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CPAmerica Advantage
The REAL behind the scenes at the
Academy Awards (and more)
Brenda Casanave, entertainment lawyer and director of
newly created Entertainment, Media,
and Sports (EMS) Group, talked to us about what goes into
serving her unique set of clients. Casanave’s client list
consists of recording artists, actors, authors, professional
athletes, and other creative professionals. She started out,
and still is, an intellectual property attorney and focuses on
and copyrights.
She told us
“What I do for a
living is protect
my clients’
creations. The
types of people
I’ve had the
pleasure of
Brenda Casanave at Oscars Week, 2015 working with
have ranged
from academy
award-winning talent all the way to people who are handing
me their very first script or demo tape.”
Casanave first became involved in the entertainment
industry through her background in intellectual property
law and because much of what is done on the entertainment
law side of the equation involves resolving trademark and
copyright matters. Casanave added “I was able to learn from
march 2015
Thank You To Our Proofers
Although working with celebrities can be seen as glamorous,
Casanave’s job has a pragmatic side. “There is this idea
that my job is all glamor. It can be a very fulfilling job. It’s
almost surreal to think about, that people I may have grown
up listening to or watching [in the movies or on T.V.] are
now seeking advice and council from me. They won’t sign
a contract until I’ve seen it first,” she said. “In terms of the
practical side of things, entertainers and athletes all need
the kind of guidance and help that a financial services firm,
like Mueller, can provide. Kind of the running joke in this
industry is that entertainers and athletes need much more
than an attorney. They need a manager, a therapist, and they
need a confidante. I have to be all of those things to these
very talented people.”
See Grammys, continued on page 2
New Member Snapshot: Coulter & Justus, P.C.
Coulter & Justus, P.C.
9717 Cogdill Road, Suite 201
Knoxville, Tennessee 37932
Tel: (865) 637-4161 | Fax: (865) 524-2952
Mike Parton | Managing Partner | [email protected]
Ron Justus | Partner | [email protected]
Don Talbott | Partner | [email protected]
Ronnie Pratt | Partner | [email protected]
Nan Bobbett | Partner | [email protected]
Ricky Jackson | Partner | [email protected]
Marc Zuckerman | Partner | [email protected]
Julie Wheeler | Partner | [email protected]
Conor O’Donoghue | Partner | [email protected]
P. 2
very good mentors while I
Member News P. 3
was in school and beyond.
When you leave law school or
President's Corner - Alan Deichler P. 4
business school or medical
school, you don’t quite know
much yet but you still get
questions [about your profession] right away because you
have this new title. I first got started out on the music side,
working on copyright issues and royalty audits. I started
doing more film and T.V. work, and I found myself flying back
and forth across the country building relationships in the
markets of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. From this, I
started to develop clients. I have been able to transition that
now into my new practice at Mueller.”
Coulter & Justus, P.C.
services to both individuals and
business valuation, transaction
advisory, litigation support and
forensic services.
Rob Wildi | Partner | [email protected]
Todd Harms | Partner | [email protected]
Specialty service groups provide
Kevin McCollum | Partner | [email protected]
knowledge and expertise to help
their clients thrive and grow.
Adam Allen | Partner | [email protected]
Wendy Hill | Partner | [email protected]
Margie Van Doren | Firm Administrator | [email protected]
Jenna Campbell | HR Director| [email protected]
Patsy Bragg | Marketing Director | [email protected]
David Breeden | IT Network Administrator | [email protected]
Grammys, continued from front page
Casanave is the first practicing attorney to join Mueller and
acts as the firm’s general council and director of the EMS Group,
which focuses on providing consulting services to clients. She
said that “entertainers and athletes find themselves with large
sums of money coming in from major deals and they need
someone with a level head to help guide them to make great
It isn’t all about the benjamins for Casanave. She is also an
Associate Member of the Recording Academy (which puts on
the Grammys and the MusiCares assistance program for people
in the music industry) and sits on the board of other charitable
industry organizations such as: Film Independent Arts Circle;
Ballet Chicago; Artists for Peace and Justice; InsideOUT Writers;
just to name a few.
Casanave spoke further about the Grammys: “What many
people don’t realize is that although the Grammys are a time
to celebrate the accomplishments of artists, behind the scenes,
once the show is over and my gown is back in the closet,
[Academy members] are put to work. We spend the rest of the
year putting forth an effort to continue to advocate on behalf of
the very talented people that we are representing.
I wanted to emphasize that being a member is an extreme
privilege that allows us to have a voice, on behalf of our clients,
so that they can focus on creating their music. Our job is to work
behind the scenes to make sure those things are still happening
as they should and that artists are being paid fairly and that the
public is able to enjoy their creations.”
When asked if she ever gets "star struck," Casanave replied
"Ironically, because I had grown up around a good amount of
[people in the entertainment industry], I think that saved me
from that; however, I think that just about every single one of
us has someone that leaves us in awe, even if they don’t express
that in an outward, fanatical way. This is what makes my job so
awesome. I get to be up close and personal with some of these
There are some interesting challenges working with some of
she has. She remarked that the unique thing about athletes and
entertainers is
that they need to
be in touch with
their advisors
at all hours.
Casanave said
"My clients are
always working
– they are a
group of very
hard working
people, and that
same work ethic
is expected of
their advisors. So
one part of my
success is being
accessible to my
In talking with
Casanave, it
is evident that
Reality show personality Rick Harrison (from
even though she
the show Pawn Stars) and Brenda Casanave
represents clients
who are at the
top of their game
and have won
numerous Grammys and Academy Awards, she also works hard
to help take care of the people who may not be in the limelight,
but who helped build the artistic and entertainment industry
that she is part of.
Jeff Albrecht, Sol Schwartz & Associates
Stephen Reed, Cowan, Gunteski & Co., P.A.
Bill Barnard, CF & Co., L.L.P.
Robert Ribic, Jr., SF&Company CPAs and Business Advisors
Harry Cendrowski, Cendrowski Corporate Advisors, LLC
Cynthia Robinson, DMJ & Co., PLLC
Tim Clemons, Baum, Smith & Clemens, LLP
Tom Ruberg, VonLehman & Company Inc.
Larry Cooper, Brickley DeLong PC
Keith Rutherford, Widmer Roel PC
Dan Davis, Frankel Zacharia, LLC
Rhonda Sibley, Aldridge Borden & Company
David Di Matteo, Brock, Schechter & Polakoff, LLP
Amy Smith, Baum, Smith & Clemens, LLP
Gerald Dreier, Packer Thomas
Judy Smith, Baum, Smith & Clemens, LLP
Dave Goettelman, Baum, Smith & Clemens, LLP
Byron Smock, Hughes, Snell & Co., P.A.
Nancy Hall, Wall Einhorn & Chernitzer P.C.
Julie Sokolowski, Wall Einhorn & Chernitzer P.C.
Craig Hashbarger, Widmer Roel PC
Carrie Sowders, AKT LLP
Kevin Hines, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
Jon Stangel, Kentner Sellers, LLP
Jeff Hoffman , Frankel Zacharia, LLC
Paul Steckel, McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond
Lorraine Kelley, Whaley Hammonds Tomasello, P.C.
Tim Stolz, McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond
Tim Kenyon, Cummings, Keegan & Co., P.L.L.P.
Kevin Tully, Teal, Becker & Chiaramonte, CPAs, P.C.
Scott Krchnak, Maxwell Locke & Ritter LLP
Beth Ulbrich-Tabak, Mueller & Co., LLP
Gregory LaFreniere, Wegner CPAs
Sally Walden-Crowe, Rushton & Company
Marcy Lantz, AKT LLC
David Will, Mitchell, Wiggins & Company LLP
Manuel Long, Sol Schwartz & Associates, P.C.
Debbie Willett, Frazier & Deeter, LLC
Deb Mathis, Cowan, Gunteski & Co., P.A.
Kim Zydel, DZH Phillips LLP
Dan McCall, DZH Phillips LLP
Kelly McCauley, Serotta Maddocks Evans, CPAs
Patrick Mutchler, Brickley DeLong, PC
A big thank you to members who volunteered their time during the past six
months to proofread CPAmerica’s print and online newsletters for clients.
Dan Owens, VonLehman & Company Inc.
Thank you to our newsletter proofers!
Member News
Todd Shelansky named principal of
Harper & Whitfield, P.C.
Member firm
P.C., with headquarters in Farmington,
Conn., announced that Todd
Shelansky, CPA, has been named a
principal of the firm.
Shelansky joined the firm in 1994
after graduating from Western New
England College with a bachelor's in
accounting. He is being promoted
from his previous position of manager.
During his years with the firm,
Shelansky has focused on providing
accounting, tax, and other services
to a variety of closely held businesses
and their owners, as well as to
not-for-profit entities. His clients
include those in the architecture,
construction, consulting, investment
advisory, manufacturing, real estate
and wholesale distribution industries,
as well as religious and educational
institutions and private foundations.
Shelansky is a member of the AICPA
and the Connecticut Society of
Certified Public Accountants.
Gusa made partner of Texas
member firm
Kristen L. Gusa, CPA became a
partner in Tyler, Texas-based member
(GMP). She has been with GMP
more than 20 years and has previous
experience with Deloitte in Fort Worth
and a local CPA firm in Longview.
Gusa focuses on estates and trusts,
non-profit organizations and medical
practices. She is also experienced
in tax preparation for individuals,
corporations, and partnerships.
Gusa earned a bachelor's degree in
accounting from Stephen F. Austin
State University and has been a CPA
since 1983. Gusa is a member of the
AICPA, the Texas Society of Certified
Public Accountants, and the East
Texas Estate Planning Council. She
also serves as treasurer on the Board
of ARC and is a member of Grace
Community Church in Tyler.
Bottone of Baum, Smith & Clemens
completes his master's in tax
Lansdale, Pa.-based member
accounting and business advisory
LLP, announced that Edward
A. Bottone, CPA completed his
Master's of Taxation from Villanova
University School of Law. Bottone is
a tax manager with the firm and is a
member of the firm’s Manufacturing
Niche Group.
Wegner CPAs welcomes Steinl as
Brickley DeLong PC announces
three partner promotions
SF & Company reports new hires
and promotions
based in
Muskegon, Mich., announced the
promotion of three senior managers to
Eric P. Van Dop received his
bachelor’s in accounting from Grand
Valley State University. Following
graduation, he was employed at
Hoffman, Steensma and Plamondon
PLC. In 2005, he joined Brickley
DeLong PC. At the firm, Van Dop
oversees governmental and nonprofit
Terry D. Maycroft received his
bachelor's in accounting from Grand
Valley State University. He became an
employee of Brickley DeLong in 1995.
His responsibilities include business
and individual taxation, QuickBooks
consulting, and accounting and
management services.
Valerie R. Lewis received her
bachelor’s in accounting from
Davenport University in 2002. She has
been working in public accounting for
the last 18 years. She joined Vereecke,
Simescu and Associates (VSA) as a
manager in 2005. In December 2011,
Brickley DeLong PC merged with VSA.
She serves business and individual tax
clients, as well as provides oversight of
controllership services.
Member firm
, with
headquarters in Madison, Wis.,
welcomed Michael W. Steinl, CPA,
CGMA as a new partner in their Tax
& Business Services Department.
Steinl brings to the firm more than 25
years of experience in auditing, tax
planning, compliance and consulting
His expertise and leadership provide
specialized guidance to further
the expansion of
Manufacturing/Supply Chain niche
and enhance their employee benefit
plan audit practice.
, with offices in York, Pa.,
Harrisburg, Pa., and State College, Pa.,
announced the following new hires:
Ryan M. Kleinfelter, CPA, has
joined the Harrisburg office as a senior
manager. Kristen L. Verdelli has
been hired as a staff accountant in the
Harrisburg office. Erik J. Moore has
been hired as a staff accountant in the
York office.
Matthew J. Angelo has achieved
the designation of CPA and also
earned a promotion to manager in the
Harrisburg office.
Brian M. Caldarelli, CPA, CIA, has
been promoted to senior accountant in
the State College office.
Brett T. Thelen, CPA , has received a
promotion to senior accountant in the
State College office.
Timothy A. Vinson, CPA, has
earned a promotion to senior
accountant in the York office.
Lynch Joins Hunter Group CPA LLC
Helena M. Lynch, CPA has joined
as tax
manager. With more than 20 years of
public accounting experience, Lynch
will be responsible for tax clients of
the firm as well as managing and
supervising the professional tax staff.
She is experienced in tax research,
training and guidance of tax staff
and special projects. She also gained
knowledge in the specialty areas of
real estate and tax re-exchanges,
trusts and international tax. Lynch has
worked with a variety of professional
and B2B clients including doctors,
lawyers and manufacturers.
Lynch holds a bachelor's in accounting
from Manhattan College and a
master's in taxation from Long Island
University. She is a member of the
CF Accountants & Consultants
announce two new partners and
four promotions
Jeff Moore, CPA and Matt Dover,
CPA were promoted to partners at
Dallas, Texas.
A member of the firm since 1991,
Moore has close to 25 years of
accounting and auditing experience.
As an audit partner, Moore continues
to work on the financial statement
audits of privately-held companies,
not-for-profit organizations, and
employee benefit plans.
Matt Dover has more than eight years
of experience in public accounting.
As a tax partner, Dover specializes in
federal and state taxation. He routinely
provides tax planning and compliance
services for corporations, individuals,
and partnerships.
Also announced were the
promotions of Art Ramirez, CPA
to manager, Audit Services; Josh
Whitworth, CPA to manager, Tax
Services; Tooba Subhan, CPA to
manager, Audit Services; and Micheal
Miller, CPA to manager, Tax Services.
President's Corner: Four New Firms For 2015
ince December,
CPAmerica has
added four new
member firms to
our group. During
the time when we
welcome firms to the
association, we see
the new firms bring
with them their best
practices to be shared, while we have the
opportunity to share our best practices
with them.
We would like to welcome the new firms
listed below and to congratulate you
for your help in building an association
based on sharing that has attracted these
four new firms.
LLP (RTBH), of Mobile, Alabama, joined
us in December based on a referral
from Rick Evans, leading partner of
Serotta Maddox Evans, CPAs. Thank you,
Rick, for the recommendation and for
visiting the firm to conduct the formal
new member visit. If you attended the
last Southeast Partners Meeting, you
might remember meeting Skip Brown,
managing partner of RTBH. Welcome to
all of you at Russell Thompson Butler &
of Colorado Springs, Colorado joined
CPAmerica in January. Those of you
at the Leading Partners Retreat may
remember Phil Erickson, managing
partner of the firm; he was there getting
a better view of CPAmerica. Thanks to
those of you who were there and got
an opportunity to speak with Phil. Tim
Bradley and Tom Swart, both of Bradley
Consulting in Lakewood, Colorado,
were a big help in telling our story and
in assisting us with the on-boarding
process. Welcome to everyone at
Erickson, Brown & Kloster!
of Knoxville,
Tennessee joined us in early February
after a lengthy search for a new
association. A big thank you to Mike
Gillis who joined me on the initial visit
to the firm and followed up with the
new member review. Those of you that
attended the International Meeting in
December in Atlanta will remember
Kevin McGollum and Keith Jackson
visiting us from Coulter & Justus and
participating in the conference. Thanks
to all of you that reached out to Kevin
and Keith. Welcome to all of you at
Coulter & Justus!
We strive to meet your expectations
of continuously improving, making
more money, building prestige, and
strengthening relationships. Thank you
for your participation in CPAmerica and
for making this work.
Our most recent new member firm is
P.C. of Lebanon, New Hampshire. They
have just recently completed the process
required for membership and joined us
in late February. Ernie Tyler, managing
partner of the firm, attended the Leading
Partners Retreat in Portland, and for
those of you that spent a few minutes
with Ernie, thank you. Joe Ciccarello,
leading partner of Gray, Gray & Gray
and I went to the initial meeting with
the firm and Joe conducted the formal
new member visit. Thank you, Joe, and
welcome to everyone at Tyler, Simms &
St. Sauveur!
We are looking forward to getting to
know all the folks from these firms, as
well as learning about their successes
and capabilities.
Recruiting new member firms is not
much different than recruiting new
clients for a firm. We have a referral
process as well as a process for prospect
development. Both feed the New Member
Pipeline that is reviewed at each board
meeting during the year. The majority of
initial member visits that I make are with
leading partners with firms in proximity
to the prospective firm. We have found
that not only is imparting knowledge
about what we do as an association
important, but so is the testimony from
an actual member.
We are very sensitive to the geographic
considerations of our members. We
know that this ensures confidence
when sharing best practices. We are
also very aware that we would like
referrals for firms in all the regionally
key areas of the U.S. Today we are in
need of prospects in New York City, Los
Angeles, Miami and Orlando, as well as
the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, South
Carolina, Missouri, Montana, Idaho, and
Wyoming. If you know a firm in these
cities or states that you think would be a
good member of CPAmerica, please give
me a call and let’s discuss.
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(352) 727-4070
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