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Jeffrey Christakos of Westfield a New Jersey Society of CPAs Volunteer Award Winner

Jeff Christakos. Credits: Jackie Lieberman

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) has announced the winners of its Volunteer Award at its 2018 Annual Convention and Expo at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Thirty-nine individuals received the newly-created award, including 10 who received honorable mention and one who received the award posthumously.  

The individuals were selected based on their significant contributions to the NJCPA, their local community, accounting students or the public. The award recognizes the selfless work that CPAs often perform every day without going noticed.

“The Volunteer Award is a great way to say ‘thank you’ to many of our members who truly give back to their communities, their local schools and the next generation of CPAs,” said Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director, NJCPA.  

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Maryann Holloway, CPA, chair of the NJCPA Volunteer Relations Committee and senior manager at Bowman & Company LLP, announced the following winners (in alphabetical order):   

  • Jean I. Abbott, CPA — Assistant Professor of Business Studies, Accounting, Stockton University, Galloway
  • Lynn Albala, CPA, CMA, CGMA — Chief Financial Officer, InfoSight Partners LLC, Oakland
  • D. Dean Beddow, CPA — Managing Director, Risk Management, Grant Thornton LLP, Iselin
  • Howard J. Bookbinder, CPA — Owner, Howard J. Bookbinder, CPA, Fair Lawn
  • Amy Y. Both, CPA — Manager, Neral & Company, P.A., Wall
  • Walter J. Brasch, CPA, CGMA — Managing Director, Whitman Business Advisors, LLC, Morganville
  • Jeffrey Christakos, CPA, CFP, CLU, AIF — Chair, Accounting Department, Monmouth University, West Long Branch
  • Reynold P. Cicalese, CPA — Managing Partner, Alloy, Silverstein, Shapiro, Adams, Mulford, Cicalese, Wilson & Co., Cherry Hill
  • Reynold Peter Cicalese III, CPA, MST — Associate Partner, Alloy, Silverstein, Shapiro, Adams, Mulford, Cicalese, Wilson & Co., Cherry Hill
  • Laura M. Crowley, CPA, MBA — Manager, Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, Livingston
  • Peter C. DeSarno, CPA — Controller, NJ Sharing Network, New Providence
  • Carol Donatiello Iocca, CPA — Partner, Wilkin & Guttenplan, P.C., East Brunswick
  • Henrietta Fuchs, CPA — Partner, CohnReznick LLP, Roseland, NJ
  • Elizabeth B. Harper, CPA — Member of the Firm, Sobel & Co. LLC, Livingston
  • Jesse M. Herschbein, CPA — Accountant, LFL Veritas, LLC, Teaneck
  • Megan T. Kelly, CPA — Supervisor, Sobel & Co. LLC, Livingston
  • Jodi D. Kleuskens, CPA, MAcc — Senior Tax Analyst, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick
  • Karen J. Lee, CPA — Audit Manager, Deloitte, Parsippany
  • Joseph A. Lizza, CPA — Sole Practitioner, Lizza & Associates, Lyndhurst
  • Joseph A. McGrath, CPA — Audit Senior Manager, Deloitte, Parsippany
  • Tara Melick, CPA — Senior Accountant, Wilkin & Guttenplan, P.C., East Brunswick
  • Jennifer R. Peoples, CPA — Owner, Jennifer Peoples, CPA, North Plainfield
  • Michelle C. Shapiro, CPA — Tax Manager, Untracht Early LLC, Florham Park
  • Carl Specht, CPA, CGMA — Partner, Costantino, Specht, Templeton & Co., LLC, Secaucus
  • Catherine Syslo, CPA — Director, Quality Control, CohnReznick LLP, Roseland
  • June M. Toth, CPA, CFF, CITP, CGMA — Managing Member, zbt Certified Public Accounting & Consulting, LLC, Garwood
  • Michael VanderGoot, CPA, CGMA — Manager, Lease Audit, BDO USA LLP, Woodbridge
  • Paula M. Young, CPA — Partner, Professional Practice Group, EisnerAmper LLP, Iselin

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order):

  • Kathleen Bernard, CPA — Partner, Lota & Bernard, LLC, Midland Park
  • Christine M. Darcy, CPA — Partner, Darcy & Connolly, CPAs, LLC, Spring Lake Heights
  • Fausto B. Diaz, CPA — Senior Accountant, Mazars USA LLP, Edison
  • Sandra S. Emmert, CPA — Financial Controller, Samuels Inc, Vauxhall
  • Salvatore M. Grasso, CPA — Principal/Owner, Grasso & Company, LLC CPAs, Hoboken
  • Michael Levy — Director of Internal Audit, Student Transportation of America, Wall
  • Gary S. Mannuzza, CPA — Managing Member, Mannuzza & Company, LLC, Scotch Plains
  • Russell A. Schwartz, CPA — Senior Manager, HBK CPAs & Consultants, Lawrenceville
  • Martin M. Shenkman, CPA — Attorney at Law, Martin M. Shenkman, P.C. Attorneys at Law, Fort Lee
  • Lucy Turnage, CPA, CGMA — Vice President, CIT Group, Livingston

Posthumously Awarded:

  • Ronald Gray, CPA — former Managing Member, Lembo & Gray, LLC, Wanaque

The honorees will also be featured in the September/October issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. To learn more about NJCPA’s Volunteer Award recipients, visit

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