Meet the 2015-2016 Executive Committee

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The FICPA’s nine-member Executive Committee is comprised of FICPA Board Chair Mia Thomas and eight directors. Deborah Curry, FICPA President/CEO, serves as secretary-treasurer and non-voting EC member. The Committee implements the Board of Governors’ policies and oversees the Institute’s activities.

Here is some information about the 2015-2016 Executive Committee members, including what motivates them to serve and how they hope to make a difference.

Abby Dupree, CPA, CGMA
Image: Abby Dupree
Abby Dupree

Dupree has been with Carroll and Company, CPAs since 1994. She has been a partner with the firm since 2002 and became the managing partner in January 2015. She specializes in tax planning, preparation and consulting for individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations. She also specializes in state and federal campaign finance compliance consulting and reporting.

Dupree is a member of the AICPA Council and of the FICPA Finance & Office Advisory Committee. She has served in each of the Tallahassee Chapter officer positions; as a member of the State Legislative Policy Committee; and as chair of the FSU Accounting Conference Committee. She is a trustee on the Leon High School Foundation Board of Trustees and treasurer for the Leon High School Lacrosse Boosters. She is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee Class 29 and a former board member of the North Florida Chapter of the Children’s Home Society. She has served as finance chair for Holy Comforter Episcopal School. Dupree lives in Tallahassee with her son, Matthew.

What motivates you to volunteer your time and talent on the Executive Committee, and how do you hope to help the FICPA through your service?
Volunteering my time to an organization that works so hard to protect my license is important to me. Serving on the Executive Committee allows me to work with a team of other CPAs from throughout the state. Each of us has a unique perspective regarding the CPA profession and how the FICPA can best serve its members. I hope to help the FICPA by working with this team to make sure we continue to keep the “big picture” in mind with respect to how the organization may need to evolve and change as the needs of our membership evolve and change. I also hope to promote the value the FICPA brings to all Florida CPAs by protecting their licenses and I’ll continue to encourage all of them to become members.

Joey Epstein, CPA, CGMA
Image: Joey Epstein
Joey Epstein

As a director of McGladrey LLP, Epstein is a CPA providing audit, tax and consulting advice. His other major priority with the firm is to provide business development services in South Florida. He has handled financial audits; income and sales-tax audits; and tax planning, including assistance with client exit strategies. He is certified in Florida sales and use tax and holds a Health and Life, including variable Annuity Insurance License from the State of Florida.

Joey Epstein is FICPA chair-elect and a member of the AICPA Council. He serves on the Florida CPA/PAC Board of Trustees and is serving his eighth term on the FICPA Board of Governors. He has served on the FICPA State Legislative Policy Committee for over 20 years and has chaired it several times.

Epstein is a Board Member of Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Downtown Fort Lauderdale Transportation Management Association (Suntrolley), Broward Days, the Florida Association for Child Care Management and Rebuilding Together Broward. He also serves on the Finance/Audit Committee of the Florida Bar Foundation, the Executive Board of Legal Aid of Broward and the Ambassador’s Board of Nova Southeastern University. He previously has served on the Audit Committees of Broward Health and the Broward County School Board, among others.

What motivates you to volunteer your time and talent on the Executive Committee, and how do you hope to help the FICPA through your service?
I’ve been an active FICPA volunteer since I became a member in 1981 because I always believed in giving back, particularly to my chosen profession. I’m beginning my fifth year on the Executive Committee and really enjoy being part of the strategic-planning process. In addition, I enjoy helping to shape the direction of the Institute over the upcoming years. I truly believe in the value of marketing what we offer as an association, and my Executive Committee service gives me an opportunity to work closely with others who share that approach. Together, I believe we can develop a path for progress, and I hope to help guide the FICPA along that path.

Gary Fracassi, CPA
Image: Gary Fracassi
Gary Fracassi

Gary Fracassi started his career with a small local firm in Pennsylvania while still in school. He worked a full-time equivalent to satisfy the experience requirements for CPA licensure and brags he passed the exam in the first sitting. The local firm later merged with a large regional firm, where he served as manager of client accounting services. Later career opportunities included serving as controller for a chain of fast-food restaurants and an insurance agency group, and as director of IT for a large employee-benefits administration company. His current practice primarily focuses on tax and accounting/controller services for new and emerging small businesses, as well as several non-profit groups.
Fracassi is the current chair of the FICPA Finance & Office Advisory Committee and been honored as an FICPA outstanding discussion leader in the area of ethics. He has served as a chapter officer and regional representative, on the Board of Governors and on many committees.

What motivates you to volunteer your time and talent on the Executive Committee, and how do you hope to help the FICPA through your service?
My motivation comes from two primary points. First, early in my career I kept hearing the words “give back to the profession.” Just like I got my start, I’ve always hired student interns to give them some meaningful experience and exposure to the CPA world. In the bigger picture, the FICPA provides an excellent opportunity to give back to the profession. All the volunteers with whom I’ve served with have one characteristic in common – they’re passionate about our mission and the work we do to further the profession.

To sum up the second point, I believe in the FICPA. Jokingly, I might write in my biography that I’m currently serving my 14th year of a life sentence with the FICPA. It’s not a joke – I take great pride in the past 14 years and look forward to a few more.

Sarah Funk, CPA, CGMA
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Sarah Funk

Sarah Funk is the director of compliance with Trilogy International Partners, LLC. Trilogy, a multinational company generating over $600 million in annual revenue with 2,000-plus employees, has operations in South America, New Zealand and the Caribbean. Funk is responsible for corporate and international subsidies compliance and internal audit operations. She also has led initiatives in the areas of mergers and acquisitions; project management for software-implementation projects; Haiti earthquake rebuilding projects; and improving business operations.

Funk is an AICPA member. She is a director of the Broward County Chapter and serves on the FICPA’s Women’s Leadership Committee and Membership Committee. She is actively involved with the FICPA Young CPAs and speaks at various student forums. She was an FICPA 26 Under 36 honoree in 2013 and 2015.

What motivates you to volunteer your time and talent on the Executive Committee, and how do you hope to help the FICPA through your service?
To me, it’s all about making a positive impact and connecting people. The FICPA ensures the vitality of the CPA designation. As a member in industry, the FICPA provides relevant resources and numerable options for future leaders to improve their leadership and people skills. I’ve enjoyed contributing to the success at the FICPA chapter and state levels. Through FICPA service, I hope to increase awareness about the Institute’s role in protecting the CPA designation and increase participation at the local, state and national levels.

Brad Gould, esq., CPA
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Brad Gould

Brad Gould is a shareholder in the tax and estate and succession planning departments of the law firm of Dean, Mead, Minton & Zwemer in Fort Pierce. He practices in the areas of tax and business law, with an emphasis in planning for closely-held business, S corporations, reorganizations and tax controversies. He also advises clients on estate and succession planning, handling matters that involve transfer taxes, multi-generational business succession planning, and probate and trust litigation. Gould began his professional career with Deloitte and Touche in San Francisco.

Gould earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in 1998, and his law degree in 2001, from the University of Florida (UF). He has served on the FICPA Board of Governors since 2012 and has served on the UF Accounting Conference Committee since 2004. Gould is a member of The Florida Bar and the American Bar Association, where he serves on the S Corporations Committee of the Tax Section and on the CLE Committee. He is a past chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties and helped found the Parent Academy of St. Lucie County.

What motivates you to volunteer your time and talent on the Executive Committee, and how do you hope to help the FICPA through your service?
Being part of a profession means more than just having a degree and a license. It means being part of a professional community and making meaningful contributions for the greater good and yourself. There are many tasks that need to be accomplished to move all of us forward, improving our profession together. Service on the Board of Governors and now, the Executive Committee, is a privilege that gives me the opportunity to help develop how the FICPA will progress in the rapidly changing business world we serve. My experience as a CPA in industry brings the FICPA a different perspective in its approach to issues the profession faces. It also diversifies our leadership to help ensure we consider all of our members’ needs.

Paulette Holder, CPA
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Paulette Holder

Paulette Holder is founder and managing shareholder of Holder & Company, CPAs, which was established in 1987 in Lutz. After working for an international accounting firm for six years, she began her own practice. Holder has experience in tax and in accounting and auditing services. Her clients are individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. She has served on and chaired several FICPA committees during the last 25 years and has served on the Board of Governors for four years.

Holder has been married for 43 years and has two children and two grandchildren. She loves football and traveling.

What motivates you to volunteer your time and talent on the Executive Committee, and how do you hope to help the FICPA through your service?
The main thing that motivates me to serve on the Executive Committee is the need to give back and contribute to my profession. I have, during my 33-year career, been so fortunate to have individuals who were willing to give their time and assistance in helping me become a better professional. I hope I can inspire and assist other young professionals in the same way. I’ve loved this profession since I started practicing and have always been proud of the CPA designation. I hope, through my involvement with the FICPA and AICPA, I’m contributing to maintaining the profession’s high standards. As a partner in a small firm, the friends I’ve made and the networking opportunities I’ve received through FICPA volunteerism have been invaluable.

W. G. Spoor, CPA, CGMA
Image: W. G. Spoor
W. G. Spoor

W.G. Spoor joined the Spoor + Associates, PA team in 1997. He became a principal in 2007 and is responsible for the firm’s domestic and international individual and entity tax practices. Spoor specializes in helping clients with tax compliance and consulting issues. He has extensive experience with business acquisitions, succession planning, retirement planning and representation before the IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue.

Spoor earned a master’s in accountancy from the University of South Florida and a bachelor’s in accounting from Florida State University. He is a Personal Financial Specialist, Registered Investment Advisor and QuickBooks ProAdvisor. He is an AICPA member and has served on the AICPA Uniform and Advisory Committee. He serves on the FICPA Board of Governors and has served on the FICPA’s Finance and Advisory Committee, Accounting Careers Committee, Nominations Committee, International Tax Committee and Young CPAs Committee.

What motivates you to volunteer your time and talent on the Executive Committee, and how do you hope to help the FICPA through your service?
I’m motivated to serve on the Executive Committee because of my dedication to my profession and the desire to protect and improve our professional designation as CPAs. As a member of the Committee, I have a direct influence on the future of our profession by promoting the value of our membership and advocating on behalf of other CPAs. I am honored to continue the mission established by many dedicated professionals who have served before me. Serving alongside other passionate and hard-working CPAs gives me assurance that our profession is in good hands, and that the FICPA will continue to thrive for many years to come.

Alan West
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Alan West

Alan West has been with the University of Florida (UF) since 2006. Currently, he is a senior associate controller and oversees the university’s treasury management and bursar functions. Previously, he was the controller for the UF Foundation. He is a member of the AICPA and of the FICPA Audit Committee.

West worked in public accounting with James Moore and Company in Gainesville and has over seven years of public accounting experience throughout Florida. He earned two bachelor’s degrees from the University of South Florida and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. He and his wife, Debra, have two children.

What motivates you to volunteer your time and talent on the Executive Committee, and how do you hope to help the FICPA through your service?
My motivation stems from recognizing that when we come together as a group, through collaboration, we can have a positive impact on the way the FICPA will look in the future. I hope we leave a blueprint for future volunteer leaders, and that they realize the ways in which we all benefit when the Executive Committee, Board of Governors and local chapters come together and share ideas.