Company Announcements: Week of March 12, 2012

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A.T. LOCKE has added Tina Smerdon as an accounting analyst on the firm's fast-growing team. Smerdon has more than twenty years of experience in finance and accounting roles, most recently serving as CFO for a real estate investment company. She has worked in finance and accounting roles in a variety of industries.

She holds as AS in accounting from Greenville Technical College and will work with a variety of A.T. LOCKE clients from the firm's Greenville headquarters.

"Tina's education and experience have helped her to develop an eye for details while always managing to remain focused on the big picture of profitability", said Anna Locke, president of A.T. LOCKE. "Adding an experienced professional like Tina broadens our abilities and deepens our bench talent in supporting clients."


Steven Warren, managing partner of BKD's southern region, announced that Assistant Managing Partner Tom Watson was named managing partner of the firm's Dallas-Waco practice, effective January 1.

Watson is a twenty-year firm veteran who began his career at BKD as a staff intern in 1991 before taking a full-time position in the Little Rock, Arkansas, office the following year. Today, Watson is the industry leader for BKD National Health Care Group, which serves more than 3,200 clients throughout the country. Watson was elected partner in 2001, and he transferred to the Houston office in 2004. In 2010, he moved to BKD's Dallas office to help grow the firm's health care practice in that market.

"Firm leaders have been grooming Tom for this important leadership role for some time", Warren said. "He is a thought leader and ambassador of unmatched client service who is deeply committed to building BKD's brand in the Texas market."

Watson succeeds Managing Partner Larry King, who is stepping into a special role that will focus on strategic and business development initiatives in the Dallas market. King has served as managing partner of the Dallas practice and its predecessor firm, KBA Group LLP, for almost thirty years. King and Watson have been working together to fold Waco-based Parrish, Moody & Fikes, PC into the Dallas-Waco practice.

"I'm excited to be a part of the Dallas-Waco office and about the opportunity to build on the successes the office had under Larry's leadership", Watson said. "Together, we're looking forward to spreading the word about the BKD experience."

Neal Spencer, BKD CEO, has announced his intention to step down from the firm's top post around June 1. He is stepping down to spend more time with family and pursue other professional passions within the firm.

Spencer, who has served as CEO since June 1, 2007, will remain with BKD. After shifting his duties and responsibilities to the new CEO, he will assist in evaluating existing growth and service opportunities and pursuing new opportunities for the firm. BKD has a succession plan in place and is moving forward with identifying Spencer's successor.

Spencer has been responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the firm's nearly 2,000 personnel, including approximately 250 partners, in thirty offices who serve clients nationwide and internationally. He also has chaired the governing board, which sets firm policy and oversees strategic initiatives.


Citrin Cooperman Partner Brian J. Hoffman, CPA, CFE, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Mid-Atlantic Staffing Association (MASA). Effective March 1, 2012, Hoffman will serve as one of the eight members of the board's representatives. With more than twenty years of experience, Hoffman works with clients in a variety of industries, with a particular emphasis on serving closely held entities and professional service firms. As a CFE, he also provides litigation support and forensic expertise to law firms on issues such as damage assessments, employee theft, and divorce.

"MASA provides valuable educational, networking, and training programming to its members, which are much-needed services in today's challenging economy", Hoffman said. 

He is a magna cum laude graduate of Lehigh University's School of Business and Economics. 


Howard, Wershbale & Co. is pleased to announce the following promotions and new hires in its Cleveland office:

New Hires

Gary T. Dayton, CPA, CVA – Manager, Tax Services Group

Christina V. Luangrath – Staff Accountant, Tax Services Group

Kathy Loy, RN, CDONA/LTC, RAC-CT 3.0 – Senior Consultant, Health Care Advisors Group

Linda C. Lewis – Consultant, Health Care Advisors Group 

William Cope – Staff Accountant, Health Care Advisors Group

Audrey Cahn – Paraprofessional, Accounting & Auditing Group

Laura Bove – Staff Accountant, Accounting & Auditing Group

Ben A. Stumpf – Staff Accountant, Accounting & Auditing Group

Benjamin Whalley – Staff Accountant, Accounting & Auditing Group

Debbie Palmer – Staff Accountant, Accounting & Auditing Group

Shayna Raj – Staff Accountant, Accounting & Auditing Group


Linda S. Zevnik, CPA, CSA – to Senior Manager, Accounting & Auditing Group

Lindsay Glavan, CPA – to Manager, Health Care Advisors Group

Kate Protsenko-Blake, CPA – to Manager, Tax Services Group 

Melanie McPeak, CPA – to Manager, Tax Services Group


Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain, PC (LBMC) announced the recent addition of two top professionals to its Security Services team. Mark Burnette recently joined as a director and Craig Zimberg joined as a senior manager. Both Burnette and Zimberg are recognized by the Information Systems Security Association's (ISSA) Fellow Program as performing in the top 5 percent of the information security profession.

Mark Burnette, CPA, CISSP, CISA, has more than sixteen years of experience in information security and risk management, including key leadership roles with two of the Big 4 accounting firms, and nearly nine years as the Chief Information Security Officer for two publicly traded companies. Prior to joining LBMC, Burnette was president of a security consulting firm, MainNerve, Inc., where he received the 2010 Nashville Emerging Leader Award in Technology. He has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Carson-Newman College and a master of accountancy degree from the University of Tennessee.

Craig Zimberg, CPA, CISSP, CISA, CIA, brings over twelve years of information security and internal audit experience to the LBMC team; six years working with a Big 4 Accounting firm and six years as Executive Director of Corporate Security for BMI. Craig was named the Chief Information Security Officer of the Year by the Nashville Technology Council in October of 2011, and he recently finished a term as President of the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the ISSA. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and he earned his MBA at Auburn University. 

In addition, LBMC has added four members to its tax services team in Nashville:

Ashley Lassiter has been hired as a staff member in tax services. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a bachelor's of business administration in accounting. Lassiter previously interned with LBMC. 

Matthew Liskom has joined the sales and local tax (SALT) team. He brings experience in both SALT and OneSource software. Liskom is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a bachelor's degree in accounting. Prior to joining LBMC, he was a sales and use tax analyst with IBM.

Colt Sullivan, CPA, is a senior in the tax services team. His experience in public and corporate accounting includes FAS 109 and multistate tax issues. Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's degree in tax, both from Mississippi State University. Prior to joining LBMC, he was a tax analyst. 

Madison Vannoy is a staff member in tax services. She holds a bachelor's of business administration in accounting and finance from the University of Tennessee. Vannoy has internship experience with Dixon Hughes Goodman and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).


The accounting firm of StarkSchenkein, LLP has announced that Ed Schenkein, CPA, CVA, CFF, MBA, has recently been named as the chair of the SEC Committee for BKR International.

"I am honored to be part of an organization that provides such great support to the accounting industry", said Schenkein. "I am committed to help carry out the mission of BKR and will use this opportunity to grow on both a personal and professional level."

With over twenty years of experience in executive and leadership positions in the business and financial arenas, Schenkein serves as the director of the firm's audit department where he oversees financial statement audits, reviews, and compilations. In addition, as codirector of the business advisory practice, he guides public and privately held businesses through the various stages of their development. 


SuggsJohnson, LLC, a CPA and business consulting firm based, has announced the launch of its new website, strategically investing in an expanded online presence as it gears up for what firm leaders term "a commitment to expanded client capabilities and significant growth."

SuggsJohnson, formed in 2005, provides a range of tax, small business, and specialized consulting services to clients across the Southeast. 

"This website launch represents a significant step in our plans to expand our service to corporate, nonprofit, and individual clients across South Carolina and Georgia", said Gray Suggs, a firm partner who directed the website launch project. "By coupling our expanded web presence with integrated marketing programs, expanded client service capabilities, and the addition of new team members, we intend to dramatically accelerate our firm’s growth."


Weaver, an independent accounting firm in the Southwest, has announced that Bill G. Elms, CPA, was recently honored by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy for maintaining his Texas CPA license for fifty years. He was recognized at a special reception that took place prior to the recent swearing-in ceremony for recently licensed CPAs.

Elms began his career at Faris, Harris, Chapman and Marsh as a junior accountant. In 1968, Elms and George H. Marsh, who founded the former firm in 1938, formed Bill Elms & Company. The two firms merged in 1971, creating Elms, Faris & Company. Elms served as managing partner until 2005. Elms Faris merged with Weaver in 2010. Elms continues to work part time in the firm's Odessa office.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment for Bill", said Tommy D. Lawler, Weaver's managing partner and CEO. "He has garnered enormous respect from the Odessa and Midland business communities over the years. He continues to demonstrate the leadership traits that helped lead to the growth of his firm for many years. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated professional associated with Weaver."


Alan Goldfarb, CFP, director of wealth advisory services at Weaver Wealth Management, was recently honored as the recipient of the Legacy Builder category winner of Financial Planning magazine's Influencer Awards.

This annual award, chosen by the magazine's editors, honors innovative advisors whose ideas and work help lead the financial planning industry. The award is bestowed in six categories: Industry Contributor of the Year, Practice Management, Technology Innovator, Wealth Creator, Legacy Builder, and Lifetime Achievement.

"We are proud of Alan and his accomplishment of receiving this distinguished award", said David Sego, managing director of Weaver Wealth Management. "He is an outstanding advisor who provides quality services to our clients and represents our firm well in the marketplace."

Goldfarb has been a certified financial planner (CFP) professional since 1978 and serves as the chair of the CFP Board of Standards Board of Directors, the organization that awards CFP certifications to professionals who successfully complete the necessary certification requirements. He is the former chair of the CFP Board of Professional Review.

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