Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

Discussion Leaders

Discussion Leaders | Loscalzo Institute

Accelerate learning and retention with exceptional Discussion Leaders

Learn from the most effective and competent team of subject matter authors and Discussion Leaders who can facilitate live programs for any audience interested in increasing their knowledge in accounting and finance. In addition, these leaders will facilitate group discussion, answer questions, and connect the learning to real examples and applications.      

Course topics include:     

  • Accounting and Auditing
  • Employee Benefit Plan
  • Ethics
  • Information Technology
  • Governmental and Not-For-Profit
  • Non-Technical
  • Tax Programs

Discussion Leaders - Listed Alphabetically

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Nate Albrecht, JD, CPA

Nate has been providing tax consulting and compliance services to businesses since 1998. He opened a solo practice after working with Eide Bailly, LLP, and PwC for over 15 years. He works in a wide variety of industries, offering diverse insight into organizational structure, wealth transfer, general tax planning, and compliance.

Nate received his undergraduate degree in accounting and business administration from Augustana College  in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and his juris doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. He serves on the board of the Minnesota Society of CPAs and is a member of the AICPA and Minnesota State Bar Association.


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Richard L. Bartholomew, JD, CPA
Richard is a shareholder and Director of Taxes for the accounting firm of Girardot, Strauch & Co., PC, in Lafayette, Indiana. He has significant experience in bankruptcy tax planning, valuation and litigation services, and representing clients before the IRS.

In addition to his role at Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, Richard has been a presenter at numerous tax conferences and forums across Indiana.

Richard obtained his JD (cum laude) from Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis and is a member of the AICPA, Indiana CPA Society, Indiana State Bar Association, and the Tippecanoe Bar Association.


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Jim Blair
Jim is a 35-year veteran of the Social Security administration and co-owner of Premier Social Security Consulting.

He has worked as a service representative (helping individuals with their Social Security benefits), a claims representative (taking claims for retirement, survivors, disability, and health insurance), an operations supervisor, and a district manager at the Social Security Office in Piqua, Ohio.

Jim is a frequent speaker on Social Security for conferences and seminars and recently authored a Social Security handbook. He founded the National Social Security Advisor Certification program, and developed the “three-legged stool,” resulting in maximum Social Security benefits.


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Bernie Brown, CPA
Bernie is the CFO of Coppermine Bakery Holdings in Delaware, providing significant hands-on experience with banking relationships, reorganizations, cost reductions, acquisitions, and divestitures. He has worked with Tyco International, Noel Group LLC, Nomaco Inc., and Holliston LLC.

He has taught classes on U.S. GAAP disclosures, financial analysis, health and welfare wellness seminars, and how to run an efficient accounting organization. Bernie is a recognized community leader, a Board member of the Jim White foundation helping the homeless, a member of the Delaware CPA Society, and a member of the AICPA.

Bernie is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with degrees in Business Administration and Professional Accountancy.


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Brad Caruso, CPA, CFE
Brad is a Partner with WithumSmith+Brown, PC (Withum), a top 30 ranked public accounting firm specializing in providing audit, tax, and advisory services across the country and around the globe. He has over 10 years of experience in providing auditing and advisory services predominantly in the not-for-profit industry.

He oversees the development and re-engineering of WithumSmith+Brown’s audit process, and manages the implementation of specialized software tools to keep the firm on the cutting edge of technology.

Brad is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey and New York, and a Certified Fraud Examiner.


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Don Paul Cochran, JD, CPA
Don is a solo practitioner in Apple Valley, Minnesota, and has practiced law in Iowa and Minnesota. His 37 years of practice have been focused in the areas of small business legal and tax consulting, and individual tax, estate, and financial planning.

As a program instructor with Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, Don is a sought after presenter of CPE seminars sponsored by state societies of CPAs, CPA firms, and associations of CPAs. Don is also a featured speaker at several national tax conferences.

Don is a member of the Minnesota and Iowa State Bar Associations and the Minnesota Society of CPAs.


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Allen L. Fetterman, CPA

Allen has been a discussion leader for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, for 13 years. He spent 36 years with Loeb & Troper serving not-for-profit organizations as an auditor and consultant, and a partner.

He was an assistant professor of accounting and has been a guest lecturer at Yale University and New York University, and lectures extensively throughout the country.
Allen received his BBA in accounting from The City College of New York, his MBA in accounting from the Bernard M. Baruch College in New York, and his CPA certificate. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.


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John M. Fleming, CPA, MBA
John is a licensed CPA in Pennsylvania, has served as the Director of Content Development for SmartPros Ltd., and has servced as the President and Director of Accounting and Auditing for Loscalzo Institute, both divisions of Kaplan Professional Education. John retired on July 1, 2017. In retirement, John continues to provide seminars as a discussion leader for Loscalzo Institute on a part-time basis.

His prior experience includes audit, tax, consulting, office management, and human resource responsibilities with Deloitte LLP, Richard Eisner & Company LLP, and Ernst & Young LLP. In 2006, the PICPA recognized John as a Joseph E. Sterrett Fellow for his contributions to the accounting profession, and in 2007, the Philadelphia Chapter of PICPA recognized John with their Champion Award.

John is a graduate of LaSalle and Drexel Universities in Philadelphia with degrees in accounting and finance.


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Cathy Fyock, CSP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Cathy is The Business Book Strategist and works with professionals who want to write a book as a business or career development tool. She is the author of seven books and was an employment strategist with several business and HR consulting firms.

She has served on faculty for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for their national seminar programs and has provided keynotes and workshops for hundreds of clients. She was also the Immediate Past Chair for KY SHRM.

Cathy has her undergraduate degree from Western Kentucky University and her master’s in human resources from the University of Louisville.


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Robert Gilwee, CPA
Robert is a tax partner in a local accounting firm with over 20 years of experience and expertise in income and estate taxation, and international taxation. He has previously held positions with Price Waterhouse Coopers, KPMG Peat Marwick, and Deloitte and Touche.

His background includes assistance in resolving tax-structuring issues using LLCs, and S-Corporations. He is a frequent discussion leader on a variety of taxation topics and serves as an adjunct faculty member of the University of Baltimore and Villa Julie College.

Robert is a recipient of the Top Manuscript Award from Coopers and Lybrand. He is a member of the AICPA and the Maryland Association of CPAs.


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Kenneth Heaslip, MS, MBA, CPA, CGMA
Kenn is a licensed CPA in New Jersey and a discussion leader and Content Specialist Instructor for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company. He has extensive experience teaching all levels of accounting, auditing, and other practice-related areas.

Currently, Kenn serves on the NJCPA Professional Conduct Committee. He is a Director at Leaf, Miele, Manganelli, Fortunato & Engel LLP, a regional CPA firm in New Jersey and New York City. Kenn has been a Professor of Accounting at Bloomfield College and Kean University, as well as an Executive in Residence at Seton Hall University.

Kenn earned his BA from Rutgers University, and has an MS in taxation and an MBA in finance from Seton Hall University.


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Bonnie Kennedy, CPA
Bonnie is a licensed CPA in Rhode Island, a Group Practice Leader for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, and has over 30 years of experience in the accounting profession.

She is a full-time faculty member at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island. Bonnie has taught accounting and auditing courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels and has served on the Board of Directors for several not-for-profit entities.

Bonnie holds a BS degree in business administration and an MS degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island, and is a member of the Rhode Island Society of CPAs, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the AICPA.


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Rebecca Lee, CPA, CGMA
Rebecca is a licensed CPA in Alabama and South Carolina, and a Group Practice Leader for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, and a Principal with Brooke, Freeman & Lee, having offices in Anniston and Birmingham, Alabama.

She currently serves on the South Carolina Association of CPAs’ Peer Review Committee and has chaired the Continuing Professional Education Committee. In 2015, Rebecca was included in South Carolina Association of CPAs’ Centennial, 100 Influential People in Accounting.

Rebecca holds a BS degree in accounting from Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Alabama, along with a master’s degree in accounting from Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham, Alabama.


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Joseph E. Manfré, CPA
Joe is a licensed CPA in New York, a discussion leader for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, and the Founder and President of MANFRE CPA P.C., A Professional Corporation, located in Armonk, New York. He has been servicing the needs of single-employer and multi-employer benefit plans for most of his 35-year career in accounting.

He was the chairman of the NYSSCPA’s Employee Benefits Committee and has been a speaker on audits of employee benefit plans at their annual conference. Joe is a member in good standing of the AICPA, NYSSCPA, and the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

Joe earned his BBA degree in accounting from Bernard Baruch College in New York.


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Troy McMillan, CISSP, CEH, CCNP, CWNE, CCSI, MCT
Troy is a content manager with Kaplan IT Training, a division of Kaplan Professional, specializing in IT and security certification preparation. With more than 15 years of experience in the IT security and networking fields, he has taught numerous classes for Cisco, Comitial, Microsoft and (ISC)2, and is a frequent speaker at many security conventions.

He is also a lead instructor with Cyber Vista on their CISSP and Security+ courses. Tory is the author of the best-selling book, Change Your Career: Computer Network Security as Your New Profession, and multiple exam certification guides.

Troy is a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in Management.


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Mark D. Mishler, CPA, CMA

Mark is a CPA in Ohio, and has been a discussion leader and authored courses for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, for six years.

With over 29 years of experience in finance and accounting for global public manufacturing companies, his leadership roles include Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Controller, and Chief Information Officer. Mark’s prior companies include Breeze-Eastern, General Electric Healthcare, Fedders Corporation, Amcast Industrial Corporation, Witco, Siemens Medical, Dun & Bradstreet, and WR Grace.

Mark earned two bachelors’ degrees, in chemistry and biology, from Indiana University, and earned his MBA from the University of Michigan. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant.


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James J. Newhard, CPA
Jim is a CPA in Pennsylvania with 38 years of practice in public accounting, and a discussion leader for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company.

He is a member of the AICPA (including PCPS and Tax Section) and serves on the FRF for SMEs task force. Jim is also a long-time member of the PICPA and serves on several statewide committees. At the Philadelphia Chapter level, Jim serves on the Committee on Local Taxation & Legislation Committee, Federal Tax, Member Services, and the Accounting & Assurance Committee.

Jim is a member of PICPA Council and is on the Future of Education task force.


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Randy C. Newton, CPA, CVA, ABL
Randy is a licensed CPA in North Carolina and is President and founder of NewtonCPA, PLLC. His areas of expertise are in corporate, partnership, and individual income tax preparation, utilizing a proactive tax planning model that streamlines, simplifies, and works to reduce tax liabilities for small taxpayers.

He specializes in IRS representation work plus tax planning and research. Prior to the creation of his own firm, Randy worked with First Union National Bank (now Wells Fargo) in their Corporate Accounting and Capital Markets Divisions.

Randy received his accounting degree, cum laude, from Appalachian State University in North Carolina and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.


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Stacey Painter, CPA

Stacey is a licensed CPA in Wisconsin, and is the CFO/COO of North American Filtration, Inc. Stacey was formerly the Director of Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, and has over 20 years of experience in both the public and private industry.

Before joining Loscalzo 
Institute, Stacey spent 13 years with Resources Global Professionals, developing go-to-market strategies around accounting initiatives and providing technical training on-site to firm clients.

Stacey received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pace University in New York. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants.


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Nick Preusch CPA, JD, LLM
Nick is a tax manager with PBMares, LLP, and has helped high wealth individual and large business entities with complex tax compliance, along with specializing in international not-for-profit tax issues and tax ethics issues.

He has lectured nationally on topics such as ethics, complex tax transactions, and IRS practice and procedure, and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington.

Nick is a graduate of Carthage College in Wisconsin with a BS in Accounting and Business, the University of Connecticut with an MA in Accounting, Case Western Reserve University with a JD, and Georgetown University with an LLM in taxation.


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Joel Rosenfeld, CPA
Joel is a managing partner of JIR Consulting Co, LLC, in West Orange, New Jersey, and 
an adjunct assistant professor at NYU, Schack Real Estate Institute. He has been a CPA for 43 years with extensive experience in real estate accounting and taxation.

In addition to teaching at NYU, Joel has previously presented programs for AICPA conferences and NAIOP seminars. He is a licensed NJ instructor, providing CPE to commercial real estate brokers/salespersons.

Joel earned his BS degree in accounting from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He is a member of the AICPA, the New Jersey Society of CPAs, and the New Jersey State Society of Certified Public Accountants Professional Conduct Committee.


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Howard Sibelman, CPA, MBT
Howard is a licensed CPA in Colorado and California, and a discussion leader for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company. Most recently, as the former Education Director and Director of Subscriber Services for Crowe Horwath International, Howard provided leadership on audit methodology.

During his 45+ year career as an auditor, he was a National CPE Director, an instructor at the University of Southern California, on the faculty of two of the largest CPA review courses, and has authored and facilitated numerous education programs.

Howard received his Bachelor of Science in Economics (major in accounting) cum laude from Brooklyn College in New York, and his Master of Business Taxation from the University of Southern California.


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Barry E. Smith, CPA
Barry is a discussion leader with Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, and has his own public accounting firm located in St. Louis, Missouri. He has over 30 years of experience in both public and industry accounting.

He was the Chief Accounting Officer and Controller for a $2 billion NYSE listed company and as the Chief Financial Officer for growth companies. His experience has included systems selection and implementation, mergers and acquisitions, capital structuring, financial reporting, and compliance.

Barry has served as a discussion leader on all aspects of U.S. GAAP, International Accounting Standards, SEC and PCAOB issues and requirements, employee benefit plans, and governmental accounting.


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Marci Thomas, MHA, CPA, CGMA
Marci is a licensed CPA in Georgia and North Carolina, and an author and presenter on various not-for-profit healthcare and governmental topics around the country. She is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is an adjunct professor at Emory University in the Goizueta Business School.

She works with numerous accounting firms, performing quality control and efficiency reviews, and with nonprofit boards on strategic planning, internal control, and governance issues.

Marci received her bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in accounting from Georgia State University and her master’s in health administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Stanley Wirtheim, CPA
Stanley is a licensed CPA in New York and Florida, and a discussion leader for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company. He is the owner of Stanley P. Wirtheim, CPA, an accounting practice located in Great Neck, New York.

He has over 40 years of public accounting experience, both as a partner and in his own practice. Stanley was also the Chief Financial Officer of SmartPros Ltd. (a formerly publicly traded company), the former parent company of Loscalzo.

Stanley holds a BBA degree for the Baruch College–City University of New York, and received his CPA certificate.


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Christa M. Yantis, CPA, CFE, CEBS, ACI
Christa is a licensed CPA in South Carolina, a discussion leader for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, and a member with Moss & Yantis CPA PA, focusing on the performances of attest engagements. She is also an adjunct professor at the Citadel Military College of South Carolina.

She is a member of the South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Christa received a Master of Accountancy and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees from the University of Georgia. In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant, Christa is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She holds the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) and the Associate of Captive Insurance (ACI) designations.


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Edward K. Zollars, CPA
Ed is a partner with the firm of Thomas, Zollars & Lynch, Ltd., in Phoenix, Arizona. He has been in practice for over 25 years, specializing in tax issues. Ed has written and presented courses for Loscalzo Institute, a Kaplan company, and written articles for Practical Tax Strategies and The Tax Adviser.

He has been professionally involved with both tax and technology issues, combining the two disciplines in producing the Current Federal Tax Development Update podcast and website.

Ed has spoken regularly on tax and technology topics since 1996, speaking before conferences sponsored by the AICPA and a number of CPA societies.