Amoroso has a hand in some of the biggest and most influential businesses in the state. He became a member of the law firm Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi in 2015, where he practices corporate and securities law, handling commercial transactions and contract disputes. He’s the principal and founder of HJA Strategies, a consulting firm which has done legal work for the state’s intervention in some of the largest municipal financial emergencies, like in Atlantic City. And he’s done budget work for Newark’s local government, and its public school district, even hammering out a revenue-sharing deal years in the making between the city and the Jersey Devils, according to The Star Ledger. Amoroso headed budget and finance in the 2013 transition team of Jersey City then Mayor-elect Steven Fulop, and represented the Jersey City Redevelopment Authority in a political struggle with the local school district.
Artasanchez is a shareholder at WilkinGuttenplan, where she is described as an inspirational leader, having the ability to connect with all levels. She has also been invaluable in her role on the NJCPA State Taxation Task Force and has provided recommendations for various legislative initiatives, including helping to review and draft the pass-through entity bill proposed by Alan Sobel. Artasanchez’s clients include emerging and established businesses in the manufacturing, life sciences and pharma, professional service, real estate, technology, and food service industries, according to her firm. As part of WilkinGuttenplan’s International Tax Group she deals with multi-national businesses in Asia, Latin America and Europe and has helped clients manage the complex tax compliance requirements that stem from having a foreign affiliate.
As practice leader of the Withum’s Consumer Products Services Group, Bellomy is responsible for leading the firm’s strategy and growth within this market sector. He brings more than 25 years of experience in working with restaurants, food and beverage, and retail businesses to tackle a variety of business challenges. Local, regional and national companies seek Bellomy’s help to secure financing, maximize tax benefits, understand the continually changing regulations and code, and get their ducks in a row for mergers or acquisitions when business life cycles allow. As practice leader of Withum’s consumer products services group, he’s a go-to guy for restaurants, food and beverage companies, and retail businesses to tackle challenges head-on, like the current COVID-19 crisis. Nominated by an industry insider, he also brings added insight to his client’s with relevant business principles from his work in the construction, manufacturing, nonprofits and education industries. New Jersey Food Council President Linda Doherty called him an active leader on food insecurity issues and a support of the food association community.
James Blake, COO, Mazars LLP -Mazars USA’s 2019 “yearbook” was titled “Striking the balance,” and COO James Blake certainly exemplifies that concept. An accounting veteran with more than 25 years of experience, Blake is a member of the firm’s executive board and a business board member of Mazars Group. He is also chairman of the Praxity North America accounting and consulting alliance.He focuses on the middle market with a balanced set of clients that include domestic companies and global importers and exporters. Blake carries that balance over to his own management style, as he demonstrated in a 2019 interview with the Journal of Accountancy on promoting a culture of open communication and collaboration. “The tone starts at the top, and if we want our people to be open and receptive to feedback, leaders must embrace and be open to receiving feedback, too,” Blake noted. “We hre bright, smart staff who are used to having a voice, providing suggestions for new ideas, and sharing their views for how to get better. That means we have to learn to really listen to their feedback and, as much as possible, implement their feedback, too — just like we expect them to do.”
James Bourke Jr.
Bourke is managing director for Advisory Services at Withum. He is recognized for advances in the technological and digital space. In 2019, he won the NJBIZ Digi-Tech Innovator Award for enhancing overall productivity and performance at his firm. Bourke is said to be an invaluable member of the NJCPA since 1988, having been a past president and a former Monmouth/Ocean Chapter president. According to Withum, he is a sought-after speaker on issues involving technology, the profession and business advice. Bourke has keynoted and presented at conferences around the world to a variety of industry groups.
CohnReznick has established itself in the state for a complex and seemingly neverending cascade of changes that businesses have been forced to adapt to amidst a COVID-19, social distancing and tech-heavy workplace. And Brandley, who joined the firm more than 20 years ago, becoming a partner in 2007 at the Holmdel office, has been at the center of the accounting firm’s work around New Jersey. CohnReznick has been involved in a slew of issues playing out across the state, including economic development in downtown Newark, income tax reciprocity between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the federal opportunity zone tax break program. Brandley sits in a key position on the executive committee of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey – one of the largest in the state – and is part of a majority-women leadership team. The chamber has been one of the major advocates for businesses, be it the ways in which federal and state legislation could impact businesses – for better or for worse – how employers can navigate a COVID-19 workplace, and an array of other headaches that come with running a business.
Carpenter is a partner in the Livingston office of Citrin Cooperman where he serves as the New Jersey practice leader and co-chairman of the firm’s Cannabis Advisory Services Practice. One insider notes that while ordinary accountants are a dime a dozen, “Harry is a sought-after speaker.” This person says that Carpenter has helped develop business plans and strategy, and mastered the art of doing the taxes and books. “The other part is helping build the financial plan of a new busines,” the insider adds. “That’s where you become more of a power player. It’s not just an establishment company that does tax, but someone who is going to take a loose-knit group of partners and organizes their money properly and progressively so they can deal with all their state contradictions.”
Castellano took the top leadership role at BDO USA’s Woodbridge office in 2018, where he handles business growth and development. Before his 17 years at the firm, he spent several more serving at U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission -reporting companies, and brings with him the ins and outs of how to properly navigate government scrutiny and reporting. The professional services firm also works in retail and ecommerce – increasingly important fields as the COVID-19 pandemic and trends toward internet shopping puts further strain on big box retail chains, as well as mom and pop shops. BDO was particularly vocal on the nuances and challenges the minimum wage increase to $15 an hour could mean for the state for restaurant owners, and it could be influential as many employers struggle to stay open as the pandemic drags on.
Editor’s note: This profile was amended at 4:18 p.m. EST on Aug. 14, 2020, to update the subject’s prior work experience.
Chmura is the market leader for Withum’s outsourced accounting systems and solutions (OASyS) practice. Whether a company is looking for help selecting a new accounting system or requires a full suite of accounting resources from the CFO to the bookkeeper, her team assists businesses of all types with their internal accounting processes, and Chmura’s the one to make sure it goes smooths enough to keep the back office workflow running efficiently and effectively. One insider characterized her as “an engaged professional [and] a builder of relationships.” Additionally, Chmura works with startup and emerging growth companies to grow them into mature, national brands.
Christakos chairs the Accounting Department at Monmouth University. As a college professor, he encourages students to be their best and works to continually make improvements to the school’s accounting program. He created a Financial Planning Club and started the school on the path to having a Certified Financial Planning Board-approved program. Christakos also was selected to be the first non-Ph.D. department chair in recent history of the Leon Hess Business School.
Damiano has kept Sax LLP growing by maintaining a laser focus on a select market segment: closely held, family-run businesses. “We’d rather be really good in one segment,” according to Damiano, who’s been Sax’s managing partner since May 2015. The firm has about doubled its revenue under his guidance, pursuing a two-track growth model made up of organic expansion and M&A. Within its private-company niche, Damiano has pushed the firm to expand from core accounting services, diversifying into technology and other consulting, and wealth management, where Sax currently has more than $1 billion of assets under management. “We’re looking to achieve a balance where about half our revenue will come from core accounting, and the other 50 percent will come from advisory services,” he said. “Nothing stays the same, so we always need to prepare for change.”
Nicole M. DeRosa
DeRosa is tax manager at Withum and since being an NJCPA Scholarship winner in 2008, her contribution to the profession has been extensive. She was an NJCPA “30 Under 30” award winner in 2015, is the chair of the Emerging Leaders Council and is on the Content Advisory Board. In addition, she was an adjunct professor at Raritan Valley Community College and is a frequent speaker on tax issues. During the C0VID-19 shutdown, Nicole hosted a free weekly dance fitness class on Zoom, providing an outlet for more than 120 of her team members and fellow CPAs.
As a manager at SKC & Co. CPAs, Diaz is said to continually inspire her staff, clients, coworkers and members of the community at large. She serves on the executive committee of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business program and was selected as the accounting/tax expert for the organization’s “Ask the Expert” panel. Diaz was also recognized as an “Outstanding Coach” for the Girls on the Run charity program.
With 40 years in the industry and a decade focused on food and beverage clients, accounting is more about being a business advisor than anything else for Dorman. He runs the food and beverage practice at Mazars, looking at emerging concepts and helping clients grow their brands and connecting them to other professionals who would suit them—buyers, stores, marketing folks. Dorman is both well-connected and well-respected. He’s got a penchant for cultivating talent from below at Mazars, and told NJBIZ his legacy is the young accountants he brought into the practice when his smaller firm merged with Mazars 13 years ago. “It’s the seeds you sow,” Dorman said. “It was never about me.” At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he started a podcast called Food for Talk, a 30-minute weekly show during which he interviews New Jersey food industry hotshots like Food Council President Linda Doherty and Hoboken Farms owner Brad Finkel. Dorman is “emerging as leading role in all food matters, and his new podcast highlights the powerful voices of the industry as he tells their stories,” Doherty said.
Dvorak is a senior tax manager at Friedman LLP and was honored in NJCPA’s “30 under 30” list and 2019 Women to Watch lists. She has spent the last decade in many NJCPA roles including magazine author, chapter director and Emerging Leaders Council member. Currently, Dvorak is representing New Jersey on the AICPA Council. At Friedman, her expertise and leadership has been used on various firm tax committees.
Editor’s note: This profile was amended at 3:30 p.m. EST on July 22, 2020, to update the subject’s honors and activities.
Epp runs a large foodspace practice at EisnerAmper in Iselin with another NJBIZ Power 50 honoree, Howard Klein. He is a “skilled collaborator and engaged marketer at all levels for food business,” one insider noted. Epp is an audit partner and the partner-in-charge of EisnerAmper’s manufacturing and distribution group. He focuses on private companies in the middle market. Epp’s three decades of experience included the role of senior financial officer at a family enterprise, where he was the certifying financial officer for two publicly traded companies.
Evans brings more than 42 years of experience in corporate tax to his role as the partner-in-charge of Marks Paneth’s Parsippany office, specializing in tax issues affecting closely held businesses and their owners. He has served both public and private multinational companies in a wide range of industries including consumer business, technology, professional services firms, manufacturing, distribution, wholesale and retail. And Evans has assisted businesses with structuring and restructuring their operations through mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and expansion into both domestic and foreign markets. He is recognized for his expertise on tax matters and has written for and been interviewed by publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, USA Today Inc., Bottom Line for Business and Crain’s New York Business. Evans has been a featured guest on radio and television broadcasts including CNBC, CNN, Fox Business Cable Network and Smart Money TV’s Small Business webcast.
Filippelli is office managing partner in Roseland for Marcum LLP and is a member of the Real Estate Group. Her extensive experience in the real estate industry encompasses a full range of audit and consulting services to real estate owners, operators and developers, including financial statement audits, reviews, compilations for office, residential, retail, hotel, industrial properties, and investment companies. Filippelli also handles acquisition due diligence, special-purpose audits including operating expenses, certiorari and agreed-upon procedures reports. Before joining Marcum, Filippelli was a partner with Cornerstone Accounting Group LLP when the two firms merged in 2013. She is an active member of both the New Jersey State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and is also a member of the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF).
As Prager Metis CEO, Friedman became the go-to guy for M&A because he knows how to listen. “It’s all about how the parts of an M&A will fit in,” he said. “An M&A is like an iceberg, where the agreement itself only represents one-third of the whole thing. The remainder is how to transition together and move forward. You find that out by listening and understanding everyone’s needs.” Friedman — who’s also a partner in the firm’s Advisory Services and Tax departments — follows his own advice when it comes to the multiple M&As that Prager Metis itself has engaged in. Those moves helped propel the firm’s revenues more than fourfold since 2013, when Friedman moved into the top spot. He’s also adept at establishing a consensus among more than 100 Prager Metis partners and more than 500 employees across the world. “I help to establish a vision,” he noted, and then works diligently to get buy-in from everyone involved. “There’s a lot of moving parts involved with growing the firm.”
Goldstein is said to be a hands-on leader whose expertise in audit and accounting spans industries such as construction, manufacturing, real estate, professional organizations, medical, retail, electrical contracting, publishing, advertising, and banking. As the managing partner and Audit and Accounting Department chairman at Goldstein Lieberman & Co., Goldstein is responsible for issuing interpretations on Generally Accepted Auditing Standards and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. He heads the firm’s Construction Services Group providing financial and consulting services to the construction industry. In addition, he is a member of the firm’s Law Firm Services Group, responsible for the planning and coordination of financial reporting services for lawyers and law firms. He has served as chairman of the cooperation with the Bankers and Bar Association Committee for the New York State Society of CPAs for over a decade. His articles appear regularly in international, national and local publications.
Hochman is the New Jersey office market leader and executive committee member at Grassi. He brings more than 30 years of experience to the firm in tax planning and return preparation for corporations, individuals, and partnerships and represents clients before both federal and state taxing authorities. Hochman maintains a vast client base reflecting a wide spectrum of industries, including construction, manufacturing and distribution, and real estate. Working closely with the construction practice at Grassi, Hochman is said to have a clear understanding of the in-depth knowledge required for the unique accounting and tax requirements of the construction industry.