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Wipfli admits 13 new partners in 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Wipfli, one of the top 20 accounting and consulting firms in the United States, has announced that 13 professionals have been admitted to the partnership.

“These partners are well positioned to play integral roles as Wipfli continues to evolve and grow in the future,” said Wipfli’s Managing Partner Rick Dreher. “They are exemplary leaders who consistently demonstrate the meaning of strong professionals in our industry through their exceptional service to their clients, their efforts toward developing the next generation of leaders in the profession, and their contributions to Wipfli’s continued success."

Chris Blaylock was admitted as an audit partner in the firm’s manufacturing and distribution practice in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In his role, Blaylock assists middle market clients with financial accounting and reporting matters and related business considerations to help them achieve their goals. He is also a leader of Wipfli’s research and development tax credit service line, for which he uses his broad experience to maximize the value of the tax credit for his clients. A certified public accountant, Blaylock is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from University of Northern Iowa.

Michael Carlson was admitted as an audit partner in the financial institutions practice in   St. Paul, Minnesota. For over 17 years, Carlson has focused on helping community banks and credit unions to succeed. In his current role, he provides a range of services to financial institutions from audits and SOC attestation engagements to loan reviews, while specializing in FDICIA consulting and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Wipfli in 2005, Carlson worked with a community bank where he gained five years of experience in the industry. A certified public accountant and a chartered global management accountant, he is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants. Carlson earned a bachelor of science degree in business with emphases in finance and accounting from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and he is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate School of Banking.

Karl Eck was admitted as an audit partner in the firm’s nonprofit and government practice in Madison, Wisconsin. In his role, Eck has over 17 years of experience in working with grant-funded nonprofit organizations, providing audit, consulting, and training services. As a member of Wipfli’s nonprofit technical issues committee, he stays up-to-date on current accounting and regulation matters affecting nonprofit organizations. Eck also provides training on various topics at Wipfli’s annual national conferences, as well as webinars specific to indirect cost rate agreements. A certified public accountant, he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Eck holds a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from the University of Northern Iowa.

Mark Elliott was admitted as an audit partner in the firm’s manufacturing and distribution and construction and real estate practices. He is based in Rockford, Illinois. With more than 20 years of experience, Elliott specializes in assisting manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, contractors, and other closely held businesses manage various aspects of their businesses. From audits and tax planning to profitability and cash flow analysis, he focuses on helping the firm’s clients to achieve success today and plan for tomorrow. A certified public accountant, Elliott is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society. He is also active in the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA), Fabricators & Manufacturers Association (FMA), and Rock River Valley Tooling & Machining Association (RRVTMA). Elliott holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting and business management from Rockford University.

Scott Hanson was admitted as a tax partner in Duluth, Minnesota. Hanson has over 15 years of public accounting experience working with closely held businesses, individuals and estates and trusts. In his role, he specializes in income tax planning and compliance for C corporations, S corporations and LLCs, individual income tax planning and compliance, valuation and merger and acquisition services and estate taxation and trust income taxation. A certified public accountant, he is a member of the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Wisconsin Society of Certified Public Accountants, as well as a forensic and valuation services section member and a general member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Hanson holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.

Jim Hyland was admitted as an audit partner in the firm’s health care practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hyland has over 17 years of experience in public accounting with a strong focus on conducting and managing financial statement audits for health care organizations ranging in size from regional facilities to large hospital systems with revenue in excess of $1 billion. In his career, he has specialized in attestation services to health care clients, as well as tax-exempt financings, risk assessment and internal control improvements and employee benefit plan audits. Prior to joining Wipfli in 2007, Hyland worked for seven years for a Big Four CPA firm. A certified public accountant, he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Hyland holds a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Tammy Jelinek was admitted as a consulting partner in the firm’s nonprofit and government practice in Madison, Wisconsin. With over 25 years of experience working in and with nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses, Jelinek engages with leadership teams to strategically align their goals to grow, expand and meet their outcomes. She is one of Wipfli’s nationally recognized trainers in regulations, talent engagement, organizational development, culture and growth. Further, Jelinek is active in client education and serves as a contact for clients to the firm’s wide range of consulting services and trainings. Jelinek graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in business with an emphasis in psychology and a master of business administration degree with an emphasis in organizational development from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa.

Paul Johnson was admitted as a risk advisory and forensic services partner in St. Paul, Minnesota. Drawing from over 20 years in the information technology (IT) and information security fields, Johnson is a member of Wipfli’s risk advisory services practice, where he works with clients to assess, improve, and test their information security and risk management programs. He also helps clients determine their compliance with health care security requirements including HIPAA and HITRUST. A certified public accountant, certified information systems security professional, and certified common security framework practitioner, Johnson is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), and the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, computer science and information systems from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Holly Kohl was admitted as an audit partner in the firm’s manufacturing and distribution practice. She is based in Wausau, Wisconsin. With more than 18 years of experience, Kohl has deep experience working with manufacturing and commercial clients providing audit and accounting services. She also has specialized expertise working with employee benefit plans related to audit, accounting, financial reporting, and regulatory compliance. As a leader in the firm’s employee benefit plan audit practice, Kohl develops and provides internal training, as well as ensures the quality of employee benefit plan audits in accordance with the most current Department of Labor requirements and accounting and reporting standards. She also leads the firm’s Technical Issues Committee for the employee benefit plan audit practice and has been instrumental in instituting the firm’s streamlined and tailored audit approach. A certified public accountant, Kohl is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Kohl holds a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Sara Mikuta was admitted as a risk advisory and forensic services partner in the firm’s financial institutions practice in Westchester, Illinois (Chicago-area suburb). A 30-year banking industry veteran, Mikuta leads the Financial Institutions Practice’s risk advisory and forensic services team that solely focuses on serving the financial institutions industry. Her team is responsible for the development and delivery of internal audit services, regulatory compliance examination services, loan portfolio services, information technology services, and fiduciary and trust services for banks and credit unions. Prior to joining Wipfli in 2011, Mikuta served as the chief financial officer for a $560 million privately held financial institution in the Chicago area, chief financial officer for a $1 billion public financial institution with branches in the Chicago area and the Quad Cities, and controller for a $700 million public financial institution in the Chicago area. A certified public accountant, certified internal auditor and chartered global management accountant, Mikuta is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, where she is a council member, and the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS), where she is the past board chair and the ICPAS’ CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois’ current vice chair and board member. She is also a member of the Financial Managers Society and Institute of Internal Auditors. Mikuta graduated with honors from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, with a bachelor of science degree in accounting.

Kevin Paul was admitted as a tax partner in Media, Pennsylvania. With over 15 years of experience, Paul specializes in individual, family entity, trust, estate and gift tax compliance, planning, and consulting for high-net-worth individuals and their families. An experienced and knowledgeable financial planner, he assists various types of businesses and individuals with financial, insurance and investment management planning consulting services. A certified public accountant, Paul is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He also holds a Series 65 license. Paul earned a master of science degree in taxation with a concentration in personal financial planning, and a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Ryan Risley was admitted as a technology consulting partner in the firm’s information technology group in Reston, Virginia/Washington D.C. Risley is a member of Wipfli’s technology consulting practice and leads the firm’s chief information officer (CIO) advisory services practice. In his role, Risley helps CIOs and other chief executives align business strategy by empowering technological innovation. Prior to joining Wipfli, Risley held a number of positions with Brittenford Systems and Project Performance Corporation. In addition, Risley is deeply involved as a technology leader in federal policy advocacy. He is part of a 12-member national team known as the Advisory Task Force, focused on modernizing technology legislation. Risley is also the U.S. Advocacy Chair for the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners and past president of the organization’s Washington D.C. chapter. He holds a master of science degree in business systems with an emphasis in information management from The George Washington University School of Business. Risley also holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with a concentration in chemistry from University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Matt Rowley was admitted as a technology consulting partner in the firm’s information technology group in Reston, Virginia/Washington D.C. He is a member of Wipfli’s technology consulting practice and leads the firm’s intellectual property development practice. In his role, he has built and led client service teams that drive financial, operational, and process improvement transformations. Rowley is adept at understanding client business requirements and designing technology and business strategies to drive organizational efficiency and growth. Rowley was Brittenford Systems’ chief operating officer and a managing director prior to the firm merging with Wipfli in 2016. He holds a master of business administration degree and a bachelor of science degree in integrated science and technology from James Madison University. Rowley also holds an executive certificate in management and leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.