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2023 SPEAKERS

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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.

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James C. Bourke

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 Practice Advisor as a Top Thought Leader in Public Accounting Technology year after year.

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Jayson Brannon

As Vice President, Sales & Partner Success at CPA.com, Jayson oversees CPA.com’s customer facing teams: Sales, Customer Success and Customer Service. In this role he leads a team who helps firms build, execute and grow their practice areas by implementing best-of-breed technology solutions, modern practice development and growth strategies as they move through digital transformation.

 

Jayson is a seasoned sales leader with nearly 15 years of experience selling fintech solutions to the accounting profession. Since joining CPA.com in 2018, Jayson and his teams have helped hundreds of firms evolve and grow, enabled by technology and practice development strategies.

 

Jayson is passionate about building successful teams to drive change by earning the opportunity to be called trusted advisor, both internally and externally.

 

Prior to joining CPA.com, he worked with Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting first as a seller then leading sales teams. Jayson holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Western Michigan University (Go Broncos!) and resides in Southeast Michigan with his wife, Jessica.

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David Cieslak

David Cieslak is Chief Cloud Officer and EVP with RKL eSolutions, a leading business process automation consulting firm with offices across the US. In his role, he is responsible for helping companies grow strategically with cloud-based solutions and industry-specific service expertise for ERP, CPM, CRM, AP Automation, and other critical business processes. 

 

He is a frequent speaker for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) and other state accounting societies as his alter ego “Inspector Gadget.” He is a Sage Intacct Certified Consultant and holds the GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC). He is the past Chair of the AICPA IT Executive Committee and past president of the California CPA Education Foundation.

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Nicole Davis

Nicole Davis stands at the helm of Butler-Davis Tax & Accounting, BD Payroll, and Groundworx Contractors as their founder and CEO, directing a dedicated team of 26 professionals. With over twenty years of expertise, she offers extensive knowledge in accounting, tax, financial oversight, and advisory services, catering to diverse clientele from various sectors. She possesses a unique prowess in tax strategy and is adept in small business accounting, notably within the construction, independent pharmacy, and service-oriented business industries.

 

Prior to establishing Butler-Davis, Nicole's professional journey was rooted in corporate accounting for prominent Fortune 500 entities. She initiated her career at ConocoPhillips, a leading oil and gas   enterprise located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

 

Holding memberships with the American Institute of CPAs and the Georgia Society of CPAs, Nicole's educational accolades include an MBA from the University of Tulsa and a summa cum laude Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Grambling State University. Currently, she serves as the Vice Chair of   the AICPA Practitioners Planning Committee and is a Committee Member for the Professional and Personal Liability Insurance Programs of the AICPA. Furthermore, Nicole is an active participant in both the Rockdale and Newton Chambers of Commerce.

 

Nicole and her spouse, JW, reside in Georgia, and are proud parents to five children. On social media, she's amassed a substantial audience of over 25,000 followers across various platforms, where she frequently posts about her life as a wife, mom, and CPA. Nicole is passionate about traveling, penning down her thoughts, whipping up meals, and indulging in reality TV shows.

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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.

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Sean Duncan
Sean M. Duncan, CPA is the president of SMD Consulting & Accounting and founder of Chief Proactive Advisors, LLC. built his reputation as a thought leader in the accounting industry by focusing on advising, teaching, and helping clients with proactive strategy and planning. 

CPAs across the United States possess so much valuable knowledge about business, finances, AND taxes; but all too often they shy away from sharing their wisdom in a timely and actionable manner.

Over the last 25+ years, Sean has accumulated a diverse and unique set of credentials and knowledge that he shares through speaking at conferences and events, in private seminars, one on one with clients, and with his very talented team at SMD.

A recognized expert on comprehensive financial and business strategy, Sean M. Duncan, CPA has been a speaker at AccountingWeb Live, Insightful Accountant’s Future Forward, Scaling New Heights, and many other conferences. He is a member of ADP’s Accountant Advisory Council, and Ignitions Client Council.

He has contributed to Intuit’s Accountant blog, and is a frequent contributor to articles in The Dallas Morning News, Insightful Accountant and other publications and has made numerous appearances as a TV or radio show guest, and often speaks at conferences across the United States.

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Andrew Hatfield

Andrew leads revenue growth, strategic partnerships, and defining SafeSend’s long-term priorities and agenda. He is a recognized industry speaker and thought leader, and enthusiast for emerging technologies that impact tax and accounting firms. Andrew focuses on market dynamics, customer feedback and needs, and profession trends with an eye toward identifying new pathways to growth. For nearly two decades, Andrew has lent his automation technology expertise and deep domain knowledge of the profession to help create innovative software solutions – each providing exponential efficiency gains for tax and accounting professionals.

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Joey Havens

JOEY HAVENS, CPA, is currently serving HORNE as managing partner of strategic growth. He joined HORNE in 1984 and previously served as executive partner from 2012 to 2021, leading more than 1,800 team members to build the Wise Firm while passionately living out his life’s calling to help others see and reach their full potential. Prior to being named executive partner in 2012, Joey served as HORNE’s managing partner of health care services and the managing partner of government services, respectively.

 

Joey actively challenges the mainstays of business culture and strategic planning. He advocates growing leaders faster using holistic approaches and intentional sponsorship. In addition to his weekly beBetter blog, he is the author of numerous white papers and articles, including “Becoming the Firm of the Future,” published by AICPA. He has coauthored four books during his career at HORNE.

Joey is an active member of CPA Practice Advisor’s Top 30 Thought Leaders, where he works with other accounting professionals to help lead and shape the industry. Joey is a frequent presenter/teacher/facilitator on creating a culture of belonging, strategic planning, and leadership development and loves to teach young professionals the “ABCs to Outstanding.”

He currently serves on the board of The Mustard Seed, a Christian community for adults with developmental disabilities and Empower Mississippi. He is a past board member of HORNE LLP,  Friends of Children’s Hospital, JDRF, Make- A-Wish Foundation, and AICPA Women’s Initiative Executive Committee. Joey earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi. He attends St. Francis Catholic Church with his wife, Cathy. 

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Roman Kepczyk

Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA, CITP, CGMA, is the Director of Firm Technology Strategy for Right Networks. His primary focus is helping firms throughout North America effectively use information technology  and accounting applications by optimizing their tax, audit and administrative production workflows.  

He has spent the past 27 years consulting exclusively with CPA firms and 10 years with the CPA firm of Henry & Horne where he was the partner in charge of administration and information technology. Roman has served as a member of AICPA Council, PCPS Executive Committee, AICPA IT Executive Committee, and is also an Advisory Board Member to the CPA Firm Management Association and BDO Alliance IT Advisory Board. 

 

Roman was named by INSIDE Public Accounting as one of the profession’s Most Recommended Consultants from 2005 through 2022, CPA Practice Advisor’s Top 25 Thought Leaders from 2011 through 2023, and Accounting Today’s Most Influential People in Accounting (17  years and counting). He currently writes for AICPA Professional Insights, Thomson Reuters Audit and Accounting Update, and CPA Practice Advisor.

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Becky Livingston

Becky Livingston is the Owner and CEO of Penheel Marketing, a NJ-based firm specializing in social media and digital marketing for CPAs. With over 25 years of marketing and tech experience, she is the author of “The B2B Marketer's Guide to AI: Strategies, Tactics & Tools for Success,” “SEO for CPAs - The Accountant’s SEO Handbook,” “The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook,” and “SEO Secrets, Myths and Truths to Being Found Online.” In addition to being a practitioner, she is a dog lover, an active Association for Accounting Marketing’s (AAM) committee member, an adjunct professor, and HubSpot partner. Learn more about Becky and her firm at https://Penheel.com.

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Gaynor Mielke

Chief Opportunity Officer, Charisma Ink, MS, CBC, CTC, CTRC-E

Gaynor Meilke is a business strategist and certified business and transformational coach. She is the owner of Charisma Ink, a marketing and B2B consulting firm that specializes in services for accounting and tax professionals. She is a ghostwriter and the author of multiple books, including Avoiding App-athy:Your Step-by-Step Guide to Winning More Sales and Customer Advocates in the Accounting Channel, The Bank Your Brain Blueprint™, and The Market Ownership Method which are available on Amazon.

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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.

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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 Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Baylor University and a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. Jeff lives with his family in his hometown of Pensacola, FL.

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Nadia Rodriguez

Nadia Rodriguez is a Senior Tax Analyst Programmer at Intuit where she is part of the team that builds the Lacerte and ProConnect Tax Online professional tax software for individual and business tax. 

 

Nadia earned her CPA license in 2009 and Masters in Taxation in 2007 from the University of North Texas. At Intuit, Nadia is also an instructor for their training and tax education program. Nadia has experience in Public Accounting where she performed tax planning projections and  prepared tax returns for high net worth individuals and different types of businesses. She is an active CPA that continues to assist taxpayers with tax compliance and advisory services. Nadia has a passion for sharing her knowledge with others, from helping her son and daughter find the common denominator in fractions to teaching her peers about the latest tax law changes and industry insights. Lips is an entrepreneur and accounting industry leader

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Andy Root

Andy brings nearly a decade of sales and firm operations experience to the table. Over the years, he's worked closely with the Rootworks member base (over 800 firms) to gain a deep understanding of firm owners' needs at every level of a modern business model. He continues to work daily with firm partners and staff to help them progress with Rootworks Business Model Basics™—the core elements that make up a successful, modern enterprise.

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Dr. Sean Stein Smith

Sean is an Associate Professor at the City University of New York – Lehman College. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, where he chairs the Accounting Working Group. Sean also serves as an Advisor to Crescent City Capital, a cryptoasset investment fund. Sean has also been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting, and has been named a past winner of the NJCPA Ovation Award for Innovation. He has also been named a 40 under 40 in the accounting profession from 2017-2022 by CPA Practice Advisor and the NYSSCPA in 2021. Sean was named on the NJBIZ Power 50 in Accounting in 2021 & 2022. He was also awarded the Outstanding Young CPA of the Year Award by the AICPA in 2022. In 2022, Sean also earned the Certified Cryptocurrency Auditor certificate offered by the Blockchain Council, and in 2023 he completed an Executive Education program in AI Strategy at MIT.

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Garrett Wagner

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 other's growth. 

 

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

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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.

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Jeff Wilson

Jeff is the CEO of The W2 Group, LLC., a solution-driven Accounting and Advisory firm specializing in  

bringing cloud-based solutions and efficiencies to our clients: Associations and Government Contractors. He is also the Founder of Govierates.com a government contracting software solutions firm. Jeff Wilson is a Certified Public Accountant and maintains over 7+ financial certifications and licenses. He is experienced in several financial areas that allow him to provide his clients with multiple domain expertise,

 

The W2 Group powers its services through its business division and individual brands: The W2 Group Accounting & Advisory, Family Law Forensic Accountants, and GovieRates. The firm is an SBA-certified 8(a) Small Business and MBE-certified accounting firm headquartered in Upper Marlboro, MD.

The firm provides clients with CAS Services, Tax Planning & Preparation, Financial Planning, and Technology Services.

 

Jeff frequently presents workshops and seminars on Strategic Financial Statement Analysis and Financial Literacy, discussing his book: “The Lies Our Parents Were Sold and Told Us.”.

 

He is a former board member of the MACPA and a member of the AICPA PFP Executive Committee and the AICPA Trial Board.

 

Jeff was named by CPA Practice Advisor Magazine as a 40 under 40 CPA. He was also a 40 Under 40 Black CPA centennial recipient. He was awarded a 2023 Outstanding Young CPA Winner by the American Institute of CPAs.

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Donny Shimamoto

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.

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Geni Whitehouse, CPA, CITP

Geni Whitehouse divides her time between working as a winery consultant at Brotemarkle, Davis & Co in the Napa Valley and writing, speaking, and tweeting. She believes everyone has something interesting to say and wants to help them say it. She is regular speaker at CPA and Technology conferences around the country and has been named a Top 100 Influencer by Accounting Today, one of 25 Thought Leaders in Accounting, and one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor. But her favorite award was being listed as one of “10 Tweeters worth following” by an accounting publication. She is a member of the TEDxNapaValley organizing committee and was the first speaker at their first even in 2012.

 

She is a co-founder of Solve Services, a remote bookkeeping business for the wine industry and is the author of “How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting: 52 ways even a nerd can be heard” which is available on Amazon.com.

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