ProfNet Experts Available on Tax Tips, Family Business, More

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15 Feb, 2016, 12:30 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Feb. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area.

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  • Tax Tips (29 experts)


  • Transferring a Family Business
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  • National Web Producer and Reporter – The Real Deal (NY)
  • Deputy Online Editor – Variety (CA)
  • News Producer – Seattle Times (WA)


  • How to Take Your Blog Audience From Fling to Long-Term Relationship
  • Skills Journalism Students Need to Learn
  • Grammar Hammer: The Singular 'They'

EXPERT ROUNDUP: Tax Tips (29 experts)

Following are experts from the ProfNet network that can discuss various topics related to tax season, for both consumers and businesses:

Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Company
"Credits and breaks exist in the tax code to incentivize investors and entrepreneurs to do exactly what the government wants them to do -- invest and build businesses. One of the codes I take advantage of as a real estate investor is a 1031 Exchange, which allows investors to sell a property and defer all capital gain taxes by reinvesting the proceeds in a new property. If you want to make more money, have more time and pay less in taxes, the first step is to get a primer on the tax code so you can limit your tax liability and increase your wealth."
Kiyosaki is best known as the author of "Rich Dad Poor Dad," the No. 1 personal finance book of all time. The book has challenged and changed the way tens of millions of people around the world think about money, and holds four of the top 10 spots on Nielsen Bookscan List's Lift-to-Date Sales from 2001-2008 alone. In addition, Kiyosaki has been featured on shows such as "Larry King Live," "Oprah," "The Doctors," Bloomberg International Television and CNN. He is co-creator of the "CASHFLOW" board game, founder of the financial education-based Rich Dad Company, and author of the New York Times bestseller, "Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money, and Unfair Advantage."
Contact: Jeff Davidson,

Eric Roffer, Esq.
Managing Licensed Tax Professional
Tax Defense Network
Having a plan is almost always in your best interest. This was perhaps never truer than when considering how to handle your taxes. There are some essential items to consider before delving into this year's tax return. Roffer shares some suggestions for putting together your own filing plan: 1) "Don't show up for a meeting with your tax preparer without everything you'll need (don't be afraid to ask in advance when you're setting your appointment). Keep in mind that tax season is incredibly busy for accountants and tax professionals alike. You may not get a chance to reschedule." 2) "If you're planning on donating to charity and claiming the deduction, don't forget to retain your receipts. Also, make sure that the organization you're supporting is recognized by the IRS. Otherwise, it won't matter how many receipts you have, because your deduction won't be allowed." 3) "You should never consider any income you receive throughout the year as non-taxable. Ever. Keep an accurate record of anything you sell, money you win, money from side work -- even valuable property that you find on the street. Any discrepancies between what you report to the IRS and what you actually brought home can spell trouble for you down the road." 4) "Don't forget to double-check all of your tax info with your payroll department. More specifically, make sure that you're withholding the proper tax on each paycheck." 5) "Don't tackle your tax return on your own if you have any doubts regarding the accuracy of what you're filing. Enlisting a licensed tax professional can actually save you money by preventing a conflict with the IRS."
Tax Defense Network, LLC is a nationwide tax resolution company that assists clients with every level of IRS and state collection action.
Contact: Becky Korn,

Arthur Agulnek
Senior Lecturer, Naveen Jindal School of Management
University of Texas at Dallas
Agulnek's No. 1 tip: "If you are doing the return yourself, read the instructions carefully. If you think you need help, seek the advice of a competent preparer or adviser."
Agulnek, a certified public accountant, licensed to practice in Texas and New York, recently retired as a tax partner in the Southwest Area office of Ernst & Young LLP, where he specialized in the human resources and tax aspects of global assignments. He received a BS in accounting from Brooklyn College and did graduate work in taxation at the City University of New York. Art is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas and New York State Societies of Certified Public Accountants. While at Ernst & Young, Agulnek was the Global Employment Solutions Area Leader in the SWA and was a member of the firm's Global Employment Solutions advisory leadership team. He has been heavily involved with the expatriate/inpatriate tax practice for more than 30 years. During the last few years, his clients have included global corporations in defense, financial services, natural resources, consumer products, and high tech, and he has assisted them in developing strategies to minimize the costs of global assignments. His client responsibilities have included Mobil Corporation, General Electric, Texas Instruments, Bell Helicopter, American Airlines, The Sabre Group, ARCO International, Associates First Capital Corp., ClubCorp, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. He is currently using his consulting experiences to work with companies that are expanding their operations outside the U.S., seeking approaches to maximize best practices and minimize their costs of global assignments. He is also working with senior executives on issues relating to the financial and tax implications of global transfers.
Contact: Brittany Magelssen,

David Martin
Vice President
"Too many people are sharing their tax information using email. Email may be convenient, but it's an easy target for hackers who intend to steal your identity. There are options out there for sharing information more securely that are as simple to use as email. It's worth a little bit of extra effort to gain a little more security and some peace of mind."
Contact: Julie Dearing,

Sean O'Hare, CPA, EA, CTRS
Founder and Owner
Tax Debt Assistance and O'Hare Associates, CPAs
"If you have a business vehicle and are considering a new one, you may qualify for a substantial tax deduction through Section 179 of the IRS tax code. Exceptions include the following vehicles: ambulance or hearse used specifically in your business; taxis, transport vans, and other vehicles used to specifically transport people or property for hire; qualified non-personal use vehicles specifically modified for business (e.g., van without seating behind driver, permanent shelving installed, and exterior painted with company's name)."
O'Hare has helped New England-area businesses and individuals solve financial challenges, alleviate tax problems and meet financial goals for over 18 years. He is the founder and owner of Tax Debt Assistance and O'Hare Associates, CPAs, both dedicated in helping individuals, families and small businesses with tax needs. He provides a broad range of accounting, business advisory, tax consulting, tax resolution, and financial planning services to clients in the New England area. His experience in the field of taxation and ability to comprehend client obstacles has made him known as New England's go-to tax resolution expert. He is the author of four books: "More For You: How To Eliminate Debt, Cut Your Taxes, And Prosper In The New Economy," "Fighting Back: A Small Business Owner's Guide to Winning the Battle with the IRS," "10 Most Expensive Tax Mistakes That Cost Business Owners Thousands," and "Why Businesses Stop Growing and What You Can Do About It." He holds a Master's Degree in Taxation from Thomas College. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and an Enrolled Agent (EA). He is also a National Tax Practice Institute (NTPI) Fellow, and a board certified credit consultant.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Lorrie Thomas Ross,

Brent A. Lindell
Financial Advisor
Savant Capital Management
"Taxes really matter in the investment world -- we all know that. What is not obvious is what you can do to control taxes -- and, as a result, effectively enhance the returns on your portfolio. 'Tried and true' approaches paired with the proper tools for tax-efficient investing are crucial to the next generation of measuring tax efficiency."
Lindell, a financial advisor in Savant's Madison, Wisc., office, is a member of the advisory team and has a membership interest in Savant Capital, LLC. He has been involved in the financial services industry since 1992, has been an advisor since 1994, and served as a trust officer for 10 years. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the financial planning and investment process for Savant's clients. Lindell routinely meets with clients, advisors, portfolio managers, and planners to determine and coordinate effective planning, investment, and tax strategies. He advises clients on numerous financial strategies to help them accumulate, maintain, and preserve their wealth. Prior to joining Savant, Lindell was vice president and wealth management consultant for a large bank. He was responsible for financial planning and new business development in the $2.5 billion trust department, specializing in high net worth individuals. He is experienced in asset management, personal trusts, corporate retirement plans, banking, and the wealth management planning process. Lindell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Iowa. He is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA), a Certified Financial Planner professional, Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) and a Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS). He also received extensive training at the Cannon Financial Institute's Trust School at the University of Notre Dame. Lindell is the past chair of the American Heart Association's McLain Research Grant Luncheon in Madison. He currently is a member of the Madison Downtown Rotary, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and the Middleton Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Madison Downtown Rotary Investment Committee and is a board member of Independent Living, Inc. He Lindell is routinely interviewed by local Madison television stations for his financial expertise and has been quoted by Yahoo Finance, Financial Advisor magazine, and Fox Business, among others. He has also authored numerous newspaper and magazine articles.
Contact: Catherine Povalitis,

Mike Campbell
Tax Partner
"As the heart of tax season quickly approaches, there are a variety of considerations and strategies individuals should keep at the forefront. While it's always prudent to stay on top of planning year-round, don't let last-minute hiccups – or a last-minute filing – lead to missed deductions."
Campbell has a distinct focus on working with high-net-worth individuals, including founders of large venture capital funds, owners of closely held businesses and C-level executives of multinational corporations. He has over 12 years of public accounting experience at BDO, and has extensive experience in the partnership area, both with family limited partnerships and large venture capital funds. Among other topics, Campbell can speak to proactive and last-minute tax planning tips and deductions, gift and estate planning, charitable gifting and alternatives, and more.
Contact: Madeline O'Connor,

Doug Bekker
Tax Office Managing Partner
"Businesses of all sizes often underestimate the bottom-line benefits of careful, considerate tax planning. From tax extender incentives to bonus plan limitations, it's important to stay up-to-date on the strategies that can keep your business on track come filing season."
Bekker has more than 15 years of experience serving as a technical resource in the C-corporation, merger and acquisition, insurance and banking areas for BDO's National Tax Practice. He has also helped manage the overall client relationships for multinational manufacturing companies, retailers, insurance companies, banks and real estate developers.  Prior to joining BDO, Bekker managed federal tax consulting projects in the accounting methods and inventory areas at Ernst & Young and was a tax manager in Arthur Andersen's federal tax group.
Contact: Madeline O'Connor,

Joseph "JJ" Montanaro, CFP
Montanaro offers the following tax tips: 1) "Education can pay in more ways than one. Be sure to take advantage of available education deductions and tax credits." 2) "Take action on your return. A big refund may be something to celebrate, but it's also an opportunity to adjust your withholding and increase your monthly cash flow." 3) "Know when to call in reinforcements. Online software can make preparing a return a snap, but if your tax life got complex last year -- maybe you sold a rental property, cared for a parent or exercised some options -- it may be time to get expert assistance." 4) "Sales tax pays back. If you're in a state without income tax, the available sales tax deduction can help drive down your tax bill." 5) "An IRA could help late in the game. A contribution to a deductible IRA for 2015 can be made right up until April 15 and will help you save on taxes and build for the future. Moderate-income taxpayers may also benefit from a Saver's Credit."
Montanaro is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry as a financial planner. His daily focus has been to help families realize their goals, and his advice has appeared in numerous outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today,,, Military Spouse Magazine and the Washington Post. Prior to joining USAA in December 2002, Montanaro owned and operated an office as a financial planner. Before entering the financial services industry, he served in the U.S. Army for six years on active duty, and in 2009 retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He holds Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is a member of the Financial Planning Association, and earned his bachelor's degree in engineering from the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
Contact: Katy Sims,

Mikel Van Cleve, CFP
Director of Personal Finance Advice
Van Cleve offers these tips regarding how to spend a tax refund: "Contribute to important long-term goals: 1) Pay down debt. If you have any high-interest consumer debt, why not get rid of some or all of it with your refund money? It'll save you a lot of wasted interest and could relieve a lot of stress. But you may not want to use the entire refund to trim your debt, because our second idea is central to avoiding debt in the future. 2) Build an emergency fund. If you don't have the old cash stash of 3-6 months' worth of committed expenses set aside as an emergency fund, now is the time to start building. Otherwise, the next time you get hit with a financial surprise, you may have to turn to a credit card or something worse. 3) Save for retirement. Will your tax refund be the engine that single-handedly funds your golden years? Nope. However, it could be the spark that gets you consistently putting money away in an IRA, Roth IRA or employer plan. Use your refund to get -- and keep -- the ball rolling. 4) Purposeful saving. You already know they're coming: new tires, kids' activity fees, holiday gifts or maybe even a vacation. Get a head start by placing a portion of your refund into a savings account to help foot the bill."
Van Cleve also shares spending traps to avoid: "Avoid the following spending traps: spending it all at one time and having nothing to show for it afterwards; spending it all at once on big-ticket items such as electronics, or for larger amounts, a vehicle; spending it all on a luxury vacation; gambling it all away, lotto tickets, etc.; using it as a down payment on something you can't afford later with your normal monthly budget."
Van Cleve is a Certified Financial Planner professional and the director of personal finance advice for USAA. He is a native of Little Rock, Ark., and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in finance from Liberty University. He is currently pursuing an MBA at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and holds FINRA Series 7, 6, 63, 65, and 24 securities registrations, as well as the state life and health insurance license. Prior to joining USAA in December of 2007, Van Cleve worked as a financial advisor for three other Fortune 500 companies. Before entering the financial services industry, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard on active duty. His daily focus has been to help families work towards their goals and achieve financial readiness. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his two amazing children and rooting for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Contact: Katy Sims,

Robert Steen, CFP
Director of Retirement and Complex Financial Planning Advice
Steen shares these tips to manage filing errors: 1) "Failure to file: If you don't file on time and owe taxes, you could face a penalty. The penalty for filing late is usually 5% of the unpaid taxes for each portion of a month that a return is late. This penalty will not exceed 25% of your unpaid taxes." 2) "Late payment: If you owe taxes and don't pay by the due date, you will generally pay a penalty -- 0.5% of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month you're late. The combined maximum penalty for paying late and filing late (assuming no fraud) is 5% per month, or 25% in total." 3) "Extensions: You can request a deadline extension if you have paid at least 90% of your actual tax liability by the original due date. You won't face a failure-to-pay penalty if the remaining balance is paid by the extended due date. So if you cannot pay all the taxes you owe, file your tax return on time and pay as much as you can, then explore other payment options."
Steen also shares these common filing errors to avoid: 1) "Wrong names or numbers: Be sure you spell the names of everyone on your tax return exactly as they appear on their Social Security cards and correctly enter their Social Security numbers. The same goes for bank routing and account numbers if you opt to get your refund by direct deposit. And double-check all of your calculations to avoid math errors." 2) "Filing status errors: Some people use the wrong filing status, such as head of household instead of single. The Interactive Tax Assistant on can help you choose the right one. Tax software helps e-filers choose." 3) "Errors in figuring credits or deductions. Many filers make mistakes figuring their Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and the standard deduction. If you're not e-filing, follow the instructions carefully when figuring credits and deductions. For example, if you're 65 or older or blind, be sure you claim the correct, higher standard deduction."
Steen serves as the advice expert on retirement planning and management, as well as trust and estate planning, for USAA members. His primary responsibility is for the development of USAA's advice points of view regarding related subjects, including maximizing retirement savings, establishing a retirement income plan, managing financial needs during retirement, estate/trust/inheritance tax planning, charitable gifting, and distribution of assets. He previously served as a USAA senior wealth manager, with more than 14 years of experience serving the needs of high-net-worth members, families, and business owners in the areas of investments, retirement planning, tax planning, risk management, life income planning, and estate/legacy planning. Prior to joining USAA, Steen was a financial consultant with AXA Advisors, and also held leadership roles in international trade and development. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Financial Planning and Retirement at the American College. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MBA in finance from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner. In addition, he holds all of the required federal and state licenses, as well as the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP), and Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL) designations. Steen and his family have lived in Mexico, and he has traveled throughout Latin America and other parts of the world. Robert and his wife enjoy spending time with family, cooking, music, and a variety of outdoor activities.
Contact: Katy Sims,

Darren Guccione
CEO and Co-Founder
Keeper Security, Inc.
Guccione, a cybersecurity expert and CPA, can provide expert advice and tax tips from a cybersecurity angle. He holds a Master of Science in Accountancy with Distinction from the Kellstadt School of Business at DePaul University in Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a noted cybersecurity expert in major media outlets, including CBS Evening News, FOX & Friends, USA Today, ABC and Mashable. He was recently named in the Chicago Top Tech 50 by Crain's Chicago Business.
Keeper Security Media Reel:
Contact: Aaron Gessner,

David Selig
Selig & Associates
Selig is a federal tax practitioner, management accountant and vigorous advocate who, in addition to managing a high-profile New York City tax practice, has served as chief financial officer at a publicly traded company. As an accomplished public speaker and nationally televised conservative commentator, Selig has appeared on over 300 international, national and local television programs. Moreover, he has been quoted in over 100 written articles and is a regular guest on syndicated radio. Selig is also a former U.S. Marine and honorably discharged veteran.
Previous TV appearance:
Contact: Ryan McCormick,

Miguel Farra, CPA, JD
Principal-in-Charge, Tax and Accounting Department
Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra (MBAF)
As chairman of the department, Farra leads MBAF's team of highly skilled tax professionals working with clients both domestically and internationally in a variety of industries, ranging from banking and manufacturing, to wholesale/distribution, real estate and healthcare. With over 38 years of industry experience, Farra would be a fantastic expert source to contribute insights on his best tax advice and share anecdotes from what he's seeing with clients that would be of great value to your readers.
Contact: Alyssa Valleau,

Pete Lang
Founder and President
Lang Capital
Lang is an accomplished tax attorney (retired), accountant (retired) and investment advisor representative. A graduate of The University of South Carolina, Lang majored in business/accounting (1988) and also obtained a Juris Doctor (1987) from the university. A Master of Laws in Taxation (1988) from New York University followed, as well as a successful career as a corporate, tax and real estate attorney. Lang began his career working as a corporate and tax lawyer in Washington, D.C., with Sidley and Austin. He relocated to Charlotte, N.C., and became the managing partner of Baity and Lang, LLP.  Lang has been licensed as an attorney in Washington, D.C., North Carolina and South Carolina, and has also been licensed as a CPA in Maryland. After more than two decades of legal practice, including tax and estate planning, Lang made the jump to investment advisory services. He is currently president of Lang Capital, a private wealth manager serving as a financial advisor and fiduciary to clients in North and South Carolina.
Contact: Mindy Eras,

Greg Hammer
Tax and Wealth Advisor
Hammer Financial Group, Inc.
Hammer specializes in coordinated, holistic financial planning for Lake County, Indiana and Chicago-area residents who are approaching retirement or currently retired. Bringing tax preparation and planning, Medicare supplements, estate planning, insurance and investments all under one roof, Hammer aims to provide complete and convenient financial solutions for the best interest of the clients he serves. He trains and coaches independent financial advisors nationwide on how to build their business to better serve the holistic financial needs of American families. In particular, he has helped develop and refine processes to integrate tax preparation and Medicare supplement services into a financial advisory practice, a unique addition within the financial industry designed for the ultimate convenience and benefit of clients at and near retirement. He earned a B.A. in applied mathematics with a focus in economics from Yale University and has more than 23 years of experience in the financial services industry. In addition to his series 6, 63, 65 and 26 and life and health licenses, Hammer maintains Master Elite Membership with Ed Slott's Elite IRA Advisor Group for continued study and mastery of IRAs and applicable tax laws.
Contact: Mindy Eras,

Mary Kay Foss, CPA
Tax Director
Sweeney Kovar
Foss, a nationally recognized tax expert, is a past chair of the taxation committee of the California Society of CPAs and has been quoted in numerous publications regarding tax issues. Some examples: MarketWatch (, Consumer Reports (, USA Today (, and New York Times ( Based in Danville, Calif., Foss has more than 30 years of experience in advising individuals, trusts, retirees and sole proprietors regarding how to save on their taxes.
Contact: Bill Spaniel,

Suzanne Shier
Chief Wealth Planning and Tax Strategist
Northern Trust
Shier is responsible for leading Wealth Planning Advisory Services and for providing thought leadership on wealth planning and tax issues of interest to clients and their advisors, with a special emphasis on wealth planning and tax policy, legislation, strategies, trends and developments. Prior to joining Northern Trust, she spent 26 years as a partner at Chapman and Cutler LLP in Chicago, ultimately leading the firm's Trusts and Estates practice, representing individuals, charitable organizations, and corporate fiduciaries in a full range of wealth planning and fiduciary matters, including philanthropy, domestic and international wealth planning, and fiduciary administration. Shier is an adjunct professor in the Master of Laws in Taxation Program at Northwestern University Law School and also a frequent speaker and author. She has been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, and has received numerous professional honors and recognitions, including selection for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in Trusts and Estates. She earned her bachelor's degree with distinction in economics and sociology from the University of Michigan in 1982. She received her law degree, cum laude, from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1985 and a master of laws in taxation from the DePaul University College of Law in 1997. In the civic community, Shier supports diversity and education initiatives. She has been involved with the executive committees and boards of directors of Gads Hill Center and the Chicago Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law. She is Chairperson of the board of directors of Chicago Scholars, a college access program for high potential urban students, and a trustee of Hope College. She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Chicago Estate Planning Council, American Bar Association, International Bar Association and the International Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
Contact: Megan Bramson,

Scott M. Sadar
Executive Vice President and Certified Financial Planner
Somerset Wealth Strategies
A financial professional for 15 years, Sadar contributed to annuity sales at Jackson National Life and MetLife prior to joining Somerset Wealth Strategies. His experience in simplifying these complex products allows for his clients to understand what the product does for them, instead of repeating the newest acronym or abbreviation created by an insurance company marketing department. Nick Murray has spoken about how there are two things each person must purchase every day of retirement: dignity and independence. Sadar provides conservative and comprehensive financial planning advice for his clients. He prefers to ask "What are you trying to accomplish?" and then actually listen to clients share about their goals and objectives. His style is to explain how those benefits will make a positive impact on the lives of his clients so they may focus on living their dreams with meaning and purpose. An Eagle Scout with Troop 380 in Akron, Ohio, Sadar's background as a teacher and a coach began during his time in Scouting. A graduate of Ohio University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication, Sadar is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Financial Services (MSFS). In order to be prepared for the challenges facing his clients, Scott has demonstrated knowledge of Advanced Financial Planning by earning the following professional designations and securities licenses: CFP (Certified Financial Planner); CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) Advanced Insurance Specialty; ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant) Advanced Financial Planning; CASL (Chartered Advisor of Senior Living) Retirement Coaching for Life's Second Half; Series 6 (Variable annuities and mutual funds license); Series 7 (General Securities license); Series 24 (General Securities Principal); Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent, allows selling securities in states outside of resident state); Registered Investment Advisor Representative (should a client prefer fee-based); Variable Life, Health, and Disability License (which allows for the selling of insurance products and annuities).
Scott is a marathon runner and resides in Portland, Oregon.
Contact: Steve Kaufman,

Vince Colabianchi
Principal and Chief Financial Officer
Cypress Wealth Advisors
Colabianchi has been a CPA for more than 25 years, and specializes in income and estate tax planning, business planning and accounting compliance for high-net-worth individuals.  He can speak articulately on year-end tax planning strategies, trends, changing laws and existing law interpretation topics, to name a few.
Contact: Bethanee

Bob Annibale
Global Director of Citi Community Development and Citi Inclusive Finance
Through Citi Community Development, Annibale works closely with the Department of Consumer Affairs to raise public awareness of and provide education about free tax preparation options like Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites and tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). He can speak in-depth about this year's campaign and what taxpayers -- specifically low-income taxpayers -- should be doing to prepare their taxes in the next few months.
Annibale leads Citi's partnerships with global, national, and local organizations to support inclusive finance and community development through economic empowerment, focusing on responsible and accessible finance; financial coaching and asset building; neighborhood preservation and revitalization; access to college education; and small business and microenterprise development. He also leads Citi's commercial relationships with microfinance financial institutions, corporations, investors and municipalities, working across Citi's businesses and geographies to expand access to financial services in underserved communities. Annibale is a member of the Policy Committee of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford and represents Citi on the boards of the Microfinance Information Exchange, the Center for Financial Services Innovation, the U.S. FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion and the Citi Foundation. Until recently, he also represented Citi on the Executive Committee of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor at the World Bank. He has served on the Board of Advisors for the United Nations Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and on the councils of the University of London's Goldsmiths College and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). In 2014, Annibale was honored as a White House Champion of Change for his work leading Citi's programs promoting immigrant integration and citizenship in the U.S. Also in 2014, he was named by the Financial Times as one of the OUTStanding Top 100 LGBT Business Leaders. A U.S. and UK national, Annibale holds a B.A. in history and political science from Vassar College, New York, and an M.A. in African studies (history) from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.
Contact: Katherine Burns,

Amy Vetter, CPA.CITP, CGMA
Global Vice President, Education; Head of Accounting, USA
As a small-business owner herself (she runs a yoga studio in Ohio), Vetter specializes in helping small-business owners understand how to manage their business finances, arming them with financial literacy in order to avoid unnecessarily dipping into personal finances and destroying their credit for the sake of their business. Vetter can provide tips and tricks for building long-term accountant/small-business owner relationships, and why this yield's better financial results for small-business owners, especially during tax season.
In her role at Xero, the only cloud accounting software provider focused on making CPA practices more successful by strengthening the relationship between advisors and their small-business customers, Vetter develops and executes the education strategy for more than 600,000 accounting partners and small-business customers worldwide. Additionally, she owns and operates DRISHTIQ Yoga in Ohio, which offers heated and non-heated yoga classes. Prior to Xero, Vetter was the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation and performed many roles in the accountant professional division with Intuit, Inc. Additionally, she has experience running client accounting services practices, whether it be her own company or as a partner in a CPA firm. She has authored a number of accounting technology reference materials and has been a contributor and a national speaker on financial and technology topics at conferences and universities throughout the United States. She has been recognized as one to the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting Today's listing.
Contact: Erin Rosenblum,

Michael H. Karu, CPA/CFF
Levine, Jacobs & Company, LLC
Karu is an authority on taxation ranging from startups and small businesses to medium-sized and large businesses. He can also speak to what individuals in each of the roughly five generations which exist today need to be aware of in terms of their tax planning. Karu is qualified by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part, as an expert witness. He received his B.S. degree in business administration from The Ohio State University. He holds professional memberships in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the AICPA Tax Division and the AICPA Business Valuation, Forensics and Litigation Services Section. He is a member of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, where he has been active in the Litigation Services Committee, Business Valuation Sub-Committee, State Healthcare Committee, Committee for Non-Profit Organizations, and the Committee for Young CPAs.
Contact: Amy Delman,

David H. McCormick-Goodhart, MBA, CPA/PFS, CFP
Financial Advisor
Savant Capital Management
McCormick-Goodhart is a financial advisor in Savant's McLean, Va., office and a member of the advisory team. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the financial planning and investment process for Savant's clients. He regularly meets with clients, other advisors, portfolio managers, and financial planners to formulate and coordinate effective planning, investment, and tax strategies. He has been involved in the financial services industry since 2005. Prior to joining Savant, he was a senior tax accountant at an accounting firm and a financial advisor at a wealth management firm in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. McCormick-Goodhart earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and an MBA from Mount St. Mary's University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential, issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He is also a Certified Financial Planner professional. He is a member of the AICPA, the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). In his spare time, he enjoys collecting vintage video games, exploring new restaurants, and traveling with his wife, Bethany.
Contact: Molly Doyle,

Cal Brown, CFP, MST
Financial Advisor
Savant Capital Management
Brown is a financial advisor in Savant's McLean, Va., office and a member of the advisory team. He is responsible for managing all aspects of the financial planning and investment process for Savant's clients. He routinely meets with clients, advisors, portfolio managers, and planners to determine and coordinate effective planning, investment, and tax strategies. Brown has been working in the financial services industry since 1984. He is the author of the book "When Life Strikes: Weathering Financial Storms." He received his master of science in taxation (MST) at American University in Washington, D.C., and graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He is a Certified Financial Planner professional and currently an adjunct professor in the MST program at American University, teaching the estate planning course. He is a member and past chairman of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). The Washingtonian and Northern Virginia magazines named Brown as one of the top financial planners in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. Three of his professional articles have been published in the Journal of Financial Planning, and he has written articles appearing in Bloomberg Wealth Manager and Financial Planning magazines. He has appeared on CNBC, Fox 5 D.C., the PBS "Nightly Business Report," WAVA-FM (Washington, D.C.), and News Channel 8 in Washington, D.C. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, Smart Money, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, CNNfn, Financial Planning magazine, Mutual Funds magazine, and InvestmentNews. Prior to its combination with Savant, Brown was an advisor with The Monitor Group for 12 years. He joined Team Savant in June 2012.
Contact: Molly Doyle,

David Walters, CFP, CPA
Portfolio Manager
Palisades Hudson Financial Group, Portland, Ore.
Walters can talk about all federal income tax matters, from the most basic to the most sophisticated. As a practicing tax professional, CPA and financial planner, he brings a big-picture view to tax planning and preparation. Palisades Hudson is an independent fee-only wealth manager.
Contact: Henry Stimpson,

Bijan Golkar, CFP
CEO, Senior Advisor
FPC Investment Advisory, Inc.
Golkar is a wealth manager and tax preparer with a wealth of knowledge in taxation, from the wealthy to the average lower-middle class. He joined FPC Investment Advisory, Inc. in 2007. Before beginning his career as an investment advisor, he worked as a licensed mortgage broker in the San Francisco Bay area. He has been a licensed tax preparer since 2007 and earned the Certified Financial Planner certification in 2013. He is frequently quoted in national media as an expert on investing and financial planning topics. In addition to his duties as the firm's CEO, Golkar provides comprehensive advice to high-net-worth individuals and families. He often creates and leads teams of legal, accounting and insurance experts to help these clients meet their goals. And he consults with small businesses on buyouts, employee benefits and other matters.
Expert Contact:

Robert Barnhill
Professor of Financial Planning
Texas Tech University
Barnhill, a licensed attorney and certified financial planner who has studied tax issues for 30 years, is available to discuss questions related to tax season. He has written several books discussing estate, retirement and individual taxes. He also conducts continuing education courses for tax professionals every year.
Contact: Heidi Toth,

Victor Saliterman
Senior Vice President and General Manager
ADP's Health Care Reform Business
Saliterman can provide tips for consumers on how to navigate the new 1095-C tax form. He leads the ADP-wide health care strategy across business units, product management, sales and marketing, service and finance to meet profitability and growth objectives. In addition, he is responsible for leading Added Value Services' emerging Health Care business unit and serves as liaison to the ADP Executive Committee (XCOM) in support of the company's enterprise-wide health care strategy. Saliterman received an MBA in finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Connecticut College. He lives in Mendham, N.J., with his wife Megan and three children.
Contact: Michael Schneider,


Transferring a Family Business
Jim McCarthy, CFP, ChFC
Managing Director
Directional Wealth Management LLC
"Transferring a business is a process, not an event. When dealing with family-business situations, advisers need to make sure their clients understand that it's often a long process.
Baby boomers are leaving the workforce and a huge quantity are business owners. Every day, 10,000 boomers are retiring, and this trend will continue until 2030, according to Two thirds of these retiring business owners plan to pass their business on to family members, but only one third actually have a plan for how they will perform this transfer, according to a KPMG Family Business Survey. These findings are not inconsequential and shine a laser beam on an inconvenient truth -- without a plan or proper knowledge of how to successfully pass a business on to the next generation, an enormous segment of the country's economy will be impacted for decades to come. Based in the New Jersey tristate area, McCarthy works with these individuals every day and has truly become "A Voice for Boomer Business Owners." He is authoritative, yet can speak to the "everyday" person. He is informative and wants nothing more than to help people hold on to and grow their wealth.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Amy Delman,

Negotiating Financial Aid Awards
Steven Sirot
College Financial Planner
College Benefits Research Group
Starting now, college-bound high school seniors will begin receiving their financial aid awards. Many will receive less than expected, and may not attend a school based on that sole decision.  What many do not know is these awards can be appealed, but the timing is critical -- May 1 is the deadline for students to accept these awards. Says Sirot: "As we all know, college is very expensive, and negotiating a reduction of thousands of dollars adds up when multiplied by four years! As is true with most important life situations, it certainly helps to have people in your corner who have gone through it before."
Based in the New Jersey tristate area, Sirot is passionate about helping hard-working families afford college, not just for their first-born, but for each successive child in the family, without going broke.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Amy Delman,

The Challenges of Designing a Corporate Event
Bob Russo
Director of Creative Services
VDA Productions
"Designing a corporate event is not without challenges. Keeping the experience a lively, educational, engaging visual feast is no small task! It is so important to have clear communication regarding the mission and goals for the event, and up-front budget conversations."
Based in Boston, Russo has over 30 years' experience in event and theatre production. His work as an award-winning event designer, stage combat choreographer, and Emmy-nominated costume designer, affords him the unique ability to interpret a client's vision. He is an expert in the design and logistical planning/reality of corporate events, themed events, retail and museum environments, and corporate facilities. His subject matter expertise includes industry trends, fabrication and materials selection, site selection, industry trends, lighting and technological integration. Given Russo's reputation for innovative and avant-garde event design, he was recently tapped to work with the Greater Boston Food Bank board to revamp their event. He has a flexible travel/phone interview schedule and is open to all opportunities.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Meghan Welborn,


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Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line.

  • HOW TO TAKE YOUR BLOG AUDIENCE FROM A FLING TO LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP. The blogging game can look a lot like dating. You put your best self out there into a world of unknowns. It can feel exciting and scary. It can also feel a little lonely. But, once you find your confidence and a formula that works, the relationship can quickly move from infatuation to true love. If you want to build a meaningful long-term relationship with your blog audience, consider these 10 fundamentals:
  • SKILLS JOURNALISM STUDENTS NEED TO LEARN. To be a successful journalist, you need to be more than just a good writer. You also need to know how to navigate social media, how to edit a simple video, and more. Here's some advice from Kelley Callaway, president of the College Media Association:
  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: THE SINGULAR 'THEY'. Language is constantly evolving (remember the big argument over "e-mail" vs. "email"?). In the latest Grammar Hammer column, we look at the word "they," recently voted by the American Dialect Society as the word of the year:

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