Somermeyer Named AAM’s 2020 Marketer of the Year

Annie Somermeyer, director of business development at Madison, Wis.-based SVA Certified Public Accountants, has received the Association for Accounting Marketing’s (AAM) 2020 Marketer of the Year award, sponsored by INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA).

The winner was announced by IPA June 3 at AAM’s virtual awards event.

Somermeyer and her team promote the CPA firm – ranked No. 67 on the 2019 IPA 100 list of largest accounting firms in the country – as well as SVA Wealth Management, SVA Trust Company and SVA Consulting. She is responsible for a $1.2 million marketing budget and supervises eight business development team members.

Somermeyer brings marketing and sales together, and she leads several initiatives to bring a sales culture to the firm, including a business development training program for early-career professionals and a two- to three-year sales entrepreneurs program for principals. SVA’s Sales Entrepreneurs produced over $700,000 in new sales in FY19.

About a dozen firm professionals are selected bi-annually to take part in another Somermeyer initiative, a public speaker training program (SVA Speaker Source). The firm markets their program graduates as experts on a variety of business topics to speak at trade shows, conferences and expos primarily in the Wisconsin markets of Madison, Milwaukee and Fox Valley.

The “Measurable Results” branding campaign is one of her most successful initiatives to date. The campaign features two-minute videos and/or written stories that highlight the results clients have achieved while working with SVA. High interest in the Measurable Results stories pushed her to produce an additional eight videos, which have been well received on both social media and in print advertising, pushing the total to 34 in the CPA firm and 23 in SVA Consulting.

“Our tagline ‘Measurable Results’ became more than just branding, it set a benchmark in how we internally measure our own success,” says CEO John Baltes. “We now have a growing portfolio of success stories told by clients, in their voice, on how SVA helped them be successful. Delivering measurable results has become the driving force in how we service and attract clients.”

COO Jennifer Hoege, who nominated Somermeyer for this prestigious award, calls her visionary, tenacious, knowledgeable, dedicated and an exceptional leader. “Her team are raving fans and will walk through fire for her.”

Somermeyer says she is a straight shooter and is passionate about what’s best for SVA, which may not always be the best for individual partners or principals. “The other thing I do is ask – ask for support, ask for funds, ask for technology tools, ask for people – one has to have the courage to simply ask for what you need in order to have impact in a greater way than in the past.”

In addition to her work developing the firm’s strategic vision and serving on numerous firm committees throughout her tenure, Somermeyer is heavily involved in the Madison community, where her volunteering has helped the Girl Scouts, Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Madison Symphony Orchestra, among other organizations.

This is the seventh year that IPA has sponsored the Marketer of the Year award. A panel of independent judges, themselves leaders in the profession, were selected by IPA to review and score each of the 2020 nominees.

Berdon Offers Alternative ‘Bring Your Child To Work Day’ Program

Recognizing the added child care and home-schooling challenges many of its employees are facing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, New York-based Berdon, an IPA 100 firm, is hoping to relieve some of that pressure with its new Kids Corner program. The initiative is meant to not only replace the firm’s canceled Bring Your Child to Work Day event, but to briefly relieve parents from the challenges of keeping their children occupied throughout the workday.

Scheduled for each Friday, Kids Corner features a partner or department head leading parents, children and employees in story time or an arts and crafts lesson. For example, partner John Fitzgerald, leader of the law firm services practice, read It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny to over 75 employees and 130 children in the program’s first installment, leading to an encore reading for the second edition.

“It is essential to support parents currently managing working full time, parenting and teaching,” says Berdon COO Rebecca Goodman-Stephens. “We hope by launching Kids Corner, parents at Berdon feel seen, knowing that we recognize all the responsibilities they have taken on.”

Baker Tilly Admits 23 to Partnership

Chicago-based Baker Tilly, an IPA 100 firm, admitted the following 23 partners effective June 1:

  • Mark Boettcher, consulting, Milwaukee
  • Jeff Dorner, assurance, Chicago
  • Matt Eckerle, consulting, Indianapolis
  • Daniel Ehr, tax, Appleton, Wis.
  • Shane Elrod, tax, Plano, Texas
  • Russell Fleming, assurance, Minneapolis
  • Wesley Fraser, tax, Wilmington, Del.
  • Matt Gilbert, consulting, Washington
  • Nicholas Hinz, assurance, Madison, Wis.
  • Kristyn Howell, tax, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
  • Ryan Lay, assurance, Milwaukee
  • Kyle Mair, tax, Janesville, Wis.
  • Bradley Mease, assurance, Chicago
  • Theresa Nickels, general counsel, Madison, Wis.
  • Matt Nitka, assurance, Milwaukee
  • Anthony Ollmann, consulting, Madison, Wis.
  • Matthew Prentiss, assurance, New York
  • Bernard Regan, consulting, London
  • Brian Rozek, assurance, Milwaukee
  • Justin Turner, consulting, Plano, Texas
  • Colin Walsh, tax, Chicago
  • Liisa Warden, tax, Washington
  • Colleen Wevodau, assurance, Washington

“Our new partners embody our values of collaboration, integrity, passion and stewardship,” says Baker Tilly CEO Alan Whitman. “We are proud of each new partner and look forward to their leadership as we create the advisory CPA firm of the future.”

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Aprio Admits Mike Cooke as Partner

Atlanta-based Aprio, an IPA 100 firm, has admitted Mike Cooke as partner in its Birmingham, Ala., office, where he will work largely with real estate and construction, health care and non-profit clients.

Prior to joining Aprio, Cooke served clients in the Birmingham metro area for over 40 years with Cooke Cameron Travis & Company. He brings senior-level professionals Brenda Pigott and Dwayne Newsome with him to Aprio.

“We are on a strong growth trajectory in the Alabama market of 25% in 2020,” says Frank Gudger, Aprio’s Birmingham office MP. “We are excited to have Mike and his team join Aprio as we continue to grow and expand our services in this region.”

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CapinCrouse Admits Three New Partners

Allison Davis

Indianapolis-based CapinCrouse, an IPA 200 firm, announced that Allison Davis, Rachel McMichael and Lisa Saul have been admitted as partners.

Davis serves in the firm’s information security division, providing information security assessment and consulting services for non-profit organizations, financial institutions and health facilities, along with consulting services in risk assessment and policy development engagements.

Rachel McMichael

McMichael joined CapinCrouse in 2004 and provides audit, review and consultation work in various non-profit sectors. Her focus on the firm’s higher education practice includes assisting clients with higher education financial modeling.

Saul has been with the firm since 1999 and has over 20 years of experience in performing and supervising uniform guidance audits of U.S. Department of Education student financial aid programs and a variety of federal funding, as well as program audits and agreed-upon procedure engagements of various state-funded programs.

“Lisa, Rachel and Allison bring professional excellence and a passion for serving our clients to everything they do, and we are very pleased to appoint them partners,” says CapinCrouse MP Fran Brown. “At CapinCrouse, it is our mission to be empowered professionals providing innovative service to organizations whose outcomes are measured in lives changed, and these three talented individuals live that mission with excellence every day.”

Accounting MOVE Project: New Service Lines Bring Women to the Forefront

The 2020 Accounting MOVE Project Report says that several factors are coming together to create “a rare power moment for women.”

One is that Gen X and older Millennials, who may have put their partnership pursuits on pause while starting families, are now seeking those opportunities. Additionally, diversity among consultants shows clients that firms are bringing fresh thinking to the table. At the same time, baby boomer women are eager to leave a legacy “by showing how their investments in rising women have strengthened firms’ futures,” the report says.

The annual report, which also lists the best accounting firms for women, is a project of the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance and the Accounting MOVE Project, which is based on research partner Wilson-Taylor Associates’ methodology, which examines money, opportunity, vital supports and entrepreneurship for women.

The report notes that women are leading new lines of business, particularly advisory services.

“Women are perfectly positioned to chart new ways to win new types of business, because they take encouragement and direction from incremental wins,” says Joanne Cleaver, president of Wilson-Taylor Associates.

Listed below is The 2020 Accounting MOVE Project Best CPA Firms for Women. All are IPA 100 firms, with the exception of Lurie and OUM & Co.:

  • Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group
  • San Francisco-based BPM LLP
  • St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace
  • Clark Nuber, Bellevue, Wash.
  • New York-based CohnReznick
  • Eide Bailly
  • Minneapolis-based Lurie
  • Louisville, Ky.-based MCM CPAs and Advisors
  • Seattle-based Moss Adams
  • San Francisco-based Novogradac & Company
  • San Francisco-based OUM & Co.
  • Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran
  • Troy, Mich.-based Rehmann

The 2020 Accounting MOVE Project Best CPA Firms for Equity Leadership lists firms with at least 30% of women in their partner and principal ranks. Listed  in descending percentage order:

  • Kaiser Consulting, Powell, Ohio – 100%
  • Sarasota, Fla.-based Kerkering Barberio & Co. – 60%
  • Alexandria, Va.-based KWC – 59%
  • Bader Martin, Seattle – 54%
  • Gainesville, Fla.-based James Moore & Co. – 53%
  • Eugene, Ore.-based Jones & Roth – 50%
  • Tucson, Ariz.-based BeachFleischman – 46%
  • Bethesda, Md.-based Councilor Buchanan & Mitchell – 44%
  • Dallas-based Huselton Morgan & Maultsby – 44%
  • Abbott Stringham & Lynch, San Jose, Calif. – 43%
  • Johanson & Yau, San Jose, Calif. – 43%
  • *Clark Nuber, Bellevue, Wash. – 42%
  • Lincoln, Neb.-based HBE – 42%
  • *Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group – 40%
  • *St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace – 40%
  • *Louisville, Ky.-based MCM CPAs and Advisors – 39%
  • Atlanta-based Frazier & Deeter – 34%
  • *Troy, Mich.-based Rehmann – 31%
  • *Eide Bailly – 31%
  • *Minneapolis-based Lurie – 30%
  • *San Francisco-based Novogradac – 30%

*Also included on the 2020 Best CPA Firms for Women list

AAFCPAs Acquires Scott A. Goffstein & Associates

Westborough, Mass.-based AAFCPAs, an IPA 200 firm, has acquired Scott A. Goffstein & Associates, a 14-person CPA firm in Waltham, Mass.

The acquisition adds expertise to AAFCPAs and accelerates the firm’s growth, the firm announced. AAFCPAs now has 34 partners, a 240-person staff and four locations in Massachusetts ­– Boston, Westborough, Wellesley and Waltham.

Scott Goffstein, who was admitted as an AAFCPA partner, says, “We share the team’s passion, its high standards of service excellence, and we immediately recognized the value of joining the pre-eminent regional CPA and consulting firm in New England.”

Founded in 1987, Scott A. Goffstein & Associates developed specializations in international tax, tax treaty issues, transfer pricing methodologies and intercompany transactions, although its work included the full spectrum of domestic tax, audit and outsourced accounting disciplines.

The acquisition also brings a change in leadership roles for co-MPs Dave McManus and Carla McCall. With the increased focus on international tax, McManus will lead the firm’s growing tax practice across all industries. McCall will assume the sole responsibility for MP.

“This acquisition brings even greater depth to AAFCPAs’ strengths as we serve diverse clients globally in nonprofit and commercial sectors – and just as important, the individuals we are welcoming are an outstanding cultural fit,” McCall says. “Our drive to innovate and grow will continue to flourish with the addition of the Goffstein team.”

ConvergenceCoaching Recognizes Graduates of Transformational Leadership Program

Leadership and management consulting firm ConvergenceCoaching recently completed the 2019-2020 spring program of its Transformational Leadership Program (TLP) with 25 new graduates. The TLP is a one-year accelerated educational program for CPA and consulting firm new partners and emerging leaders.

“We are excited to celebrate this group of leaders and all they have accomplished during the TLP,” says TLP coach Renee Moelders. “They are in a prime position to apply the change management concepts they’ve learned as they navigate these unprecedented times with their teams and fellow leaders. We are confident in their ability to think strategically and help their firms and clients make decisions and address opportunities and challenges.”

The spring 2019-2020 TLP graduates are:

  • Joseph Ali, partner, PKF O’Connor Davies
  • Mike Arens, tax manager, HBE LLP
  • Troy Banker, shareholder, Geffen Mesher & Company
  • Benjamin Beskovic, tax partner, PKF O’Connor Davies
  • Jamee Bollinger, senior accountant, Grimbleby Coleman
  • Kelly Buck, audit senior manager, Windes
  • Lisa Carrick, partner, Windes
  • Jennifer Decker, partner, Hogan-Hansen
  • Eve Fugiel, senior manager, Weiss & Company
  • Samantha Graboff, partner, Windes
  • Mitch Green, staff accountant, Geenen & Kolean
  • Melanie Jobgen, partner, Casey Peterson
  • Nick Kinsler, senior manager, WellsColeman
  • Greg Malcolm, shareholder, Geffen Mesher & Company
  • Laura Monaghan, partner, Hogan-Hansen
  • Wendy Moran, partner, McGowen Hurst Clark & Smith
  • Bryce Nations, tax partner, Frazier & Deeter
  • Michelle O’Reilly, partner, PKF O’Connor Davies
  • Jennifer Penning, office director, Hogan-Hansen
  • Nalini Singh, senior accountant, Grimbleby Coleman
  • Mike Sippel, principal, Green Hasson Janks
  • April Swartz, owner, Varney & Associates
  • Brandon Waller, audit manager, Weinstein Spira
  • Jim Wilde, tax senior manager, Windes
  • Jonathan Zuckerman, partner, PKF O’Connor Davies

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James Cordova Takes Over at Windes

James Cordova

Long Beach, Calif.-based Windes announced that James Cordova has been elected MP to succeed John Di Carlo, who will remain on the firm’s board of directors.

A nearly 30-year veteran of Windes and the chairman of the tax and accounting services department since 2008, Cordova becomes the firm’s eighth MP since its founding in 1926. Specializing in the analysis and selection of business entities, tax factors and implications related to business dissolutions, mergers and acquisitions consulting, Cordova’s practice includes clients in manufacturing, real estate, wholesale fuel, logistics and high-tech sectors, as well as high-net-worth individuals and family offices.

“I’m grateful for John’s leadership these past 11 years as we have grown the firm with two successful mergers, transformed the Windes brand and instituted progressive workflow processes,” says Cordova. “I look forward to continuing to improve and grow the firm. I am confident that the firm will continue to thrive during these unprecedented times.”

New Jersey Society of CPAs Names New COO

Theresa Hinton

Theresa Hinton has been named COO of the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA), replacing the retired Ellen McSherry.

Hinton’s long history with the NJCPA includes the past nine years heading up member engagement and chapter relations, as well as acting as interim director of continuing professional education. She had previously managed the organization’s membership development and chapter relations, and helped direct operations.

“We congratulate both Ellen on her retirement and Theresa on taking the reins as COO,” says NJCPA CEO and executive director Ralph Albert Thomas. “We thank Ellen for her dedication and commitment, and we are confident Theresa is well suited for the role. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the position.”

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