N.J. Society of CPAs names recipients of 2020 Ovation Awards

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants announced on Thursday the 40 recipients of its 2020 Ovation Awards.

The Roseland-based organization said the awards honor individuals who demonstrate top achievements in the accounting profession and are broken down into seven categories: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Exceptional Educators; Emerging Leaders; Impact; Innovation; Lifetime Leader; and Women to Watch.

“We are thankful for the gracious efforts of these individuals, who routinely give their time to help others. Their commitment to the profession is truly something worth celebrating,” Ralph Albert Thomas, CEO and executive director at the NJCPA, said. “The awards are a great way to show our appreciation for them.”

The winners by category are:

Lifetime Leader

  • Walter J. Brasch, CPA, CGMA — Chief Success Officer, Prager Metis, Basking Ridge.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Emerging Leaders

  • Zachary B. Cohen, CPA — Audit Manager, Prudential Financial Inc., Newark;
  • Michael J. Dionisio, CPA — Audit & Assurance Manager, Deloitte, Parsippany;
  • Amy E. Jennings, CPA — Supervisor, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick;
  • Matthew R. Kmetz, CPA, MBA — Partner, Lizza, Kmetz & Associates LLP, Lyndhurst;
  • Robert N. Kusant, CPA, CISA, CFE, CAMS — Vice President, Senior Internal Auditor, Kearny Bank, Fairfield;
  • Peter E. Motsch, CPA, MBA — Audit Manager, Friedman LLP, East Hanover;
  • Philip Sookram, CPA, MAcc — Assistant Professor of Accountancy, Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City.

Exceptional Educators

  • Dr. James J. Carroll, CPA, CMA, CFE, CFM, CFF, CGMA — Professor, Georgian Court University, Lakewood;
  • Dr. Leonard Goodman, CPA, MBA — Professor, Department of Accounting, Rutgers University, New Brunswick;
  • Robert F. Scarpa, CPA, MBA — Assistant Chair and Instructor, Rowan University, Glassboro.


  • Kathleen Alexander, CPA, CFE, MST — Principal, Sax LLP, Clifton;
  • Chris Cowan, CPA, CCIFP — Senior Manager, CohnReznick LLP, Eatontown;
  • Craig Dalinsky, CPA, CGMA — Vice President, SS&C Hedge Fund Services, Jersey City;
  • Rich Fuchs, CPA — Managing Partner, Prager Metis CPAs LLC, Basking Ridge;
  • Jesse M. Herschbein, CPA, CGMA — Manager-Assurance, Prager Metis CPAs LLC, Hackensack;
  • John D. Kelly, Jr., CPA, MBA, MAFM — Owner, John D. Kelly CPA LLC, Hamilton;
  • Joseph McGrath, Jr., CPA — Audit & Assurance Senior Manager, Deloitte, Parsippany;
  • Brian G. Nafash, CPA — Manager, Massood & Company P.A. CPAs, Totowa;
  • Steven V. Oroho, CFP — New Jersey Senator and Investment Advisor, Stonebridge Capital Management, Paramus;
  • Marc M. Radin, CPA — Owner, Mark M. Radin P.C., Glen Rock;
  • Alan D. Sobel, CPA, CGMA — Managing Member of the Firm, SobelCo LLC, Livingston;
  • Janine Zirrith, PAFM — Firm Administrator, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick;
  • Edward K. Zollars, CPA — Tax and Technology Partner, Thomas Zollars & Lynch Ltd., Phoenix, AZ.


  • Michael Levy, CIA, CRMA, MBA, CISA, CISSP — Director of Finance and Internal Audit, Student Transportation of America Inc., Wall Township;
  • Karolis Matulis, CPA, CVA — Supervisor, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick;
  • Sherryll Penney — Manager of Technology and Client Services, MSPC CPAs, Cranford.

Women to Watch

  • Amy Y. Both, CPA — Manager, Withum, East Brunswick;
  • Melissa A. Dardani, CPA — Manager, Global Forensic Consulting Services, Baker Tilly, Philadelphia;
  • Cathy Davis, CPA — Partner, MSPC CPAs, Cranford;
  • Rachel F. Efthemes, CPA, MST — Senior Tax Manager, Mazars USA LLP, Edison;
  • Jessica Hoffman, CPA — Audit Senior, Deloitte, Parsippany;
  • Jessica R. Kizmann, CPA — Manager, WilkinGuttenplan, East Brunswick;
  • Elena C. Klarberg, CPA — Senior Associate, Sax LLP, Clifton;
  • Sviatlana Lipuma, CPA — Partner, Friedman LLP, Marlton;
  • Megan A. Sartor, CPA, ABV, CFF — Partner, Sax LLP, Clifton;
  • Katherine E. Zech, CPA — Senior Manager, PKF O’Connor Davies LLP, Cranford.

The 40 winners were announced at the NJCPA’s Annual Business Meeting on June 18.