Diane Sturgeon – District Director, SBA Maine
Diane is the District Director for the US Small Business Administration’s Maine District Office. She has held that position since April of 2021. She joined the SBA in April of 2012 as a Lender Relations Specialist and prior to becoming District Director, Diane was Deputy District Director of the Maine District Office for more than 8 years. She began her career as a teacher and coach before moving into the banking world where she has more than 10 years’ experience with both national and regional community banks.
Diane was born and raised in Maine and graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Secondary Education. She also completed the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders Fundamentals Diploma Program and the Northern New England School of Banking. Diane lives in Midcoast Maine and in her spare time volunteers with PAWS Animal Adoption Center in Camden, ME.
Richard Abbondanza, JD – Owner, Hopkinson & Abbondanza
Richard is a founding partner in the Portland law firm of Hopkinson & Abbondanza. He received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College, cum laude, and his law degree from Catholic University of America. He is a member of the Maine Estate Planning Council, WealthCounsel, a national association of estate planning attorneys and advisors, and a graduate of the two-year Laureate Program of the Southern California Institute and is admitted to practice in all Maine courts. Mr. Abbondanza regularly speaks on the subjects of estate planning, retirement planning and real estate and business succession planning.
He currently is serving on the Boards of North Yarmouth Academy and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. He also serves on steering committees for Capital Campaigns for Mercy Hospital and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine. He has served as an Adjunct Lecturer for Merrimack College’s CFP estate planning review course, and also on the Boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine and Woodfords Family Services.
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, Nelson worked in the tax department at the Boston office of Grant Thornton, an international accounting firm during the halcyon days of pre-1986 real estate syndications.
Nelson gives many local and state tax seminars, including a regular presentation at the Maine Tax Forum each fall. For many years, he taught the Estate and Gift Tax course at the Maine Law School. Nelson wrote the S Corporation column for the Journal of Passthrough Entities, a national tax publication until 2019 when CCH retired the publication. Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Trinity College (Hartford), a JD degree from Case Western Reserve University, and an LLM in taxation from Boston University.
Mark Scholl – Illinois Market Leader, Wifpli CPA’s and Consultants
With over 40 years of technology experience, Mark specializes in all aspects of technology services for the firm, primarily in the financial institutions industry, including cybersecurity, IT risk management, and IT training. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, seminars, webinars, and podcasts on various information technology and cybersecurity topics. Mark is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). In addition, Mark has an internal leadership role as the Illinois market leader, responsible for oversight and growth.
Eugene Syrovatkin – Senior Tax Manager, Marcum LLP
Eugene Syrovatkin is a senior manager in the Firm’s Portland office and is a member of the Firm’s Corporate Tax Service group. He has more than 10 years of experience and specializing in C-corporations and S-corporation and helping clients with the tax compliance, planning, and consulting needs of telecommunication companies and professional services firms. Mr. Syrovatkin is well-versed in complex tax issues and treatments of U.S. GAAP standards under ASC 606 & ASC 842, including federal and state depreciation methods, nexus for income and franchise tax, and state apportionment.
Prior to joining Marcum LLP, Mr. Syrovatkin has worked for regional public accounting firm in Portland, ME with a focus on serving large consolidated corporations with multi-state income tax filings.
Robert Kearns, CPA, MST – Shareholder, Purdy Powers LLP
Robert, it could be said, has accounting in his blood. A solid example of this is the fact that he passed all four parts of the CPA exam the first time he took them. It also doesn’t hurt that he also loves what he does and finds incredible satisfaction helping his clients navigate and understand the incredibly complex landscape of personal and business taxes.
When he’s not working through tax issues Robert is spending time with his family, hanging around on Peaks Island or working on his golf game to lower his handicap.
Jamie E. Szal – Partner, Brann & Isaacson
Jamie Szal helps businesses understand and strategically approach state and local tax compliance. Outside of work, Jamie is an active volunteer in her communities: serving on the Trinity College Board of Trustees and as a founding member of the college’s Women’s Leadership Council. She also is a member of the Board of MothersEsquire, involved with the Maine State Bar Association Women’s Law Section, and President of the board of Community Dental of Maine. She co-authored best-sellers “#Networked” and “Women in Law” about the power of women supporting women. Jamie enjoys chocolate, singing, and exploring Maine with her family.
Lee Peterson – Partner, CohnReznick
Lee peterson is a licensed attorney and Senior Tax Manager for CohnResnick’s National Renewable Energy Practice. To date, Lee has been a critical tax advisor in over 15 billion dollars of renewable energy projects within the U.S. and its’ territories. He is also responsible for thought-leadership and governmental affairs and his clients include Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign renewable energy project developers, and manufacturers. Lee also advises the nation’s top financial institutions regarding their tax equity investment structures.
Jeff Hiatt – Director of New Business Developments, MS Consultants
Jeff Hiatt started with MS Consultants in 1999. He has helped clients reduce their income tax burden ever since. He began offering Cost Segregation Studies just in New England. Now, the firm has a national footprint. Since then, MS Consultants has become New England’s leading independent provider of Cost Segregation Studies. Jeff has developed and fostered relationships with individual clients, accounting firms, and CPA Societies. Also, he has organized and run a practice helping commercial and residential property owners accelerate depreciation on all types of properties. To date, the firm has completed over 23,500 studies in 43 states.
Sno L. Barry, CPA, CEPA, MST – Principal, Berry Dunn
Sno joined BerryDunn upon graduating from college and has since built her practice on offering proactive and innovative tax solutions for her clients. Having grown up in a family with two family-owned businesses, Sno has a unique personal perspective that has framed her advisory skills.
Sno is a Principal in the firm’s Tax Consulting and Compliance Practice Group. She specializes in providing compliance and consulting services to individual and corporate clients in the firm’s Commercial Practice Group. Her experience includes serving the federal and state tax aspects of clients in the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail distribution, forest products, aquaculture, hospitality, real estate, and professional services industries.
Nick Norton – Tax Specialist, Farm Credit East
Nick Norton is a CPA and Senior Tax Specialist at Farm Credit East in Presque Isle, Maine. Farm Credit East is a financial cooperative providing credit and financial services to those in agricultural industries in the Northeast. Before starting with Farm Credit East in 2017, Nick gained experience at a regional CPA firm in Southern Maine, concentrating on tax return preparation and general tax compliance for business entities and individuals. At Farm Credit, Nick’s focus has been primarily on tax return preparation, general tax compliance for his agricultural clients, and advisement in the broader areas of tax and estate planning for multi-generational businesses. Nick is originally from Presque Isle and enjoys living in his hometown with his wife and daughter, spending much of his free time outdoors with family.
Parker Towle – Attorney, LeBlanc & Young
Parker is a trusts and estates attorney at LeBlanc & Young in Portland, Maine. He focuses his practice on estate planning, gift and estate tax issues, and trust and estate administration matters. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the University of Virginia School of Law and is admitted to practice in Maine and Massachusetts.
Dan Gayer, JD, CPA – Principal, Baker, Newman & Noyes
Wendy Walker is the Solution Principal of tax information reporting at Sovos. Leveraging 15+ years of industry experience leading tax operations and compliance teams, she works with Sovos clients to deliver market-leading withholding and information reporting solutions. Wendy is a member of the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC)’s Information Reporting Subgroup and advises the IRS on industry issues related to new and pending tax reporting changes impacting businesses. Wendy graduated with a B.S. in Process Engineering from Franklin University and obtained her M.B.A. from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio.
Rob Brown – Director of Business Ownership Solutions, Cooperative Development Institute
Rob Brown is a nationally recognized expert in the field of cooperative ownership transitions and transaction development and has assisted dozens of companies explore, assess, structure and execute worker cooperative conversions. Rob has developed extensive programs of education, training, coaching, and technical assistance for boards, management, and members in new worker-owned cooperatives. Additionally, he leads programs at the local, regional, and national levels to educate and advise business owners on exit planning processes and options.
Justin Coffin, CFP™, JD, LL.M. – Wealth Management Advisor/Founder, Apollon New England
Justin Coffin is a founding partner of Apollon New England, a wealth management firm based in Portland and Rockland, Maine. As part of a team that provides comprehensive asset management and planning advice, Justin draws on his background as a practicing attorney and tax manager at a regional accounting firm to focus on assisting clients with business transition, estate, and retirement planning. Finding planning opportunities that span disciplines provides an endless supply of intellectual intrigue, and collaborating with professionals in the legal, tax, and insurance fields provides a wonderful way to stay connected with the professional community and learn about new tools and techniques every day. It is a pretty great gig!
Outside the office, Justin is on the boards of the Maine Coast Waldorf School and the Cumberland Bar Association and has had the great privilege of presenting at the Maine Tax Forum for many years. He also loves spending time with his family in the great outdoors by hiking, skiing, kayaking, and generally mucking about.
Timothy Woodhouse, JD, CPA – Director, Aries Wealth Management
Tim Woodhouse has over 25 years of experience in the areas of investment management, income taxation, estate and gift planning, probate administration, charitable giving, and trust administration. Tim has served clients in Maine and beyond, helping them with all aspects of wealth management and financial advice. Tim has served in a variety of capacities in his professional career, including as Director of Fiduciary Services at a Maine-based trust company, a Senior Portfolio Manager at a local trust and investment firm, a Tax Manager at a regional Certified Public Accounting firm, as well as an associate attorney focusing on estate planning and employee benefits.
Tim is a board member of the Maine Estate Planning Council and is a member of the Community Ambassador Council at Maine Medical Center. He is a member of the Finance Committee of Shalom House, Inc., a non-profit providing housing and services to adults with mental illness. Tim also serves on a committee at SCORE, Maine, helping the organization plan the annual Maine Tax Forum in Augusta.
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