Stephen Whitlock – Director, The Office of Professional Responsibility, IRS — Keynote Speaker
Steve previously served as the Director of the Whistleblower Office where, as the first to hold this role, he oversaw development of the program, set policy and provided oversight for Service action on information provided by whistleblowers.
Prior to that, Steve held the position of Deputy Director, Office of Professional Responsibility where he oversaw the conduct of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents, actuaries and appraisers who practice before the IRS under Treasury Circular 230. Steve also served as the Director, Commissioner’s Complaint Processing and Analysis Group, which designed and implemented a plan for the new organization to receive, monitor and resolve complaints and other correspondence from or about IRS employees. Prior to joining the IRS, Steve held numerous leadership positions within the Office of the Inspector General and the Department of Defense.
Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Auburn University, a Juris Doctor degree from Catholic University, and a Masters in Business Administration degree from George Mason University.
Merrill Barter – CPA, Director, Baker Newman Noyes
Merrill is a director in BNN’s tax practice, and the State and Local Tax (SALT) practice leader. He has more than 25 years of experience working in the tax field, including governmental, public company, and public accounting. Merrill works with a broad spectrum of clients, including large corporations and mid-tier/privately owned business entities and their owners. He leverages his experience to provide a high level of service and creative solutions to address his clients’ tax situations.
Merrill specializes in assisting clients with state tax issues, with a focus on multi-state compliance and planning. He has extensive experience in sales and use tax matters, including helping clients determine the proper sales tax treatment of their products and services. Merrill routinely works directly with state tax authorities on behalf of his clients to resolve state tax matters and obtain the best possible outcomes.
Jon Block — Partner, Pierce Atwood
Jon Block represents and advises clients with Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts tax problems. Jon litigates tax cases at the administrative level and through all levels of the court system, advises clients on transactional and multistate tax issues, obtains advance rulings for clients, and does a substantial amount of legislative and government relations work in the tax area.
Jon’s substantive expertise in state and local tax encompasses corporate and individual income tax, business profits tax, sales and use tax, property tax, excise tax, transfer tax, and other state and local taxes. Jon also advises expanding and relocating companies on taking maximum advantage of available tax and economic development incentives. Jon’s client base includes large, medium and small businesses as well as individuals.
Jon received his J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law in 1992 and his LL.M. in Taxation from the Boston University School of Law in 2000. Jon currently serves as a board member of the Finance Authority of Maine.
Dan Doiron — CPA, CVA, Principal, Albin, Randall & Bennett
Dan is principal-in-charge for ARB’s tax group. He has over 30 years of experience in public accounting and has been with ARB since his college internship in January of 1986. He works extensively with corporations, partnerships, LLCs, estates, and trusts on tax compliance and planning matters. Dan has also structured business acquisitions and business sales from a tax perspective. He has written numerous articles, some of which have been published nationally by professional publications, and has developed and taught seminars on various tax topics. Dan’s expertise has been sought by local television news, where he has appeared for interviews with respect to accounting and tax matters.
Kris Eimicke – Partner, Pierce Atwood
Kris Eimicke concentrates his practice on tax issues and economic development programs, with a special emphasis on state and federal new markets tax credit (NMTC) programs, renewable energy tax credits, and historic rehabilitation tax credits. Kris also regularly advises businesses, tax-exempt organizations, and individuals on tax issues related to a variety of business transactions, as well as representation before the Internal Revenue Service,
Robert Ferrini – Program Manager, McGowan Pro
Rob Ferrini is McGowan Pro’s Program Manager specializing in Cyber Liability Insurance / Data Breach Response coverage. Mr. Ferrini is a regular presenter on risk management and insurance. Rob has spoken nationally on Information Security and data breach coverage, best practices and understanding Information Security/Cyber Liability Insurance. At McGowan Pro, Rob has also served as a professional liability underwriter and he has more than 20 years of insurance industry experience.
His past experience includes owning and operating several small businesses in both retail and service industries. He also serves as a board member of several local non-profit organizations, including the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce. When Rob is not assisting clients with their insurance needs, he and his wife, Eileen, enjoy following the Red Sox and Patriots, traveling and spending time with their two daughters and their dog, Obie.
Dan Gayer – JD, CPA, Manager, Baker Newman Noyes
Dan Gayer is a manager in the firm’s tax practice, and has been part of the firm’s state and local tax (SALT) practice since he joined BNN in 2011. Dan works with clients ranging from small firms to public companies, always seeking practical solutions to state tax challenges that are consistent with clients’ business needs.
Dan focuses on multi-state compliance, planning, and consulting, working primarily with professional services, technology, and manufacturing and distribution clients. In addition to income and franchise tax, Dan has extensive experience in sales and use tax matters, including the nuances between sales and income/franchise tax nexus, specific rules for taxation of SAAS, and the many SALT issues presented in merger and acquisition transactions.
In addition to his SALT practice, Dan manages federal tax planning and compliance for businesses and their owners. His comprehensive knowledge of both the federal and SALT side of his clients’ tax situations helps clients to achieve optimal tax results consistent with their overall business and personal goals.
Jeffrey Hiatt – Director of New Business Development, MS Consultants
Since joining MS Consultants in 1999, Jeff has developed and fostered relationships with CPA firms, real estate professionals and accounting societies throughout the New England area helping to make MS Consultants the leading provider of Cost Segregation Studies in the Northeast.
Jeff is a graduate of Indiana University. He has lectured on cost segregation providing CPE training to accounting firms and tax institutes. He has been a speaker for the Boston Tax Institute, Massachusetts Society of CPAs, New Hampshire Society of CPA’s, Maine Society of CPAs, Massachusetts Association of Public Accountants, New Hampshire Society of Accountancy, Maine Real Estate Developers Association, and New Hampshire Commercial/Industrial Board of Realtors. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Hampton, New Hampshire and a Board Member of Veterans Count.
Kristen Kellner – Cheif Learning Officer, KMA Human Resources Consulting, LLC
Kristen Kellner is the Chief Learning Officer at KMA Human Resources Consulting, LLC—responsible for overseeing the learning strategy for a wide variety of client populations. She is a seasoned Human Resources professional with expertise in addressing adult learning needs; passionate about collaborative, vibrant, and successful work environments. She has worked in a variety of settings in the retail industry, including 20+ years at L.L.Bean.
Kristen earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maine, Orono, and a M. Ed. from the University of Southern Maine. Her diverse background is a tapestry of training and development that includes team building, customer service, developing core values & vision statements, creating a positive work culture, and leadership development. Kristen is certified in several specialty areas: Performance Technologist (Center for Effective Performance), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Consulting Psychologists Press), and InsideOut Coaching (InsideOut Development).
Mike Lawsure – CPA, MST, The Swanson Group
Mike began his career in private accounting where he managed accounting and finances for a manufacturer, a regional restaurant chain, and a college. In private accounting he learned the value of listening to business owners to truly understand their needs and goals in order to offer personalized solutions. In 1998 he took his career in a new direction with the goal to become a CPA. He then began working for a large local accounting firm in the tax section where he was fortunate to be exposed to a broad array of challenging experiences. After moving on to a couple other accounting firms he decided to set out on his own in 2011. In 2015, he joined The Swanson Group LLC, where he can work closer with clients of any size or complexity to meet their individual, unique needs.
Stuart Lyons – CPA, MST, MBA, Baker Newman Noyes
Stuart is a principal in the tax practice at Baker Newman Noyes, specializing in international tax compliance and consulting for both business and individual clients. He joined the firm in 2008 after serving as corporate and international tax practice leader at a Massachusetts-based regional accounting firm. Prior to this, he worked for KPMG in Boston and was the director of tax at Perini Corporation. Stuart earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Miami, a master’s of business administration from Babson College, and a master’s in taxation from Bentley University.
As the firm’s international tax practice leader, Stuart specializes in managing the tax compliance, accounting for income tax reporting, including FAS 109 and FIN 48, and tax advisory services for large and medium-size multi-state and international corporations. He also provides tax planning and compliance services for individuals with international investments, employment, and business operations, including outbound expats and inbound foreign persons. Stuart also leads the firm’s international tax participation with Baker Tilly International where he coordinates global services for both outbound and inbound clients.
Ellie Marshall – Executive Business Advisor, MBA, Intrepid Business Advisors
Coach Ellie Marshall is a seasoned, award winning certified Business and Executive Coach who has a natural talent for working with her clients to focus them in on the issues that are important to the business. She works closely with them to solve the company’s biggest challenges and remove the leaders “blind spots.”
Clients learn how to achieve their goals faster than they could on their own through a proven, strategic, sustainable plan that will enable continued growth and success of their firm. She is a master at increasing an accounting firm’s profit.
Ellie has an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School and is certified in the following assessments: Profile XT, Motivation, Judgement, Hartman Value, DISC and Emotional Intelligence. She has worked as the Green Card Manager and Gold Card Director at American Express and the VP of Sales Worldwide at Seventeen Magazine.
Christopher McLoon – Attorney, Drummond Woodsum
Christopher McLoon is a transactional tax and business lawyer who enjoys helping clients achieve optimal business and investment results. He likes being a counselor, responsible for presenting issues and solutions in terms that lay a path for informed dialogue and good business and investment decisions. He especially appreciates working with real estate developers and investors who share his passion for creating vibrant places that create, improve, or enhance thriving communities.
Because he enjoys helping developers do great things for communities, Chris is thrilled to work in the firm’s Affordable Housing and Community Development Practice. This practice group has talented business, tax, real estate and commercial finance professionals. They have counseled real estate developers, investors, and lenders on many projects throughout New England generating low income tax credits, historic tax credits, and new markets tax credits. Chris earned an LL.M in taxation from New York University School of Law, a J.D.cum laude from Vermont Law School.
Rene Morin – CPA, CEBS, President, Downeast Pension Services, Inc.
Rene R. Morin, CPA and Certified Employee Benefit Specialist, is the President of Downeast Pension Services, Inc. (DPS), a Third Party Administrator for company sponsored retirement plans primarily for Maine and New Hampshire businesses since 1992. Rene and DPS recently celebrated their 26th anniversary in the business.
Rene holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Maine and received his CPA and CEBS designations in the early 1990’s.
Rene specializes in retirement plan design for businesses and their owners, and for keeping his clients in compliance and out of harm’s way with respect to IRS and DOL. DPS currently has 850 ongoing business clients, served by 26 employees here in Maine.
Rene has given many presentations over the years, including to the Maine Employee Benefits Council, C.P.A., lawyer, physician and dental groups on various topics from plan design strategies to giving tips on how to avoid plan audits. In addition, Rene has worked with various national 401(k) vendors including Hartford Life and John Hancock through their TPA Advisory Councils.
Kenleigh Nicoletta – Attorney, Brann & Isaacson
Kenleigh Nicoletta focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration, and advising tax-exempt organizations. Kenleigh works together with individuals, families and business owners to develop comprehensive estate plans appropriate for each client’s specific situation and needs, while providing advice on matters related to minimizing income, estate and gift taxes, as well as insurance, long-term care, and special needs planning.
Kenleigh represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in probate proceedings involving trust and estate administration, guardianships and conservatorships, and trust reformations. In addition, she assists nonprofit organizations, including both public charities and private foundations, in qualifying for tax–exempt status with the IRS, as well as with their continuing tax and corporate compliance.
Kenleigh grew up in Fryeburg and continues to have many ties to the area. She is an avid downhill skier and marathon runner.
Rob Ravenelle – Partner, Pierce Atwood
As head of Pierce Atwood’s Federal Income Tax practice, Rob Ravenelle has extensive experience in the planning, negotiation and tax structuring for mergers and acquisitions. He works closely with members of our Business Practice Group to ensure that clients obtain the most economic and tax efficient transaction results possible. Rob’s prior experience practicing as a Certified Public Accountant brings unique skills that enhance the value of our services in deal transactions, from mergers to renewable energy tax equity financing to succession planning of closely held businesses.
In addition to his M&A expertise, Rob is an expert in non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, frequently counseling on and drafting cutting edge plans for both closely held and public clients.
Margaret Romaniello – Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service
Margaret “Maggie” Romaniello is a Stakeholder Liaison (SL) Area Manager within the Communications & Liaison Division. Maggie trained as a Revenue Officer in Hartford, and Wethersfield, Connecticut before becoming an Insolvency Advisor for the Special Procedures Function in the Headquarters office in Hartford, CT. Maggie became a Senior Tax Specialist in Taxpayer Education and Communication and later a Senior Stakeholder Liaison in SL Field. She later became interested in management and acted as an Insolvency Group Manager for the Connecticut and Albany, and Utica, New York Areas for the Advisory & Insolvency Division of Collection in the Small Business/Self-Employed Operating Division in addition to participating in the Frontline Leader Readiness Program.
Maggie is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in Italian and holds a Masters in Business Administration from Rensselaer at Hartford. She lives in the village of Amston, CT, with her husband, twin sons and two dogs.
Mike Santo – Manager, Macpage
Mike concentrates his taxation practice in state and local, corporate, and individual taxation, with significant experience working with business entities including S-Corps, C-Corps, partnerships and LLCs. Since the merger of Wipfli and Macpage, Mike has joined the nation State and Local Tax team and provides consulting services in this field to clients around the country.
Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in public accounting and master’s in business administration from Thomas College and his master’s in taxation from Northeastern University.
Mike joined Macpage in 2012 and is a current member of the Cynergy Steering Committee, MECPA Developing Leaders Committee, and adjuncts at Thomas College.
Shawn Savage – Senior Stakeholder Liaison, Internal Revenue Service
Shawn Savage is Senior Stakeholder Liaison, Communications and Stakeholder Outreach Small Business/Self Employed Division, Internal Revenue Service where he leads the IRS efforts to provide tax professionals and the small business community with the latest tax information and resources the IRS has to offer.
Shawn joined the IRS in 1990 as Tax Auditor in South Portland, ME. In 1995, he became an Internal Revenue Agent in Augusta, ME conducting independent examinations and related investigations of income tax returns, which covered a diverse spectrum of individual and business taxpayers. He became a Senior Stakeholder Liaison in 2002 and has since had a mission of establishing relationships with tax professionals, industry stakeholders and small business service providers to share important tax information to ensure compliance with the tax laws. Savage holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Accounting, Finance and Marketing from the University of Maine at Orono.
Christopher Stevenson – Attorney, Drummond Woodsum
Chris is a member of the Business Services Group, practicing primarily in the areas of tax and employee benefits law. He is also a certified public accountant and, prior to attending law school, spent four years in public accounting. Chris regularly advises businesses on the tax aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and general business transactions. He also regularly represents individuals and businesses before the IRS, as well as state taxing authorities. Chris is a frequent speaker at the local and national level on various tax and employee benefit topics. Chris enjoys discussing complicated tax and employee benefits topics in plain language that is understandable and beneficial to non-tax lawyers.
Chris has extensive experience advising businesses, nonprofits, Indian tribes and public employers on all aspects of qualified and nonqualified deferred compensation plans, health plans, and other employee benefit arrangements. Chris also regularly assists employers in drafting retirement plan and health plan documents, as well as counseling employers through the IRS and DOL’s retirement plan voluntary correction programs.
Tabitha Swanson — CPA, CMA, CFM, The Swanson Group
Prior to starting The Swanson Group LLC, Tabitha was a Principal at a Portland Accounting Firm, the Administrator of a South Portland Medical Practice and Endoscopy Center, and the Controller of a Portland law firm. She has also worked in accounting for a large insurance company and audited several medical facilities. Tabitha enjoys building strong relationships with her clients, helping them identify their problems and developing strategies to implement appropriate ideas and solutions.
Tabitha graduated from the University of Maine in Orono with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in 2000. In 2002, she received her Certified Public Accountant designation in Maine and in 2007 she received her Certified in Management Accounting and Certified Financial Manager designations. Tabitha lives in Gorham with her husband, son and daughter.
Nelson Toner – Shareholder, Bernstein Shur
For more than 30 years, Nelson has practiced law at Bernstein Shur providing tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning to individual and business clients. Prior to working at Bernstein Shur, he worked in the tax department at the Boston office of Grant Thornton, an international accounting firm.
Nelson gives many local and state seminars, including a regular presentation at the Maine Tax Forum each autumn, and for many years taught Estate and Gift Tax at the Maine Law School. He also writes the S Corporation column for the Journal of Passthrough Entities, a national tax publication.
Nelson was born and raised in Portland. He graduated from Deering High School, received a mathematics degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and attended Case Western Reserve University Law School in Cleveland, Ohio. While working in Boston, he received a masters degree in taxation from Boston University.
Nelson lives with his wife, Lisa, in Portland. He has two daughters. His oldest daughter works as a fitness instructor and lives with her husband and son in Chatham, England; and his youngest daughter works as a development officer for the Endicott College and lives with her husband and son in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Timothy W. Woodhouse — CPA, JD, Director, Private Client Services, Cribstone Capital Management
Tim Woodhouse has over twenty years of investment, trust, tax, and estate planning experience. As Director, Private Clients Services, at Cribstone Capital Management, Tim provides investment and financial solutions and advice to a wide range of clients. Tim’s professional experience includes leadership positions in the areas of Fiduciary Administration and investment management.
Tim is a Certified Public Accountant and is a licensed attorney in the state of Maine. Tim serves on the board of directors and is the Vice President of the Maine Estate Planning Council and is a member of the Maine Medical Center Community Ambassador Council. In addition, Tim serves on the Finance Committee of Shalom House, Inc.– a non-profit providing housing and services to adults with severe mental illness. He is a member of the Maine Bar Association and the Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants. Tim is a frequent speaker on tax and fiduciary topics, most recently at the Maine Tax Forum.