In her own words, WilkinGuttenplan shareholder Artasanchez – a partner in the tax department with more than 30 years of public accounting experience – is motivated by helping people succeed. And she does that using her extensive expertise to provide high-level tax consulting, strategic planning, and compliance services to closely held businesses and their owners. In the past, insiders have said “It’s not unusual to see her in the office and on the phone at 11:00 p.m., working right along with everyone else to make dead-lines.” Her purview also extends to mergers and acquisitions, and recently the leader worked on a large M&A transaction with a client that was acquired by a multinational com-pany. That also touches on her work as a part of the firm’s International Tax Group, and Artasanchez is experienced dealing with multinational businesses in Asia, Latin America and Europe. In addition to helping her clients – which operate in the manufacturing, life sciences and pharma, professional services, real estate, technology and food service industries – succeed, Artasanchez is committed to helping the firm’s members succeed. The Lean Six Sigma CPA Green Belt coaches many staff and managers to help them set and achieve their own career goals while also adding value to the firm.
As partner in WithumSmith +Brown’s Red Bank office with four decades of accounting experience, Bellomy leads the consumer products services group. Through his role, Bellomy works exclusively with restaurants, food and beverage, and retail clients, helping their businesses secure financing, maximum tax benefits, understand regulations and code, and complete mergers and acquisitions. Outside of consumer products, Bellomy has expertise in the industries of construction, distribution, manufacturing and professional ser-vices. Along with being a past vice president and current member of the Western Monmouth County Chamber of Commerce, Bellmony is also involved with the New Jersey Restaurant Association, the New Jersey Food Council and the Monmouth University Business and Industry Council.
As a partner with PwC and leader of the US Digital Assurance & Transparency practice, Bialick has helped clients build trust through periods of transformation. With more than 25 years at PwC, his experience in assurance services have helped multinational technology, telecom and financial services companies move forward with confidence. Bialick’s experience working with organizations at various stages of digital adoption has given him a unique perspective on the opportunities and risks associated with change in general. From cloud transformations to the integration of emerging technologies, whenever a company is doing something new or different, leaders need to understand and manage the risk they are operating in — Bialick and the PwC team help to provide that assurance.
As chief operating officer of Mazars, Blake focuses on the operations aspect of the firm’s strategic plans, overseeing a number of departments and functions, with an emphasis on people and performance. A mainstay on the Accounting Power 50 list, Blake brings more than 30 years of experience providing attest, tax and advisory services, primarily to privately owned businesses and private equity firms in the manufacturing and distribution sectors. He has been a member of the firm’s executive board for 12 years and has been a member of the POB Board at Mazars Global for over 10 years. Blake serves as the Praxity North American chairman, working with the leadership of various member firms. In addition to his service and accomplishments at Mazars, Blake is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, serving in leadership roles for both organizations. Last year, Blake received an NJCPA Ovation Award for Impact. The Mazars COO is also a high-ly-sought-after speaker at seminars, industry events and before professional associations, and a trusted voice within the state’s business community.
James Bourke keeps busy. Withum’s managing director for advisory services has been an active member of the NJCPA for decades, previously serving as president and as the former leader for the organization’s Monmouth/Ocean Chapter. And he is recognized for his advances in the technological and digital space. Accounting Today, in particular, drew attention to his work there, acknowledging Bourke as a “prime example of transformation from within” the industry when it comes to innovation, as opposed to drivers from outside vendors or sectors. Over the past year, he’s been tapped for numerous speaking engagements, including events for the International Federation of Accountants, California Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants/Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of CPAs.
Based in Citrin Cooperman’s Livingston office, Carpenter has co-led the firm’s cannabis advisory services practice for the last five years, working to ensure cannabusinesses have access to the same quality of financial services that non-cannabis companies do. Carpenter, along with his team, work daily to provide a wide range of accounting, tax, consulting and litigation services in the cannabis space across the U.S. and abroad. As a partner, he also works with clients from numerous other sectors, like manufacturing, distribution, staffing, real estate, construction, architecture, engineering and life sciences. Carpenter, who has over 20 years of experience in financial services, audits, reviews, compilation and consultation, has also made a name for himself as an expert panelist, speaking on cannabusiness-related topics, such as financial compliance and the licensure process, at industry-specific events hosted by organizations like the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association.
An assurance practice leader at BDO USA LLP, Castellano oversees day-to-day operational aspects of the national accounting and consulting firm’s local assurance practice at its offices in Woodbridge and Cherry Hill, which range from compliance to quality to people development. With more than 22 years of accounting, auditing and business advisory experience, Castellano has served both public and private companies throughout the U.S. and internationally across numerous industries, particularly retail and consumer products. His extensive background also includes serving U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting companies. At BDO, Castellano acts as lead audit partner on several public company engagements, working on complex matters like public debt offerings, equity offerings and debt restructuring.
A tax partner at Christakos & Co. PC for more than 30 years, and a senior investment advisor at Westfield Wealth Management LLC for 20-plus years, Christakos bridges the gap between practice and theory as an accounting and wealth management professor at Seton Hall University. He has previously been hailed as a top accounting professor, and has been recognized by organizations like the NJCPA, which previously named him Volunteer of the Year and honored him with an Exceptional Educator Ovation Award. Christakos is highly ranked and respected by students, according to insiders, who say he brings “a real-world view of accounting” to university classes.
Damiano leads Sax LLP as CEO and managing partner. Over the past few years, the more than 65-year-old firm launched a redesigned website and made the move to a brand-new office space in Parsippany to help it “attract the next generation of professional talent,” according to the leader. And the firm certainly seems poised to do so in other respects, as well. In March, Accounting Today named Sax No. 68 on the top 100 CPA firms nationwide – just one of three based in the state to make the list – marking a 19-spot leap from its previous ranking. Additionally, the firm was recognized as No. 13 in the Mid-Atlantic region and the No. 6 fastest growing in the U.S. That position was achieved with the help of a 48.1% revenue increase to $82.2 million for 2022, according to that publication. The size of the team also grew considerably, going up by more than 43% to 269 professionals. Recently, part of that growth has come from the addition of four New York-based firms in 2022. Announcing the final piece of that foursome, Damiano said that “Completing four mergers in six months has been no easy feat for our firm. While expanding through strategic partnerships is a consistent growth goal we strive for, the most important factor is finding firms that align with our values and can easily fold into our operations.” The firm doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon, either. Last fall, Sax’s reach went worldwide with the opening of an office in Mumbai, India. And in 2023, Sax continues to add professionals to its team, including expanding its c-suite with a new CFO.
As a partner at Citrin Cooperman in Livingston, Derco brings expertise in a number of sectors, serving as the firm’s Construction Practice co-leader, as well as the Manufacturing and Distribution Practice co-leader in the New Jersey market. He specializes in strategic planning for companies and their shareholders, working to minimize taxable income and reduce risk exposure while maximizing profitability and future growth. In addition to being honored on lists such as these, Derco has authored a number of articles for various publications and has been a featured speaker at seminars and conferences. Derco is a member of groups such as the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Subcontractors Association of New Jersey, Surety Association of New Jersey, and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey. He has also served on the board of the directors and as past president of the Construction Financial Management Association. According to his firm, Derco is a trusted advisor who maintains a diverse client base comprised of closely held companies and high-net worth individuals.
“A CPA can act as a buffer between the individual and their business, and the IRS, and we ensure that the taxpayer only answers what is absolutely necessary,” DeRosa told NJBIZ last year. In her role as partner and senior tax manager for Florham Park’s Wiss & Co. LLP, DeRosa is a valuable resource for “all things tax.” A Power 50 honoree the last few years, she brings more than 15 years of public accounting experience, specializing in taxation for closely held businesses and individuals. Last year, DeRosa was honored as an NJCPA Ovation Award winner for Impact. In addition to working with clients in a variety of sectors, she teaches various continuing education courses for Surgent CPE and AICPA. For the 2023/24 term, DeRosa is serving on the NJCPA board of trustees. And DeRosa is Zumba Fitness instructor, who hosted a free weekly Zoom class to provide an outlet for team members during the pandemic.
Diaz has been a partner at SKC & Co. CPAs since 2020. She specializes in working with entrepreneurs, focusing on developing relationships with her clients to ensures that their personal goals are in line with their business outcomes. Within SKC, Diaz aligns with the majority-women firm’s culture, acting as a mentor, and embracing flextime arrangements, in-house day care, unlimited PTO — during busy season — and other programs that enable employees to get work done without sacrificing time with family and other loved ones. Business groups and accounting publications frequently seek her out for her expertise and perspective. Diaz is very active in the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and New Jersey Business & Industry Association, often called upon to speak to business groups and is a contributor to publications. In addition to volunteering with several community organizations, Andrea serves on the board of Girls on the Run NJ East.
A national sector leader for leading audit, tax and advisory firm Mazars USA LLP’s Food & Beverage group, Dorman has over 40 years of experience serving clients in the sector at all levels of the supply chain, providing advisory, accounting and tax service. Based in the firm’s Edison office, Dorman is responsible for leading a team of 20 professionals providing tax and accounting services to around 250 clients in the food and beverage space, such as importers, manufacturers, distributors, exporters, food service, and retail and restaurants, including franchisors and franchisees. Dorman – a member of several trade groups, such as the New Jersey Food Council the New Jersey Food Processors Association – also strives to provide connectivity and thought leadership to the F&B sector through speaking engagements, podcasts and other outreach efforts.
An assistant professor at Saint Peters University’s Frank J. Guarini School of Business, D’Souza is a CPA with an MBA in accounting from The George Washington University. As a professional in public accounting, she served clients in the tax technology space. D’Souza is a former Jesuit Volunteer, who is passionate about classroom-to-career readiness for her students at Saint Peter’s, the Jesuit university of New Jersey. She creates original written and video content about accounting, tax and technology, and class-room-to-career readiness for aspiring CPAs at Dsouza.cpa, and weaves it into her classroom instruction and on-campus advising. She also has a fiscal literacy platform at CivicParent.org, which aims to educate and raise awareness around public finance, property tax, municipal budgets and school funding. D’Souza works to help her students pursue an accounting education and eventually earn their CPA. She has been instrumental in an innovative “Work for Credit” pilot program between Saint Peter’s and PwC that just completed its first year. As part of the program, six Saint Peter’s accounting students worked at PwC the entire school year, earning the final 30 college credits needed for CPA licensure, gaining invaluable work experience and earning an income.
The pair founded Florham Park’s Untracht Early when they were both in their early 30s, expanded it to three locations serving high-profile clients – high net worth individuals and those in the alternative investment space – competing with firms much larger than their own for this work, and often winning it. Their efforts paid off in a big way last August when Citrin Cooperman announced it would acquire Untracht Early and bring its 150 partners and staff into the fold. At the time, the buyer’s leaders said that Untracht Early’s hedge fund and alternative investment work aligns with their own established financial services practices. “We are excited to welcome the incredible people and skills of the Untracht Early team,” said Citrin Cooperman CEO Alan Badey in a statement. “Their deep expertise along with their strong relationships expands our capabilities in a truly impactful way.” Added Citrin Cooperman Executive Chairman Joel Cooperman: “I have watched the impressive growth of Untracht Early for the past two decades. Tracey, David, and their partners have done a remarkable job building their firm and its reputation. Besides their technical skills, Tracey, David, and many of their people will play a significant role in our firm’s leadership.”
As Mazars USA LLP office managing partner — New Jersey, Ferreira delivers accounting and tax services to privately held businesses spanning a range of industries. She also provides tax advisory and estate and gift strategies to individuals, business owners and family groups. Ferreira has more than 20 years of experience encompassing tax planning and business consulting services, which is augmented by her solid background in individual, corporate, partnership, and LLC tax issues. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Rutgers University, and a Master of Science in Taxation from Rutgers Graduate School of Business. As a proactive leader, mentor and trusted advisor, she works collaboratively with local community leaders in growing businesses throughout the state. She is also active with the New Jersey CPA Political Action Committee. In addition, Ferreira has been an active volunteer in her local church, and has visited Mexico multiple times to work with underprivileged children.
As CEO of Prager Metis, which counts three offices in New Jersey among its 23 locations, Friedman leads a team of more than 100 partners and principals and 600 team members. Never satisfied with “good enough,” the Middlesex County resident co-launched the practice that became Prager Metis in January 1987. The firm is future-focused, last year becoming the first CPA office in the Metaverse. At the time, Friedman wrote that he saw the space “as a place where virtual business meets traditional business,” adding that there were customers in search of counsel there, as in the physical world. In addition to operating in new spaces, Friedman is keen on tackling the challenges that confront the industry, particularly when it comes to building and attracting talent. “The world has changed. People have changed. Technology has changed. Accept it and get over it,” he encouraged senior leaders in a post on Prager Metis’s website about how to bridge the growing recruitment gap in the industry. And while its ultimate impact may yet be deter-mined, Prager Metis being tapped to audit FTX’s 2021 financial results (along with Armanino LLP) does speak to its position of power in the digital space, even if the firm hasn’t commented on it publicly. “Everyone has a plan until they get punched I the face,” Friedman wrote this year, quoting Mike Tyson in that aforementioned recruitment piece, “I can’t tell you how many times I was punched in the face, especially early in my career, and I can all but guarantee it will happen to every new CPA.” But, if you’re excited about what you do “every single day,” he continued, a steadfast commitment to the work can help you to learn from such hits. It’s that passion that lends itself to build power to “per-severe through failure and adversity.”
“Never stop learning and developing,” Gearty, who founded Florham Park’s Gearty & McIntyre in 1981 and serves as managing partner, offers as words of wisdom to current CPAs. “The best investment you can ever make is in your own education and training.” The firm specializes in a number of areas for clients that include Fortune 500 companies. In addition to the work at the firm he founded, Gearty serves as editor-in-chief and national lead instructor for Becker, a global CPA exam-prep leader. Known as the “Dean of CPA Review,” Gearty is passionate about helping young accounting professionals pass the CPA Exam and providing CPE to help accountants advance their careers. He advises students to believe in their own ability and to never fear a challenge because it is an opportunity to grow and improve. At Becker, Gearty oversees thousands of CPA candidates each year. His favorite aspects of the role include teaching ethics courses and improving the CPA curriculum for future accountants. He is also at the forefront of efforts to prepare and mobilize Becker for exam changes that are scheduled to be implemented in January.
Ghafoor is associate director, FP&A Global Vaccines for Merck, where she’s worked for five years and has already held three different titles, most recently associate director of Global Finance Talent. Ghafoor, who joined the Rahway company following nearly eight years with EisnerAmper, also plays an active role in the Global Services Women’s Net-work with Merck and takes part in meetings with the Regional Talent Committees, which aim to support talent development across regions. Her work to uplift is also exhibited by her membership on the NABA Inc. Northern New Jersey Chapter executive board – and recently she was on hand in New Orleans as part of a team representing Merck at the National Association of Black Accountants’ national expo – and through other volunteer efforts. In 2021, she was among 40 Certified Public Accountants in the U.S. under the age of 40 who were recognized by the Black CPA Centennial for advancing diversity and inclusion across the CPA profession and impacting the community. That commitment to helping others connects back to her commitment to the accounting profession. According to her, choosing accounting was the best decision she’s made for her career. “Becoming a CPA is not an easy thing to do,” she said in an internal Merck publication. “It requires a lot of studying, testing. But it’s taught me a lot and opened doors for me. And obtaining my CPA gave me confidence—and gives others confidence in me.”
Sally Glick was a principal at SobelCo and its chief growth strategist before the firm’s acquisition by CLA and is now a business development adviser and a brand ambassador in the combined entity’s Livingston office. She has said her prior work as chief marketing officer – a role she spent more than a decade in – evolved as she made her own path. That path led her to holding distinctions as SobelCo’s first woman partner and first non-chargeable partner. Beyond that, Glick served on the board of the Association of Corporate Growth-NJ, an organization for middle market M&A dealmakers and business leaders focused on driving growth. She was recognized by CIANJ with an Enterprising Women in Commerce Award and took home an NBIZ ICON Award, both in 2021. In a publication recognizing the former achievement, Glick touched on her status as someone that every-one knows and the way it’s affected her work. “I believe that my passion for people has been the greatest advantage in my career–more important to my success than any specific marketing or business development technical skills,” she said.
One of the most widely respected CPAs in the industry, Goldstein is the chief executive officer of Mahwah-based Goldstein Lieberman & Co., one of the largest full service ac-counting and business advisory firms in North Jersey and New York’s Hudson Valley. A hands-on leader with extensive experience in accounting spaces, such as construction, manufacturing, real estate, medical and retail, Goldstein directly supervises a team of CPAs who support clients ranging from startups to international companies, with a particular focus on helping businesses that have lost their way financially. Additionally, Goldstein heads the firm’s construction services group, is a member of the law firm services group, and is responsible for the planning and coordination of financial reporting services. Goldstein is also a sought-after speaker, regularly addressing large organizations and nationally known groups, as well as an author whose articles routinely appear in local, national and international outlets. Earlier this year, Goldstein Lieberman – which is considered one of the fastest-growing firms in the region – completed a merger with Mount Kisco-headquartered Segan and Garbuio CPAs.
Hochman, a partner at Grassi where he serves as the co-leader of the New Jersey Market, brings more than 35 years of experience to the table, guiding his clients through major life events, including business startups, mergers and acquisitions, business exits, litigation matters, retirement and more. His leadership roles include sitting on the firm’s Executive Committee for seven years. Hochman’s work spans the spectrum with experience in tax planning and return preparation for corporations, individuals and partnerships, maintaining a vast client base in a wide array of sectors including construction, manufacturing and distribution, and real estate. He also serves as a consultant to the litigation support practice on issues such as marriage disputes, bankruptcy, and estates. In addition to his professional work, Hochman serves on a number of organizations, including the board of directors for the Jewish Home Foundation of North Jersey, and is a past board member of the United Way of Rockland County. He is also a member of the NJSCPA, AICPA, STA, NJSA, UTCA, CFMA and CCA. He is a sought-after expert in his field and an important voice in the Garden State accounting and broader business communities.
Hunt is a senior in the nonprofit practice at CLA. His primary focus is helping clients with financial reporting, accounting, and business strategy-related questions. Hunt’s pur-pose, or “why,” is to ensure that the nonprofit organizations he serves are able to fulfill their mission. To accomplish this, he focuses on encouraging them to maximize the re-sources available and identifying ways for them to expand their impact. He is dedicated to assisting nonprofits in telling their stories, gaining friends and funders, and achieving their objectives. He is a contributor to many nonprofits and serves as a board member of the Morristown chapter of the Salvation Army. Along with his unparalleled commitment to the nonprofit community, Hunt is an advocate for the accounting profession and continuously reaches out to engage other young and emerging leaders to enrich their own careers. With this in mind, he has developed a passion for the future of the accounting profession as he addresses the challenges ahead while helping people discover and pursue a career as a CPA. An active participant in the NJCPA since 2018, Hunt was appointed to the Emerging Leaders Council and founded the NJCPA Book Club. In both 2021 and 2022 he was recognized with the NJCPA Ovation Award in the Emerging Leader category. Hunt continues to seek out ways to support many audiences—including the clients he serves, his colleagues at CLA, young professionals, a wide range of nonprofit organizations, the CPA profession and the NJCPA Society.