Nakicevic Joins GBQ as Tax Director

Azra Nakicevic

Columbus, Ohio-based GBQ Partners (FY17 net revenue of $31.4 million) announced that Azra Nakicevic has joined the firm as a director in the firm’s tax practice. She is based out of GBQ’s Columbus office.

Nakicevic has more than 17 years of Big 4 experience in managing large and diverse teams to deliver tax planning and compliance to clients. She is a subject matter expert in pass through-entities (partnerships and S corporations) and individual taxation with a strong focus in the real estate industry. Additionally, she has provided an active consulting role to clients in choice of entity, complex income and loss allocations, troubled debt restructuring, like-kind exchanges, tax credits, involuntary conversions and structuring related to merger and acquisitions of businesses.

“We welcome Azra as a new tax director,” says Tim Schlotterer, director of tax services. “Her breadth of experience will provide valuable advice to our clients operating in an environment of uncertainty and challenges brought about by the changing tax laws. Azra’s expertise will complement and expand the thought leadership within the GBQ tax department and we are delighted to have her join our team.”

BST & Co. Acquires Northeast HR for Hire

BST & Co. CPAs LLP (FY17 net revenue of $16 million) of Albany, N.Y., announced the acquisition of the human resources and management consulting company Northeast HR for Hire of Albany, N.Y. The firm will continue to serve clients throughout the Capital Region and nationwide operating under the BST banner, effective immediately.

The acquisition enhances and complements BST’s service offerings of tax planning, financial consulting and business valuation with expertise in human resources operations.

The new division of BST will be led by Jack McGaughnea who founded Northeast HR for Hire in 2001 and has more than 34 years of experience as a human resources professional.

“We are pleased to welcome Jack to BST as we expand our services to meet a growing need for expertise in the field of human resources,” says Ron Guzior, MP of BST & Co. “This latest acquisition is part of our ongoing strategic plan to take advantage of the increasing trend among businesses to seek solutions to their day to day challenges through outsourcing to trusted professionals. Jack has built an outstanding operation that meets a demand critical to the success of companies both small and large, public and private.”

Under the BST banner, Northeast HR for Hire will continue to offer a full-range of human resources services individually designed to meet each client’s needs, including: employee and labor relations; recruitment; orientation and training programs; compensation and benefit design; federal and state employment regulation compliance; discipline and termination procedures; safety programs and compliance; and worker’s compensation law and claims management, amongst others.

“For nearly two decades, Northeast HR for Hire has provided superior and innovative human resources management services to hundreds of companies,” says McGaughnea. “We offer businesses the opportunity to have a team of expert human resources professionals at their disposal, without the overhead costs. I have long respected the team at BST and am excited to join them and to help expand their capabilities and operations.”

VonLehman Announces New Vice President of M&A Advisory Services

Ely Friedman

Ely Friedman

Fort Wright, Ky.-based VonLehman & Company Inc. (FY17 net revenue of $21.9 million) announced Ely Friedman as vice president of the firm’s mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advisory services group. Friedman joins VonLehman with nearly a decade of experience dealing with the sale and acquisition of private businesses. As Vice President of the firm’s M&A advisory group, he will be directly responsible for consultation and advisory services relating to founder-owned private businesses.

“Ely’s experience working exclusively with founder-owned private businesses is a perfect complement to our team’s dynamic,” says Keith Carlson, director of VonLehman’s M&A advisory services group. “There is a tremendous need for this type of advisory service in the Tri-State area. Our region is a hotbed for founder-owned and operated private businesses who need professional assistance in handling critical sales and acquisitions. Needless to say, we are very excited about the expertise Ely brings to our group.”

With the continued growth of the mergers and acquisitions market, VonLehman launched the M&A Advisory Services group over one year ago. Success in the group’s first year resulted in the need for additional resources. With the addition of Friedman, the group is now comprised of five individuals. VonLehman’s M&A Group offers expertise in mergers and acquisitions (buying or selling), succession planning, financial restructuring, valuation, due diligence, and strategic consulting.

“There are so many things that can go wrong when a business owner attempts to handle sales and acquisition transactions on their own,” says Friedman. “I have a passion for working with business owners to guide them through this process so they are able to make well-informed decisions. I am thrilled to be working with Keith Carlson, one of the best in our industry, and I’m excited to be part of the growth of our M&A Group at VonLehman.”

Behymer Named Director at Brady Ware

Melessa Behymer

Melessa Behymer

Dayton, Ohio-based Brady Ware & Company (FY16 net revenue of $17.4 million) announced that Melessa Behymer has been promoted to director within the firm.

Behymer works on a variety of accounting, auditing and consulting engagements. She works closely with nonprofit organizations, health care providers, franchisees, startup companies and a variety of other types of businesses. She has an extensive background in governmental auditing and oversees several audits of nonprofit organizations that are recipients of federal funding. In addition to auditing, Behymer specializes in nonprofit taxes and is an active member of Brady Ware’s learning culture committee.

“It is my great pleasure to announce that Missy Behymer has transitioned into the role as Director,” says Brian Carr, co-CEO and director of Brady Ware. “She joined our team as a Staff Accountant, and, through hard work and perseverance, now embraces a leadership role in our firm’s health care niche. Her passion and industry knowledge in both the health care and nonprofit sectors make her essential in providing excellent client service and increasing market presence in these important segments.”

“I look forward to my new role as Director for Brady Ware. The firm has empowered me from day one as a Staff Accountant and continues to support me as I advance into this role. I will be providing growth focus for the firm in the Healthcare niche and I am eager to expand the practice,” says Behymer.

Behymer joined the firm in 2005. Prior to embarking on her career in accounting, she spent 12 years in consumer finance.

Sobel & Co. Valuation Practice and EAC Valuations Merge

EAC Valuations PA of Paoli, Pa., has joined Sobel & Co. (FY16 net revenue of $20.2 million) of Livingston, N.J., in their valuation practice to create Sobel Valuations LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sobel & Co.

“From the first time Frank Merenda, President and CEO of EAC Valuations, met with the Sobel & Co. valuation team, we quickly recognized the power of combining our two groups,” says Alan Sobel, managing member of Sobel & Co. “By leveraging both firms’ years of experience serving the valuation and appraisals niche market, we are positioned to effectively address the needs of the corporate business community.”

The EAC brand will continue to go to market independently, as well as together, under Sobel Valuations. This flexibility enables them to assemble a team of professionals across a wide range of disciplines. The Sobel & Co. Valuation Practice will benefit from Merenda’s adherence to EAC’s long standing mission, his deep commitment to its high standards and his well-regarded valuation and appraisal expertise gained throughout his years in the top leadership role at EAC.

“I am glad that I have the opportunity to draw on my experiences conducting a wide variety of valuations, such as Fair Value (both ASC and IFRS), Appraisals of Intangible Assets, Deferred Compensation, and Purchase Price Allocations for Financial Reporting, and Fair Market Value Appraisals for Property Tax, Insurance, Corporate Planning, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Gift/Estate Appraisal. EAC has almost 50 years as a leader in the valuation community completing more than 14,000 appraisals for clients ranging from multi-billion dollar companies to privately-held manufacturing and service companies. Joining our depth of experience with Sobel & Co.’s 60+ year legacy is a positive step for both organizations, and most importantly, for the clients we serve,” says Merenda.

The move will reinforce existing services and further expand the menu of Sobel & Co.’s valuation capabilities, which include business valuations, financial reporting valuations, strategic advisory services, commercial damages, corporate and partnership disputes, matrimonial dissolutions, estate and gift valuations, shareholder and partner buy-outs, mergers & acquisitions and a diversity of other valuation services.

Saltmarsh Becomes Independent Member of BDO Alliance USA

Pensacola, Fla.-based Saltmarsh Cleaveland & Gund (FY17 net revenue of $18.5 million) has become a member of BDO Alliance USA.

As an independent member of the BDO Alliance, Saltmarsh will be able to expand the services offered to clients by drawing on the resources of BDO USA and other Alliance members.

“The BDO Alliance USA allows us to better serve our clients as they expand regionally, nationally, and globally, while remaining an independent firm,” says Saltmarsh president Lee Bell. “We will have access to the technical knowledge and specialty services of BDO USA and its international organization.”

Enriquez Elected Managing Shareholder of Briggs & Veselka

Sheila Enriquez

Sheila Enriquez

Sheila Enriquez was elected managing shareholder of Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co. (FY16 net revenue of $35.4 million). She will assume the role from John Flatowicz, effective July 1. Flatowicz will continue his roles as an audit shareholder and member of the Executive Committee.

“Sheila’s vision and drive are ideal for the firm–and an industry–in transition as future growth and relevance will be driven by the rapid adoption of new technologies and the expansion of consulting services,” says Flatowicz. “But more importantly, Sheila’s passion for developing people and promulgating the firm’s values is what makes her ideally suited for leading the firm to the next level.”

“I am honored to assume this role from John, who has been so vital in driving firm growth and client satisfaction during his tenure as managing shareholder,” says Enriquez. “My goal is to grow to a top 50 CPA firm so we can provide more value to our clients and opportunities to our people, by strengthening our core services of tax and audit, expanding our related advisory services, and staying on top of innovation and technological developments in our profession.”

Enriquez has been with the firm since 2007 and has been a shareholder since 2010. In addition to her responsibilities as an audit shareholder, she leads the firm’s forensic, valuation and litigation support services, and its consulting practices. Enriquez was named one of Women Who Mean Business by the Houston Business Journal in 2017.

Malone Named MP of Hood & Strong

Susan Malone

Susan Malone

San Francisco-based Hood & Strong LLP (FY17 net revenue of $16.7 million) has announced that Susan Malone has been elected managing partner, effective June 1. She succeeds Robert Raffo, who has served in the role for more than 10 years. Malone will be the eighth managing partner in the firm’s 101-year history, and the first woman to hold the position.

“As the firm enters its second century, this transition demonstrates the partners’ commitment to the ongoing success and vitality of Hood & Strong,” says Raffo. “Susan has a clear vision for the future of the firm, and has played an integral role in shaping the culture of Hood & Strong. This appointment marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the firm, and a continued statement to Hood & Strong’s clients and staff of its commitment to gender equity and leadership nationally in promoting women into senior ranks.”

Malone has been with Hood & Strong for more than 25 years and works with a broad array of clients across many industries, including higher education, arts and culture, manufacturing and philanthropy.

On average, partnership in accounting firms is overwhelmingly male. According to the 2017 IPA National Benchmarking Report, females make up 18.9% of partners on average. With women comprising nearly half of its partners and directors, and 60% of its employees, Hood & Strong has one of the narrowest gender gaps in the industry. The firm’s business philosophy emphasizes its commitment to diversity, including a workplace culture that enables women to advance their careers in accounting by providing options for flexible schedules and telecommuting.

“I am honored to become managing partner,” says Malone. “I am committed to building on the firm’s 100-year legacy by continuing our commitment to excellent client service, giving back to our communities, and supporting and developing the next generation of firm leaders.”

As part of the firm’s succession plan, Raffo, who has been with the firm more than 40 years, will return to a partner role, while continuing to serve on the board.

Geffen Mesher Hires Kaveny, Director of Business Development

Gina Kaveny

Gina Kaveny

Geffen Mesher (FY16 net revenue of $22.4 million) of Portland, Ore., announced that Gina Kaveny has joined the firm as the first Director of Business Development who will drive growth and visibility of Geffen Mesher’s brand in the Pacific Northwest. She will also contribute to company’s overall marketing strategy, initiatives and brand development.

Prior to joining Geffen Mesher, Kaveny worked for LSQ as the VP of Business Development, overseeing the lifecycle of client prospecting, contracting and support and providing asset-based lending solutions for companies that do not qualify for bank lending. She spent more than a dozen years in international supply chain and global trade finance with UPS & UPS Capital, helping companies expand and grow their international sales and finance goods in-transit from factories overseas.

“We are excited to have Gina Join our firm as the first Director of Business Development. We look forward to the new opportunities and growth Gina brings with her,” says Mike Rompa, managing shareholder. “Creating the new position of Business Development comes at an exciting time in our company’s growth and development, and we are delighted that Gina has chosen to further her career with us, adding her valuable skills and expertise to the team.”

Gettry Marcus Announces Major Expansion to Consulting Practice Group

Lee Ferber

Lee Ferber

Woodbury, N.Y.-based Gettry Marcus CPA (FY16 net revenue of $21.7 million) announced the expansion of their Business Advisory Services Group.

The Business Advisory Group, spearheaded by partner Lee Ferber, works collaboratively with business owners and their management teams to develop and implement strategic initiatives to increase growth and profitability, as well as improve business performance. Gettry Marcus’ expertise, approach and in-house resources allows their advisors to work with clients to develop, facilitate and implement strategic business plans that are essential to achieving long-term business goals.

“As we listened to our clients’ needs, we determined that it was imperative to expand our Business Advisory services,” says Steven Marcus, MP. “The Business Advisory Service Group continues to build value for our existing clients and attract new clients as we forge deeper relationships.”

The Business Advisory Group will be offering complimentary quarterly webinars to help businesses better understand the tools they can use to achieve success.