3885 Crestwood Parkway
Duluth, GA 30096
Susan is originally from New Jersey but moved to Tennessee back in 1993 to attend College. It was there that Susan started her career as an Administrative Assistant. Sales and Customer Service has always been Susan’s focus and passion. She feels her diverse background in various industries (Hospitality, Manufacturing, Retail) helps her understand the wants and needs of her team and our clients. She thoroughly enjoys supporting her Sales Team. Outside of work, Susan enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. She also loves to knit when she is not running after her two grandsons, who are 5 and 20 months. They are her pride and joy. Susan has been with BJM since January 2022 and very excited to see the growth of BJM and its future.
Jeannie Copeland is a passionate Marketing Specialist and entrepreneur with 18 years of experience producing successful growth strategies and nine years as a business owner. She specializes in identifying and directing new business opportunities as well as executing dynamic marketing projects for fast growing companies.
Jeannie is a graduate of GA State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. Her past career includes B2B Marketing for several unique industries including commercial water park slides, global gaming, and environmental products where she gained key experience in corporate marketing, public relations, copy writing, event planning and graphic design.
As an entrepreneur, Jeannie opened and operated both a restaurant, juice bar, and a day spa, serving over 28,000 customers in her local community for nine years and overseeing every aspect of each business.
Jeannie is excited to be part of BJM Group working in an entrepreneurial marketing role for a vibrant, growing accounting firm full of great people. She enjoys working with each of our local communities and supporting our local offices in their growth.
When she is not working, Jeannie loves to travel, garden, prepare beautiful meals and entertain. She resides in North Georgia with her husband of ten years and her son – living a simple and rewarding life she loves.
Amanda Martinez is from Florida City, Florida, a small suburb of Miami, Florida. She is a first generation American born to immigrant parents from Haiti. She moved to Georgia in 2019 to support her husband who attends Emory University obtaining his master’s degree in Divinity. Prior to joining BJM Group, Amanda worked as an HR coordinator, recruiting talented nurses and support professionals to care for developmentally disabled individuals for a private day program and group home company in Tucker, GA.
Amanda holds a master’s degree in criminal justice and has a professional past as a paralegal and legal secretary. She is described as an administrative professional with over 15 years assisting executives. She loves learning new things and has a passion for helping people. She is coined a “Jill of all trades” when it comes to administrative functions.
Amanda is the HR Administrative Assistant at BJM Group. Her responsibilities include recruiting, onboarding and responding to HR inquiries from current employees.
When she is not working, Amanda enjoys writing, eating out, going on new adventures, taking pictures and lounging around with husband and her furry child Chacha, a vivacious 16-year-old Pomeranian.
Mr. Phillips is the founder and Branch Manager of BCP Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American institute of CPAs as well as the Georgia Society of CPAs. He’s practiced public accounting for over forty years.
He specializes in tax issues, accounting, and consulting with individuals, partnerships, and corporations. He assists his clients with selection of business formation, set-up, and installation of accounting software along with general business consulting. In addition, he has experience in international tax and business with specific knowledge in selecting and working with accountants and attorneys in Europe and South America.
Benny is a graduate of Georgia Southwestern State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. He is part of several professional and civic organizations including the Kiwanis Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the National Alumni Association of Georgia Southwestern University as well as active member of the First Baptist Church of Covington.
He has been a resident of Covington, Georgia since 1976. He and his wife Alice, a retired teacher and part-time college professor, have one daughter, Whitney. Both Whitney and her husband Julian are electrical engineering graduates of the Georgia Institute of Technology and live in Atlanta, Georgia with their three daughters Micaiah. Talya, and Catalina.
Wendi Chapman joined BJM Group as Client Engagement Manager in October 2021. Her background in dealing with alumni, customers, and employees combined with her years of accounting experience make her especially well-suited for the role.
Prior to joining BJM Group, Wendi worked as director of alumni affairs and special events for Bishop Shannan High School in the Philadelphia area. After graduating from college, she spent three years as an accountant for large corporations. She then used her financial and operational experience to move into human resources, management, and ultimately engagement roles at consulting firms and nonprofit organizations.
Wendi holds Bachelor’s of Science degrees in both accounting and organizational dynamics from Immaculata University in Malvern, Pennsylvania.
In her spare time, Wendi loves competing with her black Labrador Dublin in DockDogs aquatic competitions. They compete along the East Coast in all three divisions of the sport: Big Air, Speed Retrieve, and Extreme Vertical. Wendi also enjoys spending time on the beach, with her family, and reading.
Majoring in accounting and becoming a bookkeeper were natural for this numbers game lover. “Accounting was fun and like solving a puzzle,” says Karen Allen, who joined BJM Group as a bookkeeper in August 2021.
Karen received a bachelor’s in business administration with double majors in accounting and computer information systems from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus.In her spare time, Karen enjoys spending time with family, walking with friends, hiking, and participating in book club. When not socializing or enjoying the outdoors, you can find Karen working a crossword, sudoku, or other type of puzzle.
Dianne Ash is not your typical bookkeeper. While she’s a QuickBooks expert and brings 20-plus years of bookkeeping experience to her job, It’s the chance to help people that has brought her the most joy professionally. Dianne has worked with other CPA firms, and was most recently the office manager and bookkeeper for a local church before joining the BJM Group.
This friendly, communicative extrovert’s first job after graduating from college was as an elementary school teacher. With a bachelor’s degree in elementary school education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she taught third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders for two years.
Dianne enjoys hiking with her husband and photographing flowers and waterfalls along the trails. She volunteers at a variety of charitable organizations. Most recently, she was involved in wedding plans for her only son, who was married in April.
Terrie helps support all of the branch office teams in standardizing business processes and systems. Prior to joining BJM Group, Terrie worked in industrial, medical, and specialty gases for 17 years, starting as a sales receptionist and moving up through helpdesk, HR, and office management functions.
Terrie is a 5th generation Atlanta native, currently living in the Stone Mountain area with her husband, Mark, and their two beagles. She has two married children, Ashley and Andrew, who also live in the area, one grandson, Henry, and another grandson due in December. Terrie loves being a grandmother! Although family activities keep them very busy, Terrie and Mark also enjoy boating, deep sea fishing, cruising (ships, not cars), and pretty much any outdoor activity.
Jessica Baber is a true Atlanta native, born at Grady Hospital and residing in the Atlanta area since then. Prior to joining BJM Duluth and BJM Group, she was the office manager and project coordinator at a geotechnical engineering firm. What’s that? “They determine whether the ground can support the weight of whatever someone wants to build on it,” Jessica clarified. Over time, her long commute started weighing heavily on her family life, so Jessica began looking for opportunities closer to home.
Jessica first met Hermione Graus from the BJM team after responding to a job posting, and was hired quickly thereafter. “Although I didn’t have a British accent, I think Hermione and Neal realized that my operations experience would be valuable to BJM,” Jessica commented. She was immediately embraced by the rest of the team as well. “Everyone loves their jobs here, and it really shows,” she added.
When Jessica isn’t working with the BJM Group offices, she likes to spend time with her family. Jessica loves hiking and camping with her daughter, whether on the family’s property in South Carolina, or at other regional destinations like the Chattooga River, Blue Ridge Mountains, or Cataloochee Valley. Favorite sports teams include the Georgia Bulldogs and the Atlanta pro teams – Falcons, Braves, and now Atlanta United.
William Demers knew early in life that he wanted to work in accounting. He pursued that calling at Bryant University in Rhode Island, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in accounting. Thirty-five years later and his passion for solving problems and helping clients as a CPA has only grown.
After graduating, William spent five years as a partner at a firm in Massachusetts. When he discovered that he enjoyed the responsibility of running a business just as much as he enjoyed helping clients, he moved to Florida to open his own firm. Everyone who works with William receives the utmost dedication and focus, and people often comment on his availability, reliability, and personal touch.
When he’s not assisting clients, he loves challenging himself on the golf course and spending time with his wife Risa, who also works at William Demers & Co. Together, they entertain their grandchildren and pamper their beloved dog.
Hugh is a Georgia native and branch manager of the firm. He heads up tax and accounting operations as well as IRS Representation. Hugh has expertise in tax resolution and representation, taxation and small business operations. Adept at working with IRS and State Taxing Authorities, he knows how to advise clients in their unique tax situations. He has been with the firm over 16 years working with individuals and small businesses. One thing that makes Hugh unique is his extensive experience, not only in accounting but in sales management and operational consulting. Prior to working with the firm, he was Vice President of sales for CR Gibson. Hugh holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and Business Management from Georgia State University.
Janine Pendleton, CPA, joined Brandon, Rackley & Dukes in 2019 with 35 years of private and public accounting experience. She is one of the rare CPAs who passed all four parts of the CPA exam the first time. She continues to bring the same level of commitment and dedication that helped her achieve that feat to serving clients.
While her background is in individual and corporate taxation, Janine also works hard to help her clients meet goals and plan for the future. With her inquisitive nature and good listening skills, she enjoys learning about client’s businesses and families.
Janine graduated from Valdosta State University with a BBA in Accounting and went on to earn her MBA from the same university.
In her spare time, Janine enjoys cooking, reading, walks, and spending time with her family.
Ellen Gelfand grew up in Long Island, and moved to Atlanta the first time a few years following college graduation. After leaving Atlanta to spend about 6 years in both Colorado and Florida, she moved back in 2006 and has been here ever since. Ellen has been a CPA since 1989, which was when the CPA exam took 2.5 days to administer. Only 5% of those sitting for the exam passed it the first time. Of course, Ellen did!
Prior to joining Bach, James, Mansour & Company, Ellen worked for larger CPA firms where she found she was spending more time working through internal processes than with partners and clients. Ellen started looking for a smaller firm where she could make more of a difference, and was introduced to Bach, James, Mansour & Company. “I wanted my voice to be heard, and Neal was looking for someone who could improve the business processes and tax procedures that would ultimately improve service to our clients.” Ellen commented. “It was a perfect fit.”
From Hermione’s accent to Neal’s dry sense of humor, Ellen knew that she wanted to be a part of the team, so she joined in January 2018. “I really enjoy the culture here,” Ellen added. “Everyone gets along, and we find time to have a little fun once in a while – even during tax season!” Clients have been enthusiastic, mentioning that Ellen is very patient and a great communicator, including prompt follow-up to their messages.
When Ellen is not working on tax returns or government agency tax audits, she is quite addicted to British TV crime shows and British mystery crime novels. Her favorite authors include Jane Austen, Peter Robinson, and Stephen King. Ellen also volunteers at Chastain Park’s Healing through Horses program, therapeutic riding for people with disabilities. “I used to ride horses, so I can make a difference while doing something I love,” Ellen said. Ellen has two grandchildren, plus Boots the dog, and Mojo the (mean) cat.
Lori Inghram loves a challenge. Working as an auditor for 18 years has provided her the opportunity to fulfill that passion as well as get to know her clients personally. Lori is a hardworking professional who clients describe as dependable, trusting, and personable.
Prior to joining the BJM Group, Lori worked as an audit manager with a CPA firm in Tallahassee, FL. She graduated from Troy State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration.
When she’s not working, Lori enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, being outdoors at the beach or in the mountains, and volunteering for a variety of charitable organizations. She and her husband have two cats.
Karen Curran, CPA, CVA, joined Davidson, Jamieson & Associates in 2012 as a litigation manager. She enjoys the firm’s family environment, as well as the opportunity to get to know clients and help them understand complex concepts.
Karen holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Florida and a Master of Taxation from the University of South Florida. After her first job with a local accounting firm, she spent a few years as a supervising senior accountant with KPMG Peat Marwick. Karen realized she missed the community feel of a local firm and ultimately landed with DJA following work with two other Bay area firms. She has over 20 years of public accounting experience in audit, tax, business valuation and consulting, and litigation support. Karen often serves as an expert witness for marital dissolutions.
In addition to her CPA license, Karen is a certified valuation analyst. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member for Webster University and the University of Phoenix. Her graduate and undergraduate courses include finance, taxation, general business, and accounting.
When she isn’t working or teaching, Karen enjoys reading, bicycling, and going to the beach. As an empty-nester, she also loves to travel.
Shelia has 20+ years of experience in marketing, sales, management, operations, advertising and public relations both with corporate and nonprofits. Her specialty is connecting and guiding people and businesses to their full potential, and will be overseeing the firm’s operations in Florida. Shelia has a Communications Degree from Florida State University.
Shelia was honored as one of the 2017 Top Women in Business by Business Today NC for her contributions in the Lake Norman, NC Business Community and her Non-Profit Leadership roles, including Board of Directors and Committee Chairperson.
As the Financial Controller for the entire BJM Group, Kimberli Lincoln gets to work with all the different offices. This problem-solving team-player was drawn to the job by the opportunity to help create overall processes, and was impressed by BJM Group’s stable yet growth-oriented environment.
Prior to joining the BJM Group, Kimberli was an accounting associate for two years at Reformed University Fellowship, a campus ministry program of the Presbyterian Church. She has over 20 years of accounting experience and also spent some time as a mortgage broker. “I’ve always had a role with numbers,” she says. Kimberli holds degrees in accounting and music education from Liberty University.
Kimberli likes to stay productive. She spends her free time with her kids, at her church, or often in a class learning something new. Kimberli is the mother of four teenagers with autism and recently helped them start a business.
With over 30 years’ experience in sales leadership, training, coaching, marketing, business development and senior level sales Chris has had roles that span Fortune 50 and entrepreneurial companies. His experience is in driving go-to-market strategy, business, channel and partner development, sales management and leadership, both domestically and internationally. He has lead sales and marketing teams, developed product launches and go-to market strategies for early-stage companies.
Chris’ strengths are implementing strategy through process improvement, coaching and leadership. As a consultant, Chris is a process-driven strategic thinker who excels at sorting through clutter to see the big picture and then simplify complexity. He applies his innovative thinking to find new possibilities and opportunities.
Dave Slovin is in charge of demand generation efforts for BJM Group and its network of local accounting firm brands. As a senior executive and entrepreneur, Dave brings over 25 years of experience in marketing, sales, business development, operations, and customer service disciplines at start-ups to Fortune 100 corporations. He has the proven ability to create and execute business strategies that bring product to market, build scalable organizations, and deliver profitable revenue from long-term client relationships.
With over 20 years in public accounting and almost five in business management with a fast-growing software company, Bill Lincoln is applying his expertise to build teams of professional staff and enhance firm resources to better serve clients. As Regional Director, Bill’s role includes overseeing the local branches, implementing firmwide processes and procedures, and developing professional staff into business and client leaders.
With an intense yet easy-going manner, Bill is perfectly positioned to focus on BJM Group’s top-line growth while also working directly with branch managers to create client-focused, stellar teams of accounting professionals. As BJM Group grows, Bill will work with newly acquired entities to enhance not only their branch performance and client offerings, but also those of the region as a whole.
Bill spent most of his public accounting career with mid-sized firms. He has prepared and reviewed individual and corporate tax returns, supervised local and international teams of staff, developed workflow processes and implemented new technologies across firms and with clients, and served integral roles on merger teams. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Accounting from West Virginia University and is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. Bill has been in the Atlanta area for over ten years.
When he is not working, Bill enjoys spending time with his family, particularly watching his three teenagers play soccer and tennis. He is also a home-improvement enthusiast and is always working on a house project.
Hermione Graus immigrated with her family to the US from England in 2003. Prior to joining BJM Group, she worked with a company that developed gaming concepts for online and resort environments.
Initially referred by a client, Hermione joined the firm in 2005 as the receptionist. Later, she was promoted to office manager, operations manager, and most recently to BJM Group Operations Director. She jokes that she was hired because of her British accent. In reality, it was her ability to keep the business organized and running smoothly, along with her friendly personality, that endeared her to staff and clients alike. Hermione commented, “I documented business processes and created the structure required to succeed in those roles while improving customer service.”
Clients appreciate Hermione’s responsiveness and also point out that she knows everyone by name and takes a personal interest in their satisfaction with the firm.
Hermione is now responsible for business operations at BJM Group headquarters in Duluth, GA, as well as BJM Group’s other Georgia locations. Her responsibilities include budgeting, resource allocation, and internal strategy implementation. She also manages business transactions between BJM Group and SGP Capital Holding AG, the firm’s global partner.
When Hermione is not working in the office, she likes to spend time with her husband, their two children, friends, and family. Hermione enjoys travel, particularly Caribbean all-inclusive resorts. She loves when their friends visit them at “Graus Park,” the nickname for her family’s large property, to ride ATVs. When it comes to sports, Hermione likes watching “real” football and is a Manchester United fan.
Sarah Farol was born and raised in Hawaii, but decided to move to a new paradise (Atlanta, GA) about 14 years ago to stay close to family. Prior to joining the team at BJM Group, Sarah helped a multi-location religious organization manage finances and other business needs. “I enjoyed the wide variety of job responsibilities, which could involve bank reconciliations and financial statements, travel planning for the founding pastor, or HR all in one day.” Sarah commented.
Flexibility is critical to Sarah, and something that she wanted to maintain with her next career move. During a brief stint with freelance work, Sarah kept her eyes out for an opportunity that would allow her to grow in her field while still offering the flexibility so important to her. She responded to an ad that Hermione Graus placed on a community website, and after meeting Neal and rest of the team she decided to join BJM. She is now the Chief Financial Officer for BJM Group, overseeing finances and the acquisition due diligence process.
When she is not working with BJM Group offices and accounting firm owners, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, going out to dinner with friends, traveling, and hiking. If there’s a Georgia waterfall accessible by a long, scenic trail, Sarah has probably been there. “I love hiking because there’s a new view and experience around every corner,” she said, “it fuels my love of friendship, beauty and adventure.”
Neal joined the firm in 1980, and became a principal in 1986. His work experience includes accounting, auditing, business and individual taxes, and business and financial consulting. Neal also has extensive experience working with community associations and real estate entities.
Clients describe Neal as extremely thorough, showing genuine care as he looks out for his clients’ best interests. Neal and his team place a heavy emphasis on creating long-term client relationships, which includes understanding each client beyond their financial statements, being accessible when clients contact the firm, and utilizing the team’s collective experience to offer general business and financial advice.
“Many firms our size are now part of larger firms, but we like the family environment and the flexibility to provide a broad set of services to our clients,” Neal commented. “We’re here to assist in the decisions impacting our clients’ lives, a major component of our PartnerPersonalizedSM approach.”
Neal understands the value of work-life balance, and enjoys spending time with family and friends, participating in a local softball league, and playing golf.
I’ve always been uncomfortable with these biographies that are just a long list of achievements in one’s career. If you do see one like that about me, there’s a good chance it was written by someone else.
I am where I am because of 30 years of hard work, learning from my mistakes (which there are many, sooooo many). Most importantly of all, I learned a long time ago that success is based on the ability to surround yourself with good, exceptional, gifted people. I’ve done that here with my fellow members of BJM Group.
Director and Monty Python alum Terry Gilliam, when asked how does he get the vision in his mind on the screen, answered, “I don’t, I get good talented people to do it for me”.