2017 Women to Watch Recipients

WomensHisMon_J_reducedWomen of the PICPA have consistently exemplified leadership and mentorship in and outside of the accounting profession throughout the association’s history. They have served as thought leaders and mentors to colleagues within their firms and businesses, and to affiliates of community and professional organizations through their innovative volunteering initiatives.

In recognition of their accomplishments and offerings, the PICPA has decided to partner with the AICPA and launch its inaugural Women to Watch Awards program.

Joining CPA honorees from across the country, the PICPA’s honorees of 2017 are Donna Massanova, Linda Guendelsberger, Karen Facer-Mee, and Melissa Bizyak.

Melissa Bizyak

Melissa A. Bizyak, CPA

Melissa A. Bizyak, CPA, is a partner in business valuation and litigation support services group with Grossman, Yanak & Ford LLP in Pittsburgh, Pa. Melissa specializes in client valuations for a variety purposes, including financial reporting, equitable distribution, gift and estate tax strategies, and more. A recognized expert in the industry, Melissa has spoken to valuation professionals at national conferences hosted by the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA). She has served as chair of NACVA’s executive advisory board, as well as other leadership boards within the organization.

In addition to the NACVA, Melissa has served a number of professional associations (including the PICPA and AICPA), as well as nonprofit and community organizations. She has served as president of the Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh, as a member of the executive leadership team of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women,” and as a board member for the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. Melissa serves as a mentor for women business owners through Chatham University’s MyBoard program, and she is revered as a professional coach and mentor by her team members at Grossman, Yanak & Ford. She created a new Cohort Program at the firm to foster an inclusive environment for team members’ input and ideas.

Certified in financial forensics by the AICPA, Melissa also earned the certified valuation analyst accreditation and was awarded with the association’s certificate of achievement in business valuation. Melissa is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.’s Leadership Development Initiative, a training program for up-and-coming leaders in a variety of professions.

Karen Facer-Mee

Karen Facer-Mee, CPA

Karen C. Facer-Mee, CPA, is a managing shareholder with Facer, Mee & Associates PC in Ivyland, Pa. She specializes in accounting, tax, and management advisory services for both regional and international small businesses. A past president of PICPA’s Greater Philadelphia Chapter, she serves on a number of PICPA committees, including, but not limited to, Federal Taxation, Annual Tax Forum and Planning, and Legislation & Local Taxation. She has represented both the PICPA and AICPA at meetings with the IRS and Pennsylvania legislators, advocating for positive changes on tax issues. Karen also handles a variety of civil tax matters, having served as a witness for cases in state and federal courts.

Karen displays integrity, leadership, and mentorship through her work in and outside of the accounting profession. She has represented the profession in her relations with the media, participating in numerous tax phone banks and interviews. She has served as a mentor for women in various organizations, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). She has also spoken and presented financial literacy seminars for college students of diverse backgrounds. Also, Karen was a Girl Scouts troop leader and has coached and taught financial literacy skills to the Council Rock North girls’ volleyball club.

Karen’s industry and community involvement has been acknowledged by her business partners and clients. The American Society of Women Accountants recognized Karen’s mentorship as a volunteer for many organizations, and has awarded her with the Empowering Successful Women Award in 2010. She has also received the Philadelphia Five Star Financial Award in 2015 and 2016 after being nominated by regional and small businesses for her expertise in taxation.

Linda Guendelsbert

Linda G. Guendelsberger, CPA

Linda Guendelsberger, CPA, is managing partner with LG Legacy Group LLC, a firm she founded in Dresher, Pa. After nearly 30 years as a partner and head of the tax department with Fishbein & Company LLC, along with a partnership at WeiserMazars LLP, Linda decided to begin her own practice by founding a firm that prides itself on optimal client service and giving back to the community. She has served as co-chair of Greater Philadelphia Chapter’s first Women in Accounting Committee, where she assisted in launching programs to help women develop their professional careers in the accounting industry.

Linda is passionate about assisting in the personal and professional development of her colleagues. In each of her firms of affiliation, she has provided one-on-one training to colleagues in many areas, including public speaking, problem solving as it relates to tax and accounting, and community service. She incorporated policies within her firm that promote and support giving back to local communities, all while demonstrating community service outside of the workplace. Linda and her church, Elkins Park Presbyterian Church, travel to India frequently to help maintain a school they built that provides education to more than 900 students of all grade levels. She also serves as a mentor and role model for her own children, leading her daughter’s Girl Scouts troop and coaching her children’s elementary and junior high school-level Odyssey of the Mind teams.

Professionally, Linda has served on several boards, including the board of trustees for the Matthew 25 Fund, accounting advisory boards of Temple University, and an advisory board of Holy Redeemer Health System’s Drueding Center. For her impact as a female business leader, Linda earned the 2016 Smart CEO Brava Award.

Donna Massanova

Donna M. Massanova, CPA


Donna M. Massanova, CPA, is a partner and practice leader of the employee benefit plan (EBP) audit services group at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP in Philadelphia. Overseeing the firm’s EBP practice, Massanova played an integral role in the Baker Tilly team’s achievement of being one of the Philadelphia region’s top five in EBP practices as ranked by the Philadelphia Business Journal. She has authored multiple articles offering insight on the practice area, including fiduciary responsibilities and the impact of the changing pension landscape on the industry, both of which appeared in the Pennsylvania CPA Journal among other publications. Massanova is also a key member of PICPA’s Employee Benefits Plan Committee and Employee Benefits Plan Conference Planning Subcommittee.

Revered as a mentor by her peers at Baker Tilly, Massanova is a leader of the firm’s Growth and Retention of Women (GROW) program, which focuses on enhancing the professional development of women and promoting diversity in the workplace. She also has extended her mentorship outside of Baker Tilly, having taken on many initiatives as part of the Philadelphia affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s board of directors. She is vice chair of the 2017 Philadelphia United Negro College Fund and carries leadership roles with La Salle University, serving on the institution’s associates committee of the council of presidents and the school of business's advisory committee.

Massanova has earned many awards and honors for her contributions to the accounting profession and beyond. She was recognized as one of 2016’s Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising by Employee Benefit Advisor magazine. Other awards include, but are not limited to, La Salle University’s Lasallian Leadership Award in 2016, the SmartCEO CPA & ESQ Award in 2015, and the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Women of Distinction Award in 2012.