president of the Voorhees Gibbsboro Rotary Club.
Edward K. Zollars, CPA: Ed is a partner with the firm of Thomas, Zollars & Lynch, Ltd, in Phoenix, Arizona. He specializes in tax issues for closely held businesses and individuals. He has served on committees with the American Institute of CPAs' (AICPA) Tax Section and currently serves on the Arizona Society of CPAs' (ASCPA) legislative tax liaison committee. Ed has published tax podcasts on tax matters and is currently producing the weekly audio and video for the Current Federal Tax Developments podcast on current tax matters for Kaplan Financial Education and the related blog with regular tax updates throughout the week. Along with writing, editing and presenting courses for the past 14 years, Ed has written articles published in Practical Tax Strategies and The Tax Adviser. He is a frequent contributor to a number of online professional tax discussion groups, including the NJCPA Member Open Forum.