Sensiba San Filippo Mourns the Passing of its Founder

Steve San Filippo

Steve San Filippo

Pleasanton, Calif.-based Sensiba San Filippo (FY18 net revenue of $30.1 million) announces the passing of founder Steve San Filippo.

San Filippo died Oct. 9 at 67, leaving his wife, Julie, and his three children, Marisa, Dominic and Joseph.

Like most Silicon Valley business stories, SSF had humble origins starting in San Filippo’s home. Filippo’s big heart and humorous nature translated over 40 years later into one of the largest Northern California full service accounting firms with a firm culture so strong that it became California’s first accounting firm to become a certified B Corporation, the firm announced.

He was heavily involved in his community, working with many youth organizations and Serra High School San Mateo, the Sequoia Hospital Foundation and the Sequoia Hospital Board in Redwood City, among many others. Steve also served as planning commissioner for his adopted hometown of San Carlos.

As a business leader, he left a great legacy. As a friend and mentor, his loss is particularly profound.

“My friend Steve provided me an opportunity to have a wonderful professional career and a wonderful life. As a result of his entrepreneurial spirit, we now provide 200 other people and their families the same opportunity at SSF,” says MP John Sensiba. “We will carry on serving our families, communities and clients in his memory. There isn’t a way to fill the hole that is left by Steve’s passing. We will strive to honor his memory every day in the way that we treat others and the standards to which we hold ourselves. I miss my partner, my mentor and my friend.”

His memoriam page is viewable here.

Keiter Announced New Tax Leader

Vincent J. Nadder

Vincent J. Nadder

Keiter (FY17 net revenue of $26.9 million) of Glen Allen, Va., announces that Vincent J. Nadder has been named the firm’s practice leader of the tax department, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Nadder has over 24 years of experience in public accounting providing tax, consulting and accounting services to privately held companies. He serves on the firm’s executive committee and is PIC of the firm’s cost segregation services and historic rehabilitation tax credit services.

“Our firm has a solid reputation in the Virginia community for providing excellent tax and consulting services to both business and individual clients. As a result, we have seen tremendous growth over the past few years which I hope to continue during my tenure,” Nadder says.

In his new role, Nadder will oversee the strategic growth and development of Keiter’s tax department. This includes developing new opportunities for the department, marketing the firm’s services, identifying new professional development opportunities for the tax department team, and actively acquiring new talent.

Sobel & Co. Welcomes New Partner

David Capodanno

David Capodanno

Sobel & Co. of Livingston, N.J., has announced that David Capodanno has been admitted to the firm as a partner.

“Dave is a seasoned professional who has built his strong reputation in the tri-state area by combining technical expertise and business consulting to add real value for the business community,” says Alan Sobel, managing member of Sobel & Co. “We look forward to drawing on his expertise serving family-owned businesses in key industries including manufacturing, distribution, specifically companies in the food sector, in addition to logistics and real estate.”

Prior to joining Sobel, Capodanno’s career has spanned more than two decades as an audit and private business partner at international and regional public accounting firms. His background also includes a unique experience as the controller and principal accounting officer of a publicly traded company.

RSM Names National Leader of Blockchain Services

Jay Schulman

Jay Schulman

Chicago-based RSM US LLP (FY18 net revenue of $2.14 billion) announces that Jay Schulman, a principal based out of the firm’s Chicago office, has been named national leader of blockchain and cryptocurrency services for RSM US LLP.

In this role, Schulman is responsible for leading RSM’s efforts to help its clients account for the complex regulatory, tax and trade, auditability, risk and compliance implications related to global transactions and exchanges. He has authored numerous related articles designed to help middle market business leaders anticipate and address the unique issues and challenges facing their businesses and the industries in which they operate.

“At RSM, we understand that the pace of change in today’s increasingly global business environment creates unique challenges and opportunities for business leaders, particularly those in the middle market,” said Jeff Johannesen, chief strategy and innovation officer with RSM US LLP. “While large business leaders typically have the resources to anticipate and address evolving needs, middle market businesses often need the support of a trusted advisor, and that’s particularly true when it comes to major technological advances.”

Schulman says, “Blockchain is now a reality. At RSM, we have a unique understanding of how this and other emerging technologies and evolving regulations will impact the middle market.”

Two CPAs Win Innovation Awards

Two CPA firm leaders – one an early champion of blockchain services, another an advocate of artificial intelligence in the audit process – have been named recipients of CPA.com’s 2018 Innovative Practitioner Award, which recognizes innovation in process, services or technology implementation in public accounting.

The honorees are:

Samantha Bowling

Samantha Bowling

  • Samantha Bowling, partner, Garbelman Winslow of Upper Marlboro, Md. – Bowling is chair of the Maryland Association of CPAs. Bowling and her team of small firm practitioners are successfully integrating artificial intelligence (AI) in auditing for small businesses, nonprofits and local government. Using an external AI platform, the firm has improved the audit process and helped reduce the risk of material misstatements for its clients. As an early adopter, Bowling is providing valuable input to help make the technology more usable for other firms.
  • Jagruti Solanki, senior manager, Atlanta-based Aprio (FY17 net revenue of 85.1 million)Solanki helped launch the firm’s blockchain services group and has been instrumental in developing best practices for accounting and financial reporting related to the digital distributed ledger technology. Among other services, her team helps clients navigate blockchain implications for domestic and international accounting, as well as tax obstacles associated with tokenization, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency. Solanki is being admitted to the partnership next year in recognition of her leadership on initiatives such as blockchain that drive growth and profitability for the firm.
Jagruti Solanki

Jagruti Solanki

“Samantha and Jagruti define what being an innovative practitioner is all about: the ability to assess where the profession is going, incorporate emerging technologies to either imrove an existing service or launch a new one, and then successfully position the practitioner’s firm as a leader in that area,” says Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “Both blockchain and AI stand to make a big impact on the profession and our honorees are both advancing strategies around these technologies for their firm.”

Frabotta Receives Distinguished Service Award

Anthony P. Frabotta

Anthony P. Frabotta

Chicago-based UHY (FY17 net revenue of $140.8 million) announced that its chair and CEO, Anthony P. Frabotta, has been recognized with The Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to those who have made significant contributions to the accounting profession. Honorees have shown exceptional leadership and service, making a lasting impact in their industry and their communities.

“As a true advocate for the profession, Tony has mentored hundreds of young CPAs, both at the firm and on the campus of Wayne State,” says Guy Gordon, WJR radio host and the emcee for the night. “Beyond the profession, Tony is a strong supporter of Detroit and its surrounding communities through involvement in several area charities”

Frabotta helped establish UHY Cares, a nonprofit organization run exclusively by employees. Over the entirety of his 44-year career, he has been an outstanding leader in the MICPA family.

Runge Named COO of Elliott Davis

Greenville, S.C.-based Elliott Davis (FY18 net revenue of $119 million) announces that Luanne Runge has been named chief operating officer. She is based in the headquarters office, and will provide strategic guidance and oversight for the entire company.

“Luanne is a respected visionary who brings a wealth of experience in organizational leadership and operations management,” says Rick Davis, CEO of Elliott Davis. “Her knowledge, passion and drive will help to propel Elliott Davis to even greater heights as we fulfill our mission of making a positive impact on our clients, our people and our communities.”

As COO, Runge will serve on the firm’s executive leadership team and oversee all aspects of day-to-day operations. She will also work to ensure the company achieves objectives that align with the strategic business plan, budget and firm culture. In addition, Runge will serve as Elliott Davis’ human resources team leader and general counsel.

“The chance to join an organization that combines nearly 100 years of service excellence with a forward-leaning, entrepreneurial mindset is an incredible opportunity,” says Runge. “Elliott Davis has progressive plans for the future, and I look forward to helping the company achieve its goals while strengthening its position in the marketplace. I’m equally excited to work with a group that’s committed to making the communities in which it does business better places to live and work.”

Before joining Elliott Davis, Runge served as president and CEO of Liberty Fellowship, a statewide values-based leadership initiative affiliated with The Aspen Institute. For more than four years, she provided the leadership, management and operational oversight of all facets of the organization. Prior to Liberty Fellowship, Runge practiced law in Greenville with Gallivan, White & Boyd for 21 years.

IPA Spotlight On … Gary Wallace

Name: Gary Wallace

Gary Wallace

Title: MP-Elect

Firm: Glen Allen, Va.-based Keiter (FY17 net revenue of $27 million)

Accomplishments:

  • Elected MP to start in new role in January 2019.
  • Joined Keiter as partner in 2010 and currently leads tax practice and is member of executive committee.
  • Worked in public accounting for 30 years at KPMG and now Keiter. Has also served as CFO for a prominent family office.
  • Specializes in taxation, including transaction structuring and consulting with business owners.

You will take over as MP on January 1st. How are you preparing for the transition from Mike Gracik?

Our firm has taken a systematic approach to succession including my new role as managing partner. Our process began over a year ago and Mike has done a great job in preparing me with everything from “shadowing” to participating in key firm decisions. His approach has been very effective for me personally as well as with our team, clients and our community.

You haven’t ‘grown up’ professionally in accounting firms alone. Do you believe your private sector experience will aid you in guiding the future of Keiter? If so, why? What do you feel you need to learn about the profession?

My career in public accounting will be very valuable in leading our firm. I learned from many great leaders and role models as well as from working through my own situations. On-the-job experiences will significantly benefit me because I have gone through many of the decisions and life lessons that I may potentially face. However, my private sector experience as a CFO broadened my breadth of business understanding and was a great learning experience on how to operate a business. As a past CFO, I participated in business decisions, which will assist me with firm decisions at Keiter and will also give me a better understanding of our clients’ decision-making. The combination of public accounting and private industry experience provides a unique perspective for leading our firm.

What are your growth goals for Keiter?

Growth is important for our firm, primarily because it allows and provides rewarding opportunities for our current partners as well as our future leaders. I am enthusiastic about growing our practice areas and seeking new service opportunities to support our clients, as well as our people and community. Accounting firms are experiencing many changes, from technology to client needs. Embracing new opportunities comes with our entrepreneurial spirit and will guide us for our growth goals going forward.

You’ve said that one of your priorities as MP is to expand support to the Richmond, Va., community. What do you have in mind?

Keiter has a great reputation in our community. I hear the appreciation that our clients and community leaders have for us every day. I want us to be more focused on how our services and support makes a difference. Our community deserves our effort and our team feels the rewards from such support. There is no master plan to expanding our support. It’s simply to keep our clients and community top of mind as we conduct our business and volunteer our time.

Final thoughts?

Why do I look forward to this new opportunity? It’s simple. I am excited to be making a difference for our team, clients and community.

RSM Promotes 68 to Partner/Principal

Joe Adams

Chicago-based RSM (FY18 net revenue of $2.14 billion), the fifth largest accounting firm in the nation, has announced the promotion of 68 of its professionals to partner/principal roles.

“At RSM, we understand the importance of helping our people achieve both their professional and personal goals,” says Joe Adams, MP and CEO. “We are honored to welcome our new partners and principals. They have earned this next step in their careers through their unwavering focus on delivering the power of being understood to their clients, colleagues and the communities in which we operate, and I am eager to see their ongoing contributions as owners of RSM.”

The complete 2018 RSM class of partners and principals can be found here:

https://rsmus.com/newsroom/news-releases/2018/rsm-promotes-68-to-partnerprincipal.html

EisnerAmper Admits Four New Partners

New York-based EisnerAmper (FY18 net revenue of $360.7 million) has announced that it has admitted several new partners who have years of experience successfully serving clients, the firm and the accounting profession.

“As our firm continues to grow, both domestically and internationally, Katie, Blair, Michael and Lisë possess the essential attributes clients look for and need in a trusted business advisor: diversified business consulting expertise, leading-edge technical proficiency and superb interpersonal skills,” says EisnerAmper CEO Charly Weinstein.

The new partners are:

Katie Brandtjen – Brandtjen, part of the financial services group in San Francisco, has more than 10 years of experience providing tax compliance and consulting services to hedge funds, private equity funds, funds of funds, broker-dealers and investment advisors.

Blair Robbins – Robbins, part of the audit group in the Iselin, N.J., office, has more than 15 years of public accounting experience. He serves companies from growth-stage to mature corporations in both the public and private sectors. He leads audit engagements, manages client relationships, and consults with clients’ financial personnel, management and owners on various business issues. He leads the firm’s film production incentives practice.

Michael Sadler – Sadler, part of the financial services group in Syosset, N.Y., has 20 years of diverse tax and accounting experience. He specializes in tax issues relating to hedge funds and private equity funds. He provides tax planning and compliance services to both start-up and multibillion-dollar funds. He advises clients on tax efficient entity structuring, taxation of financial products and investment and trading strategies.

Lisë Stewart – Stewart, part of the private business services practice in Iselin, N.J., is the principal in charge of the firm’s Center for Family Business Excellence. She has more than 25 years of experience in organizational development, strategic planning and training, and human performance management. Co-founder and chair of the Galliard Family Business Advisor’s Institute, she is an NJBIZ “Best 50 Women in Business” and a Leading Women Entrepreneurs “Top 25 Leading Women Intrapreneur.”