Dimmick Named Chair of Briggs & Veselka’s Houston Audit Department

Adam Dimmick

Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co. (FY17 net revenue of $36.2 million) announced that Adam J. Dimmick, audit shareholder in the Houston office, has been named chair of the firm’s audit department.

Meresa Morgan, who had served as department chair since 2010, will continue to lead the firm’s employee benefit plan practice, in addition to serving her longtime clients.

Dimmick started with the firm 13 years ago as a staff associate after moving from Southern California, and was promoted to shareholder in 2015. “From the time I started with the firm, I’ve always felt supported, encouraged and challenged. Assuming the responsibility of department chair is a great honor. Throughout the years, the culture at Briggs & Veselka has remained unmatched, and the opportunities for our future leaders is tremendous,” he says.

In addition to leading the construction and industrial services niche, Dimmick has led the department’s recruiting, retention and mentoring committees for several years.

“We are excited and fortunate to have Adam in a leadership position to help guide the firm over the next several years and continue to scale up and expand our core services and consulting practice,” says managing shareholder Sheila Enriquez.

Loretta Doon, CalCPA CEO, to Retire in June

Loretta Doon

The California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) and the CalCPA Education Foundation has announced that CEO Loretta Doon will be retiring in June.

After a nationwide search, the CalCPA board of directors and the foundation board of trustees have named Anthony Pugliese as the incoming CEO of both organizations. Pugliese will join CalCPA on May 1 and will work closely with Doon on the transition.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have worked with my talented staff, dedicated boards and committee volunteers, our diverse members and our partners over these years to build CalCPA into the largest state CPA society,” says Doon. “Our goal is to continually meet the evolving professional and education needs of our members so that they can protect the public interest. We accomplish this through a collaborative, diverse and inclusive culture that leads us to more innovative solutions for our members.”

Anthony Pugliese

Anthony Pugliese

Doon is recognized for her many achievements as head of CalCPA and the foundation, including surpassing a record-setting 45,000 in membership and purchasing the headquarters building in Burlingame. She has been named one of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting numerous times. Doon was also the chief architect for constructing a platform that attracted 53 education partners across the country, including 48 state CPA societies, four associations and a national CPE vendor.

Pugliese was most recently the executive vice president of membership, technology and learning for the AICPA. Prior to that, he served as AICPA’s chief operating officer.

“I look forward to sharing my experience in all aspects of the profession with our staff and members, and all our partners and being inspired by their diverse perspectives,” Pugliese says. “We will draw upon these collective experiences to lead CalCPA and the foundation into the next era.”

CalCPA chair Lewis Sharpstone says, “It was important for us to select an incoming CEO with a strong vision for the future of CalCPA and the foundation. Anthony’s vision not only builds off of Loretta’s accomplishments to date, it will keep us focused on our mission to serve the profession’s needs as it evolves and to protect the public interest.”

CalCPA, founded in 1903, has 14 chapters throughout California.

PKF O’Connor Davies Add Two Members to Executive Committee

Christopher Petermann

New York-based PKF O’Connor Davies (FY17 net revenue of $160 million) has added two new members to its executive committee – Christopher Petermann and Garrett Higgins.

The professionals were approved following recommendations by the firm’s recently established governance committee.

“These nominations show the importance of attracting and growing talent at the firm,” says MP Kevin J. Keane. “Chris and Garrett have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities throughout their careers and specifically during their time as partners at PKF O’Connor Davies.”

Garrett Higgins

Petermann serves as co-PIC for the private foundation practice and specializes in accounting for exempt organizations and private foundations, as well as closely held businesses and financial services entities. Higgins serves as PIC for the exempt organization tax and advisory services group and specializes in providing tax compliance and advisory services to tax-exempt organizations.

To avoid having multiple partners finish their duties in the same year, the governance committee recommended Petermann serve a six-year term and Higgins serve a four-year term. The executive committee accepted these recommendations upon appointment on Jan. 1.

CBM Names Drolet as Chair

Patricia Drolet

Patricia Drolet, executive vice president of Bethesda, Md.-based Councilor Buchanan & Mitchell (CBM) has been elected board chair. She took the post Jan. 1.

Drolet has served on the firm’s executive committee for four years with CBM president and MP Peter B. Reilly, tax practice director Richard E. Morris, and financial planning practice director Debora E. May. The addition of Drolet as chair brings a new perspective to decision-making, which will help determine the future direction of CBM, the firm announced.

Drolet has served as an executive vice president at CBM since the Washington, D.C.-based firm she founded, Drolet & Associates, merged into CBM in 2014. She continues to serve as one of the firm’s experts in not-for-profit and professional services tax and accounting.

“I appreciate the confidence of the other leaders on CBM’s executive committee,” says Drolet. “This reflects the benefits of having new voices in a decision-making capacity and also of focusing on the strength of CBM’s diversity at the highest levels of our practice.”

Approximately 60% of CBM’s staff is female and 22% are minorities, while 50% of CBM’s leadership group is female.

“On the cusp of celebrating our 100th year anniversary, the partners at CBM elected our first female chair of the board of directors,” says Reilly. “I congratulate Pat on demonstrating outstanding leadership and providing pertinent insights. Personally, I look forward to assisting Pat in executing her vision and goals for CBM.”

CBM has nearly doubled in size since 2014. In 2018, the firm merged in the practice of Chaconas & Wilson, a Washington, D.C.-based tax and advisory firm, and the investment management firm, May Barnhard Investments. CBM also opened a new downtown office in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1.

Wipfli Financial Advisors Names New CEO

Jeff Pierce

Wipfli Financial Advisors, affiliated with Milwaukee-based Wipfli LLP (FY18 net revenue of $317.9 million), has announced that Jeff Pierce has been named CEO, effective Feb. 11.

Pierce joins Wipfli Financial Advisors from Austin, Texas-based Dimensional Fund Advisors, where he served as vice president of advisor practice management.

“Our entire team looks forward to working with Jeff in growing our holistic, personalized planning approach, which will deliver even greater impact to our current and future clients in the months and years ahead,” says Julie Nichols, Wipfli Financial’s interim CEO and CFO. She will continue in her CFO role moving forward.

While at Dimensional Fund Advisors, Pierce provided guidance to hundreds of financial advisory firms on a wide range of practice management areas, including financial performance, operations, human capital, technology, and succession and ownership transition. He also developed and led two of the industry’s largest global practice management benchmarking studies.

“Jeff embodies Wipfli’s culture, core values and client-focused approach and is passionate about expanding the wealth management model and CPA-based philosophy we are building with Wipfli Financial,” says Rick Dreher, Wipfli’s MP.

Deloitte Board Nominates New U.S. CEO to Replace Engelbert

Joseph Ucuzoglu

Joseph Ucuzoglu

According to The Wall Street Journal, Deloitte LLP’s board has nominated Joseph Ucuzoglu, who leads the firm’s audit practice, as its official candidate to replace CEO Cathy Engelbert, who will apparently serve just one term.

The Journal, citing internal emails, reports that Janet Foutty, head of Deloitte’s consulting business, was nominated to be U.S. chairman. Both candidates are subject to a vote by Deloitte’s partners and principals early next year.

The board chose Ucuzoglu after deciding earlier this year not to nominate Engelbert for a second term. The Journal reported in June that the move stunned partners.

“Until this week, there was still a chance Ms. Engelbert’s name might be put back into consideration as part of Deloitte’s elaborate CEO-selection process,” writes reporter Michael Rapoport.

In an email the Journal obtained, Mike Fucci, Deloitte’s current U.S. chairman, said that while Ucuzoglu and Foutty are “the most qualified and best prepared candidates” to lead the firm, write-in candidates have been submitted to the board for consideration.

Engelbert says in a prepared statement that it had been “my privilege” to serve as CEO. “I am excited for the future and look forward to supporting a successful and smooth transition process to new leadership through the end of my term.”

Engelbert became the first woman CEO of a U.S. Big 4 firm when she took the job in 2015.

Moore Stephens North America Appoints Three New Board Members

Bruce Zicari

Bruce Zicari

Members of Moore Stephens North America (MSNA) have voted in three new members to join the MSNA Executive Board.

“The Bonadio Group has been proud to be part of the MSNA Team for over two decades, delivering great value to our firm, our people and our clients,” says Bruce Zicari, incoming MP at Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group (FY18 net revenue of $97.9 million). “I am honored to be appointed to the MSNA Board and look forward to working with my fellow board members, as well as the member firms, to collaborate, innovate and improve.”

In addition to Zicari, Patrick Fuelling, partner at Troy, Mich.-based Doeren Mayhew & Company (FY17 net revenue of $72.6 million), and Dan Natale, managing partner at Segal LLP of Toronto, Ontario, joined the board, effective Jan. 1.

Patrick Fuelling

Patrick Fuelling

“At Doeren Mayhew, we see the benefits of being a member firm with Moore Stephens on a daily basis. Leveraging a network of specialized resources across the globe has helped us gain opportunities we might not have otherwise been able to,” says Fuelling.

Natale says, “Since joining MSNA, Segal LLP has developed strong, mutually rewarding relationships with member firms across the association and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board to help MSNA and its members meet our goals.”

The executive board is democratically elected by their peers to set the direction for North America, so clients are assured the same professional standards and quality services are provided everywhere.

Dan Natale

Dan Natale

“Each new board provides a unique set of insights and perspectives to propel our association forward, and the addition of Bruce, Pat and Dan will certainly keep that momentum going,” says Tony Szczepaniak, chief executive officer of MSNA.

The executive board consists of nine members. In addition to Zicari, Fuelling and Natale, Andy Armanino, MP of San Ramon, Calif.-based Armanino LLP (FY17 net revenue of $242.7 million), and Tony Caleca, MP of Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Brown Smith Wallace (FY17 net revenue of $46.3 million), will remain as chair and vice-chair, respectively. Also retaining their seats on the board are Lou Grassi, CEO and MP of New York-based Grassi & Co. (FY17 net revenue of $59.6 million), Rick Davis, CEO of Greenville, S.C.-based Elliott Davis (FY18 net revenue of $119 million), Cheryle Burke, COO of Woburn, Mass.-based DiCicco Gulman & Company (FY17 net revenue of $26.4 million) and Beth Leonard, MP of Lurie LLP of Minneapolis (FY17 net revenue of $28 million).

Leaving the board is Greg Hutchins, partner at Los Angeles-based Holtin Carlin & Van Trigt (FY17 net revenue of $135.9 million).

Lake Appointed as Tax Advisory Council Chair for Florida Tax Watch

Karen A. Lake

Miami-based Berkowitz Pollack Brant (FY17 net revenue of $57.9 million) announced that Florida Tax Watch has named associate tax director Karen A. Lake as chair of the tax advisory council.

Florida Tax Watch is a non-profit research institute and government watchdog for the state of Florida. It provides independent research and analysis of issues related to state and local government taxation, expenditures, policies and programs. Membership is comprised of community leaders and volunteers representing major industries in the state.

Lake has been an active member of Florida Tax Watch and is a member of the board of directors. Active in industry associations, she is on the board of directors of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) and is chair of the organization’s state tax conference and state tax section. Lake leads the state and local tax (SALT) practice at Berkowitz Pollack Brant.

Survey: Flex Programs Are ‘Minimum Ante’ to Attract, Retain Talent

A survey by ConvergenceCoaching shows that 99% offer some or all the option to flex where they work (remote work), up from 94% in 2016, and that 96% allow some or all team members to , down from 97% in the prior survey.

Consulting firm ConvergenceCoaching has been surveying firms for four years through its Anytime, Anywhere Work™ questionnaire to measure whether firms are allowing employees to have more control over when and where they are working.

According to this year’s survey, with 175 firm respondents, “flex programs are becoming table stakes, or the minimum ‘ante’ required to attract and retain top talent,” ConvergenceCoaching reported.

Highlights include:

  • 85% offer part-time options
  • 83% have an early/late start program, offering team members the opportunity to choose a start and end time that better fit his/her lifestyle
  • 83% allow for day-to-day flex of time, offering as-needed flexibility to attend doctor’s appointments, for instance, and other non-recurring obligations
  • 82% of firms who have a remote worker retained an employee when they moved to a different geography, up from 42% in 2016
  • 70% offer day-to-day anywhere flex, where team members can adjust their workplace as needed to meet personal obligations that are non-recurring (like meeting the repair person at home)
  • 63% employ a team member in another geography, up from 57% in 2016
  • 58% no longer mandate Saturday office hours, up from 39% in the 2016 survey
  • 56% believe that leadership sees flex as a strategic advantage, up from 44% in 2016

“Firms must seek ways to expand and improve the types of programs offered, create buy-in and support for use of Anytime, Anywhere Work options, and develop a culture that embraces flexibility and mobility across the organization, at all levels.”

Download the full survey results summary here.

Serafin to Lead Grant Thornton’s U.S. Industry Program

George Serafin

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) has named George Serafin as the firm’s national managing principal of industry.

In this newly created role, Serafin will work closely with Grant Thornton industry MPs to execute strategy while creating a consistent industry program and client experience across its practices.

In addition to his new role, Serafin will continue to serve as national managing principal of Grant Thornton’s health care/life sciences practice, as well as regulatory and compliance services principal.

“George brings a unique blend of industry, technology and consulting knowledge and experience to our firm and clients,” says Nichole Jordan, national MP of markets, clients and industry for Grant Thornton. “He’s been instrumental in growing our health care/life sciences practice, and his continued leadership in this new role will enable us to deepen client relationships and share valuable insights with client executives.”

Serafin has served as national managing principal of health care/life sciences since August 2017 after joining Grant Thornton that January. Serafin started his career in industry, working for companies including Novartis, Roche and Fresenius Medical Care before transitioning to technology at SAP. Serafin has also served as Deloitte & Touche LLP’s health care and life sciences regulatory practice leader.