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2018 Conference Speakers 

Michael Beck

Michael Beck, JD

Senior Manager
Grant Thornton LLP

Presenting - Corporate Tax: How Companies Pay in Pa.

Michael has over eight years of experience in public accounting providing tax services to a variety of businesses.

Based in Philadelphia, Michael is a manager in Grant Thornton’s State and Local Tax (“SALT”) practice group. His SALT practice focuses on income/franchise tax and other consulting projects. He works extensively with the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions group on due diligence and structuring matters, covering a wide range of clients and complex SALT issues.

Michael is an attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. He was published in the Villanova Environmental Law Journal. His most recent publication is an article entitled “Wayfair Debate - Should Congress Act Now?” found in State Tax Notes.


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James Brower Jr., CPA, MST 

Member
Marks Paneth LLP

Presenting - You've Been Notified: How to Avoid or Respond to DOR Notices

Jay Brower, CPA, is a Partner of corporate and individual tax compliance and research services at Marks Paneth, LLP. He has more than 20 years of professional experience at the federal, state, and local levels.

Mr. Brower's duties also include the development of tax planning and implementation strategies, as well as education and development of the firm's professionals. Mr. Brower provides tax planning and compliance services to clients in the manufacturing,commercial fishing, telecommunications, professional services, retail and transportation industries. Mr. Brower was recognized by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants as one of the “40 Under 40: PICPA Members to Watch.”


 

Harvey Danowitz, CPA

Accountant

Presenting - You’ve Been Notified: How to Avoid or Respond to DOR Notices

Harvey is a graduate of the University of Toledo and a member of the PICPA and AICPA. He is past chairman of the Pa. State Tax Conference for the PICPA and continues to lecture at the conference. He also serves the PICPA as a member of the following committees: State Taxation; Multistate Tax Conference; Legislation; and Advisory to the DOR. He lectures frequently for state and regional organizations.


David Glad

David Glad, CPA, JD

Director, State and Local Tax
Grant Thornton LLP

Presenting - Corporate Tax: How Companies Pay in Pa.

David is a member of the firm’s State & Local Tax practice and a national leader in the firm’s unclaimed property practice. David focuses on unclaimed property and tax. As a firm leader in unclaimed property, he manages compliance, voluntary disclosure reporting, audit support, policy and procedure reviews and general consulting matters. David practices extensively in federal, state and local tax matters, including general consulting, voluntary disclosure assistance, audit defense, structural planning and complex controversies. He has extensive experience in many industries with a special focus on financial institutions. 

David holds a JD from Cornell University Law School, and a BA in accounting from Duquesne University. David is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and the Philadelphia Bar Association (Tax Law Section and State & Local Tax Subcommittee), the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization (Finance Committee), the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

 

 

Jerry Glynn

Gerard “Jerry” Glynn, CPA

Managing Director, State and Local Tax
Grant Thornton LLP

Presenting - What Happens in Pa., Stays in Pa.: Sales and Use Tax Update

Jerry has 25-plus years of diversified SALT experience primarily focused in sales/use and income/franchise taxes.  Jerry’s client service experience includes multi-state transactional advisory services, audit defense and appeals, tax overpayment reviews, sales and use tax compliance services, sales and use tax technology implementations, compliance process diagnostic review and remediation services.

Jerry has served clients in various industry sectors including manufacturing, pharmaceutical, healthcare, energy, retailing and developing technologies. Jerry is also recognized as a firm multi-state subject matter expert on “Cloud” sales and use tax issues, having assisted various technology clients with categorizing their products, sourcing of sales and administration of applicable state and local taxes.  Outside of his years in public accounting, Jerry spent five years in the oil and gas industry at Sunoco’s tax department, primarily responsible for state and local income/franchise tax planning, controversy and compliance matters.

Jerry graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a BS in accounting, and from Philadelphia University with a Masters in Taxation. Jerry is a licensed CPA (Pennsylvania) and is a member of the AICPA, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute for Professionals in Taxation.Jerry has been a frequent speaker at various external tax seminars and internally at Grant Thornton.

Melanie LaSota

Melanie M. LaSota, CPA, JD

Director, Estate and Trust Tax Services
Schneider Downs & Company Inc.

Presenting - How the Handle Estates, Inheritances, and Trusts

Melanie specializes in estate and succession planning for owners and executives of closely-held businesses, which include automobile dealerships, real estate entities, construction companies, manufacturing companies and service providers. She has more than 25 years of experience advising clients on transferring wealth to succeeding generations and implementing the agreed upon plans.

Melanie also is dedicated to working with families on multigenerational planning. She regularly works with all family members from the patriarch or matriarch who leads the family, to the youngest generation desiring to learn about the wealth transfer within their family.

During her career, Melanie has been responsible for overseeing the preparation of thousands of tax returns incorporating issues such as gift tax, estate tax, inheritance tax and fiduciary income tax. Her involvement with the family members makes her extremely knowledgeable about transactions that would benefit the family. She also works with trustees and beneficiaries to maximize the funds
available to the beneficiaries while minimizing the income tax burden.

With legislative changes occurring regularly in the estate and fiduciary areas, Melanie considers it her responsibility to notify the decision-makers within the family to evaluate if any changes should be made to the existing plans in light of any new laws. Once decisions are made, she continues to work with the family to implement their decisions. Melanie continuously interacts with the
family’s estate planning advisors to assist with any needed changes, and to make sure all levels of the family understand those changes.

Melanie is currently the president of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, previously serving as vice president, secretary and treasurer. She is also very active in her church serving as a congregational trustee, usher and lector.

 

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William R. Lazor, CPA, PFS, CFE

Partner
Kronick Kalada Berdy & Co. PC

Presenting - Neighborhood Watch: A Look at Local Tax Updates

William R. Lazor, CP A/PFS, CFF, CFE, FCPA, CSEP is Past President of the Pennsylvania fustitute of CPA's and is an officer/shareholder with the certified public accounting firm ofKronick Kalada Berdy & Co. PC, located in Kingston, PA. He concentrates in the area of taxation, with a particular expertise in the areas of local and multi-state taxation. Bill received his BS degree in Commerce and Finance from Wilkes College (University) and holds CPA licenses in both Pennsylvania and New York. Bill is a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Forensic CPA, and has also earned the designations Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) from the American fustitute of CPA's and the designation Certified Specialist in Estate Planning from The National fustitute for Excellence in Professional Education, LLC. He has been practicing at the partner level for over thirty years. fu addition to speaking for the Pennsylvania fustitute of CPA' s (PICP A) and the futernal Revenue Service on matters of taxation, Bill was a member of the editorial advisory board of the Tri State Tax Letter Plus published by Harcourt Brace and has written articles on taxation for the PICP A. He has also appeared on a weekly live phone-in radio program during the tax season and the television series Money Talks produced by the PICP A. Bill is a member of the Tax Division of the American fustitute of CPA's (AICPA) and is a past member of the AICPA's national governing Council. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania fustitute and New York State Society of CPA's, serving on the PICPA's State Tax Committee and is a former Chairman of the Trustees of the PICPA's Scholarship Fund. He is a board member and officer of the McCole Foundation and is past President of the parish council ofHoly Rosary Church in Scranton. Bill has been quoted in both The Wall Street Journal (1/10/07) and Business Week (9/24/07). 



Maxwell_Robert

Robert M. Maxwell, JD

Managing Director, Director of Estate and Trust Settlement
Glenmede

Presenting - How the Handle Estates, Inheritances, and Trusts

Robert M. Maxwell is Director of Estate and Trust Settlement for Glenmede.  He is responsible for oversight of estate administration for estates where Glenmede is executor and settlement of terminating trusts where Glenmede serves as trustee.  He manages the court accounting group that prepares accountings for trusts and estates required by the Courts and is responsible for the preparation of death tax returns for estates and post-mortem planning.

Prior to joining Glenmede in 1999, Mr. Maxwell was employed by First Union National Bank, first as an administrative officer in the Equipment Leasing Department and then as a tax officer in the Death Tax Unit.

Mr. Maxwell has been a lecturer and author for Pennsylvania Bar Institute seminars on such topics as Federal Estate and Gift Tax Preparation, Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Preparation, and Federal Estate Tax Portability.

Mr. Maxwell received a B.A. in 1984 and an M.A. in 1986, both from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1989, he received a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law. In 2001, Mr. Maxwell was awarded a certificate in business succession planning from The American College. He is a member of both the Philadelphia and New Jersey Bar Associations, and serves as co-chair of the Tax Committee of the Probate Section of the Philadelphia Bar where he has presented on the topic of Federal Estate Tax Portability. He is also a member of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council.


Matthew Melinson

Matthew D. Melinson, CPA, MST

Partner - State and Local Tax
Grant Thornton LLP

Presenting - Neighborhood Watch: A Look at Local Tax Updates

Based in Philadelphia, Matthew Melinson is responsible for all aspects of multistate tax consulting, planning and compliance within Grant Thornton LLP. He is the State and Local Tax (SALT) practice leader of Grant Thornton’s Atlantic Coast market territory, which includes over 50 SALT bodies in the Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and New England areas. The practice includes income/franchise, sales/use and real/personal property tax specialists, as well as credits and incentives professionals.

Melinson is the editor of the State and Local Tax column and a member of the editorial board of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal. He has been an adjunct professor at Philadelphia University’s Masters of Taxation program for approximately 10 years, teaching SALT. He was appointed to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s Task Force on Tax Policy and Economic Competitiveness in 2009. He is currently a member of the Philadelphia Department of Revenue Commissioner’s Tax Advisory Committee. Melinson is a speaker at many business and tax conferences, including for the Institute for Professionals in Taxation, Council on State Taxation and Tax Executives Institute. He is also the author of numerous articles. 


SharonPaxton

Sharon R. Paxton, JD

Vice Chair, State and Local Tax Group
McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

Presenting - What Happens in Pa., Stays in Pa.: Sales and Use Tax Update

Sharon R. Paxton is Of Counsel with the State and Local Tax Group in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, office of the law firm of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC. 

She has represented businesses for more than 20 years in a broad range of state and local tax matters, with a primary emphasis in sales and use tax appeals.  Ms. Paxton represents taxpayers in proceedings before the Board of Appeals of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, the Board of Finance and Revenue, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. 

She is the immediate past Chair of the Tax Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.  Ms. Paxton received her B.A. degree from Brigham Young University and her J.D. degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she served on the North Carolina Law Review. 


ChuckPotter

Charles L. Potter Jr., CPA, JD

Attorney
Tucker Arensberg pC

Presenting -You've Been Notified: How to Avoid or Respond to DOR Notices

Chuck focuses his practice on federal, state and local taxation.  He also advises clients on   matters involving energy, natural resources, sports and estates and trusts.  Chuck represents clients on a variety of legal issues including:
Developing strategies to minimize state and local tax matters including restructuring
Assists clients with state tax return matters, audits, administrative state tax appeals and appeals of state tax matters
Organized oil and gas drilling programs and assists in other oil and gas production matters
Advising high-net-worth individuals on tax planning and compliance

Areas of Practice:  Taxation, Tax Planning, Energy, Oil and Gas

Articles and Presentations: Chuck is the co-author of the "Guidebook to Pennsylvania Taxes," published annually by CCH Incorporated.

Memberships and Activities:  Chuck is currently a member of the following organizations:
American Bar Association Section of International Bar
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Allegheny County Bar Association
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants - State Tax Committee and Local Tax Committee
British-American Business Council - Treasurer
Association for Corporate Growth
Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Chambers of Commerce - Tax Committee

Jurisdictions:  Chuck is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, United States Tax Court, Supreme Court of the United States and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.  Chuck is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Education and Background: Chuck earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a B.A. from Monmouth College.


Dan A. Schulder, CPA, JD

Dan A. Schulder, CPA, JD

Member
Cozen O’Connor

Presenting - What Happens in Pa., Stays in Pa.: Sales and Use Tax Update

Dan concentrates in the areas of taxation, mergers and acquisitions, business finance, general corporate planning, real estate, and zoning law. His practice primarily involves all aspects of federal, state, and local taxation, structuring business organization, merger, acquisition, disposition, recapitalization and reorganization transactions, developing debt and equity financing strategies, providing business planning and corporate formation counseling, and all aspects of acquiring, developing, financing, leasing, and zoning of commercial and residential real estate.

In addition to his legal experience, Dan is a certified public accountant and has served on various
committees for the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and its South Central Chapter.

He currently serves on the State Tax Committees of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public
Accountants as well as its Legislation and Multistate Tax Conference Committees. He is a member of the Dauphin County Bar Association, where he served on various committees; the Pennsylvania Bar Association, where he currently serves on the Tax Council of the Tax Law Section, was a past chairman of the Tax Law Section, and the immediate past delegate for the Tax Law Section to the Association's House of Delegates; and served on the American Bar Association's Business Law Section. He was elected a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel.

Dan is active in the Harrisburg community, and has served on the board of directors of the Jewish
Community Center and the Rabbi David L. Silver Yeshiva Academy as well as treasurer of both
organizations. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors and is past treasurer of Kesher Israel Congregation. He has also served on various committees for the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg.


PatrickSkeehan

Patrick K. Skeehan

Manager, State and Local Tax
Grant Thornton LLP

Presenting - Corporate Tax: How Companies Pay in Pa.

Patrick uses his research and writing skills to assist clients on a variety of income and franchise, sales and use, personal income and Pennsylvania local business privilege tax consulting matters. Patrick has considerable knowledge of Pennsylvania tax law and experience with the Pennsylvania tax appeals process. 

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Patrick worked in the state and local tax practices of a regional accounting firm and a national tax firm, where he provided clients with various state and local tax compliance and consulting services.

In the Philadelphia state and local tax practice of Grant Thornton, Patrick specializes in various indirect tax consulting services, including nexus studies, voluntary disclosure submissions, taxability determinations and exposure quantifications, revenue ruling requests, audit defense, tax controversy, and state and local tax M&A due diligence services. Patrick has gained extensive experience in aspects of income and franchise, sales and use and gross receipts tax compliance procedures and planning.

Patrick’s client focus includes software and technology companies, retailers, manufacturers, life sciences companies, communications service providers, financial service providers and energy and petroleum companies.

 

MilanSlak

Milan D. Slak, CPA, JD, LLM

Member
Norris McLaughlin & Marcus PA

Presenting- Pass-Through Entities and Personal Income Tax: A Focus on Numbers and People

Milan Slak, a Member of the firm, focuses his practice on all areas of taxation, business law, and estate and succession planning.

A licensed Certified Public Accountant, Milan focuses on achieving client goals in a tax efficient manner. He handles corporate, partnership, individual, and international taxation matters, as well as addressing tax issues and resolving tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and state governmental taxing authorities. He works closely with clients to design and advise on tax planning initiatives and transactions involving federal and state tax law; mergers and acquisitions; capital investment; corporate, limited liability company, and partnership structuring; operation, reorganization, and termination; the use and taxation of trusts; and estate and succession planning for owners of closely held businesses and franchise owners.

Milan assists in the formation and organization of business entities, including S corporations, C corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships. He works with clients to properly structure the governing documents for these entities. He interprets pre-existing governing documents to assist clients understand their rights and obligations to roles they have in the business.

Milan also works with clients to design and implement estate, succession, and gifting plans and strategies. He drafts estate planning instruments, including wills, lifetime testamentary trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care. He handles all aspects of estate administration including probate, preparation of fiduciary income tax returns, estate tax returns, and inheritance tax returns. He helps clients take maximum advantage of available investment tax credits and other tax incentives, especially in the area of solar and other renewable energy projects.

Milan has represented taxpayers in obtaining private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service in such matters as inadvertent S election terminations, late portability elections for estates of decedents, and application of the generation skipping transfer tax exemption to lifetime gifts.

Milan has been frequent speaker at local and national conferences on topics including choice of entity, capitalization structure, tax provisions of recent federal tax legislation, and the taxation of S corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships. Milan also speaks locally on topics including taxation and estate planning, and conducts regular Continuing Professional Education for certified public accountants.


JeffSpengler

Jeffrey J. Spengler, CPA

Partner
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP

Presenting - Neighborhood Watch: A Look at Local Tax Updates

Jeff Spengler is a partner in the tax services group of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP. He specializes in serving midmarket and closely held companies within several industries including construction, manufacturing, and distribution as well as not-for-profit companies. Jeff has provided both federal and state tax planning and structuring advice for midmarket corporations, partnerships as well as individuals.  He is currently serves the Vice President for the PICPA and has been active in serval PICPA committees including the state tax committee (chair), and the local tax committee of the Pittsburgh chapter for over 15 years.


Frank Tobias

Frank J. Tobias, CGFM

Revenue Fiscal Analyst Supervisor
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
Pass-Through Business Office

Presenting - Pass-Through Entities and Personal Income Tax: A Focus on Numbers and People

Frank is a Revenue Fiscal Analyst Supervisor with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s Pass Through Business Office. 

Frank has over 20 years of public accounting experience, including serving as a Partner with a regional accounting firm. He was also a Senior Manager at an international accounting firm’s State and Local Tax Group and served as that firm’s Mid-Atlantic Area Leader of State and Local Tax Practice and Procedures and the Area Leader of Sales and Use Tax Services. Prior to Frank’s public accounting experience, he was the Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s Bureau of Corporation Taxes where he was responsible for the administration of all Pennsylvania Corporation taxes. Memberships include:

  • Certified Government  Financial Manager
  • Association for Government Accountants (AGA), Member
  • Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT), Member
  • Association for Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business (IMA), Member
  • Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), Member

Frank enjoys surf fishing, lacrosse, target shooting and Notre Dame sports.  Most of all, he loves and appreciates every moment he spends with his wife and two children.


Dan Westover

Daniel L. Westover, CPA

 State and Local Tax Consultant
Daniel L. Westover CPA

Presenting - What Happens in Pa., Stays in Pa.: Sales and Use Tax Update

Dan has over 35 years of experience in state tax consulting, including 8 years with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue as an audit specialist (sales/use and motor carrier/fuels taxes) and over 7 years with a Big 4 accounting firm, leaving as a Director in 2002.

Since then, he has worked alongside Dru Durigon, Esquire, specializing in sales/use taxes, performing reverse audits and audit defense appeals, bad debt recovery reviews, and research projects for clients throughout the country. This includes the implementation of Sales/Use Tax Compliance Agreements (“SUTCAs”), managed audits, and performing taxability studies for many industries. His experience includes direct contacts with tax departments in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, and Wisconsin, among others.

Mr. Westover received a BS/BA from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and has been a registered CPA since 1988. He is a member of the PICPA (including the State Taxation Committee), the Allegheny Tax Society, and the Pittsburgh Organization of State Taxes (POST). He and wife, Kathy, are still paying for their two sons’ college tuition.


Neil Yahn

Neil W. Yahn, JD, LLM

 Partner, James Smith Dietterick & Connelly LLP
Adjunct Professor of Accounting, Villanova University

Presenting -How to Handle Estates, Inheritances, and Trusts

Neil W. Yahn, a partner with the law firm of JSDC Law Offices, serves on the faculty at Lebanon Valley College and Villanova University as an adjunct professor where he teaches Individual Taxation and Taxation of Business Entities.

Neil primarily concentrates his law practice on income, partnership, corporate and estate tax matters and related litigation. Neil advises clients with respect to the use of partnerships, S corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs) and other pass-through entities to assist clients in a wide range of tax planning matters. He works with our clients to use pass-through entities to avoid double taxation, to allow business owners to obtain the full benefit of tax losses or tax incentives, and to minimize the tax impact of various asset acquisitions or dispositions. In the controversy area, Neil has represented clients at the audit and appellate levels of the IRS and in litigation before the U.S. Tax Court. He has also represented large estates and beneficiaries in disputes over testamentary documents and claims of undue influence.