Ash Ahluwalia, MBA, NSSA, CSSCS, CFP: Ash Ahluwalia is the founder and President of National Social Security Partners, LLC, ("NSSP"), the nation's leading social security planning firm. NSSP works in collaboration with other professionals such as financial advisors, CPAs, and attorneys to help clients navigate the complexitities of social security and maximize benefits.
He received the “National Social Security Advisor of the Year” award in 2016 from the National Social Security Association. He has built a significant practice advising clients on how to maximize their eligible Social Security retirement benefits. He is one of only a few advisors in the nation who has obtained both the Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS) designation and the National Social Security Advisor (NSSA) designation.
Mr. Ahluwalia is one of the nation’s foremost experts on social security and is a highly sought after speaker at conferences and industry events. He also provides CPE and CLE credit for his training programs specifically tailored to legal and accounting professionals.
He has worked in the financial services business for over 25 years, focusing on financial and retirement planning for individuals and business owners.
After graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, he obtained his Chartered Accounting degree (a Canadian CPA). He then went on to obtain an MBA from Wharton Business School. He has also obtained his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
Rachel Anevski, PHR, MAOB: Rachel L. Anevski, M.A.O.B., PHR, SHRM-CP, is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Matters of Management, LLC. Rachel has held executive roles in Marketing, Business Development and Human Capital for mid-size and large professional services firms. She has spent her career working alongside business owners and managing partners carrying out firm missions, acquiring talent and providing coaching to executives, management and staff. Consulting engagements have consisted of organizational redesign of operations and infrastructure, personnel programming, senior talent acquisition, total benefit and rewards systems, policy and procedure manuals, and providing business development coaching training. She has also written strategic plans, marketing and niche plans and coached business owners and employees on performance matters as well as how to obtain new clients in a changed economy. She is certified in Human Resources, has a Masters Degree in Organizational Behavior from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an undergraduate degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Frank R. Boutillette, CPA, CGMA, ABV:
Frank Boutillette, CPA/ABV, CGMA is a partner based in Withum’s New York office and has over 25 years of accounting and auditing experience. He is a licensed certified public accountant in the states of New York and New Jersey and specializes in accounting and auditing and business valuation services. Frank is a member of Withum’s Financial Services & Investment Group and has a great deal of experience working with investment companies (hedge funds, mutual funds and ETFs), broker-dealers, private equity and venture capital funds, registered investment advisors and closely-held businesses. He also performs peer and quality reviews of CPA firms.
A graduate of Rutgers University, Newark, he received his BA degree in accounting. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA), where he served as president of the organization (2015/16). Mr. Boutillette is also a member of the NJCPA Peer Review Executive Committee, which administers peer reviews on behalf of the AICPA in New Jersey. He is past chair of both the NJCPA Accounting and Auditing Standards Interest Group and the NJCPA Accounting and Auditing Resource Group. He is a former member of the Audit Committee for the NJCPA and past treasurer of both the NJCPA and the Middlesex/Somerset Chapter of the NJCPA. He recently completed a three-year term on the AICPA Peer Review Board. The Peer Review Board is responsible for maintaining, furthering and governing the activities of the Peer Review Program, including the issuance of peer review standards and peer review guidance, while being mindful of the profession’s covenant to serve the public interest with integrity and objectivity. Mr. Boutillette is a frequent lecturer on accounting and auditing topics to professional and business groups. He has been quoted in several publications and is the coauthor of three books on accounting. He resides in Ocean County, NJ.
Walter J. Brasch, CPA, CGMA: Walter J. Brasch, CPA, CGMA, Partner & Chief Business Development Officer at O’Connor Davies, LLP, Cranford, joined the New Jersey Society of CPAs in 1977. He has served on the NJCPA Board of Trustees as a trustee, treasurer and secretary. He is a member of the NJCPA Finance, Strategic Planning, and Retirement Savings Plan committees and is an Education Foundation trustee. He was chair of the NJ-CPA-PAC. He has also served as president, vice president, secretary and director of the Monmouth/Ocean Chapter.
Mr. Brasch is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Health Care Financial Management Association, a board member of the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce and an associate member of the NJ Bankers Association.
In his community, Mr. Brasch served as board chair of the Raritan Bay Medical Center, alumni association president of Christian Brothers Academy (CBA), and board member of the American Cancer Society and the Boy Scouts of America, Monmouth Council. He is a recipient of the CBA Alumnus of the Year Award and currently serves on the board of CBA. He also serves as an associate member of the Audit Committee of Monmouth University and a fundraising committee member for the Raritan Bay Health Care Foundation.
Mr. Brasch earned his B.B.A. in accounting from St. Bonaventure University. He and his wife, Ann, reside in Little Silver and have a son, a daughter and three grandchildren.
Larry Brudnicki: Captain Larry Brudnicki retired from the Coast Guard in March 2002 after 30 years of active duty. He reported to his last assignment as the Chief of Operations, 11th Coast Guard District, Alameda, CA in August 1997 where he supervised more than 15,000 Search & Rescue cases, which saved 1,600 lives and property valued at $135 million. He also supervised the search for survivors of the Alaska Air Flight #261 tragedy. He had tactical control of ships and aircraft that seized more than 150 tons of cocaine, including the ten largest cocaine seizures in the year 2000 and again in 2001. He also had tactical control of the ships and aircraft that interdicted 2,800 illegal migrants from the People's Republic of China, Ecuador and Mexico.
Captain Brudnicki was the Commanding Officer of the USCGC TAMAROA (WMEC-166), New Castle NH
during "The Perfect Storm". During his tour, TAMAROA had more fishing vessel seizures than the rest of
the Coast Guard Atlantic fleet added together, and participated in Haitian Migration Interdiction
Operations when the Coast Guard was recovering 1500 Haitians per day.
Captain Brudnicki holds a Merchant Marine Master's License, and is a member of the National Speakers
Association. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Coast Guard Medal "for heroism", the Defense
Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Coast Guard Commendation
Medal (four awards), the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Coast Guard Achievement Medal and the
Humanitarian Service Medal (two awards).
G. Scott Clemons, CFA: G. Scott Clemons, CFA, a chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, has held a variety of investment roles at the firm over the past 23 years. His career began in international equities, where he was an analyst and portfolio manager of European and Asian equities, working out of the firm’s New York and London offices throughout the 1990s. In 2001, he broadened his responsibilities into domestic equity management and research as well, and then, from 2005 through 2010, managed the New York office of the firm’s private wealth management business. In 2010, he was appointed chief investment strategist and is now one of the firm’s primary writers and speakers on topics related to the economy, financial markets and investing.
Mr. Clemons is a chartered financial analyst and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the CFA Institute. He graduated magna cum laude graduate from Princeton University.
Salvatore A. Collemi, CPA: Salvatore Collemi, CPA, is the managing member & sole owner of Collemi Consulting & Advisory Services, LLC, a practice launched in order to assist public accounting firms and related organizations that support the profession in navigating the complexities of the ever-changing landscape of financial reporting, attest functions and compliance. He is a recognized subject matter expert (SME) on U.S. and International financial reporting and auditing standards with two decades of global business experience servicing a broad base of commercial and financial services industries. He also advises on corporate governance and risk management issues facing U.S. public accounting firms.
As a former Staff Accountant in the Division of Corporation Finance, Technical Manager in the National Peer Review Program and external auditor at leading institutions such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), McGladrey & Pullen, BDO USA LLP and Grant Thornton, he has demonstrated the impact of U.S. and International financial reporting, internal control systems and regulatory compliance acumen as they affect privately-held and publicly-traded companies. As a recognized SME on IFRS, Salvatore was named by the AICPA as an official participant in the development and review of IFRS questions for the Uniform CPA Examination and the content for the IFRS Certificate of Accomplishment Program. He served as the IFRS expert at-large for the AICPA Board of Examiners Content Committee from 2011-2014.
Mr. Collemi's experience in diverse senior leadership roles provide value on a wide range of strategic, financial, regulatory compliance and global business considerations for assisting public accounting firms as well as publicly-traded and privately-held businesses in financial officer positions, board positions and as a member of committees such as audit, corporate governance and risk management.
Ralph J. Consola, M.B.A.: Ralph Consola services as an executive managing director and principal of Marshall & Stevens. In his capacity as executive managing director, he oversees the West coast operations, business development, client management and engagement management for the firm.
Prior to his appointment as an executive managing director and principal, Mr. Consola served as a member of the University Relations Division at Loyola Marymount University. He specializes in fairness and solvency opinions, valuation and transaction advisory services to public and private corporations, shareholders, management, directors and trusted advisors relative to planning, negotiating and reporting of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, corporate tax restructurings, financings/recapitalizations, shareholder dispute, insurance placement, and estate tax reporting.
Mr. Consola earned an M.B.A. in finance and a B.S. in mathematics from Loyola Marymount University.
John M. Fleming, CPA, M.B.A.: John M. Fleming, CPA, MBA, licensed as a CPA in Pennsylvania, is currently the Director, Content
Development, for SmartPros LTD., a division of Kaplan Professional Education. SmartPros is an international
educational and training company specializing in accounting, finance, and ethics educational programs. John previously served as President and Director of Accounting and Auditing for Loscalzo Associates, a division of SmartPros, for 28 years. John retired as President of Loscalzo Associates on January 1, 2014.
John’s prior practice experience includes audit, tax, consulting, office management, and human resource
responsibilities with Deloitte LLP, Richard Eisner & Company LLP, and Ernst & Young LLP. John is a graduate of LaSalle and Drexel Universities with degrees in accounting and finance.
John served as the 1999/2000 President of the 8,300 member Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) and currently serves as a member of the Institute’s Accounting and Auditing Technical Committee. In 2006, the PICPA recognized John as a Joseph E. Sterrett Fellow for his contributions to the accounting profession and in 2007, the Philadelphia Chapter recognized John with their Champion Award for his contributions to the PICPA, Chapter, profession, and community. John has also served as the 2002/2003 President of the American Accounting Association’s Mid-Atlantic Region.
Travis A. Greaves: Travis Greaves concentrates his practice on federal and state civil and criminal tax controversies, tax policy, and estate planning. He represents individuals, partnerships, and corporations through all stages of tax investigations and litigation. Mr. Greaves also advises businesses on how tax decisions in Washington, DC and state capitals may affect their business, and he works with individuals and families to efficiently plan for the future, including estate planning and business succession planning.
In addition, Mr. Greaves is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he has taught criminal and civil tax controversy courses. Prior to co-founding Greaves | Wu, he served as the Tax and Economic Policy Advisor to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, practiced in the tax group of a major international law firm and served as an Attorney Advisor at the United States Tax Court. Mr. Greaves speaks regularly to tax and accounting organizations across the country, and has written articles and treatises for such organizations as Bloomberg BNA, Tax Analysts, and the Tax Foundation.
Edward I. Guttenplan, CPA, MBA, CGMA: Ed Guttenplan co-founded Wilkin & Guttenplan P.C. in 1983 and is the managing shareholder of the firm. In addition to his administrative duties in managing the strategy, personnel and financial aspects of the practice, Ed provides a wide array of accounting, tax and business advisory services to closely held and family owned businesses in the construction, food service, manufacturing, technology, engineering, medical, dental, sales industries and community associations.
Ed’s real estate practice includes numerous real estate developers. His services include development of budgets and forecasts, consultation regarding condominiums, cooperative corporations and homeowner association’s management, and guidance on accounting and tax matters relating to project development and litigation support services. Ed also services many community associations including active adult communities, cooperatives, mixed-use and multi-association communities. Prior to co-founding Wilkin & Guttenplan, Ed worked in private industry and for both regional and international accounting firms.
Ed graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in business administration and Magna Cum Laude with a M.B.A. from Boston University.
John Higgins, CPA: John is the co-founder of CPA Crossings, LLC, which specializes in helping accounting, tax and financial professionals to leverage technology. John serves as a strategic technology advisor to CPAs in the planning and deployment of effective technology solutions and workflow automation. This aids them in the transformation to a digital practice model that features paperless processes and leverages cloud computing
In 2015, John established CPA Crossings’ new Cloud Accounting Learning Center. This is a comprehensive knowledge base of training, information and consulting services that is designed to help CPAs make the transformation to delivering client accounting services through the use of cloud based accounting systems and other tools. This is the new accounting services paradigm for the 21st century, and John is regarded as a foremost authority on how CPAs can seize the opportunity.
John recently co-authored Ten Steps to a Digital Practice in the Cloud, published by the AICPA. This book provides CPAs with a strategic roadmap for taking their firms online by leveraging cloud computing.
John’s primary qualification is his passion for helping CPAs achieve success by leveraging technology. He has extensive knowledge and experience working with CPAs throughout the country.
Gene Marks: Gene Marks is a columnist, author, and small business owner. He writes daily for The Washington Post and weekly for Forbes, The Huffi Post, Inc Magazine, FOX Business, Entrepreneur.com and Philadelphia Magazine. Mr. Marks’ columns are read by hundreds of thousands of business owners and managers.
He has written 6 books on business management, specifically geared towards small and medium sized companies. His most recent is The Manufacturer’s Book of Lists.
Nationally, Mr. Marks frequently appears on FOX News, MSNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg, and CNBC discussing matters affecting the business community.
Through his keynotes and breakout sessions, he helps business owners, executives and managers understand the political, economic and technological trends that will affect their companies so they can make profitable decisions.
Mr. Marks owns and operates the Marks Group PC, a highly successful ten-person firm that provides technology and consulting services to small and medium sized businesses.
Prior to starting the Marks Group PC Mr. Marks, a Certified Public Accountant, spent nine years in the entrepreneurial services arm of the international consulting firm KPMG in Philadelphia where he was a Senior Manager.
Don Meyer is the Chief Marketing Officer of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA). He has an extensive background in public relations, marketing, market research and member service to the 15,000-plus member professional association. Mr. Meyer came to the NJCPA from the Craft & Hobby Association, a 6,000-member group of manufacturers, distributors and retailers of craft and hobby products, where he was director of marketing and public relations. He managed media and new member outreach, directed industry branding and research programs, and supervised marketing for one of the nation’s largest trade expositions. Mr. Meyer is a graduate of the Broadcast School of Journalism at Syracuse University.
John O'Leary: John O’Leary has lived through worse than most can imagine. At the age of nine, John was severely burned on 100% of his body. No one expected him to survive the first night. But he did. He then survived months in a hospital bed, dozens of surgeries, and years of therapy. Before his tenth birthday, John lost all of his fingers to amputation.
This wasn’t the end. John’s journey was just beginning. From this tragedy, John received the greatest gift – embracing the truth that regardless of our personal and professional challenges, we choose how to.
As a boy in that hospital bed, John could not have foreseen the amazing things he would accomplish. But his journey proved more empowering and rewarding than he could have ever imagined. It gave him strength. It fueled and drove him on. It provided hope. It taught him compassion and understanding, and it gave him a solid foundation for living.
Some call John a survivor, but he is so much more than that. John O’Leary is a beacon of hope, and he’s ready to share his message with you. John now lives to share his story and to spark the stories of others living boldly, so that together we can forge an extraordinary future by finding the possibility in the present.
Deborah A. Phillips, CPA, MST: Deborah A. Phillips, CPA, MST, operates her own tax controversy practice where she specializes in partnership and S corporation tax law as well as IRS audits and procedures. She works with various CPA firms during tax season preparing all types of tax returns. In addition, she utilizes her forensic accounting skills for tax preparation of clients involved in potential IRS criminal prosecution. Debbie recently retired from the Large Business and International Division (LB&I) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), where she was a Senior Manager in the Flow Through Issue Practice Group (IPG). The IPG specializes in S corporation and partnership tax issues for LB&I. Debbie worked for the IRS for over 31 years, and she has extensive accounting and taxation knowledge of individual, corporate, and partnership federal tax returns. She was the Operations and Technical Assistant to the Deputy Commission International, the Technical Assistant to the Director of PFTG, a Territory Manager in the Retail, Food and Pharmaceuticals Industry, a Team Manager in the Heavy Manufacturing Industry, and the IRC Section 263A Technical Advisor. Debbie taught graduate and undergraduate courses in accounting and taxation as an adjunct faculty member at Delaware State University, Wilmington College, and Goldey-Beacom College. She has been a seminar presenter for over 17 years as well as a textbook author. In 2015, she received the Surgent Outstanding Discussion Leader Award because of her consistently high evaluations for knowledge and presentation skills. Debbie earned her master’s degree in taxation from Widener University.
Bill Rancic: Bill Rancic burst onto the national scene when he was hired by the winner of the first season of NBC’s breakthrough program “The Apprentice”. Currently, Bill is speaking to businesses and organizations around the world on motivational and business topics. He makes regular appearances on numerous daytime broadcast and cable television programs such as Today, The View, Rachael Ray and various CNBC programs to talk to viewers about business and entrepreneurship. He also regularly appears in many major national, regional and local print outlets throughout the country.
A published author of a New York Times best-selling book, Bill wrote You're Hired: How To Succeed In Business And Life. This book chronicles Bill's successful life, experience and proven advice. He continued to make a name for himself as an author by writing Beyond the Lemonade Stand to help educate and motivate young people worldwide about the value of money and how to leverage skills, talents and abilities at an early age. All proceeds from the sale of this book have gone to charity. Bill has also co-authored I Do…Now What with his wife Giuliana Rancic where they share secrets to everlasting love.
After graduating cum laude from Loyola University, Bill went on to become a successful entrepreneur when he founded Cigars Around The World, a monthly online subscription-based retailer that became a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Joseph R. Riccie, CPA: Joe Riccie is currently the Market Leader for Withum’s Cyber & Information Security Services plus their Cloud Solutions and Management Consulting practice. He has over 30 years of financial, human capital, operational and technical management experience collectively. He specializes in managing programs, leading change enablement and enterprise transformation programs, and he has a recognized ability to leverage people, process, technology and information to drive performance and deliver key business objectives with tangible results.
Matthew Ryan, M.B.A., CFE: Matthew Ryan, CPA, MBA, CFE, is the co-owner of a turnaround management consulting firm, Matthew Ryan specializes in crisis management, strategic and operational planning and risk analysis, and due diligence research for companies ranging from manufacturing start-ups to established service organizations. In addition to his consulting practice, Mr. Ryan co-writes and teaches professional education courses for state CPA societies and private companies across the country. Outside of his work in consulting and professional instruction, Mr. Ryan has served for over a decade in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. In 2009, he deployed to Iraq as a Company Executive Officer and Brigade Medical Logistics Officer, key roles in the overall medical operations of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team. Mr. Ryan is still a member of the National Guard, holds the rank of Captain and serves as Company Commander for a 150-soldier distribution/logistics unit based in Lebanon, PA. Mr. Ryan earned a B.S. in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a Certified Fraud Examiner and serves on the Board of Directors of a Pittsburgh-based non-profit organization while volunteering for several other non-profits throughout Pennsylvania.
Anurag Sharma, Principal: Anurag Sharma is has more than 17 years of IT experience and is Principal in the Cyber and Information Security Services practice for WithumSmith+Brown. He is designated as a SOC 1 and SOC 2 specialist by the Oversight Task Force of the AICPA Peer Review Board. His services include cybersecurity assessments, information security consultancy, SOC audits and IT audits. Mr. Sharma has experience in various industries including Technology, Not-For-Profit, Government, Telecommunications, Healthcare, Financial Services and Real Estate.
Bill Sheridan, CAE: Bill Sheridan, CAE, is a knowledge hunter, content curator, lifelong learner, and the Maryland Association of CPAs’ chief communications officer, editor, and resident social media cheerleader. He is the creator and co-author of the association’s acclaimed blog, CPA Success. Mr. Sheridan also writes and produces the MACPA’s podcast, CPA Spotlight, and manages the association’s numerous social networks. All of that socializing is paying off. CPA Success has appeared on numerous “top accounting blogs” lists, and Mr. Sheridan’s Klout score has earned him the No. 2 spot on SavvySME’s list of the top accounting influencers in the world. Mr. Sheridan speaks regularly to CPAs and association groups on the strategic uses of social media and the future of communication, collaboration and education. He has presented at the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s 2011 CPE Conference and its 2011 International Conference; the AICPA’s inaugural Digital CPA Conference in 2012; and the first-ever CCH Small Firms Conference, also in 2012. He delivers frequent presentations on behalf of the Business Learning Institute and is a certified Insights to Action facilitator. A journalist by trade, Mr. Sheridan oversees the MACPA’s online and print content. His articles about the MACPA and the CPA profession have appeared in the Journal of Accountancy, Associations Now and SmartCEO. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2010, he earned the Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives.
Bill Taylor: Bill Taylor is the Founder and President of Corporate Ladders, a business training, coaching and consulting firm specializing in revenue growth, practice development, and effectiveness for CPAs, Attorneys, and other professional services firms. He is a featured speaker at conferences and corporate events nationwide and is a contributing columnist for multiple publications including the New Jersey Law Journal, Accounting Today, and Consulting Magazine. Recognized as an outstanding business professional, Mr. Taylor is a dynamic executive, leader, consultant, and coach who has helped firms grow revenues in a wide range of industries. With domestic and international experience in both the public and private sectors, Mr. Taylor applies over three decades of business expertise with his unique global perspective to tackle and solve business challenges.
Ralph Albert Thomas, CGMA: Ralph Albert Thomas, CGMA, is the CEO and executive director of the New Jersey Society of CPAs. Previously, he was a vice president with Citibank, N.A.’s structured products group and a manager with AT&T Information Systems. Mr. Thomas also worked in systems development at Potomac Electric Power Company and Price Waterhouse & Coopers. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and serves on the AICPA Council and the CPA Vision Project team. Recently named to Accounting Today magazine’s annual list of “Top 100” influential people, Mr. Thomas has been cited as “quietly building the organization [the NJCPA] into one of the most progressive in the country, particularly in the areas of financial literacy and social media.” In 2010, the National Association of Black Accountants honored Mr. Thomas with the Presidential Service Award and the National Achievement in Non-Profit Award. He has been a guest speaker and lecturer at several colleges and universities across the country, and a presenter/panelist for numerous organizations, such as the Commercial Finance Association, the Financial Management Network, Beta Alpha PSI and the AICPA. Mr. Thomas earned his bachelor’s of science in business and economics, and his master’s of business administration from Lehigh University.
T. Joshua Wu: Josh Wu helps startup companies, mid-size businesses, and individual clients remain in compliance with U.S. tax laws, and guides clients on appropriate procedures to reduce their tax burdens. Mr. Wu represents clients in an array of tax controversies and tax litigation matters before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. With considerable experience handling multijurisdictional investigations, he regularly works with foreign companies, trusts, and advisors to resolve inbound U.S. tax and reporting issues.
In addition, Mr. Wu is involved in the D.C. metro area startup community; he works with angel investors and coworking spaces to assist emerging companies to implement business practices and legal structures to facilitate their growth and access to funding. Prior to co-founding Greaves | Wu, he worked for an international law firm, Latham & Watkins LLP, and has been quoted in major news outlets such as The Street, Federal Tax Weekly, and Business News Daily.