Bennett Thrasher Admits Six Professionals to the Partnership

Atlanta-based Bennett Thrasher LLP (FY18 net revenue of $55.6 million) announces the election of six firm professionals to its partnership, effective July 1.

The six represent Bennett Thrasher’s largest new partner class and includes individuals from six different practice areas: financial reporting and assurance, international personal financial services, real estate hospitality tax, risk advisory, state and local tax and transaction advisory services. Bennett Thrasher will now have 47 partners.

“We are proud that these outstanding professionals are joining our partnership,” says Jeff Eischeid, MP of Bennett Thrasher. “This milestone is indicative of our significant growth and our firm’s commitment to professional development. Each new partner has proven themselves through their dedication to providing superior client service and through an outstanding display of technical ability, leadership and commitment to the firm’s core values.”

The six professionals being promoted to partner include:

  • Stephen Bradshaw, state and local tax
  • Bridget Dunk, international personal financial services
  • Brian Hamm, financial reporting and assurance
  • Mike Hostinsky, risk advisory services
  • Kelly Smith, real estate hospitality tax
  • Vijay Vaswani, transaction advisory services

Bradshaw advises technology and fast-growth companies on sales and use tax issues, income and franchise tax matters, and state and local tax credits and incentives. Additionally, he provides SALT due diligence service in connection with merger and acquisition transactions. Bradshaw chairs the SALT committee of DFK International, a worldwide association of independent accounting, tax and business advisory firms.

Dunk specializes in income tax, estate tax and wealth planning services to individuals and closely held businesses with cross-border considerations. She has significant experience consulting on global mobility issues and on tax compliance for U.S. and non-U.S. persons and entities. Dunk previously co-founded two non-profits and hosts Life Lessons Over Lunch, a workplace initiative where co-workers gather to watch engaging and uplifting messages.

Hamm has more than 15 years of experience advising clients on due diligence and financial statement audits for clients ranging from start-ups to multinational companies. Hamm serves as co-leader of Bennett Thrasher’s technology industry segment, and his additional industry experience includes hospitality, pharmaceutical, health care and service-oriented companies.

Hostinsky has more than 15 years of experience in risk management and business consulting. Hostinsky evaluates interrelationships between technology, operations and finance, to provide business insights that promote effective internal controls, process efficiencies and operational effectiveness. He has a specialized focus on IT and business risk consulting, internal audit services, and System and Organization Controls (SOC) reporting.

Smith focuses on complex tax consulting and compliance for both domestic and foreign-owned companies within the commercial real estate industry. She has extensive experience advising foreign real estate developers on U.S. investments and transactions. Her additional industry expertise includes restaurant companies. Smith co-leads tax training at Bennett Thrasher.

Vaswani specializes in mergers, acquisitions and divestitures for private equity firms and strategic investors in a range of industries including healthcare and technology. He is well-versed in navigating the complexities at every stage of the deal process. Vaswani is a board member of the BT Foundation, serving on the grants committee and as chair of the communications committee.

Grant Thornton Appoints Director for Advisory Services

Oliver Dennison

Oliver Dennison

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) has announced that Oliver Dennison has joined the firm as a managing director in the financial services advisory practice.

Based in Grant Thornton’s New York office, he will be responsible for global banking clients and driving fintech-enabled business solutions, with a focus on risk and compliance.

Dennison has nearly 20 years of experience as a senior manager and technology consultant, working for financial organizations and multinational corporations in Europe and North America. Most recently, he was a director leading the enterprise risk technology function within Deutsche Bank Americas.

“Having spent his career in financial services, Oliver has witnessed rapid, technology-driven industry change,” says Nigel Smith, national financial services advisory leader. “His experience leading the re-engineering of business processes and catalyzing change through technology is a strong addition to our solutions-focused client approach, especially as fintech continues to transform financial services.”

Before Deutsche Bank, Dennison was director of CFO program services for Credit Suisse and spent nine years at RBS Global Banking & Markets.

Hassler Admitted to Partnership at Herbein

Elizabeth F. Hassler

Elizabeth F. Hassler

Reading, Pa.-based Herbein + Company announced that Elizabeth F. Hassler has been admitted as a partner in the tax department.

Hassler works with federal and multistate tax return compliance, and tax planning for clients in a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution and technology. Her areas of expertise include closely held corporations, S corporations, partnerships and high-net-worth individuals.

She is heavily involved in working to streamline corporate tax technology at the firm and works to develop and maintain a strong internship program. She is a strong advocate on the importance of showing the younger generations of future accountants what a career could be like in accounting, and she believes that having a strong mentor is important to growth.

“Liz joined us in 2015 as an already-rising star, and within three short years she has embraced the role of a leader who inspires fellow team members and leads by example. She brings great enthusiasm and is well-known for her ability to bring people together on projects,” says COO and partner Michael J. Rowley.

CPAsNet Names New Regional Chairs

Robert Vawter

Robert Vawter

The board of directors for the accounting association CPAsNet has named Robert Vawter, MP of Vawter Gammon Norris & Company of Cordova, Tenn., as chair of the Asia Pacific and Japan international executive committee.

Additionally, Christina Tharp, CFO of Hamilton Tharp of Solana Beach, Calif., has been named chair of the Europe, the Middle East and Africa international executive committee.

Both will be responsible for the strategic planning of the organization’s international alliances with Auditrust International. CPAsNET’s partnership with Auditrust was conceived because of the increasing need of businesses that rely on their CPA firms to provide global resources and specialists. CPAsNET firms meet their client’s growing international demands by working within a system of international associates.

“Robert and Christina are well respected within the organization, profession and international community of trusted financial advisors. True trailblazers, they understand the importance of continued innovation and providing clients with the local, national and international perspective needed to prosper in challenging markets and times,” says Sarah Dobek, president of CPAsNET.

Bauknight Pietras & Stormer Admits New Partner

Ben Glenn

Bauknight Pietras & Stormer (FY17 net revenue of 9.8 million) of Columbia, S.C., announces it has admitted a new professional into its partnership group: Ben Glenn, who joined the firm 14 years ago.

The firm now employs 70 people, in part because of growing national expertise in the insurance industry. Glenn represents property and casualty companies and captives from the tax perspective.

He consults on the formation of new captive insurance companies, consulting on risk transfer and risk distribution matters key to the formation of a captive insurance enterprise. In addition, his experience includes successfully defending captive insurance companies in IRS examinations and submitting private letter ruling requests to the IRS.

Russell Bauknight

Managing shareholder, Russell Bauknight, says, “What makes the addition of Ben to the BPS leadership team and board of directors so gratifying is that he joined BPS 14 years ago and has focused his energy on client service and developing his leadership skills. Today, Ben is a highly sought-after consultant in the areas of captive insurance and telecommunications, which in turn has contributed to BPS’ growth.”

Glenn also advises individuals, corporations and partnerships on tax planning and compliance.

Anchin Block & Anchin Announces New Partner, New Subsidiary

Russell Safirstein

New York-based Anchin Block & Anchin LLP (FY17 net revenue of $104 million) has welcomed Russell Safirstein to the firm as PIC of its new subsidiary – Anchin Digital Risk Solutions LLC (ADRS).

Safirstein’s expertise centers on combining audit, accounting, risk compliance and technology to help clients.  into client solutions. He delivers and develops technology driven risk and compliance advisory and analytics-based services.

“After introducing our Redpoint Cybersecurity services a little over a year ago, we recognized that companies also need guidance when it comes to the efficiency and compliance aspects of their technology systems,” says MP Frank Schettino. “Bringing Russell in will help us broaden our significant industry expertise, particularly by leveraging his experience with financial services, management consulting and health care companies.”

Marc Newman, Associate MP says the new subsidiary “signals our commitment to continuously add crucial advisory services that will strengthen and differentiate Anchin’s value proposition.”

ADRS will provide privately held, middle market companies with services previously reserved for larger companies, the firm says. The team will bring technology solutions to companies in an underserved market that need guidance to meet the demands of risk management and audit, while maintaining profitability and achieving regulatory compliance.

Prior to joining Anchin, Safirstein was a partner with Prager Metis Technology, leading their AI and machine learning initiatives in addition to their cybersecurity and risk advisory practices.

Abbott Stringham & Lynch Announces Partner Promotions

Abbott Stringham & Lynch (FY17 net revenue of $21.8 million) of San Jose, Calif., announces that Jyothi Chillara has been admitted as a tax principal and Josh Cross has been admitted as an audit principal.

MP Ray Scheaffer welcomed Chillara and Cross to the partnership group. “Their expertise and exceptional leadership will continue to support and contribute to our firm’s growth and commitment to delivering superior quality and service.”

Chillara has more than 20 years of experience providing tax planning, compliance and consulting services to inbound and outbound business entities and high-net-worth individuals. Her area of emphasis is federal, state and international taxation of business entities (corporations and pass-through entities) and their owners. She has also worked in private industry and is an expert in serving the technology sector, manufacturing sector and services sector.

“I am excited to be a partner at ASL and be part of this incredible team,” says Chillara. “I am looking forward to developing the next generation of future leaders and contributing to the growth and success of the firm.”

Cross has more than 13 years of public accounting and audit experience serving privately held companies and nonprofit organizations, including those that are subject to U.S. Office of Management and Budget audit requirements. Privately held companies consist of engineering consulting firms, construction contractors, and manufacturing and distribution companies. He has also worked on review and compilation engagements and assisted with business consulting for closely held businesses.

“I believe you should strive for excellence in everything you do and the ASL partners and staff embody that philosophy,” says Cross.  “I am excited and proud to become a partner at ASL and I look forward to contributing to the continued success of the firm, our clients and our employees.”

DGN Admits Edward to Partnership

Trina B. Edwards

Trina B. Edwards

Dennis Gartland & Niergarth (FY17 net revenue of $7.4 million) of Traverse City, Mich., has announced that Trina B. Edwards has been admitted as an audit partner.

Edwards joined the firm in 2008 and has 24 years of experience in public accounting, including work with governmental entities such as county, city, township and village audits as well as non-profit entities. A member of DGN’s government/non-profit team, she is experienced auditing many grant funds through a variety of agencies.

Dennis Gartland & Niergarth is northern Michigan’s largest locally owned, full-service public accounting firm with nearly 50 staff.

Krachech Admitted as Tax Partner at Lane Gorman Trubitt

Shea Krachech

Shea Krachech

Lane Gorman Trubitt (FY17 net revenue of $20.6 million) of Dallas announced that Shea Krachech has been admitted as a tax partner.

MP Lee Ann Collins says, “LGT is proud to recognize excellence in Shea. She continues to set the highest standards for herself and her coworkers. Inviting new partners into the firm represents a significant investment of time and trust between all firm leaders.”

Krachech joined LGT in 2004 while finishing her bachelor’s of science degree in accounting at the University of North Texas. She has served in the LGT tax department ever since. She has extensive tax experience with an emphasis in both the construction and real estate industries. She is currently serving as the president of the Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).

Krachech says, “LGT has truly become a part of my family and I cannot imagine being anywhere else.  We have grown together and I look forward to many more years of growth.”

During her tenure with LGT, she has worked closely with construction and real estate industries and her current responsibilities include the preparation and review of individual, corporate and partnership income tax returns, as well as state income and franchise tax returns. She also supervises and trains current tax staff.

Jeff Phillips Joins Elefant Training

Jeff Phillips

Jeff Phillips, co-founder and CEO of recruitment platform Accountingfly, has joined Elefant Training as an advisor and investor.

Elefant Training is a technology and practice management training company that focuses on building modern accounting practices, and Phillips will provide guidance on strategies to address the critical need for accounting and bookkeeping staff with modern skills.

“Firms looking to scale must adopt and constantly review new technology, which means hiring tech-curious talent who know the latest apps, know accounting and know how to advise clients. These three-tool players are younger and they don’t want to work in a stale, traditional firm,” Phillips says in a statement on the Elefrant Training website.

Amanda Aguillard, founder of Elefant Training says, “In the two years since I founded Elefant, staffing has consistently been a sticking point as modern accounting firms are retooling their practices around cloud software and advisory services. The relationship between staffing and training is critical because the industry is changing so rapidly.”