Mary Adams is a consultant, speaker and practitioner of intangible capitalism which focuses on the long-term pursuit of both profits and prosperity. Her current work includes working with Insights7 to launch a software platform that connects financial and nonfinancial data to a company’s value chain. She is also a co-founder of two communities: The Exit Planning Exchange, a forum for promoting long-term thinking in private companies. And the Integrated Reporting U.S. Community, a forum for promoting long-term thinking in public companies. Mary is the co-author of Intangible Capital: Putting Knowledge to Work in the 21st Century Organization. Prior to starting her consulting firm in 1999, she spent 14 years as a high-risk lender in the U.S. and Latin America.
Lee A. Arbus, CPA, JD, LLM
Lee A. Arbus, JD, LL.M. (Taxation), CPA, joined Levun, Goodman & Cohen, LLP as a partner in 1995. After graduating from law school in 1978, he worked in the tax department of a major international accounting firm. He began practicing law in 1980 and devotes the majority of his time to representing individuals and entrepreneurs in estate planning and business planning activities. Mr. Arbus also represents trustees and executors in complex estate and trust administration matters and helps these individuals with various trust accounting issues and tax return preparation issues. In addition to representing individuals, Mr. Arbus has also been providing business and legal advice to closely-held businesses.
Mr. Arbus has been a frequent lecturer and presenter for the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the Illinois CPA Society. He has also been a member of the Illinois CPA Society’s Estate and Gift Tax Planning Sub-Committee since 1982 and has also served as Chair of that Committee. He has chaired Illinois CPA Society Task Forces in presenting the Annual Tax Conference and the Annual Estate and Gift Tax Conference. In addition, Mr. Arbus has spoken at the AICPA’s Annual Tax Conference in Washington, DC and has also appeared at the AICPA’s Practitioner’s Symposium in Las Vegas. He has also given a number of presentations for local CPA Society chapters, the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Greater North Shore Estate and Financial Planning Council, where he formerly was the President and a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Arbus is currently a member of the Lurie Children’s Hospital Legacy Board.
Jeff Badu, CPA
Jeff Badu is a parallel entrepreneur and a wealth multiplier. He’s a Licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and the founder and CEO of Badu Enterprises, LLC, which is a multinational conglomerate that owns several key companies. His marquee company is Badu Tax Services, LLC, which is a CPA firm that specializes in tax preparation, tax planning, and tax representation for individuals and businesses. Another key company is Badu Investments, LLC, which is a real estate investment company that acquires residential and commercial rental real estate properties in areas such as the South Side of Chicago in efforts to restore traditionally underserved areas. What sparked his interest in launching these companies is his passion for helping people minimize their tax liability and ultimately multiplying their money by investing it and building multi-generational wealth. His purpose in life is to inspire and support the super hungry to take hold of infinite resources in order to create an abundant lifestyle.
He’s extremely passionate about financial literacy and currently hosts various financial literacy workshops throughout the country. He’s a public speaker and his overall mission in life is very simple: to make a lasting positive impact in as many lives as possible, especially when it comes to their finances.
Jonathan K. Beer, JD, LLM
Jonathan K. Beer, JD, LLM practices in estate planning and taxation at Levun, Goodman & Cohen, LLP in Illinois and West Michigan. Mr. Beer has previously worked in law practice and in the private client group at an international tax and advisory firm. He has worked closely with settlors and fiduciaries in all aspects of the life of a trust: design and formation, administration, compliance, and termination.
Mr. Beer received a Juris Doctor from BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School (2013) and spent his third year of law school visiting the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where he earned a Master of Laws in Taxation (2013). Mr. Beer is fluent in German and enjoys baking.
Joseph F. BIGANE, CPA, MST
Joseph F Bigane, III, CPA, MST is the Managing Director of JFB Tax Consulting LLC. For over 50 years Joe has worked in public accounting, specializing in the field of taxation with a concentration on state and local taxes, serving a diverse group of clientele. Joe was a partner at Wolf & Company LLP from 1981 until his retirement in August, 2012. Thereafter, he continued with Wolf as the Director of State and Local Taxes. In 2014 Wolf merged with BKD LLP, the country’s 12th largest accounting firm. In November, 2015 Joe resigned from BKD and opened his own State and Local Tax consulting firm which serves as a resource for accounting firms and attorneys. He is one of a select group of Certified Public Accountants in the country admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court.
Joe does a significant amount of representation before all levels of the Internal Revenue Service, the Illinois Department of Revenue, the Chicago Department of Revenue, and many other out-of-state revenue departments. Joe is a frequent speaker for ICPAS conferences and Chapters as well as for other Chicago area organizations.
Jim Boomer is CEO of Boomer Consulting, Inc. and an expert on managing technology within an accounting firm. Accounting Today called him a “thought leader who can help accountants create next-generation firms.” He acts as a strategic planning and technology consultant to CPA firms across the country. Jim is a prolific writer and has been published in several print and online publications including The CPA Practice Advisor, Accounting Today, Accounting Web, the International Group of Accounting Firms and several state society publications. His ability to turn abstract ideas into reliable solutions has earned him a place in Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting for seven years running, CPA Practice Advisor’s Top 25 Thought Leaders, and one of Inside Public Accounting Most Recommended Consultants.
Matt Booth, CPA, MBA
Matt Booth, CPA, MBA, is an executive coach, certified by the Hudson Institute of Coaching. He combines his experiences as a PwC partner (retired) with his passion for helping people achieve success to deliver a client-focused coaching experience. Matt focuses on C-suite executives and finance professionals at all levels, utilizing a variety of coaching techniques to enhance capabilities and personal resiliency, enabling greater career growth and organizational value.
John Brown, MBA
John Brown, MBA, is Senior Director of Corporate Accounting and Finance Operations for Discover Financial Services. In his 17 years at Discover, John has held positions in the SOX PMO, Finance Risk Office, Financial Planning & Analysis and Treasury. Prior to joining Discover, John spent time with the Chicago Housing Authority, Abbott Laboratories and Blackman Kallick Bartlestein (now Plante Moran) in various FP&A and audit roles. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Having been fortunate to find mentors and leaders whom helped him grow and develop, John is passionate about helping his team grow and reach their potential. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his family, hiking and trying to convince his family that camping is fun.
Claire Burke, MBA, CPA
As Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Claire Burke leads Dearborn Group’s Finance organization, including accounting, financial reporting, cost accounting, financial data analytics, financial planning, internal audit, tax and financial systems. Ms. Burke also leads risk management and the development of the company’s strategic plan, as well as facilitating its implementation and monitoring and reporting on the execution of its initiatives.
Ms. Burke joined Dearborn Group in 2009 as Director of Corporate Planning and Development. She has 20 years of experience in financial roles within the insurance industry. Most recently, she served as Vice President, Finance and Treasurer at Dearborn Group and prior to joining Dearborn Group was Director of Financial Initiatives at Health Care Service Corporation. Ms. Burke also held management roles at CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Ms. Burke earned a master’s degree in accounting, a master’s degree in management and a bachelor’s degree in finance, all from Loyola University Maryland. She is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Shehan Chandrasekera, CPA
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 the Head of Tax Strategy at CoinTracker, a Forbes Tax Contributor and a CPE instructor who has won various awards: 2019 CPA Practice Advisor 40 under 40 accounting professionals, Outstanding Young CPA of the year & Among 21 accountants mentioned on Accounting Today who will be helping shape (and reshape) accounting in 2020 and beyond by Accounting Today.
Shehan is a renowned speaker who has done speaking engagements with many organizations including Google, Coinbase, Lyft, AICPA, American Bar Association, and State CPA Societies.
Sharon Chand, CISSP
Ms. Chand is a Principal with Deloitte Cyber, with more than 25 years’ experience in designing, implementing, and managing cyber risk solutions for her global clients. Ms. Chand leads teams focusing on Critical Infrastructure, delivering Cyber solutions and regulatory compliance. She has supported clients across the Power & Utilities, Healthcare, and Energy industries over the last 10 years. Ms. Chand brings deep experience in risk governance, vulnerability management, identity & access management, cyber risk strategy, and data protection. She has worked with industry standard frameworks including NIST, ES-C2M2, and ISO in addition to regulatory requirements such as PCI, GDPR, CCPA, NERC / FERC, and HIPAA. She also leads Talent for Deloitte’s 4000 Cyber US professionals. Ms. Chand is a CISSP and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. She lives in Gurnee IL.
Kelli Cloutier, CPA
Kelli Cloutier, CPA, is a Shareholder in the Minneapolis office of Mayer Hoffman McCann and has been with the firm since 2007. Kelli has extensive experience in financial consulting, financial reporting and auditing. In supporting firm operations she has taken a leadership role in staff training and engagement methodology development at both a local and national level. As a shareholder in the attest department Kelli has experience in designing, performing and managing audits, reviews, compilations and other attestation engagements for industries including manufacturing, service, financial services and employee benefits. Kelli has a BA in Accounting and Business Administration from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD and is a member of the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certieid Public Accountants. In her spare time, Kelli is a member of the Junior League of Saint Paul and the Treasurer of Grand Symphonic Winds, a concert band in which she plays the trumpet.
Jamar Cobb-Dennard, JD
Jamar Cobb-Dennard, JD is a businessman, attorney, and leadership consultant. Jamar is a business broker at Indiana Business Advisors. He also practices law at Alerding Castor LLP. Jamar helps business owners prepare, value, and sell their companies.
Jamar started his career in sales and leadership consulting. As a leadership consultant for 17-years, Jamar specializes in teaching CPA soft-skills related to leadership, business development, and communication. Jamar has been called on by the Indiana CPA Society, Illinois CPA Society, Legacy Professionals LLP, Kreischer Miller, Dauby O’Connor & Zaleski, the National Association of Black Accountants, CPA Academy, and Encoursa to lead programs tailored to accounting professionals. Later, Jamar completed his Juris Doctorate degree at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and is licensed to practice in Indiana. Practice areas include business contracts, business transactions, and government affairs.
After law school, Jamar ran to become mayor of the city of Lawrence, Indiana. His campaign earned 49% of the vote and established a vision for economic development, connectivity, and wellness. Jamar was recognized as is an Indianapolis Business Journal Forty-Under-40 honoree, Indy’s Best & Brightest by Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, a 2013 Emerging Leader by 100 Black Men, a 2017 Trailblazer by the Alpha Foundation for the Youth, and is a Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series graduate.
Leah Donti, CPA CMA MBA
Leah Donti, CPA, CMA, MBA
Founder and President
Advantage Montreal Seminars Inc.
Leah Donti, CPA, CMA, MBA
Leah Donti, an internationally recognized seminar leader and speaker in accounting and auditing, has been doing seminars full time for 32 years through her seminar business. She conducts in-house training at CPA firms and various multinationals and does CPE courses through the CPA societies. As well, she speaks at numerous conferences across North America each year.
She speaks on FASB update, Private company GAAP developments, IFRS, accounting and auditing update, SEC and PCAOB update, revenue recognition, data analytics, digital transformation, business combinations, compilation and review, and fair value accounting.
She also provides proprietary prep seminars for the IQEX reciprocity exam where foreign accountants obtain the US CPA credential.
Prior to beginning her seminar business in 1991, Ms. Donti worked for a major information management consulting organization, where she provided training to offices across North America. She also worked with an accounting software firm, offering accounting education courses to clients on site. In addition, she held positions in internal audit and Accounting with Canadian Pacific, one of the largest companies in Canada, dual listed in Toronto and New York.
For the last 11 years (2010 to 2020), Leah has received the AICPA Outstanding Discussion Leader Award for her passion, energy and ability to speak at all levels of professionals and made her a most sought-out speaker.
Rebekuh Eley, CPA, MST
Rebekuh joined RSM in 2019 and serves as the National Tax Exempt Healthcare Industry Leader and Great Lakes Exempt Organizations Practice Leader. Rebekuh has 20 years of experience advising tax exempt organizations.
Rebekuh concentrates on tax issues impacting tax exempt organizations including the complex rules governing exempt status and 501(r), excise taxes, unrelated business taxable income, joint venture structuring, intermediate sanctions, private inurement, lobbying and political activities, compliance and information reporting, alternative investments, charitable gifts, ASC 740 (FIN 48) documentation and tax controversies.
Rebekuh is a national speaker at various forums where she speaks on topics affecting exempt organizations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Illinois CPA Society, Healthcare Financial Management Association, National Association of College and University Business Officers and The Central Association of College and University Business Officers. In addition to speaking, she has written several articles and participates on webcasts related to relevant exempt organization tax issues.
Professional affiliations and credentials
• Certified public accountant
• American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
• AICPA Exempt Organizations Taxation Technical Resource Panel
• TEGE Joint Council
• Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)
• ICPAS Not-for-Profit Organizations Committee
• Healthcare Financial Management Association
• American Health Law Association
• 2019 Women to Watch Award recipient
• CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois, board of directors
• Three Fires Council, board of directors
• Master of Science in Taxation (MST), Northern Illinois University
• Bachelor of Business Administration, accounting, summa cum laude, Benedictine University
Eric Fader, JD, CPA
Eric is a Managing Director in BDO’s State & Local Tax practice in Chicago. He has over 25 years of experience that includes sales/use tax and state income/franchise tax consulting, planning, and audit defense nationwide. Eric has taught accounting and tax classes at various colleges. Eric is a Vice President of the ICPAS Fox Valley Chapter.
Sarah Ference, CPA
Sarah Ference is a Risk Control Director for CNA and oversees risk control services provided to CPA firms in the AICPA Accountants Professional Liability Insurance Program. She previously practiced public accounting for 15 years with a Big Four public accounting firm where she provided internal control and risk management advisory services and external audit services to clients in multiple industries. At CNA, Sarah and her team provide risk control services to insured CPA firms. Services include consultations with firms on ways to help mitigate professional liability risk, development and delivery of risk management training and education products, authoring monthly risk management articles for the Journal of Accountancy, and creating other tools to assist CPA firms in managing their professional liability risk.
Susannah Filipovic, CPA
Susannah is an audit senior manager with Baker Tilly in their Oak Brook, Illinois office. She has worked with government clients for over 12 years. During 2015 and 2016, she worked as an Associate Practice Fellow with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. Susannah participates in IGFOA’s Technical Accounting and Review Committee and the AICPA’s Technical Issues Committee. She is a graduate of Bradley University.
Mary K. Fuller, CPA
Mary K. Fuller, CPA, is Managing Partner with Shepard Schwartz & Harris, LLP and the ICPAS 2022-2023 Chairperson. As managing partner of a CPA firm, Mary is responsible for oversight of all aspects of the firm’s growth, operations, recruiting and development of its professionals. In addition to managing the firm, Mary’s experiences include audit, tax and consulting with clients particularly specializing in real estate and other professional services. She advises developers, property management companies and investment entities on a wide range of structures, tax efficiency and due diligence matters.
Mary is a stalwart advocate of the advancement of woman in the accounting and real estate profession. In 2007, Mary was named one of the Women to Watch by the Illinois CPA Society and AICPA in recognition of her exemplary contributions to the accounting profession and her firm. Mary has been an active member of CREW Chicago, has held board positions for over 10 years including President, and on CREW Chicago’s Distinguished and Notable Advisory Board. Mary was named as one of the Most Influential Women Accountants in Chicago as published in Crain’s Chicago Business.
During Mary’s free time, she enjoys spending time in Wisconsin with her husband, 2 daughters and son-in-laws.
Paula Goedert, JD
Paula serves as general or lead counsel for many national associations that represent prominent economy-drivers, industries and professionals. A
selection of her clients includes the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, American College of Surgeons, Bank Administration Institute, National PTA and the American Library Association. In representing a wide variety of nonprofits, she has developed the ability to focus on solutions when analyzing the problems, issues and challenges of her clients.
Paula personally strives to consistently bring creativity and insight to structural and governance initiatives. Her guidance includes advising nonprofits on entity formation and tax issues, as well as strategic development and regulatory compliance. Paula is a frequent lecturer and has authored many articles on nonprofit and association topics including governance, antitrust, copyright issues, lobbying by exempt organizations, human resource issues, legal status of chapters and the unrelated business income tax. Regardless of the matter at hand, Paula is dedicated to rendering impactful and productive counsel for charitable organizations and associations. Given her decades of practice, Paula knows from hands-on and hard-earned practical experience what nonprofits need to remain viable and successful.
Lori Goldstein, JD
Lori Goldstein, an employment lawyer since 1984, has a unique business and perspective, representing both employers/business owners and employees through her solo practice, the Law Office of Lori A. Goldstein LLC. After receiving her undergraduate and law degrees from University of Illinois, Lori worked as a management-side employment and litigation attorney for two mid-sized Chicago law firms before starting her own firm in 2011. Her advice on workplace rights and issues ranges from discrimination, harassment and retaliation, to equal pay, leave of absence and wage-hour matters. Lori also drafts, negotiates, and reviews contracts, including employment, non-compete, independent contractor, and severance agreements. Employer compliance audits and training – including sexual harassment training now required for all Illinois employers, plus administrative claims, and defense of charges of employment law violations are also a regular part of her practice. Lori also regularly presents and writes on employment law topics. Lori is practical and passionate about helping organizations and individuals achieve peaceful solutions to workplace issues, find closure, and move forward.
Giving back to the community is also very important to Lori. She’s held several volunteer and nonprofit board positions, including New Trier High School Board of Education (Vice President), Governing Board (and Secretary) of the North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED), and she currently serves as Board Member at Career Resource Center in Lake Forest. Lori is an active member of professional networking groups EPWNG, North Shore LAW, The Networking Group (TNG) and Trusted Advisors’ Council (TAC), and serves as a volunteer attorney with the Lawyers for the Creative Arts.
Lori has been honored by several awards, including Superlawyers Illinois 2016-2022, Superlawyers Illinois 100 Top Lawyers 2017, 2019, 2020, 2022, and Superlawyers Illinois Top 50 Women Lawyers 2017, 2019-2022. Rated “Superb” by AVVO and “Distinguished” by Martindale-Hubbell.
Michael A. Gregory, MS, MBA
Michael Gregory, NSA, ASA, CVA, is the founder of Michael Gregory Consulting, LLC.
Mike works with accountants, attorneys, and businesses that want to grow their businesses, be more productive and overcome conflict with others by enhancing collaboration. Mike also works with meeting planners looking for an engaging, relevant, and fun speaker with customized presentations.
As background, Mike has been a controller and run an organization with 1,200 employees in his career and completed over 2,500 mediations, negotiations, and facilitations. As a result of his collaborative approach clients have saved hundreds of millions of dollars. It has been his pleasure to give over 600 presentations in the U.S. and Canada based on the 12 books and over 35 articles he has written over the last 10 years.
Clients often share that their people are more focused on the tasks at hand, more confident when making difficult decisions, and more at peace in their professional and personal lives after atendng Mike’s presentations..
Mike has served on over a dozen boards and he is currently serviing as the Chair on the Ethics and Oversight Board of National Association of Certified Valuers and Analysts and on the Minnesota State bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Board. Mike is a Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Mike has a BS from Valparaiso University, a MS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MBA from DePaul University.
On a personal note, he has the pleasure to see two little granddaughters at least weekly.
Mike may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and 651-633-5311. Check out all of his books on Amazon. [NSA, ASA, CVA]
Norris C. Hartstad, CPA
Norris C. Harstad was the owner of Benchmark, Aspen & Associates, Ltd, in Grayslake since 2003 until his recent retirement. From 2003 till now, he grew the business from 68 individual and business clients to approximately 400 clients at the time of his retirement.
His practice was focused in assisting individuals and small businesses in their accounting and tax needs and representing them in IRS issues. He is very familiar with issues the practitioner faces such as cash flow, software, marketing, technology, client demands, networking, etc. while growing the practice.
Mr. Harstad holds a business degree in Accounting from the University of Northern Iowa. He has over 40 years of experience in a variety of situations within the accounting profession with public and private companies in various industries in a variety of situations including bankruptcy. Besides his hands-on experience in industry, he was an auditor for a nationally known and well-respected public accounting firm, as well as in the US Air Force.
Mr. Harstad is a member of the Illinois CPA Society and was a past chairperson and current member of the Society’s Tax Practice and Procedure Committee. He is also a past president of the O’Hare Chapter of the ICPAS. In addition, he has served as a panelist on some of the Society’s IRS Collection Conferences.
Mark S. Heroux, JD
Mark Heroux, Partner in the Specialty Tax Services group at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, joined the firm in 2008. He has more than 35 years of tax litigation, technical, and program management experience. Mark specializes in IRS procedures, controversy, and dispute resolution. He began his career with the IRS Chief Counsel in 1985 where he litigated cases around the world for the IRS. When Mark left the IRS in 2000 he was a Special Assistant United States Attorney, Industry Counsel for the nation for the Insurance Industry, and a Senior Trial Attorney who helped litigate the two largest transfer pricing cases in history. At Baker Tilly, he leads the IRS Practice and Procedures group, and provides tax and business advisory services to middle-market and large companies, and high net worth individuals that operate in the real estate and other industries.
Roman Kepczyk, CPA, CITP, CGMA, LSS BB
Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA is Director of Firm Technology Strategy for Right Networks. His primary focus is helping firms throughout North America effectively use information technology and accounting applications to transform their practices by optimizing their tax, audit, CAAS, and administrative production workflows.
He has spent the past twenty-five years consulting exclusively with CPA firms and prior to that, ten years with the CPA firm of Henry & Horne, (Arizona’s largest regional firm) where he was the partner in charge of the firm’s Management Advisory Services and Consulting practices. Roman also served as the firm’s Administrative partner where he oversaw Internal Accounting, Marketing, Human Resources, and was responsible for the creation and implementation of the firm’s technology plan and budget.
Roman has been named by INSIDE Public Accounting as one of the profession’s Most Recommended Consultants for the sixteen years through 2021, CPA Practice Advisors Top 25 Thought Leaders from 2011 through 2022 and Accounting Today’s Most Influential People in Accounting sixteen times.
On a technical level, Roman is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (LSS BB), an AICPA Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) and has earned the AICPA’s Robotic Process Automation and Data Analytics credentials. Roman has also earned the CPAFMA’s Professional Accounting Firm Manager designation for internal CPA firm practice management.
He has served on AICPA Council and is a former member of the AICPA PCPS Executive Committee, and a former Chairman of the AICPA’s Information Technology Executive Committee. He has served as a member of other AICPA initiatives, including the Special Committee on Enhanced Business Reporting, eBusiness Task Force, IT Best Practices, IT Research, IT Practices Committees, and Group of 100 projects. In addition, he is a former Chairman of the AICPA Top Technologies Task Force.
Joshua Lance, CPA, CGMA
Joshua Lance, CPA, CGMA is the founder and Managing Director of Lance CPA Group, a virtual CPA firm that focuses on providing accounting and consulting services to craft breweries and digital agencies. A licensed Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant, Josh is also a family man who calls Chicago home. Before venturing on his own with a mission to help small businesses, Josh spent his early career at Crowe LLP before working as a Controller at an ultra high net worth family office. Josh is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL teaching accounting in the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and McCormick School of Engineering at the University of Vermont teaching in the Business of Craft Beer program. Josh also serves as the Head of Accounting at Practice Ignition. He enjoys making wine and beer at home, cooking, traveling, and cheering on his favorite football and soccer teams. Josh was honored by being selected to the 2017 class of the AICPA Leadership Academy and was named as one of the 40 under 40 in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 by CPA Practice Advisor. Josh was recently appointed to the Illinois CPA Society Board of Directors and the AICPA PCPS Executive Committee.
Jon Lokhorst, CPA, PCC
Jon Lokhorst, CPA, PCC, is a leadership coach, keynote speaker, corporate trainer, and author of the new book, Mission-Critical Leadership: How Smart Managers Lead Well in All Directions. He works with organizations to develop leaders everyone wants to follow, build teams no one wants to leave, and deliver exceptional results. 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 a Professional Certified Coach. He also serves as adjunct faculty in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University. Jon is a member of the National Speakers Association and serves as President-Elect of the Minnesota chapter. On a personal note, Jon loves grandparenting and being “Papa” to his four adorable littles, as he calls them.
Kelley C. Long, CPA/PFS, CFP®
Kelley Long, CPA/PFS, CFP® is an independent financial wellness coach, consultant and founder of the financial coaching practice Financial Bliss with Kelley Long. Kelley’s unique approach to personal finance combines education, empathy and money psychology to guide her clients to feeling empowered to make the best decisions for their own life goals and values.
As an unbiased financial planner, Kelley has coached over 2,500 individuals on their personal finances and presented to employees at several Fortune 100 companies throughout her career and has gained a deep understanding of how the concepts of behavioral finance can be applied to change behavior. As a member of the AICPA Consumer Financial Education Advocacy Council, she is a sought-after speaker and is frequently quoted in the media, including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Reuters.
Melissa Lynch, CPA
Melissa is a partner in Plante Moran’s Chicago office. She has more than 19 years of experience providing assurance, tax, and general business consulting to a variety of service industry companies. As the assurance technical leader for the firm’s service industries, Melissa collaborates with business owners and leaders to ensure accounting and assurance matters are addressed appropriately and timely. She also helps them implement and understand new accounting pronouncements, including revenue and leasing standards.
Melissa’s clients include technology and retail companies, restaurants, franchisors and multiunit franchisees, professional service firms, and transportation and logistics companies, many of whom are private equity-owned.
Melissa often speaks to clients and industry groups on technical topics, such as the impact of new accounting standards. She belongs to the AICPA and the Illinois CPA Society, where she’s a member of the accounting principles committee. Melissa received her bachelor’s degree and her master’s degree in accountancy from Michigan State University.
Jerry J. Maginnis, CPA
I will be sending it separately as it was not clear to me how to attach it. If you have any questions after receiving it, please contact me, or alternatively please send me a not explaining how to attach it here. I will e mail it to Kelly Opalko, the Manager for Learning and Development at the Illonois CPA Society.
Damien R. Martin, CPA
Damien provides tax compliance, consulting and planning services to individuals, families and fiduciaries and provides proactive succession planning for high-net-worth individuals and their family-owned businesses as the east region leader of BKD National Private Client Services (PCS) group. As a PCS advisor, he also focuses on helping affluent clients build and preserve their family’s legacy through an integrated suite of services designed to assist families manage and transfer multigenerational wealth.
He is the host of “Simply Tax,” a podcast dedicated to delivering practical and timely content to simplify tax challenges. He spent more than three years serving in BKD’s National Office where his major focus was the 2017 tax overhaul and continues to be involved in firm tax growth initiatives.
Damien is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, where he currently serves on the Tax Profession Strategic Advisory Group, and Illinois CPA Society, where he has served on the Estate, Gift and Trusts Committee.
Guinevere Moore, JD
Guinevere Moore is a tax litigator who represents taxpayers in civil and criminal tax controversies. She advocates for taxpayers at the IRS examination and appeals levels and, if a settlement with the IRS cannot be reached, in litigation. She is the Managing Member of Moore Tax Law Group LLC as well as the Executive Director of US Partnership Representative, Inc., and in that role she serves as a professional partnership representative.
Ms. Moore has represented taxpayers throughout her career, and draws on her experience in working with her clients, with the IRS, and with opposing counsel to help craft and execute the best possible plan to resolve the issues her clients are facing. Ms. Moore has successfully defended taxpayers against assessment of all types of federal tax, including income tax, employment tax, estate tax, gift tax, civil penalties, and criminal penalties.
Kari L. Natale, CAE
Kari Natale, CAE, joined the Illinois CPA Society in 2011 and is their Senior Director of Planning and Governance and she is also the Senior Director of the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois. She is responsible for the governance activities and strategic direction of the Society, and for the student engagement and diversity initiatives. Kari was recently honored with the Association Forum’s 2020 Inspiring Leader Award.
Ash Noah, CPA, CGMA, FCMA
Kurt Oestreicher, CPA
Kurt G. Oestriecher, CPA is a partner with Oestriecher & Company, CPAs of Alexandria, Louisiana and has been with the firm since graduating from Northeast Louisiana University (now the University of Louisiana Monroe) in 1986 with a BBA in Accounting. He is partner in charge of accounting and auditing services, and is also involved in litigation support and small business consulting engagements.
He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants (LCPA), and served as President of the LCPA in 2002–2003. He is currently chair of the LCPA Professional Ethics Committee.
Kurt served a four-year term on the Accounting and Review Services Committee of the AICPA from 2000-2004, and served a six year term on the AICPA Joint Trial Board from 2005-2011. He also served a three year term as an elected member of Council.
Kurt was the recipient of the 1998, 2006, and 2010, and 2018 Outstanding CPE Discussion Leader Award from the LCPA, and was named the Outstanding CPE Discussion Leader for the AICPA for twleve consecutive years from 2006-2018. He has authored many educational courses on accounting and auditing topics, including the AICPA “Annual Update for Accountants and Auditors”, and “Auditor Communications – Critical New Requirements”. He has also served as an Adjunct Instructor of Accounting at LSUA and Northwestern State University.
Kirti Parakh, CPA
Name Kirti Parakh
Title Audit & Assurance Senior Manager
Office Phone (312) 486-3937
LinkedIn Profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirti-parakh-a527055/
Kirti Parakh is an Audit & Assurance Senior Manager with Deloitte & Touche LLP and leads Deloitte’s Controllership Transformation practice nationally. Kirti helps clients drive value through defining transformation strategy and roadmaps, and strategic deployment of digital transformation solutions, including robotic process automation and analytics. Kirti has over 17 years of public accounting and finance transformation experience serving public and private clients in all industries, and has worked closely with audit committees, CFOs, controllers, internal audit, and other functions within the organization. Kirti is a Certified Public Accountant (Illinois) and earned a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science from Indiana University Bloomington.
Jason Parish, CPA, MST
As a principal in our state and local tax (SALT) practice, I work in all areas of SALT including income/franchise, sales/use, and gross receipt taxes. I primarily work in our service and manufacturing & distribution (M&D) industries, including our due diligence practice where I help identify state issues and assist with restructuring for tax efficiency.
Frequently, I speak with clients, other professionals, and prospects on SALT issues. I’ve been a speaker at the Ohio Tax Conference, past ICPAS State Tax Conference, NPRRA and Chicago Tax Club. Recent topics have included state implications of the TCJA, the impact of the Wayfair decision, and the taxability of SaaS and other technology products.
I’m a member of the AICPA and the Illinois CPA Society where I’m on the SALT committee. I’m a recipient of the ICPAS Distinguished Service Award for 2018-2019. In addition, I’m a board member of the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois. I’m also a member of the Next Generation Board (NGB) for Chicago Run, a 501(c)(3) that focuses on the promotion of health and wellness of Chicago children through innovative, engaging, and sustainable youth running programs. I received my B.S. in accounting from Elmhurst College and my MST from DePaul University.
I spend most of my free time with my wife who’s also a tax accountant, so you know our dinner conversations are super exciting. I enjoy being active, finding ways to exercise, craft beer, and trying new cuisines and restaurants.
Fun facts: I’ve run 6 marathons, climbed Mount Rainer, summited Grant Teton, cycled through 200 miles of Escalante, mountain biked through Oregon’s Umpqua River Trail, and hiked the Grand Canyon from South Rim to North Rim in a day and then back again.
John Philbin, PhD
John Philbin PhD is the Founder of Spectacular at Work and an adjunct faculty in the Executive Education Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. John advises CEOs and develops future business leaders around the world. John and his team coach senior leaders and up-and-comers at companies large and small. He helps companies determine who to hire to make their company stronger and helps architect leading people processes to make sure companies have a steady flow of future leaders that fit their business model and culture.
John has always known how important it is to love what you do. As the founder of Spectacular at Work, he helps companies compete + win and helps them create cultures where their people thrive.
He works with some of the most respected companies in the world (Blue Cross Blue Shield, pwc, Aon, Reebok, McDonalds) and with companies who aspire to be great, really any company that wants to be better at the people stuff, no matter the size or industry.
John is regularly invited to speak on People Literacy®, building better leaders and corporate culture (What’s Really Going On at Work?™), creating a competitive advantage through people and culture (“The Four Stages of Talent Management”), and strategic talent management + succession planning. John completed his Ph.D. in Psychology at Loyola University.
When he puts his phone down, John stays busy away from work with his spouse and four daughters, traveling and hiking, especially in Montana. A long-time runner and fitness type, John was a championship race walker (actually, he came in second place), and he afflicts his determination to learn the piano on his family, daily. Check out John’s thoughts on some of his favorite workplace topics.
Luis V. Plascencia, CPA, MST
Luis Plascencia is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in Illinois. His firm specializes in IRS Representation Services and Financial Statement Services to entrepreneurs, small businesses to mid-size businesses, non-profit organizations, and cannabis businesses. Mr. Plascencia is a member of the faculty at Harold Washington College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago. Luis previously served as the Chairperson of the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS) Tax Practice and Procedures Committee and currently serves has served on multiple ICPAS Committees and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Committees. Mr. Plascencia currently serves on the State of Illinois Board of Examiners (Accountancy).
Luis is a frequent speaker at ICPAS and AICPA Continuing Professional Education (CPE) events. He is also a frequent guest on the Chicago Legal Clinic Immigration Issues Show where he discusses tax issues that affect immigrants.
He is an avid distance runner and cyclist. Luis has volunteered his time to Chicago Area Runners Association and is a frequent charity runner for Organization for Autism Research.
Ray Prather, JD, CPA, CFF
Ray Prather, JD, CPA, CFF is a trusts and estates lawyer who counsels clients on a wide array of issues related to administering and resolving challenges to estate plans. Ray represents individual and professional trustees, beneficiaries of trusts and estates, and donors, board members, and non-profit organizations. His CPA and CFF make Ray uniquely suited to handle tax and accounting issues in contested trust and estate matters.
Ray’s cases have involved probate estates, guardianship estates, marital and family trusts, multi-generational dynasty trusts, charitable remainder trusts, electing small business trusts, qualified sub-chapter S trusts, life insurance policies, retirement plans and accounts, total return trusts, Illinois land trusts, cancellation of debt, and estate and gift tax returns.
Ray is an elected Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He is the immediate past chair for the Illinois State Bar Association’s Trusts & Estates Section Council and a current member of its Standing Committee on Legislation. Ray has also been appointed to several positions in the American Bar Association’s Section on Real Property, Trust & Estate Law. He is a member of its Section Council, the Trusts and Estates Editor for its eReport publication, and past chair of its Charitable Planning & Organizations Group. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law teaching Federal Transfer Taxes and Estate Planning. And he has been quoted on estate, trust, and tax issues in Crain’s, the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and the Chicago Tribune.
Michael N. Ripani, CPA, JD, CFE
Michael Ripani, JD, CPA, CFE, is a Senior Counsel with the law firm of Handler Thayer, LLP. Michael has nearly 30 years of legal experience in the area of complex commercial litigation and is chair of the firm’s complex commercial litigation practice. Michael is a member of the Illinios CPA Society and former Trustee for the Village of Hinsdale. FUN FACT: After living in the suburbs of Chicago his entire life, when his youngest child went to college, Michael moved downtown and is enjoying living in the city and he loves to kayak.
Glenn Fischer, JD, Directo and Senior Counsel Complex Claims, Markel Service, Inc.Oversees daily activities within the following lines of business: Lawyers, Insurance Agents & Brokers, Information Technology and DataBreach, Miscellaneous E&O, Accountants and Financial Advisors.
Deborah K. Rood, CPA, MST
Deb is a Risk Control Consulting Director for the Accountants Professional Liability Insurance Program of Continental Casualty Company, a CNA company and the underwriter of the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program. She previously practiced public accounting for 19 years with regional public accounting firms.
As a state and local tax (SALT) practice leader with a regional public accounting firm, Deb provided consulting and compliance services to clients in a variety of industries including but not limited to manufacturing, distribution, professional services and transportation. She has conducted presentations at various AICPA and state CPA society conferences and has authored numerous articles.
Deb provides risk control consulting services for CPA firms in the AICPA program. She participates in the development and delivery of risk management training and education products including the live risk management seminar and self-study programs.
Education and Credentials
Northern Illinois University, BS
DePaul University, MST
Certified Public Accounting, licensed in IL
Member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Member of Illinois CPA Society
Illinois CPA Society Board Secretary
2021 and 2019 Illinois CP Society Distinguished Service Award Winner
2016 Illinois CPA Society Women to Watch Award Winner
Member of the Illinois CPA Society Board of Directors
CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois Board Member and Former Chair
Member and former chair of the Illinois CPA Society Practice and Procedures Committee
Former member and chair of Illinois CPA Society Tax Executive Committee
Former Member and chair of Illinois CPA Society State and Local Tax Committee
Former member of AICPA State and Local Tax Technical Resource Panel
Derek Sasveld, CFA
Derek Sasveld, CFA
Derek began his career in the investment industry in 1993 and has served in various asset allocation roles. Most recently he was Director, Investment Solutions and Sr. Investment Strategist at BMO Global Asset Management. Prior to this, he was CIO, retail multi-asset solutions at Nuveen, a senior portfolio manager and head of asset allocation at ING (later Voya) Investments, and a portfolio manager and strategist, global investment solutions, at Brinson Partners (later UBS Global Asset Management).
He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S. in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. In addition, Derek is a CFA® charterholder.
Angelo Scozia, CEBS, CFP
Angelo’s role constitutes meaningfully partnering with mid-market and large company plan sponsors to attain short and long-term human capital risk and potential objectives in an efficient manner. By creating sustainable, scalable benefits program architectures, this partnership synergizes over project timelines to achieve specific, measurable strategic and financial goals, along with employee recruitment, retention, satisfaction and engagement. Areas of experience and expertise include:
■ Strategic planning for employee benefits
■ Solution development, integration, and sourcing, as appropriate, for plan sponsors
■ Long-term relationship and project management
■ Financial value creation
■ Change management
Angelo has been published regarding human capital and benefits in Physicians’ Practice (2014) and the Federal Bar Association’s Corporate Articles (2015).
He has served as an officer of Willis of Illinois, Inc. for several years, and is ultimately responsible for client satisfaction. Additionally, he is charged with bringing to bear internal and external resources to achieve client goals in a best-in-class, yet cost-effective, manner.
Angelo has earned the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), Compensation Management Specialist (CMS), Group Benefits Associate (GBA), and Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) designations from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since May, 2014.
He attained a Master of Public Policy from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College as well as undergraduate degrees from Vanderbilt’s Economics and Political Science departments.
Carl Seidman, CPA/CFF, CSP CIRA, CFE, CGMA, AM
Carl Seidman is a trusted business advisor specializing in financial planning & analysis (FP&A), business strategy, and finance transformation. He works with Fortune 500 corporations and middle-market companies, helping establish effective FP&A practices, processes, and teams. At the same time, he brings finance professionals greater control over their careers by helping them build their competence and confidence while eliminating time-wasting activities and mistakes. His skills enhancement and development methodologies are frequently utilized by leading companies as part of their financial leadership development programs.
Carl serves as an FP&A and CFO advisor to a select number of entrepreneurial businesses throughout North America and Europe and assists them with strategic financial planning, value enhancement, and revitalization.
Carl is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of Illinois, has earned other professional credentials including the CIRA, CFF, CFE, CGMA, AM (Accredited Member in business valuation) and Anaplan Model Builder, and was a 2020 National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts 40 Under Forty honoree. Prior to founding Seidman Financial, Carl was a Director of Turnaround and Restructuring at Conway MacKenzie (acquired by Riveron) and a Senior Associate in the Business Analytics & Strategy and Dispute Analysis & Investigations practices at PwC.
Carl lives in Chicago with his wife and twin sons.
Marcy Twete, MBA
Marcy Twete is the founder and CEO of Marcy Twete Consulting where she advises corporations of all sizes, their investors and key partners on environmental, social and governance risks and reputation management. She is a recognized leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability for multinational Fortune 500 companies, and has a background both broad and deep in ESG (environmental, social, governance) factors, ethical decision-making, marketing and communications.
Marcy is the host of Table Stakes: The Podcast for Responsible, Sustainable Businesses & Leaders, discussing the issues of sustainability with forward-thinking leaders to forecast the future of responsible business. Previously, she co-hosted Office Baggage, a podcast that tackles topics for women in business that are all too often brushed under the office rug.
Marcy is a proud Board Member for Girls on the Run Twin Cities, and former member of the Boards of Directors at Chicago Architecture Center, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana and Step Up. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the College of Saint Benedict and her MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Marcy recently moved from Chicago to Minneapolis with her husband Charlie, her tabby cat Betsey and her terrier mix Pearl.
Andrew J. VanSingel, Esq
Andrew is the Local Taxpayer Advocate for the Taxpayer Advocate Service in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to joining TAS, Andrew managed the Low-Income Tax Clinic at Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. He served as the Director of the Disaster Legal Services Program from 2015 to 2018, and now is the Chair the ABA Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness. Mr. VanSingel received his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University in 2006, and his J.D., cum laude from Touro Law Center in 2010. He is admitted to practice in Illinois, New York, and the United States Tax Court.
Jon Vegosen, J.D.
Jon Vegosen is a founding member of Chicago corporate and litigation law firm, Funkhouser Vegosen Liebman and Dunn Ltd. (FVLD), where he was co-managing partner for many years. He has extensive experience working with employers and boards of directors on employment matters including issues directly related to preventing and investigating sexual and other harassment in the workplace and helping employers stay ouf of court. He speaks widely, and has authored several articles, about employment issues, including harassment and documentation. Jon has been a member of Vistage International for over 19 years and a Vistage speaker for over 17 years. Jon has served on several boards of directors, including as Chairman of the Board, President, & CEO of the United States Tennis Association in 2011 and 2012. Since 2015, he has been Chairman of the Board of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Jon graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University with a B.A. in political science and received his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, graduating Cum Laude.
Jessica Velazquez, MSc, CPA
Jessica Velazquez is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in Illinois & Nevada and Managing Partner of Indiva Advisors LLP, a full-service CPA firm for cannabis and hemp businesses.
Jessica assists business owners as they navigate through unique accounting, tax, and financial industry challenges. She brings with her a wide array of experience, working with closely held businesses as well as publicly traded multinationals, across a variety of industries such as gaming, retail, and manufacturing.
Jessica hails from traditional business, having worked for public accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young, as well as Zappos.com and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In 2014, Jessica started her own practice with an emphasis on income tax planning and strategic business consulting for closely held companies.
Jessica advises clients on cannabis specific tax matters impacting individuals, partnerships, and corporations, such as IRC280E and IRC471, and represents clients in federal audit and collection cases. She enjoys problem-solving and working with clients to achieve their tax and business goals.
Jessica holds a Master of Science in Taxation degree from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Southern Illinois University. She is actively involved in several professional organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Tax Professionals, and sits on the Board for the Minority Cannabis Business Association.
In her free time, Jessica loves to read, travel, and spend time with her family. She is also a Jeopardy and NPR junkie.
Kate Ward, CPA
Kate Ward is a partner in the Springfield office of Kerber, Eck & Braeckel LLP. Kate has over 20 years of experience, focusing mainly on serving clients in the construction industry as well as the not-for-profit sector. This focus includes providing attest services as well as tax planning and support. Kate received her Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University. She is licensed in Illinois as a Certified Public Accountant. Kate currently serves as the partner-in-charge of the Springfield Office. She is active in her community, previously serving as the Chairperson of the United Way of Central Illinois, Treasurer of the Springfield Art Association, and Secretary of the Pregnancy Care Center. Kate is a graduate of Leadership Springfield, member of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the AICPA and the Illinois CPA Society.
Cari Weston, CPA, CGMA
Jennifer Williams, CPA
Chad Zupke, JD
Copyright, Illinois CPA Society
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