Firm maintains commitment to elevating top talent from within and growing core practice areas in one of its largest promotion announcements to date
PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP, one of the nation’s largest accounting and tax firms, and PKF O’Connor Davies Advisory announced that 16 employees have been elevated to key leadership positions within the Firm. Vincent Abbruzzese, Samuel Botta, Anthony Capellupo, Phillip Elefonte, Joseph Farrenkopf, Christopher Johnson, Ronald Martinez, Christopher McPhee, Christopher Migliaccio, Kathleen O’Toole, Dawn Perri, Erika Peterson, Robert Provost, Brenda Russell, Melissa Szot and Katherine Zech have each been promoted to the role of Partner. This year’s sizeable cohort of promoted team members reflects a new chapter in the Firm’s strategic growth plan and underscores its sustained commitment to recognizing and developing top-tier internal talent. Each individual will apply their specialized expertise as the Firm continues to grow its operational footprint and expand into new markets.
“These sixteen individuals are exemplary of the best our Firm has to offer, and I congratulate each of them on their well-deserved promotions,” said Kevin J. Keane, Executive Chairman at PKF O’Connor Davies. “Promoting from within remains a foundational pillar of our culture, and I look forward to watching these recognized leaders embrace their expanded roles, enhance the work they accomplish for our clients and elevate our organization to even greater heights.”
Vincent Abbruzzese possesses nearly 20 years of experience providing audit and business advisory services to clients in the health care industry. His expertise is in providing auditing and advisory services to large physician multi-specialty practices, as well as to ambulatory service centers, dialysis centers and home health agencies. Abbruzzese also has experience assisting clients with the preparation of Medicare/Medicaid third-party cost reports and providing clients with guidance related to the Provider Relief Fund. He is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (NYSSCPA) Health Care Committee.
Samuel Botta has more than 15 years of experience working with clients in the nonprofit and real estate sectors, including co-operative housing corporations and condominium entities. He is responsible for drafting, preparing and reviewing financial statements, ascertaining compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), preparing management letters and serving as the Firm’s representative at client board meetings. Botta is the vice chairman of the NYSSCPA’s Real Estate Committee and is a speaker on real estate accounting and audit topics. He also is an instructor in the Firm’s Continuing Professional Education program and authors accounting and auditing articles for the Firm’s thought leadership series.
Anthony Capellupo is the Firm’s Chief Financial Officer and possesses more than 30 years of accounting and finance experience across several different industries in both the public and private accounting sectors. A graduate of Fordham University and Pace University, Capellupo is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York and remains involved with both The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the NYSSCPA.
Phillip Elefonte has over 20 years of experience in accounting, auditing, taxation and planning for partnerships, corporations, consolidated groups and S corporations. His clients range from small, privately held companies to large, complex, multi-state and multi-national organizations in the hospitality, real estate, wholesale, retail, manufacturing and service industries. Elefonte has appeared in various business publications, serves as a mentor to staff, is a frequent speaker at Firm training sessions and is charged with leading software implementation and technology solutions for taxation within the Firm.
Joseph Farrenkopf specializes in audits of employee benefit plans and has assisted in developing the Firm’s streamlined approach to ensure efficient and effective employee benefit plan audits. He attends and speaks at various training sessions held by the Firm each year and contributes articles to the Firm’s thought leadership series. Farrenkopf has over 12 years of experience in public accounting and currently serves as the vice chair of the NYSSCPA’s Employee Benefit Plan Committee.
Christopher Johnson brings over 15 years of professional tax and consulting experience to his work with the Firm’s Financial Services group, where he specializes in the taxation of private equity, hedge funds, venture capital and other financial services clients. Johnson provides additional expertise in the areas of structuring and planning compliance for cannabis and real estate businesses, investment entities, qualified opportunity zone funds, partnerships and international clients. He is also experienced in cross-border tax planning, wealth transfer strategies and transaction structuring.
Ronald Martinez is the leader of the Firm’s hospitality practice, with more than 15 years of experience serving both privately and publicly held companies with domestic and international locations. He works with clients in a variety of industry sectors, including hotels, clubs, restaurants and real estate. In addition, Martinez provides accounting and consulting services to purchasers and sellers with respect to hotel and real estate sales and merger transactions, due diligence, and business combinations and consolidations. He works with overseas affiliates of clients, as well as with other accounting firms on group audits. In addition to serving as the Firm’s joint venture liaison with PKF Hospitality, Martinez works with member firms of PKF International Limited to service clients in addressing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), International Standards on Auditing (ISA), U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP) and U.S. Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (US GAAS) issues.
Christopher McPhee is the Firm’s Chief Information Officer. He is responsible for leading the Firm’s global IT strategy and operations, including infrastructure, services and applications that enable the Firm’s employees to work anytime, anywhere. McPhee has more than 30 years of experience in technology service management, project management and consulting focused on systems implementation of business solutions. He has been recognized for achievements in IT service management, portfolio and project management, full systems implementation lifecycle and delivery, systems administration, support desk management and networking.
Christopher Migliaccio is an attorney and serves in the Firm’s international tax practice. He has more than 10 years of experience providing consultation on international tax matters, including cross-border transactions, business restructurings and complex compliance issues for multinational corporations, partnerships, private equity funds and high-net-worth individuals. In addition, Migliaccio regularly leads due diligence and structuring for M&A transactions. He is the Firm’s Employee Retention Credit (ERC) leader, having assisted clients with receiving millions in credits. As one of the Firm’s most prolific thought leaders, Migliaccio has also written extensively on a wide range of tax topics and spoken at industry and tax-related conferences.
Kathleen O’Toole, the Firm’s Chief Marketing Officer, is a multifaceted marketing and communications professional with extensive experience in driving market share and revenue increases at leading financial and professional services companies. Throughout her career, she has initiated creative marketing, communications and business development programs delivering immediate results. O’Toole has enjoyed proven success in the areas of B2B and B2C strategy and analysis, product/program development and management, client experience, branding, communications, advertising, client development and retention, promotions, event management, public and media relations, digital marketing and social media, thought leadership and ultra-high-net-worth marketing. The recipient of numerous industry awards, O’Toole is a graduate of Villanova University and was most recently an advisory board member of the Seton Hall University CX School.
Dawn Perri is the Firm’s Chief Human Resources Officer, overseeing all of the human resources operations on a daily basis that benefit the Firm’s 1,400-plus team members. Perri brings more than 25 years of experience to her comprehensive management of the Firm’s HR activities, which include employee relations, integration of acquisitions, talent management, benefits administration, policy development and implementation, performance management, compliance and risk management, compensation planning and assessment, culture and values development. Perri currently serves as a board member of the White Plains Youth Bureau and is a graduate of Fordham University. She is also the winner of the 2021 Ovation Award for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion from the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA).
Erika Peterson leverages her 20 years of experience in public accounting in her work consulting on all aspects of taxation and tax compliance for low-income housing partnerships and corporations, multi-national corporate groups, and individual clients. She has represented corporate and individual clients before the IRS and several state departments of taxation in respect to examination and appeals. In addition, she has assisted the management of key clients from diverse industries to implement their strategic goals.
Robert Provost has spent the past 15-plus years serving a variety of clients in a range of industry sectors, including government, food, manufacturing and distribution. In addition to being a CPA, he is a licensed Registered Municipal Accountant (RMA) and a Public School Accountant (PSA). Provost currently specializes in public sector entities, including public school districts, municipalities and counties. He regularly performs financial statement audits in accordance with Government Auditing Standards and is proficient in performance audits and federal and state single audits under the Federal Uniform Grant Guidance and NJ Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular 15-08.
Brenda Russell has over 25 years of experience in both public and private accounting. Russell specializes in tax planning, compliance and tax strategy development for franchisee, manufacturing, real estate, private clubs and not-for-profit clients. Her clients range from individuals to large corporations, but much of her time is focused on closely held businesses and their owners. She also supports the Firm’s Center for Private Business Owners in developing customized strategic advisory plans for clients and prospects. Russell serves as a member of both the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (RISCPA) Tax and Social Activities Committees, as well as a treasurer for St. Francis Episcopal Church. She is an instructor in the Firm’s Continuing Professional Education program and presents at its Annual Tax Update. She is also active with the Firm’s Women’s Initiative Network.
Melissa Szot possesses 15 years of experience providing accounting and auditing services to public sector clients, including cities, towns, villages, counties, school districts and local authorities. In addition to her extensive local government knowledge, she also has experience performing financial audits of costs incurred to determine if grantees are in compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). As a member of the Special Review Committee for the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), Szot reviews applications for the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) Award. She is an instructor in the Firm’s Continuing Professional Education program, teaching courses specific to the Public Sector, and has spoken at the New York State Government Finance Officers’ Association (NYGFOA). She serves as a member of both the NYSSCPA’s Public Schools and Government Accounting & Auditing Committees, as well as the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).
Katherine Zech is involved in accounting, tax and consulting services for closely held businesses, including those in the wholesale, manufacturing, medical and professional services fields. With over 15 years of experience in public accounting, she specializes in business consulting and advisory services, in addition to individual, partnership and corporate tax planning and accounting services for privately held and family-owned businesses. Zech has been honored by a number of industry and civic organizations, including the Gateway Chamber of Commerce, the NJCPA and the Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ). A past president of the Union County Chapter of the NJCPA and a past chair of its Emerging Leaders Council, she currently serves as a trustee on the NJCPA State Board.
PKF O’Connor Davies continues to expand through organic growth and acquisitions on the East Coast. It has supported this growth with a strategic combination of promoting from within coupled with an ongoing focus on top-tier external hires.