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Sona Akmakjian
 

Sona is a certified California CPA with 28 years of experience in transnational tax services and automation.  Experience includes working for state agency administering sales and use taxes, Big Four accounting firm, tax software company and mid-market consulting firms.  Sona has strong skills in areas such as strategic alliances, executive collaboration, M&A due diligence, project and product management with deep industry experience across multiple market segments including specific focus in enterprise segment.

Andrew Argue
 

Andrew Argue, CPA, is the CEO and founder of Corvee, a software and solutions company serving tax and accounting firms. At Corvee, Argue works to help tax and accounting firms increase their revenue and profitability through tax planning.

Argue founded Corvee with the goal to create a road map for tax and accounting firms to make the transition from compliance to advisory services. Since then, the company has launched first-of-its-kind tax planning software to give accounting firms and tax professionals the ability to formulate a tax savings calculation, develop a proactive and strategic tax plan and be the trusted advisor clients need.

Prior to Corvee, Argue founded AccountingTax.com (now Corvee) and The Bean Counter (acquired by Roger CPA Review), and worked as an auditor at PwC.

Argue has been named twice on Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting – Ones to Watch list. He has a Master of Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from University of Tampa. He also holds Series 7, Series 66 and Certified Public Accountant licenses.

Liz Armbruester
 

Operations Liz oversees global compliance operations at Avalara. She brings more than 20 years of leadership experience from a variety of technology sectors including software, media, and services and is known for her strong track record of innovative problem solving, process optimization, and an ability to deliver automation for efficiency and scale.

Liz's strong commitment to operational excellence and aptitude for partnering cross-functionally helped her drive value in her prior roles with Vubiquity, a provider of content monetization technology, and Zilog, a computing microcontroller manufacturer.

Mark A. Audi
 

Mark A. Audi, CPA is a Principal with Baker Newman Noyes (BNN), one of the top 100 tax, assurance, and advisory firms in the nation. Prior to joining BNN, Mark launched his career with time spent with a Big 4 public accounting firm. Mark focuses primarily on serving clients in the commercial and consumer products industries, with a special concentration in the retail, e-commerce and life science/medical device sectors. He has more than 20 years of experience in the accounting and assurance profession, including experience with complex revenue models, capitalized software, convertible debt instruments, sale-leaseback transactions, hedge transactions, impairment considerations, reporting and operating segments, acquisitions and challenging consolidation models. Since joining the Firm six years ago, Mark has led BNN's recruiting efforts in Massachusetts and over that same period the Firm has experienced growth in headcount within Massachusetts in excess of 400%.

Aaron Berson
 

Aaron holds roughly ten “YouTube Diplomas”. Currently, he is studying engineering and mechanics rebuilding his car’s engine. 
  

He enjoys breaking new technologies, reading product roadmaps and FASB guidelines to help him sleep at night. 
  

You will often find him chasing a squirrel or two and attending networking events enjoying nerdy conversation and a glass of Balvenie, neat. 

Gary Boomer

L. Gary Boomer, Visionary & Strategist of Boomer Consulting, Inc., is recognized in the accounting profession as the leading authority on technology and firm management. He consults and speaks around the globe on several topics including strategic and technology planning; mindset, skillsets and toolsets for the future; change management and developing a training and learning culture. He also acts as a planning facilitator and coach to some of the accounting profession's top firms. 
  

Gary is the creator of The Boomer Technology Circles and the Boomer CIO Circle, through which he helps firms bridge the gap between technology and practice management and prepares technology professionals for a seat at the management table by developing their business and IT acumen.
  

A prolific author, Gary is the author of multiple books and a contributor to several Boomer Advantage Guides, including those on strategic planning, change management, client filtering, attraction and retention, mobile data security and privacy, succession planning and value pricing.

He is also a regular contributor to Accounting Today and has been published in several online and print industry publications, including the Boomer Bulletin™, a newsletter with worldwide circulation.

In addition to consulting with hundreds of accounting firms, he has counseled companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Intuit, Wolters Kluwer, Sage, XCM, Expensify and Thomson Reuters on the design and marketing of accounting related software. He continues to consult with many industry technology providers to better serve the needs of the CPA profession and their clients.

James C. Bourke, CPA.CITP.CFF.CGMA
 

Jim is a Partner, Member of the Board of Directors and Management Committee at WithumSmith+Brown, is Director of Firm Technology and Managing Director of Advisory Services. Jim has been a frequent speaker around the globe to many Accounting Societies and International Accounting Associations, the AICPA, Industry Technology Organizations, Incubators, Co-Working Locations and others on topics specifically related to various accounting, tax and advisory services topics. 
  

In Jim’s role as Managing Director of Advisory Services, Jim heads-up the Firm’s cloud solutions, business advisory, cyber, data analytics, info-security and transactional services initiatives for the firm.

He is Past President for the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and past Board and Council Member for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Jim has been continually named by Accounting Today as one of the Top 100 Most Influential people in the Accounting profession and has been named by The CPA Technology Advisor as a Top Thought Leader in Public Accounting Technology year after year.

Dawn Brolin

Dawn’s list of professional accomplishments is extensive and includes working with prestigious companies such as Intuit, TSheets.com, Fundera, MSNBC, and The Woodard Group and many more. Named “Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting” 2012-2017 by CPA Practice Advisor, a “Top 10 Managing Partner Elite – Great Accounting Firm Leader” in 2017 by Accounting Today, and selected as a “Top 40 Under 40” by CPA Technology Magazine in 2009. Dawn continues to pursue excellence with the support of her amazing Team at Powerful Accounting. 
  

Known for her hilarious presentation style, Dawn has been featured on MSNBC “Your Business” and has spoken at Intuit’s QuickBooks Connect, Scaling New Heights, Sleeter Conference, TD Bank North locations, Tory Johnson’s Small Business Spark and Hustle Tour, Live Your Legacy Summit, SEMA, and many more. Her commitment to her continuing education motivates her to learn something new every single day and recently passed the Certified Fraud Examiner exam in the summer of 2017.

Chris Brown

Some people think that being a CPA means I am a numbers person. In reality, I am a people person. I work with people every day. Growing up a preacher's kid I was taught to look for opportunities to be a servant leader. I still strive to look for those opportunities each day. Whether as a CPA, worship leader, husband, father, or fiend, these truths hold firm. Serve people. Love people.

Jim Buffington

Jim is a CPA and leads the ProConnect Customer Council, supports Intuit’s E-file Security initiatives, and acts as the Customer Liaison for Intuit ProConnect, where he learns best practices from leading firms to share with the profession. Before joining Intuit, he was in public practice for a dozen years as a partner in an East Texas firm preparing oil & gas tax returns. 
  

Jim used Lacerte & QuickBooks software in practice and loves improving processes and technology to drive productivity and better client experiences. Jim’s passion is helping Tax & Accounting Professionals lead with planning and advisory services to help power prosperity for businesses & families. You can find him teaching Tax Pro courses or in TaxProTalk, a video series for ProConnect customers. Jim is an Aggie, he has been with Intuit ProConnect for 17 years.

Sheehan Chandrasekera

Shehan is one of the handful of CPAs in the country who is recognized as a real-world operator and a conceptual subject matter expert on cryptocurrency taxation. He is among 2019 CPA Practice Advisor 40 under 40 accounting professionals to watch and was awarded with the Outstanding Young CPA of the year award by Houston CPA Society for his contribution to the profession. 
  

Shehan is the Head of Tax Strategy at CoinTracker. He is a published author, CPE instructor and a frequent technical contributor to various social media platforms. His article on “Virtual Currency and Tax Ramifications” was featured in “The Tax Adviser” magazine sponsored by the AICPA. He was one of the first CPAs to have a published article on Cryptocurrency taxation. Further, he is a partner at JAGArgueta CPAs and enjoys working as the Associate Director of Houston Blockchain Alliance.

David Cieslak - CPA, CITP, CGMA, GSEC

David Cieslak is a Principal with Arxis Technology, Inc., a computer consulting firm with offices in Southern California, Chicago and Phoenix. He specializes in cloud computing, mid-market ERP accounting software, information security, the Windows operating environment, systems development and project management.

Mr. Cieslak is the past Chair of the AICPA IT Executive Committee and past president of the California CPA Education Foundation. He is an active participant with the CalCPA State Technology Committee. He is past chairman of the CalCPA State Technology Committee, former member of the AICPA Information Technology Practices Sub-Committee and previously served on the Information Technology Alliance board of directors. He is a member of various other AICPA and CalCPA planning committees for courses, conferences and computer shows.

Alexandra DeFelice

Alexandra DeFelice is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Payne & Fears LLP in Southern California. She has more than 20 years of diverse business development, coaching, and communications experience. Prior to joining Payne & Fears, Alexandra worked for a large regional law firm in Portland, Oregon, where she served as a business development manager for two of the firm’s six core industry groups. She previously served as senior manager for the North American headquarters of an international group of accounting firms. She worked as a journalist for the first decade of her career, including as an editor and reporter for Accounting Today, Accounting Tomorrow, Accounting Technology, Journal of Accountancy and Growth Strategies, a publication of the Association for Accounting Marketing.

Jason Deshayes, CPA, CGMA

Jason Deshayes, a seasoned certified public accountant with more than 17 years of experience providing tax accounting and consulting services to individuals, dental and medical practices, and closely held businesses. Jason is the Director of Tax Planning for Cook Wealth Management Group, in Raleigh, NC.  His areas of specialty include outsourced accounting, business accounting and financial consulting, succession planning, individual financial consulting, charitable gift planning, and personal and business income tax. And prior to joining Cook Wealth, Jason was a senior manager in the firm services team for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. And he also previously served as vice president and partner of Butler and company CPAs and Albuquerque, New Mexico based accounting firm.

Chris Geno

EDUCATION:
MS Accounting · University of North Texas
BS Accounting · University of North Texas

CERTIFICATIONS:
Certified Public Accountant, Texas

PROESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS:
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Certified Public Accountant, licensed in Texas
Member, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants

MARKETS OF EXPERTISE:
Manufacturing, Retail, Distribution, Employee Benefit Plans, Construction, and Professional Services

SERVICE AREAS OF FOCUS:
Assurance, 401(k) Audits, Internal Controls, Research and Advisory Services

BACKGROUND:
Chris joined Saville in 2018 and has over 9 years of experience providing assurance and advisory services. His experience includes serving domestic and international clients of a broad range of sizes and a variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, distribution and professional services. In addition, Chris has assisted with assurance engagements for employee benefit plans with various frameworks and scopes.

Chris and his wife live in Dallas with their two dogs. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling, enjoying the arts, meeting new people, and spending time outdoors.

Andrew Hatfield

Andrew Hatfield is a Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Sales & Strategic Partnerships for cPaperless, LLC. He is a recognized industry speaker and enthusiast for the latest technology trends that affect tax & accounting firms. For nearly two decades Andrew has been serving the tax & accounting industry by creating innovative and award winning software solutions that provide major efficiency gains for public tax & accounting firms. In addition, he has been honored as a 40 under 40 in the accounting industry and has pioneered multiple software solutions that have won the prestigious CPA Practice Advisor Innovation Award, most recently 2016 and 2017 for SafeSend Returns.

Tom Hood

Tom is one of the most influential leaders in the Accounting Profession. In 2019 he was named the Second Most Influential Person in Accounting for the seventh year by Accounting Today Magazine (His 15th year on the Top 100). He was one of the first five thought leaders inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame (2015) by CPA Practice Advisor.

LinkedIn recruited Tom as one of their Top 100 Influencers and he was named to the Top 25 Influencers in Learning by HR Examiner. He is known for his prolific digital footprint and now has over 780,000 followers on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social accounts.

Tom is on a mission to help CPAs, Finance and Accounting Professionals thrive in these times of exponential change. He firmly believes that what got us here, won’t get us there as the Profession faces unprecedented changes and opportunities.

Kurtis Johnson CFP®, CPFA®

Wealth Advisor

As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and a Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA), Kurt Johnson provides advice and consulting services to plan sponsors regarding their employer-sponsored retirement plans. In addition to his CFP® and CPFA, he carries the VA Life and Health Insurance License.

As a Wealth Advisor with PBMares, Kurt has over 13 years of experience in wealth management. He is passionate about helping families and business owners achieve their financial goals and is committed to the long-term relationships he builds with clients.

Before joining PBMares, he was a financial consultant with TIAA CREF and an investment consultant with Fidelity Investments. Kurt has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from the University of Alabama.

Kurt is active in the Rotary Club of Harrisonburg, currently serving as club secretary. Originally from New Jersey, he has been married for 18 years and is the proud father of four children.

Lauren Jones

Lauren Jones is a senior manager with experience effectively integrating Vertex with various ERP packages such as PeopleSoft, SAP, MS Dynamics GP and other proprietary legacy systems. She also has extensive implementation experience with Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE Indirect Tax Determination, AvaTax ST and Oracle eBusiness Tax.

As well as working with clients to configure and manage automated tax solutions, Lauren has assisted with traditional sales and use tax consulting services such as process analysis and improvement, contractual registration, refund analysis, voluntary disclosure, managed audits and audit defense. She also leads RSM’s sales and use tax outsourcing practice providing clients with timely and accurate monthly sales tax filings, response to “Notices of Tax Action,” reconciliation of the client’s sales tax account, and identification of best practices regarding the overall sales tax compliance process.

Professional affiliations and credentials:

  • Certified Member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (“IPT”)

  • Certified Implementer of Thomson Reuters Indirect Tax Determination System

Roman Kepczyk

Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA is Director of Firm Consulting for Right Networks. Roman is responsible for helping firms throughout North America effectively use information technology and accounting applications by optimizing their tax, audit and administrative production workflows. Roman was named by INSIDE Public Accounting as one of the profession’s Most Recommended Consultants for each of the years from 2005 through 2017, CPA Practice Advisors Top 25 Thought Leaders from 2011 through 2019, and Accounting Today’s Most Influential People in Accounting thirteen times.

Ed Kless

Ed Kless joined Sage in July of 2003 and is currently the senior director of partner development and strategy. He develops and delivers curriculum for Sage business partners on the art and practice of small business consulting including the Sage Consulting Academy, Business Strategy and Customer Experience Workshops. He also facilitated the Sage Leadership Academy, a year-long program designed to assist Sage Software partners develop a continuous process of improvement in their organizations and serves as liaison to the Strategic Leadership Association.

Kenji Kuramoto

Kenji is the Founder and CEO of Acuity which builds and maintain financial functions for entrepreneurs and startups. Through Acuity, he’s provided thousands of companies with a full range of financial solutions from high-level strategic financial counsel through its fractional CFO practice all the way to virtualized bookkeeping and tax solutions for early stage startups. Kenji’s core business mission is to provide scalable financial solutions for entrepreneurs, so that their main focus can be on growing their company.

Prior to co-founding Acuity, Kenji was the vice president of finance and administration for one of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation, where he directed the planning, reporting, analysis and execution of company financial processes. His experience also includes significant tenure with Arthur Andersen where he handled diverse business engagements, including coordinating domestic and international project teams, performing financial services, and assisting clients with due diligence.

Kenji is active in financial, business and community organizations. He is a Board Member for The Entrepreneurs Organization, a Founding Venture Partner at NextGen Ventures, a Board Member of Staplehouse Restaurant (a subsidiary of The Giving Kitchen), and has served on the Xero Partner Advisory Counsel. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University where he earned a bachelor's degree in Accounting. He is one of The Atlanta Business Chronicle's 40 Under 40, a TIE Top Entrepreneur, and Hubdoc’s Top 50 Cloud Accountants 2016 – 2018.  In 2019, Acuity was awarded as both a Top Firm To Work For and a Top Firm For Technology from Accounting Today.

Richard Lavina, CPA - Co-Founder & CEO

Ricky graduated from the University of Miami in 2009 and is a licensed CPA in Florida. Prior to co-founding Taxfyle Ricky worked at PwC serving Fortune 500 companies. Fluent in Accounting Ricky is also a member of the AICPA and obtained his Masters in Accountancy from Florida International University.

Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch, CFA, CFP is a Director for BDO Wealth Advisory and the Chairman of the BDO Investment Committee that manages $2 billion of Client assets. Michael’s primary responsibility at BDO is to develop customized, comprehensive and understandable tax aware solutions that integrate Financial Planning and Investment Management. Michael was the Lead Wealth Strategist for Optimized Transitions prior to joining BDO. Michael also worked at Twenty-First Securities for more than a decade and structured innovate strategies that intersected capital markets, taxation, and estate planning for use with Ulta High-Net Worth Clients and owners of Executive Compensation. Michael was a portfolio liaison for Dr. Marty Zweig, Kayne-Anderson, Seneca Capital and other money managers while employed by Virtus Investments. Michael has presented at various industry events on the taxation of financial products and has been quoted by Bloomberg and Seeking Alpha. Michael’s written works and contributions have been included in the Journal of Wealth Management, The Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and the books Advisor for Life, The New Management Account Handbook, and Advising Ultra Affluent Clients and Family Offices.

Liz Mason

Liz is a CPA (Nevada and Arizona) by day and an adventurer by night. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance (in 3 years because, why not). Liz subsequently attended Arizona State University for a Master’s degree in Information Management to satisfy her continued curiosity of technology and innovation. She attended AICPA Leadership Academy in 2013 and credits the program with giving her a springboard for innovative thinking. Liz is the epitome of a serial-entrepreneur having launched four successful brands in the accounting, tax, and HR space: High Rock AccountingRebel Rock AccountingTakle, and TheDepartment.Tax. Currently, Liz is focusing on building the Nucleus program inside of High Rock to develop Nucleus Partners into technology-backed, badass advisors. Liz is the Strategic Editor for Tax Practice News ensuring the tax community gets quality insights, news, and technology content for advancing practices. She writes prolifically for other accounting publications as well, speaks on a national stage frequently, and dedicates her time to educating and collaborating to elevate her industry. Liz serves as a National Xero Ambassador to help advise the direction of technology in her industry and bring best practices to firms on the brink of innovation. She believes in the power of humans and focuses her ambitions on empowering her team to be better. When not in Phoenix, you can find Liz traveling the world in search of adventure and enjoying different cultures with her husband and young son.

Marty McCutchen, CPA

As a CPA and Certified Tax Coach, Marty provides proactive tax and finanical planning for businesses and their owners. Being an entrepreneur like most of his clients, he understands the issues and difficulties of running a business.

Kalil Merhib

Kalil is the leader of CPA.com’s sales organization and is responsible for developing and executing go to market sales strategy across the organization’s product and services business lines to the CPA profession and adjacent professional markets.  Under his leadership, CPA.com’s sales capacity has expanded to drive deep engagement with the Big 4, Top 100 CPA firms, and small and mid-size firms spanning Client Advisory Services, Sales and Use Tax, and Audit and Assurance practice areas.

After earning a B.S. in Food Industry Management from Michigan State University, Kalil worked as an Account Representative with Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting.

Kalil's ambition and determination led him to join the CPA.com team in 2011 as a Strategic Account Manager.  After consistently outperforming goals and having demonstrated exemplary leadership and vision, he transitioned into Enterprise Business Development and led the launch of CPA.com’s RIVIO Clearinghouse. His extensive knowledge of technology, leadership, and strategic management trends in the accounting profession has situated him in high demand for speaking engagements across the nation, allowing him to share vital insight and information to accounting professionals.

In 2017, Kalil was recognized by CPA Practice Advisor as a Top 20 under 40 Superstar for his influence and contribution to the visible change in the accounting profession.

Jackie Meyer, CPA

Jackie Meyer, CPA is President and Founder of Meyer Tax Consulting LLC in Southlake, Texas, specializing in tax strategy for Execs that provides a high return on investment. As a Certified Tax Coach, she offers concierge tax and accounting services to assist clients with anything from income shifting strategies to managing a family business in QBO. Her virtual team operates from Texas to Hawaii and the firm stays on the cutting edge of technology working closely with industry leaders like Intuit while also being an international Firm of the Future runner up for 2017. Jackie is a proud participant of the prestigious Intuit ProConnect Tax Council for the 2016-2019 years, while also being a top-rated speaker on tax and technology. Jackie's passionate about growing charitable legacies, while spending free time with her two small children, her husband and their two dogs.

Byron Patrick, CPA

Byron Patrick, CPA, is vice president of growth and success at Botkeeper where he works with organizations to bridge the knowledge gap between accounting and technology. As co-writer, Patrick has contributed to the Journal of Accountancy Tech. He is a member of AICPA Council and PCPS Executive Committee and was previously a member of the Information Management and Technology Assurance Executive Committee, the Future of Peer Review task force and the CPA Ambassador program.

Gail Perry

Gail Perry is a CPA and the editor-in-chief of CPA Practice Advisor magazine. She has been advising the profession for almost 20 years as an accounting journalist in addition to being a well-known public speaker, trainer, and the author of more than 30 books (including Mint.com For Dummies; Surviving Financial Downsizing: A Practical Guide to Living Well on Less Money; and, most recently, The Idiot’s Guide to Introductory Accounting). Gail facilitates two think tanks for the accounting profession – the Accounting Thought Leader Symposium and the Young Leaders Accounting Think Tank. She is also the creator of Ensuring Success, a unique annual conference that brings leaders of the profession together to offer continuing professional education to thousands of accountants from the comfort of their own offices or homes. Gail is a member of the AICPA’s Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee and the creator of a workshop for CPA.com designed to help tax accountants advance their practices to include personal financial planning services. Gail also maintains a small tax practice where she serves real estate agents and performing artists, and she has taught an online financial planning course for more than 10 years. Gail is a graduate of Indiana University where she earned her bachelor's degree in journalism. After returning to school to study accounting at Illinois State University, Gail earned her CPA and worked for Deloitte's Chicago office as a state and local tax specialist. She is a former tax columnist for the Indianapolis Star newspaper, has been a community college adjunct accounting professor, and was on staff for 10 years at the Indiana CPA Society as a computer applications instructor. Gail was the publisher and editor-in-chief of AccountingWEB before joining the CPA Practice Advisor team.

Jeff Phillips

Jeff Phillips is an entrepreneur and accounting industry leader.    He is CEO of Padgett Business Services, one of North America’s largest accounting service and business consulting providers.  He also is a Co-Founder of Accountingfly, the accountant hiring platform for remote talent.  Jeff was previously with Monster.com where he delivered recruitment solutions for Fortune 500 companies such as Verizon, H&R Block, and Shell. He was named among the Top 100 Most Influential People by Accounting Today for 4 years.  Jeff has a Bachelors Degree in Economics from Baylor University and a Masters of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University.   Jeff lives with his family in his hometown of Pensacola, FL.

James Rainwater

James Rainwater is the founder of Rainwater.CPA, a national CPA Firm providing business clients with proactive tax planning and tax-advantaged wealth management. His unique approach to tax planning was created in collaboration with the nation’s top CPAs, tax attorneys and financial planners. They have developed a toolbox of nearly 100 high impact tax-saving strategies.

As an Expert Coach on Tax Planning & Tax-Advantaged Wealth Management for CORVEE, James is the go-to instructor bringing his valuable experience, knowledge and expertise of advanced tax strategies and planning to accountants and tax professionals, helping them provide amazing value to their clients.

In his free time, James is likely out camping with his two sons or walking his rescue dog, Maggie.

Laura Redmond

Laura Redmond, awarded 2019 Top Client Accounting Services ProAdvisor, is the CEO of Redmond Accounting Inc (RAI).  Founded in 2005, RAI is a boutique accounting firm providing client accounting, advisory, and consulting services centered around QuickBooks Online and its eco-system of apps. Laura created Aero Workflow, an app used by accounting firms to distribute their knowledge capital, delegate work to a distributed workforce, and manage service delivery.  Laura co-authored many of Intuit’s QuickBooks Online certification programs and presents sessions at national accounting technology conferences.

Richard Roppa

Part forward-thinking problem-solver, part technically-minded marketer, and part space enthusiast, Intellectual Handyman Richard Roppa-Roberts believes that the key to a better world lies in working collaboratively to grow. Richard is a highly-sought-after business and solutions coach at the helm of Quasar Cowboy, a strategic consulting firm dedicated to helping accounting and bookkeeping firms in their reach for (and grasp of) the stars.  Quasar Cowboy helps accounting firms with technology, workflow, engagement process, and long-term planning.

Richard founded and leads Not the Only One Roundtable, a community of ProAdvisors and Accounting Professionals working together to change the world through collaboration and technology. Quasar Cowboy expanded their Roundtable offerings this year to include an Ecosystem Apps Roundtable, and a graduate style series for small accounting firms called Get Out of Your Own Way Roundtable - and they are helping business owners do just that! Richard is no stranger to speaking to an accounting audience - he is one-third of the hosting team on The QBO Show and he has spoken at numerous conferences including QuickBooks Connect, Scaling New Heights, Plug In The Power of QuickBooks, and most recently Taking Your Firm Virtual. In 2020, Richard and his business partners opened Totally SEO, an SEO strategy firm that works specifically with accountants, apps, and others in the fintech space.

In his spare time, Richard can be found in beautiful Palm Springs with his husband of 20 years and their three cats as they shop for the best mid-century finds.

Reina Schlager
 

Reina has earned the designation of Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) from the AICPA. Committee membership has included the AICPA PRIME PLUS ElderCare Task Force, as well as the Florida CPA Elder Planning and Support Services Committee. She helped to found the FICPA’s Elder Care Symposium for CPAs in Florida. She is currently on a joint task force between the AICPA and the National Alzheimer’s Association. She has also been a member of the Florida Bar Association Grievance Committee. Her capacity was as one of several public members, along with Attorneys, who adjudicated complaints made against local attorneys.

A consultant and speaker at local colleges and universities, Reina has been a contributing writer/guest for periodicals, television, radio and workshops for the public-at-large, as well as peer professionals. Reina has been an invited speaker for an AICPA national webinar, the national CPA/PFS Financial Planning Conference, and the FICPA Accounting Shows and Elder Planning Symposiums. She spoke to women CFOs at the 10th Anniversary Summit of the WBL (Women Business Leaders in Healthcare) held in Washington, DC. Topics have included: Long-term Care, End-of-Life Planning, Income distribution, Being Your Own CFO, Social Security Planning, Medicare strategies, and Estate & Tax Planning topics. Reina also spoke at the November 2018 AICPA Women’s Global Leadership Summit in Manhattan.

After seventeen years co-owning Schlager & Assoc, and several years with a national accounting firm, Reina and Robert, and Kenneth Levin, have established the independent firm of SCHLAGER SCHLAGER & LEVIN – SS&L.

SS&L provides tax advice and tax strategies. They coordinate this effort in client estate and investment plans. Our approach is comprehensive. We assist our clients in their efforts to create and grow their wealth, protect and preserve that wealth, and plan for the distribution of that wealth in life and in death - in the most tax-advantaged way.

Jennifer Scott
 

Jennifer Scott leads the team at HireEffect™ as Founder, CEO, and Chief People Officer. Moving from corporate roles in Human Resources to becoming a self-employed solopreneur, to owning and running a growing multi-state consulting firm, Jennifer brings a unique view to small business leadership.

Jennifer founded HireEffect™ in 2007 to support small and mid-sized companies in all areas of talent acquisition, including hiring and onboarding. In 2018, after an unexpected curve on the road to success, she expanded HireEffect’s business consulting suite to include outsourced bookkeeping as well as accounting and human resources technology advisory and implementation services.

With more than 25 years of experience working with leaders, Jennifer runs her business with a "People First – Technology Forward" approach. Her specialties include employing Conscious Business and Positive Leadership tools to improve employee engagement and retention and helping companies create and sustain the kind of culture that attracts top talent.

Jennifer leads a virtual team serving the entire US with employees in Texas, New York, Connecticut, and Florida.

Donny Shimamoto, CPA.CITP, CGMA

Donny is the founder and managing director of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC, an advisory-focused CPA firm focused on innovation acceleration and organizational development for small businesses, middle market organizations, and nonprofits. Donny is a recognized thought leader and educator in the fields of accounting technology, IT risk management, and performance management. His dedication to helping accountants and organizations strategically leverage technology while proactively managing their business and technical risk is paramount.​

Donny also serves as an business transformation advisor and outsourced “IT partner” for local & regional firms, finance departments, and internal audit departments who lack in-house IT executive leadership and IT audit expertise; He helps with risk assessments, IT-related advisory services, development of innovation strategies, streamlining of internal firm/department operations, and increasing staff proficiency with IT tools supporting internal operations and accounting/audit services delivery.

Dr. Sean Stein Smith

Dr. Sean Stein Smith is an assistant professor of Accounting in the Economics and Business Department at Lehman College. His research includes blockchain applications, cryptoassets – including but not limited to decentralized cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and other blockchain related applications. He has presented his work at dozens of national and international conferences, both practitioner and scholarly in nature, including the Annual Conference of the American Accounting Association on multiple occasions. His research has garnered research awards from both the AICPA and AAA in 2019 and 2020. Sean also serves on the Advisory Board of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, where he also leads the Accounting Working Group, focusing on the creation and dissemination of thought leadership connected to the blockchain and financial services space. He is also the chairperson of the New Jersey Society of CPAs Emerging Technology Interest Group, spearheading efforts and initiatives to more effectively integrate emerging technology tools into practice. He has been named a 40 under 40 in the accounting profession by CPA Practice Advisor (2017-2019), and by the NYSSCPA (2020), and has been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting. In addition, Sean served as the E.C. Harwood Visiting Research Fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research during 2019, and has had books published, or that are in the publication process, at Taylor and Francis, Springer, and Palgrave-MacMillan.

Erron Stark

Erron Stark is the Division Vice President of Channels for ADP, LLC, responsible for driving revenue and managing sales operations for ADP’s accountant, bank and client channels. With more than 13 years in the HCM industry, Erron has held many leadership roles at ADP with responsibilities including developing programs and managing teams that help accounting professionals and their clients attract top talent, comply with regulations and achieve their goals.

A native of Staten Island, New York, Erron is an avid golfer when not spending time with his wife Marissa and his three young children, or traveling the globe for ADP. Erron and his wife’s are active fund raisers for their Foundation that benefits Pediatric Heart Disease research.

Garrett Wagner - CPA, CITP

As an emerging leader in the CPA landscape and an expert at understanding the new millennial generation, Garrett focuses on monitoring the evolving technologies and best practices in the industry to achieve the highest degree of success without being afraid to break free from traditional methods.

Garrett works with CPA firms across the country helping them to implement lasting change by understanding the unique needs of each organization.

Garrett specializes in corporate taxation and can successfully implement ideas and change by using his communication style to get support from key members of the Firm. With his ability to think outside the box, develop procedures, and train staff it has allowed Garrett to have tremendous success in bringing about lasting change.

Garrett believes that the public accounting landscape is undergoing a tremendous change and that by focusing on developing the next generation of leaders and understanding the shift in the profession to providing value added consulting services, that Firms can obtain long lasting success.

Started the LinkedIn group Innovating Trailblazers to provide support for the next generation of leaders by allowing them to share ideas, frustrations, and support each others growth.

Specialties: CPA, CITP specializing in helping business owners achieve personal and professional success.

Sandra Wiley

Sandra Wiley, President of Boomer Consulting, Inc., is a leader in the accounting profession with a passion for helping firms grow, adapt and thrive. She is regularly recognized by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her expertise in leadership, management, collaboration, culture building, talent and training.

Sandra developed the P3 Leadership Academy and hosts regional training sessions throughout the country. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant’s Alliance and a certified KolbeTM trainer, advising firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.

Sandra’s role at Boomer Consulting, Inc. includes serving as co-director of the P3 Leadership Academy as well as the Boomer Managing Partner Circle , the Boomer Talent Circle and the Boomer NextGen Leader Circle . Her years of experience and influence as a management and strategic planning consultant make her a sought-after resource among the best and brightest firms in the country.

Sandra is regularly invited to speak at national conferences where she empowers audiences with new ideas and a sense of humor. She is a popular author, bringing penetrating conversations to many online and print publications including Accounting Today, Accounting Web, ADP Thrive, the Journal of Accountancy’s Career Insider, and Intuit’s Firm of the Future.

In 2013, Sandra penned The Journey Ahead: A New Roadmap to Collaboration in Your Firm (available on Amazon). In 2015, in partnership with the AICPA, Sandra wrote The Engaged Employee: 10 Initiatives for Successful Firms (available in the AICPA Store).

Prior to joining Boomer, Sandra worked for over 16 years in the financial services industry in the areas of human resources, marketing/sales, training and business development.

Amanda Wilkie

Amanda Wilkie, Consultant at Boomer Consulting, Inc., has a computer science background, but she’s not your average geek. With two decades of technology experience, Amanda has spent 13 years driving change and process improvement through innovative technology solutions working across firms of varying sizes in the public accounting profession. She has held strategic leadership positions in firms ranging from Top 50 to Top 10 including her most recent role as CIO of a Top 30 firm.

Amanda is a recognized expert in the profession as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Certified Blockchain Solution Architect. She regularly speaks and writes on process improvement, blockchain and cryptocurrency and their impact on the profession.

Awards and Recognition's:
Selected to speak at AICPA Engage conference 2015 – 2019
Certified Project Management Professional (PMP)
Microsoft Certified Solution Associate (MCSA)
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
Certified Blockchain Solution Architect

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