New Jersey Society of CPAs Announces 40 Ovation Award Winners

 – June 12, 2019
New Jersey Society of CPAs Announces 40 Ovation Award Winners

— Seven Categories Awarded —

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) announced the 2019 Ovation Award winners today at its Annual Convention and Expo at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. NJCPA Ovation Awards honor superstars whose exemplary efforts and stellar achievements are advancing New Jersey’s accounting profession. The awards were distributed in seven categories: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Exceptional Educators; Emerging Leaders; Impact; Innovation; Lifetime Leader; and Women to Watch.

The individuals selected met the highest-level standards for each award category, such as significant contributions to the NJCPA, the local community and the accounting profession, as well as commitment to furthering the next generation of CPAs, educating young professionals about accounting, making an impact on the industry, ensuring the accounting profession is open and diverse, and fostering innovation and growth in the business community.   

“Honoring our members with specific service awards recognizes how important their contributions are to our organization and the society around them,” said Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CEO and executive director at the NJCPA. “We appreciate the outstanding achievement from these individuals.”    

Don Meyer, chief marketing officer of the NJCPA, announced the following winners:   

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Sandra S. Emmert, CPA — Financial Controller, Samuels Inc., Vauxhall
  • Evelyn A. McDowell, CPA, Ph.D. — Associate Professor, Rider University, Lawrenceville

Exceptional Educators

  • John F. Boyle, CPA, MBA — Assistant Professor of Business Studies, Stockton University, Galloway
  • Jeffrey Christakos, CPA/PFS, MBA, CFP — Chair, Accounting Dept., Monmouth University, West Long Branch
  • Joseph A. Lizza, CPA — Assistant Professor, Felician University, Lodi 
  • Barry R. Palatnik, CPA, Ph.D., MBA — Assistant Professor of Accounting, Stockton University, Galloway

Emerging Leaders

  • Jose M. Borbon, CPA — Assistant Vice President, Senior Auditor, Kearny Bank, Fairfield
  • Zachary B. Cohen, CPA —Senior Auditor, Prudential Financial, Inc., Newark
  • John C. Dispenziere Jr., CPA — Audit Assistant, Deloitte, Parsippany
  • Joseph H. Doerrer, CPA, PFS, CFP — Senior Tax Associate, Bessemer Trust Company, N.A., Woodbridge
  • Jeremy I. Kaye, CPA — Audit Senior, Deloitte, Parsippany
  • Megan T. Kelly, CPA, CFE — Manager, SobelCo, Livingston
  • Shaun F. Maloney, CPA, ABV, CFF, CGMA, CFA — Director, EisnerAmper LLP, Iselin
  • Michael J. Massood, CPA — Partner, Massood & Company, P.A., Totowa
  • Keri L. Mullin, CPA, MBA — Senior Accountant, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick


  • Karen A. Artasanchez, CPA — Shareholder, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick
  • Joseph A. Baldomero Jr., CPA — Shareholder, SuarezBaldomero, PA
  • Daniel Barbera, CPA, MBA, CGMA — CFO, Lydia Security Monitoring, Inc., Williamstown
  • Melissa A. Dardani, CPA — Senior, EisnerAmper LLP, Iselin
  • Michael H. Karu, CPA, CFF, CGMA — Member, Levine, Jacobs & Company, LLC, Livingston
  • Anthony C. Plakis Jr., CPA — Sr. Accountant, Centric District Mgr., ADP, Mt. Laurel
  • Carl Specht, CPA, CGMA — Managing Member, Constantino, Specht, Templeton & Co., LLC, Secaucus
  • Michael A. Stillitano, CPA — SVP-Business Administration and Finance, CFO Region North America, Hapag-Lloyd, Piscataway
  • Julie Strohlein, CPA — Associate Partner, Alloy Silverstein Accountants & Advisors, Cherry Hill


  • James C. Bourke Jr., CPA/CITP, CFF, CGMA — Managing Director, Advisory Services, Withum, Red Bank
  • Mathew Langenberger, CPA — Tax Accountant, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick
  • Joseph A. McGrath Jr., CPA — Audit Senior Manager, Deloitte, Parsippany
  • Sean D. Stein Smith, CPA, Ph.D., DBA, CMA, CGMA, CFE— Assistant Professor, Lehman College, Bronx

Lifetime Leader

  • Howard J. Bookbinder, CPA— Owner, Howard J. Bookbinder, CPA, Fairlawn

Women to Watch

  • Regina C. Balagtas, CPA — Senior, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, Livingston
  • Nicole M. DeRosa, CPA — Tax Manager, Withum, East Brunswick
  • Andrea Diaz, CPA, ABV, MST — Manager, SKC & Co., CPAs, LLC, Boonton Township
  • Kerry M. Duda, CPA — Senior Staff Auditor, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick
  • Danielle Dvorak, CPA — Senior Tax Manager, Friedman LLP, East Hanover
  • Deirdre Hartmann, CPA — Partner, Nisivoccia LLP, Mount Arlington
  • Vanessa Munoz, CPA — Audit Supervisor, Wiss & Company, LLP, Livingston
  • Andrea Nodoro, CPA — Tax Senior Manager, Untracht Early LLC, Florham Park
  • Audrey J. Sherrick, CPA — Partner, Friedman LLP, Linwood
  • June M. Toth, CPA — Managing Member, ZBT Certified Public Accounting & Consulting, LLC, Clark

Educator in Memoriam (Posthumously Awarded): 

  • Raymond C. Rigoli, CPA —Chair, Accounting Department, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah

The honorees will also be featured in the September/October issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. To learn more about Ovation Award recipients, visit