Deloitte Taps Asif Dhar to Lead U.S. Life Sciences and Health Care Practice

Asif Dhar

New York-based Big 4 firm Deloitte has appointed Asif Dhar to lead the firm’s U.S. life sciences and health care practice. He succeeds Doug Beaudoin, who recently became the firm’s CIO.

In his more than 10 years with Deloitte, Dhar has held positions as the firm’s federal health solutions leader and the life sciences and health care practice’s chief health informatics officer. In his new position, Dhar will lead overall strategic direction and implement go-to-market strategies for the practice’s more than 10,000 practitioners.

“Asif’s passion for the industry and his experience delivering the breadth and depth of Deloitte to solve complex business challenges makes him ideally suited for this role,” says Seema Pajula, vice chairman and U.S. industries and insights leader for Deloitte. “With his deep knowledge of both the life sciences and health care industries, I am confident in his ability to lead through today’s tumultuous times and bring pragmatic, implementable solutions to our clients.”

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Deloitte’s recent CFO survey

Bessolo Haworth Admits Sasha Baluka

Sasha Baluka

Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Bessolo Haworth has admitted Sasha Baluka as a partner. In her new role, Baluka will continue to manage some of the firm’s largest clients and will now also work with the firm’s partners to manage and lead the organization.

“This was the perfect time to promote Sasha to partner,” says MP Larry Haworth. “In addition to her expertise in the manufacturing, retail and distribution segments, Sasha is a leader who works collaboratively with staff and others to ensure an exceptional level of client service.”

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MFA Admits Kristen Godsoe

Kristen Godsoe

Boston-based The MFA Companies has admitted Kristen Godsoe as a partner to lead the firm’s SEC audit practice.

In nearly four years with MFA, Godsoe has consulted with a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies regarding U.S. GAAP and SEC financial reporting, strategic audit planning, performance improvement and internal controls. Prior to joining MFA, she spent more than 10 years with KPMG’s consumer and industrial manufacturing practice, specializing in the planning and completion of global SEC audits.

“Not only is Kristen technically skilled, but she personifies what we look for in a natural leader at MFA,” says MP Carl Famiglietti. “Her poise, pragmatism and determination enhance the culture within the firm and reflect her fundamental desire to provide unparalleled service and support to our growing customer base.”

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Andrew Bissonnette to Lead Health Care Practice for LBMC

Andrew Bissonnette

Andrew Bissonnette has been selected to lead the health care practice for Brentwood, Tenn.-based IPA 100 firm LBMC. He succeeds Greg Eli, who will continue to play a key advisory role in the firm.

Bissonnette is a shareholder in the firm and brings to this role more than 20 years of health care advisory experience. He has been involved in health care-related audit and assurance services across a wide variety of specialties, including both for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals, behavioral health and long-term care.

“Congratulations to Andrew, and I want to thank Greg for his outstanding achievements and contributions to LBMC’s health care practice and the firm overall,” says CEO Jeff Drummonds. “I cannot think of a better successor than Andrew, and I look forward to continuing to work with him as he drives the health care practice forward.”

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PKF O’Connor Davies Admits Bruce Desrosiers as Partner

Bruce Desrosiers

New York-based PKF O’Connor Davies, an IPA 100 firm, has admitted Bruce Desrosiers as a partner in the firm’s tax practice.

Desrosiers has 25 years of experience working on complex tax and compliance issues, with expertise in the areas of estates and trusts, income tax compliance, cost-segregation analysis and estate administration. He began his career at a Big 4 firm and more recently served as tax partner and director of tax services for noted accounting and advisory firms in Providence, R.I.

“Bruce has built his career on delivering solutions clients depend on to minimize tax impact and anticipate and address compliance challenges,” says Ned McCrory, PIC of the firm’s Rhode Island office. “As the world gets a little more uncertain every day, he’s exactly the kind of expert we’re looking to add to our strong tax team in Rhode Island and beyond.”

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Leaders Need to Listen to the Brain to Engage Employees in Uncertain Times

Plenty of ink has been spilled and Zoom bandwidth occupied over the past few months with ideas about how to keep employees safe and productive during the pandemic. Most of the information out there, however, has been largely built on traditional business concepts and principles, when the notion of employee engagement may in fact be better served in the same way that other aspects of this crisis have been – by listening to the science.

That’s the angle that E3 Solutions CEO and past IPA PRIME Symposium keynote speaker Don Rheem took in his recent IPA webinar “Engaging Employees in Uncertain Times.”

Rheem says the stresses and isolation brought on by the pandemic will have a serious impact on employee engagement, which Rheem defines as an employee’s willingness to freely give discretionary effort. In other words, the less engaged someone is, the less likely he or she is to go above and beyond; employees may manage to remain productive throughout this crisis, but they’re unlikely to excel.

Why? Rheem says it’s because humans inherently feel safer in groups – with the work tribe being one of the most common. Without a sense of team and togetherness that they get in communal office settings, employees are less likely to have confidence and may not perform at their very best – particularly when many may be grappling with the mental health effects of the current situation, such as unfamiliar remote work, isolation, family stressors, time management challenges and more.

Leaders and frontline managers can help, Rheem believes, by being as consistent and predictable as possible, since these, according to Rheem are two of the most important needs employees look for to feel secure. Consistency should take the form of more validation and recognition, while predictability is best demonstrated through a greater emphasis on ongoing feedback and support. This is where frontline managers need to excel, since 70% of employee engagement is related to an employee’s direct manager/report.

Rheem believes the importance of emotion cannot be understated during this pandemic, or any crisis, since emotion serves as the internal GPS in human beings, guiding actions, behaviors and thoughts. As the COVID-19 crisis slowly pans out, he says it’s critical for leaders to acknowledge the stress employees may be feeling and to not dismiss the very real sense of fear that they may be experiencing.

Some important messages to convey during this, and any crisis include continued reassurance, encouragement, connections, clarity and consistency. Supportive leaders can demonstrate these qualities by being inquisitive listeners through conversational support, while also offering the tactical support of real-world solutions like family care, technological resources, home office assistance and work reallocation. The result will be employees will feel supported, heard and secure – and will be more engaged as a result.

“The future of work will be determined more by how it feels than what it pays,” Rheem says.

BerryDunn Announces Promotions

Todd Desjardins

Portland, Maine-based BerryDunn, an IPA 100 firm, has promoted Todd Desjardins to quality assurance principal effective July 1, a role he assumes from Tracy Harding, who is now chair of the AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board. A principal in the firm’s financial services group, Desjardins provides audit, accounting and consulting services to financial institutions, broker dealers and employee benefit plans.

“Todd’s dedication to our clients, and his vast knowledge and understanding of accounting principles and standards will serve him well in this important role,” says MP John Chandler.

The firm also admitted Mike Mastroianni, Rob Smalley and Dan Vogt as principals.

Mastroianni is a member of the tax consulting and compliance group, leading the firm’s state and local tax (SALT) group. Smalley is a 17-year veteran of the firm with extensive experience providing audit, accounting and consulting services to financial institutions and governmental organizations. Vogt leads health care clients in planning for, selecting and implementing new technologies, business practices, workflow and strategy.

The firm has also elected Dave Erb to a second three-year term on the management committee effective July 1.

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Ryan Campbell Admitted at Anglin Reichmann Armstrong

Ryan Campbell

Huntsville, Ala.-based Anglin Reichmann Armstrong, an IPA 400 firm, has admitted Ryan Campbell as PIC in the firm’s Pensacola, Fla., office, effective July 15. He takes over for partner Donna Bloomer, who will transition to managing the firm’s estate and trust taxation and planning practice.

A 17-year veteran of the firm, Campbell has experience in industries including manufacturing, construction, government contracting, health care and real estate, with specializations in CFO and outsourced accounting advisory services, R&D credits, business valuations and accounting systems.

“As we look at the future of our firm and the growth potential in Huntsville and Pensacola, we want Donna to have more time to devote to client relations and sustaining our strength with individual and family estate work for years to come,” says MP Gary Anglin. “Ryan’s promotion represents our next generation of leaders who can explore new opportunities in the market.”

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Blackman & Sloop Admits Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

Blackman & Sloop of Chapel Hill, N.C., has admitted Ben Johnson as a principal.

Johnson joined the firm in 2012 and most recently served as a senior manager, providing trust and estate services to high-net-worth individuals. In his new role, he will continue to lead and expand the trust and estate department.

“Ben’s achievements over the years have been proof of his dedication to our clients,” says president and MP Andrea Woodell Eason. “He performs every task with a positive attitude that is contagious to those around him.”

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MNP Acquires Outsourced IT Company Next Digital

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP is set to acquire outsourced IT service and support company Next Digital effective Aug. 1.

Focusing on areas in Alberta and western Canada, Next Digital’s services include managed IT, hardware and software procurement, IT project management, data protection and cloud services. Next Digital’s Andrew Jackson, Shawn Kubiski and John McLaughlin will join MNP as partners.

“The needs of Canadian organizations are quickly evolving in this dynamic environment, and we are constantly working with our clients to better understand how we can best support them,” says Sean Devin, national leader of MNP’s technology solutions practice. “This merger reflects our commitment to always look for new ways, including the use of new technologies, to help our clients reach their full potential.”

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