NJCPA announces winners of its 2019 Ovation Awards

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants announced the winners of its 2019 Ovation Awards.

The 40 winners were announced at the NJCPAs Annual Convention and Expo at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City on Wednesday.

The Ovation Awards honor those whose efforts and achievements help advance New Jersey’s accounting world, the NJCPA said.

The awards were distributed in seven categories: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Exceptional Educators; Emerging Leaders; Impact; Innovation; Lifetime Leader; and Women to Watch.

“Honoring our members with specific service awards recognizes how important their contributions are to our organization and the society around them,” Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director at the NJCPA. “We appreciate the outstanding achievement from these individuals.”

The winners are as follows:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Sandra S. Emmert, CPA — Financial Controller, Samuels Inc., Vauxhall;
  • Evelyn A. McDowell, CPA, Ph.D. — Associate Professor, Rider University, Lawrenceville.

Exceptional Educators

  • John F. Boyle, CPA, MBA — Assistant Professor of Business Studies, Stockton University, Galloway;
  • Jeffrey Christakos, CPA/PFS, MBA, CFP — Chair, Accounting Department, Monmouth University, West Long Branch;
  • Joseph A. Lizza, CPA — Assistant Professor, Felician University, Lodi;
  • Barry R. Palatnik, CPA, Ph.D., MBA — Assistant Professor of Accounting, Stockton University, Galloway.

Emerging Leaders

  • Jose M. Borbon, CPA — Assistant Vice President, Senior Auditor, Kearny Bank, Fairfield;
  • Zachary B. Cohen, CPA —Senior Auditor, Prudential Financial Inc., Newark;
  • John C. Dispenziere Jr., CPA — Audit Assistant, Deloitte, Parsippany;
  • Joseph H. Doerrer, CPA, PFS, CFP — Senior Tax Associate, Bessemer Trust Company N.A., Woodbridge;
  • Jeremy I. Kaye, CPA — Audit Senior, Deloitte, Parsippany;
  • Megan T. Kelly, CPA, CFE — Manager, SobelCo, Livingston;
  • Shaun F. Maloney, CPA, ABV, CFF, CGMA, CFA — Director, EisnerAmper LLP, Iselin;
  • Michael J. Massood, CPA — Partner, Massood & Company P.A., Totowa;
  • Keri L. Mullin, CPA, MBA — Senior Accountant, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick.


  • Karen A. Artasanchez, CPA — Shareholder, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick;
  • Joseph A. Baldomero Jr., CPA — Shareholder, SuarezBaldomero P.A., Rutherford;
  • Daniel Barbera, CPA, MBA, CGMA — CFO, Lydia Security Monitoring Inc., Williamstown;
  • Melissa A. Dardani, CPA — Senior, EisnerAmper LLP, Iselin;
  • Michael H. Karu, CPA, CFF, CGMA — Member, Levine, Jacobs & Company LLC, Livingston;
  • Anthony C. Plakis Jr., CPA — Sr. Accountant, Centric District Manager, ADP, Mount Laurel;
  • Carl Specht, CPA, CGMA — Managing Member, Constantino, Specht, Templeton & Co. LLC, Secaucus;
  • Michael A. Stillitano, CPA — Senior Vice President, Business Administration and Finance, and Chief Financial Officer, Region North America, Hapag-Lloyd, Piscataway;
  • Julie Strohlein, CPA — Associate Partner, Alloy Silverstein Accountants & Advisors, Cherry Hill.


  • James C. Bourke Jr., CPA/CITP, CFF, CGMA — Managing Director, Advisory Services, Withum, Red Bank;
  • Mathew Langenberger, CPA — Tax Accountant, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick;
  • Joseph A. McGrath Jr., CPA — Audit Senior Manager, Deloitte, Parsippany;
  • Sean D. Stein Smith, CPA, Ph.D., DBA, CMA, CGMA, CFE — Assistant Professor, Lehman College, Bronx.

Lifetime Leader

  • Howard J. Bookbinder, CPA— Owner, Howard J. Bookbinder CPA, Fairlawn.

Women to Watch

  • Regina C. Balagtas, CPA — Senior, Citrin Cooperman & Company LLP, Livingston;
  • Nicole M. DeRosa, CPA — Tax Manager, Withum, East Brunswick;
  • Andrea Diaz, CPA, ABV, MST — Manager, SKC & Co. CPAs LLC, Boonton Township;
  • Kerry M. Duda, CPA — Senior Staff Auditor, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick;
  • Danielle Dvorak, CPA — Senior Tax Manager, Friedman LLP, East Hanover;
  • Deirdre Hartmann, CPA — Partner, Nisivoccia LLP, Mount Arlington;
  • Vanessa Munoz, CPA — Audit Supervisor, Wiss & Company LLP, Livingston;
  • Andrea Nodoro, CPA — Tax Senior Manager, Untracht Early LLC, Florham Park;
  • Audrey J. Sherrick, CPA — Partner, Friedman LLP, Linwood;
  • June M. Toth, CPA — Managing Member, ZBT Certified Public Accounting & Consulting LLC, Clark.

Educator in Memoriam (Posthumously Awarded):

  • Raymond C. Rigoli, CPA —Chair, Accounting Department, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah.