Company Announcements: Week of April 9, 2012

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Natalie Protze, CPA, has joined the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) as a professional practice fellow. Formerly an audit senior manager in the Denver office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), Protze will help guide CAQ's professional practice and public policy activities during her eighteen-month fellowship. 

"We welcome Natalie to the CAQ team", said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli. "She brings an impressive background in public company auditing and will have a significant impact on our professional practice and public policy activities."

Protze has fourteen years of experience auditing large, multinational companies in the consumer products and manufacturing, distribution, and retail sectors. She has led large multidisciplinary engagements, including reviewing SEC filings, communicating with audit committees, and interacting with regulators. 

Protze earned a BS in business administration from State University of New York at Geneseo, and is a CPA in Colorado, North Carolina, and New Jersey.


Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA)a provider of international eDiscovery solutions, data protection advice, and forensic accounting services, has appointed JamesW. Barratt, CPA, CFF, CCEP, as partner and head of its Washington, DC office.

Barratt brings with him over twenty-five years of forensic accounting, corporate compliance, and investigative experience with blue chip, international companies. He has served as an SEC enforcement accountant, an interim chief compliance officer, and a corporate audit director, and is highly skilled in investigative work.

"Jim comes to us with an outstanding skill set that will further enhance FRA's offering in the United States", explained Frances McLeod, managing partner at FRA. "Some of Jim's experience is particularly relevant to our FRA client base. For example, he developed a corporate compliance function whilst serving as the interim chief compliance officer of Control Components Inc., a global manufacturing company that was facing a Department of Justice Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation. His role involved developing corporate compliance policies and conducting training on compliance and FCPA issues for over 400 employees in nine countries, including China, India, Korea, and Japan. 

Barratt commented further",My skill sets fits well with FRA, and I look forward to building on the success of the company internationally. FRA's geographic coverage, experience with multinational companies, and its expertise in eDiscovery and data protection and privacy issues set them apart. My involvement in coordinating and supervising multiyear, large-scale forensic accounting analyses and assisting internal and external counsel in SEC and the Department of Justice matters has given me unique and very relevant experience in this context."


Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, PC (LBMC), an accounting and business consulting firm in the Southeast, has added six members to its accounting and assurance services team in Nashville.

Andrew Usery, CPA, CMA, CFM, has been hired as a manager in accounting and assurance services. Usery's experience includes working with various industries, including manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, retail, construction, professional service, and employee benefit plans. He also has extensive experience in internal auditing and internal controls, including compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley. He has worked with a Big 4 accounting firm as well as another regional firm. Usery is a graduate of University of Tennessee, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. 

Chris Serck has joined the accounting and assurance department as a senior associate. Previously a staff member at Crowe Horwath, he has three years of accounting experience. His experience includes working with various industries, including health care, manufacturing, retail, construction, and professional service, working primarily in the areas of financial audits and employee benefit plans. Serck is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in economics, and he attended Middle Tennessee State University for additional accounting studies.

Leighton Smith has been hired as a staff member in accounting and assurance services. He is a graduate of Tennessee Tech University with both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in business administration. Previously, Smith was a certified pharmacy technician at Walgreens.

Ryan Johnson has joined the accounting and assurance department as a staff associate. A graduate of Lipscomb University with a bachelor's degree in accounting, Johnson is also an infantryman in the US Army. He was previously an intern at LBMC and is looking forward to working with familiar faces again.

Dena Jackson, CPA, has been added in a staff position in the accounting and assurance department. Previously a legislative auditor for the state of Tennessee, Jackson received her undergraduate from Maryville College and a master's degree from Middle Tennessee State University.

Staci Gatlin has joined the accounting and assurance department in a staff position. Originally from Rogersville, Alabama, she attended the University of North Alabama receiving her degree in accounting and computer information systems.

LBMC also has added two members to its tax services team in Nashville.

Jim Hare has been hired as a senior manager in tax services.  Hare previously worked for the IRS for forty years, with his most recent role being a team manager for the large business and international division.  Hare received his undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University.  

Michael Ganschow has joined the tax department as a staff associate. A graduate of the Lipscomb University with both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in accounting, he is looking forward to officially joining the LBMC team after previously serving as an intern.


Joanne S. Barry, CAE, executive director of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), has been named this year's Outstanding Association Executive by the New York Society of Association Executives. Barry will receive her award at the association's Annual Synergy Awards Luncheon and Celebration of Community Service on April 18th in New York City.

Winners of the Outstanding Association Executive Award, one of the association's Synergy Awards, are chosen based on several factors, including contributions to the management function of the nominee's organization; contributions to community professional, civic, charitable, and service organizations; and significant contributions to the association/not-for-profit management profession. Winners must also be current, regular members of the NYSAE and show that they actively support NYSAE's mission.

After a twenty-five-year communications career at the NYSSCPA, Barry became the organization's executive director in 2010. She previously served as acting executive director, deputy executive director, and in several communications management positions. 

Barry received a bachelor's degree in English literature with a journalism concentration from Montclair State University, and a master's degree in management and urban policy with a concentration in nonprofit management at the New School for Social Research in New York. 


Smith Elliott Kearns & Company (SEK&Co)announced it will be represented in 2012 on PKF North America (PKF NA) national committees. PKF NA is a membership association comprised of ninety-nine independent accounting and consulting firms in North America that share resources, such as education, client service, best practices, marketing, and various ranges of expertise.

John R. Schnitzer, CPA, managing member of the firm, was appointed to the Firm Management Committee. The purpose of the committee is to provide input, guidance, and recommendations to the PKF NA staff, board of directors, and members involved in the programs and initiatives involving firm management issues. In addition to serving as SEK&Co's managing member, Schnitzer provides consulting and business planning services to closely held businesses, manufacturers, contractors, and health care providers.

Kara M. Darlington, CPA, associate member of the firm, serves on the Employee Benefit Plans Community of Practice. Communities of Practice (COPs) provide a platform for PFK NA members to come together with others of similar interests to share vital niche-related information and resources. Darlington assists in the management of SEK&Co's employee benefit plan audit practice as well as provides audit services to local nonprofit organizations.

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