Brown Edwards Names New MP

Jason Hartman

Jason Hartman

Roanoke, Va.-based Brown Edwards (FY16 net revenue of $32.2 million) has named Jason Hartman its new MP. He succeeds Domenic Pellillo, who served as MP for 16 years and will remain partner at the firm.

Hartman has managed Brown Edwards’ Roanoke office since 2008. He joined the firm in 1986, developing its local government practice and local government team. He also was responsible for building and leading the credit union practice, which expanded under his leadership to include clients throughout the region. Hartman also was instrumental in the firm joining the BDO Alliance USA.

One of Hartman’s main objectives is to continue the firm’s growth through acquisitions. “As we have grown, clients from outside our office locations have recognized the quality delivered by Brown Edwards and have sought us out,” Hartman says in a statement. “It is desirable from a client service and community involvement perspective that we have offices in those locations to better serve our clients.”

The firm has offices in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.

Geier Becomes MP and CEO of Sikich

Chris Geier

Chris Geier

Chris Geier officially began his tenure as MP of Naperville, Ill.-based Sikich (FY15 net revenue of $116.6 million) on Jan. 1, replacing former CEO Jim Sikich, who plans to retire at the end of the year.

“It’s an exciting time of growth for Sikich, and I am ready to get to work as the firm’s new leader,” Geier says. “I have been involved in the firm’s leadership for several years and am very familiar with the depth of expertise and talent across our many practice areas. I am confident we are well-positioned to achieve our ambitious growth goals in the years ahead.”

The firm’s partners elected Geier to the role of MP and CEO last May. Geier will oversee Sikich’s strategic direction and future growth. Prior to becoming CEO, Geier was PIC of the firm’s advisory services and investment banking practice and a member of the executive board. Geier has held C-level operating roles at both private and publicly traded companies and has more than 20 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and capital raising transactions across multiple industries. He joined Sikich in 2008.

The leadership transition comes at a time of expansion for Sikich. In 2016, the firm acquired Akron, Ohio-based BCG & Co., a firm specializing in audit and assurance, tax, technology and wealth management services, and Glendale, Calif.-based technology firm SCS.

Lewis Hooper & Dick Announce New Managing Member

Theresa Dasenbrock

Theresa Dasenbrock

Lewis Hooper & Dick of Garden City, Kan., announces that Theresa Dasenbrock has assumed the role of managing member.

“I am proud to take on this leadership responsibility – and honored that the firm’s other members have placed their trust in me,” says Dasenbrock, who has been with the firm for 30 years. “My colleague, Gary Schlappe, has done excellent work as managing member of the firm since 2000. I am hopeful that I can make an equally valuable contribution to the firm’s legacy.”

“Theresa’s leadership will contribute to the development of our team and continue the firm’s trajectory of growth. I am confident the firm is in excellent hands,” says Schlappe, who remains with the firm full time.

Dasenbrock joined Lewis Hooper & Dick in 1987. She became a member in 2006 and has served as vice managing member/owner since 2015. She focuses her practice on the specialty area of governmental organizations, though she serves clients in a broad variety of industries. In addition to providing management guidance to clients in the public sector, she advises on traditional and non-traditional accounting issues. Dasenbrock has also played an important role in the firm’s practice development initiatives and strategic goals, the firm announced.

Davis Elected MP of Aronson

Larry Davis

Larry Davis

Larry Davis has been elected MP of Aronson of Rockville, Md., (FY15 net revenue of $51.6 million).

“It is a privilege to be part of and lead an organization that puts people first for the benefit of its clients,” says Davis, adding that he believes it’s a great time for the firm and its people. “We are committed to continuing our 55-year legacy of growth by investing in our team members and providing outstanding service to our clients.”

During his 35-year career, Davis has focused on corporate strategy and finance. He has launched new service areas, been involved in professional development and has helped clients accomplish their business goals. He joined Aronson in 1994, and in 2000, he founded Aronson Capital Partners, a leading M&A advisor to middle-market defense and government technology solutions providers. Davis will continue in his client service role with Aronson Capital Partners, while taking on the new role of MP of Aronson, an IPA 100 firm.

Davis succeeds Jeffery Capron, who served as MP from 2010 through 2016.

Clark Schaefer Hackett Elects New Firm President, Vice President

Kerry Roe

Kerry Roe

Cincinnati-based Clark Schaefer Hackett (CSH) (FY16 net revenue of $64.6 million) announced that the partners have elected Kerry Roe as the firm’s next president, starting in July 2017.

Roe, who has been with CSH for 22 years, has led the firm’s government services group and also served as the firm’s executive vice president for seven years. He began his career as an auditor for the state of Ohio.

“I am humbled by my fellow shareholders’ confidence in choosing me as their next president,” says Roe. “I am excited to lead a talented team of nearly 400 individuals in bettering the lives of our clients, our people and our communities. We will continue to provide the trust, vision, guidance and outcomes needed by our clients as they face very diverse business challenges and opportunities.”

Carl Coburn has been the firm’s president since 2008 and will maintain that role through July 2017. Coburn will remain at CSH, serving clients and offering support to the officers, as well as continuing his involvement in the leadership of the AGN–North America Executive Committee.

Clark Schaefer Hackett also announced that Doug Michel has been elected as an executive vice president. In addition to Michel’s involvement in several practice areas over his 29 years with CSH, he has led the firm’s focus on recruitment, orientation and retention of staff.

Spotlight On … Mark Duren

Name: Mark Duren
Firm Name: Lutz
Title: Managing Shareholder

Mark Duren

Mark Duren

  • Elected in 2015 as managing shareholder of Lutz of Omaha, Neb., (FY16 net revenue of $32.6 million).
  • Served as department head for audit and tax departments over the course of 25 years with the firm.
  • Active in faith-based organizations in a variety of capacities.

As an IPA 2016 Best of the Best firm, Lutz has demonstrated exemplary financial and operational success. What’s the most important differentiator that ensures success for the firm?

We have been able to assemble an outstanding ownership group that continually strives for improvement. At Lutz our professionals demonstrate “Mind What Matters” through expert accounting and business solutions offered to our clients. We manage to everyone’s strengths to allow us to serve our clients and provide opportunities for personal growth and in turn a rewarding career. Lutz relies on our leadership team as they set the tone for the rest of the firm. Management’s attention to detail and desire for unique and efficient service offerings as well as process improvements has resulted in a competitive advantage for Lutz. We continue to hold weekly meetings with the partner, director and manager group to discuss firm matters as well as business development. Our size has made this challenging, but worth the effort.

Your firm recently expanded to Lincoln. What potential do you see in that marketplace for clients and staff?

Although Lincoln is relatively close to Omaha, the culture and business environment is significantly different. To be successful we believe the firm must invest in Lincoln with Lutz members residing there and giving back to the Lincoln community. The business community, city of Lincoln and the University of Nebraska continue to invest in infrastructure to attract and retain entrepreneurs and professionals. We felt Lutz needed to be part of the investment to assist in Lincoln’s future growth. In addition, we consider Lincoln as a gateway to central Nebraska, which gives us the opportunity to expand our market as well as provide local service to our clients in many communities throughout Nebraska.

lutz_tag_vert_rgb-2016With services such as Lutz Financial, Lutz Tech, Lutz Talent and Lutz M&A, the firm has greatly expanded its offerings. Do you still consider Lutz a traditional CPA firm? 

Absolutely. Lutz has and will continue to be a traditional CPA firm. Over the years we have developed complementary services to meet the demands of our clients. We strive to be a business-solution firm with offerings beyond customary tax and financial statement services. We will continue to innovate new products and services based on the needs of our client base, but we also understand the importance of a growing our core accounting and tax services.

Lutz has been named a Best Place to Work for Millennials. You’ve been quoted as saying that Millennial employees challenge your processes there to gain efficiency. Can you tell us how Millennials are encouraged to offer ideas to improve the firm?

Lutz has developed our own customized leadership program for senior- and manager-level firm members. Program participants are selected from applications and each class consists of a cross-section of our firm, including members from Talent, Tech, Financial, Admin and the CPA firm. A major requirement of the leadership class includes group projects addressing current firm processes or the development of a solution to a problem. The creativity and practicality of many of the projects has been amazing and many have been immediately implemented. We have been thrilled with the enthusiasm of our younger professionals and their desire to make a difference.

You were elected managing shareholder in May 2015. What was your biggest surprise in taking over the top job?

Two words – challenge and change. Lutz has assembled a terrific group of team members with a goal of offering business solutions to our clients. Managing the process has been a challenge, as we are constantly reviewing and refining our offerings to ensure successful implementation for our clients. A traditional CPA service model varies significantly from wealth management, recruitment and delivery of technology services. Managing the various business lines is a challenge as the sales cycle, delivery model and employee management differ from one another. Simultaneously, our culture must be nurtured and protected as we strive to meet individual and firm goals. I have learned to rely on my board and key members of management, as a collective effort is needed to manage all of our business lines.

Final thoughts?

Despite our growth over the years, Lutz continues to be known for our flexible and family-oriented culture and our ability to infuse fun into work. Whether meeting to play cards on Friday afternoons during busy season, competing in our bi-annual Lutz Olympics or hanging out in our game room, we believe in keeping things lighthearted. Culture is something Lutz has never lost sight of over the years and it will continue to be a top priority for us.

Do you know someone else who would make a good Spotlight? Contact Christina Camara.

MP of McKonly & Asbury Stepping Down; Trimarchi Taking Reins

Camp Hill, Pa.-based McKonly & Asbury (FY15 net revenue of $9.4 million), is proud to announce that after 14 years as MP, Terry Harris will transition leadership of the firm to Kurt Trimarchi on Jan. 1.

Kurt Trimarchi

Kurt Trimarchi

Trimarchi will become Managing Partner of McKonly & Asbury on January 1, 2017. McKonly & Asbury has offices in Camp Hill and Lancaster, Pennsylvania and has enjoyed a 43-year history of success in the region.

After Harris’ 40-year career with the firm, he and the firm’s entire partner group have chosen Trimarchi as the next MP. Harris and Trimarchi have been serving as co-MPs for two years, and this change is part of the firm’s established transition plan.

“I am so proud to have been a part of McKonly & Asbury for 40 years, and I am just as proud to pass on the reins to Kurt,” says Harris. “I have complete faith and confidence in him as the firm’s next leader and am honored to have been able to work aside him during our times together here. Kurt has been an integral part of our success.”

Terry Harris

Terry Harris

Harris will continue as a principal with the firm and an advisor for McKonly & Asbury’s affordable housing clients. He will also play a key role in McKonly & Asbury’s affiliate, Bridgeford Trust Company, continuing to be a member of the board of directors, serving as chair.

Trimarchi states, “I am privileged to have been elected by my fellow partners as the next MP of McKonly & Asbury and know that I have an amazing legacy to uphold. The McKonly & Asbury team is embracing this change, and along with our new ideas, we will never lose sight of our founding commitment to superior client service and building purpose through profits, using our firm’s strengths and resources to make giving back an integral part of who we are.”

Trimarchi has been with McKonly & Asbury for 13 years. He joined the firm as director of tax services and quickly rose to leadership as PIC of the firm’s tax practice. He has more than 20 years of broad domestic and international tax experience and has extensive experience serving family business, manufacturing, distribution, retail and financial services clients as well as bringing tax value-added ideas and strategies to help maximize overall tax savings.

Friedman LLP Completes Succession Plan, Transfers Day-To-Day Operations

Fred Berk

Fred Berk

New York-based Friedman LLP (FY15 net revenue of $82 million) announces that effective Jan. 1, co-MPs Fred Berk and Harriet Greenberg will run the day-to-day operations of the firm, and after 35 years as MP and CEO, Bruce Madnick will become CEO Emeritus.

Madnick will continue his relationships to many clients and serve in an advisory role to the firm’s partner group.

Growing up through the ranks at Friedman, Berk and Greenberg have been an integral part of the growth of the firm, which now has 450 personnel and nine locations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Beijing, China.

Harriet Greenberg

Harriet Greenberg

“The completion of our carefully crafted succession plan ensures continuity and puts the firm in a strong position for ongoing growth,” Berk says. Greenberg added, “Friedman’s culture centers on putting people first: our clients, our staff and our community. Fred and I grew up with this philosophy and are honored to be carrying on in that tradition.”

“Under Harriet and Fred’s leadership, the firm will continue to provide cutting-edge services to our clients and a work environment where our staff can thrive,” Madnick says. “The firm could not be in more capable hands.”

New MP Named at Trout Ebersole & Groff

Todd Harrington

Todd Harrington

Todd Harrington is stepping into the role of MP of Lancaster, Pa.-based Trout Ebersole & Groff (FY15 net revenue of $14.7 million).

Harrington succeeds Donald Johnson Jr., who had management responsibilities from 2010 to this year. Harrington joined the firm in 1996 and was admitted as a partner in 2007.

His areas of specialization include audit and attest services, mergers and acquisitions, tax planning and preparation and business consulting and valuations. He also serves on Trout Ebersole & Groff’s manufacturing and construction practice groups and participates on several others.

New CEO for Berkowitz Pollack Brant

Joseph Saka

Joseph Saka

Miami-based Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants (FY15 net revenue of $46.5 million) has announced its succession plan, introduced a new CEO and elevated the former CEO to the position of founding and executive chairman.

Joseph Saka has been named CEO. Richard Berkowitz, who founded the firm in 1980, has been named founding and executive chairman. Edward Cooper has been named director-in-charge of the tax services practice, the role formerly held by Saka.

“Joe has proven to be an innovative thinker, a leader and a steward of the firm’s culture since joining us 18 years ago,” says Berkowitz. “Our entire team is enthusiastic about Joe leading the firm and our transition to a new generation of leadership.”

Under Berkowitz’ leadership, the firm has been consistently recognized as a “Best of the Best” firm by INSIDE Public Accounting and as a Best Place to Work by Florida Trend. Known for its real estate, international tax, estate and wealth planning, and business consulting expertise, Berkowitz Pollack Brant is one of the largest firms in Florida and has been a top 100 U.S. firm since 1995. In his new role, Berkowitz will focus on business development, leadership training, campus and lateral recruiting, governance and other special projects.

Saka has led the tax services practice since 2010 and has served on several firm committees. Cooper joined the firm in 2012 and focuses his practice on real estate consulting, complex partnership structuring and corporate tax planning. He will lead the firm’s 75-member tax practice, including continued expansion of services, process improvement and efficiencies, and client service teams.

“We advise many of our entrepreneurial clients on succession planning issues and we are proud to be implementing our succession plan after nearly five years of process,” Berkowitz says.