Accounting Program Advisory Board

  • Tracy S. Benard (B.S., Lehigh, ’93), CPA, is the national managing partner of KPMG’s U.S. Advisory Practice, helping lead nearly 10,000 partners and professionals in KPMG’s fastest growing business. She has over twenty years of experience in providing assurance and consulting services to a global client base with an emphasis on financial service providers. Tracy is based in KPMG’s New York office.
     
  • Todd Bialick (B.S., Lehigh, ’95; MBA, Wharton), CPA, is a Risk Assurance partner for PwC. He currently works in the Florham Park, NJ, office. He has over twenty years of experience working with multinational clients in the technology, finance, healthcare and communications industries. Todd is PwC’s US Process Assurance and Trust & Transparency Solutions Leader.
     
  • Joseph P. Charles (B.S., Lehigh, ’96), CPA, is a partner based in KPMG’s Philadelphia office, where he delivers audit and advisory services to companies in the retail energy, regulated utility, retail, and manufacturing industries. Joe has previous experience in KPMG’s National Technical Accounting office and is an IFRS expert. He is a frequent visitor to Lehigh’s campus, and serves as a guest speaker in several accounting classes. Joe is the Chair of the Advisory Board beginning his term during the 2018-2019 Academic Year.
     
  • Ray Cooper (B.S., Lehigh, ’87; MBA University of Chicago) is a Managing Director for Citi Global Healthcare Investment Banking focusing on health care services including Managed Care and Pharmacy Benefit Management, Health Care Information Technology and Pharmaceutical Outsourcing. He joined Citi in September of 2008. Before joining Citi, Ray was a Managing Director in healthcare Investment Banking at Lehman Brothers.
     
  • Cathy Engelbert (B.S., Lehigh,’86, ‘23P), CPA, is Commissioner of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and retired Chairman and CEO of Deloitte, whose subsidiaries provide audit, tax, consulting, and advisory services.  She was previously a member of Deloitte’s U.S. Board of Directors and was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte & Touche LLP, overseeing Deloitte’s U.S. audit practice. With over twenty-nine years of experience at Deloitte, Cathy has had a distinguished career serving large and complex global clients. She has spoken to influential media including CNBC, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, FOX Business Network, Fortune, and The Washington Post about key issues including global business trends, professional services, and how to advance diversity and inclusion in corporate America. Cathy is a member of the Center for Audit Quality Governing Board. She is a past recipient of the YWCA's Tribute to Women in Industry Award, and is listed among the Women’s Fund of New Jersey’s “25 Most Influential Women in Finance” and Crain’s New York Business “Most Powerful Women 2015."
     
  • Joseph McGrath, Jr. (B.S., Lehigh ’04, G ’05) is an Audit and Assurance Senior Manager in Deloitte’s Parsippany, NJ audit practice. Joe has thirteen years of experience with Deloitte, which includes providing audit and audit-related services to multi-national clients and the oversight of international component teams. Joe has served clients in the technology, media, and telecommunications industry as well as clients in the life sciences industry primarily focused on manufacturing and distribution of medical devices. Joe has served as the Manager of the Professional Practice Group in NJ, as well as the Chief-of-Staff to the Chief Operating Officer of the firm. Joe serves as the manager of the NJSCPA business association and is on the Student Programs committee and Professional Conduct Committee.
                                                                                                                 
  • Lauren Miller (B.S., Lehigh ’01) is a partner with EY and works in New York. Lauren is a member of the firm's Financial Services Office, focusing on asset management.
     
  • Linda Murad (B.S., Lehigh, ’02; M.S. in Accounting, Lehigh, ’03), CPA, is the Senior Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for OUTFRONT Media.  Before joining OUTFRONT Media, she was Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for iHeartMedia, Inc., Vice President of Finance for JCDecaux North America and she spent three years in public accounting at Ernst & Young. While at Lehigh, Linda received Tauck, Martindale, and Presidential scholarships.
     
  • Mike Nichols (B.S., Lehigh, ’91), CPA, is a partner with Ernst & Young’s Financial Services practice. In this role, he leads teams providing both audit and advisory services to domestic and global companies in the insurance industry.  In addition, Mike is the Growth Markets leader for the Mid-Atlantic and is also the Co-Program Director of EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year program in Greater Philadelphia. Mike also serves on the Board of CADEkids, a non-profit in Philadelphia where he served as the immediate past President for over 6 years.  Mike is married with 3 sons.
     
  • Elizabeth Pines-Boyle (B.S. Lehigh ‘16), is a senior financial analyst with Johnson & Johnson.  As a young alumni member of the advisory board, Elizabeth was involved in a number of Lehigh University organizations, both within and outside of the Accounting Department.  Elizabeth served as the Accounting Club President for the 2015-16 academic year.  She was an Accounting Tutor, a TRAC Fellow, and a Student Program Coordinator for the Lehigh Pride Center and led a project to install over 50 gender-inclusive restrooms at Lehigh. Previously, Elizabeth served Ernst & Young’s clients in the media and entertainment and healthcare industries; worked on a variety of audits, including year-end audits, Uniform Guidance not-for-profit audits and pension plan audits. Elizabeth is the co-chair of the Tri-State Unity LGBTQ Professional Network.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  • Michael Rossi (Lehigh ’11, G’12) is Director of KPMG’s New York Deal Advisory, Private Equity practice, providing domestic and cross-border merger and acquisition services for both financial and strategic buyers. His experience includes pre-sale buy-side and sell-side due diligence, pre-sale structuring advice, and post-close purchase price adjustments and disputes. Michael has experience in US GAAP and IFRS, revenue recognition, business combinations, purchase and sale agreements, and debt agreements/compliance. While at KPMG, Michael has performed financial due diligence for over 40 transactions and has been responsible for managing various aspects of the due diligence process including: quality of historical earnings, analysis of working capital requirements, review of sale and purchase agreements, review of debt compliance agreements, post-closing working capital and purchase price disputes, and assistance with complex accounting matters.  Michael also has experience assisting clients with financial modelling. He has participated in Deal Advisory engagements in the following industries: consumer products, specialty retail, manufacturing, media and entertainment, oil field services, technology and telecommunications, and financial services.
     
  • Michele Scaringella (B.S., Lehigh ’90), is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of CBS Television Stations Group, based in New York City. As CFO, Michele has financial oversight for the twenty-nine local television stations owned and operated by CBS Corporation. Prior to assuming this position in 2010, she was Senior Vice President Internal Audit, for CBS Corporation. Prior to CBS separating from Viacom in 2006, she worked for Viacom as the vice president in charge of Financial Reporting and Analysis.
     
  • Lindsay Schmedes (B.S. Lehigh, ’04, G’05) is a partner with PwC’s Industry Tax Practice in New York City and serves as the regional Consumer Markets tax leader. Lindsay serves as the Global Lead Tax Partner for Fortune 500 multinationals, and advises on multiple areas of tax, including income tax accounting, tax compliance, tax accounting methods, international tax, state and local tax, M&A, and transfer pricing. Lindsay also leads the coordination of the firm’s global network of subject matter specialists to meet each client's specific needs. Lindsay’s recent focus has included advising clients on repatriation strategies, value chain consideration, cross boarder IP planning, IPO readiness, divestitures, and tax function effectiveness. Lindsay possesses over 12 years of experience primarily in the area of corporate tax for large publicly traded companies. She has a diverse range of experience serving clients in multiple industries including Retail & Consumer, Entertainment & Media, Technology, and Industrial Products. Lindsay received a B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from Lehigh University, and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 2007.
     
  • Wendy Shapss (B.S. Lehigh, ’90, G’92) is a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting and is based in New York. She is Co-Leader of the Global Insurance Services practice. She is also the leader of the FTI Women’s Initiative New York chapter of over 250 women. Ms. Shapss has extensive experience in complex insurance and reinsurance matters, working for domestic and international insurers in arbitration, mediation and litigation. She has been retained by the Department of Justice to assist in certain complex litigation matters, and has expertise in matters involving fraudulent financial reporting; SEC investigations; asset diversion; damage quantification; acquisitions and divestitures; antitrust; price fixing; claims management; forensic investigations; accounting irregularities; liquidation; product liability; solvency; and valuations. Ms. Shapss is a Certified Public Accountant, a certified Fraud Examiner, certified in Financial Forensics and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. She holds a B.S. in Accounting and Marketing and an M.B.A. from Lehigh University.
     
  • D. Scott Showalter (B.S., University of Richmond, ’75), CPA and CGMA, is a professor of practice in the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University.  Scott joined Poole College of Management in 2008 after a 33-year career with KPMG LLP.  He teaches auditing at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as graduate-level research and sustainability courses.  His research includes topics related to data analytics and sustainability. In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities, Scott is currently the chair of Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board and board member of the North Carolina Association of CPA’s. Scott is a licensed CPA in North Carolina.
     
  • Meredith Tate (B.S., Lehigh, G’16) is a Certified Public Accountant and honorably discharged military officer. A young alumni advisory board member, Meredith received her bachelor's degree in Operations Research and Computer Analysis from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2008 and served as a commissioned officer through 2013. After leaving the military at the rank of Lieutenant, Meredith enrolled in Lehigh University’s Master’s in Accounting and Information Analysis program. While working toward her graduate degree, Meredith served as a graduate research assistant in the accounting department and completed two internships in the assurance department at RSM US LLP. She accepted a full-time position at RSM following her graduation from Lehigh in May 2016. In October 2017, Meredith accepted a position in the assurance department at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP in Allentown, PA, where she primarily works on manufacturing and distribution client audits, higher education engagements and single audits, and employee benefit plan audits. Meredith received her Pennsylvania CPA license in December 2017.
     
  • Ralph Albert Thomas (B.S. Lehigh ’76, MBA Lehigh ’77G, ‘17P), CGMA, has served since 1999 as the CEO and Executive Director of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA), a nonprofit, professional business organization comprised of more than 15,500 CPAs and prospective CPAs. At the NJCPA, Ralph has responsibility for four entities, including one of the largest Scholarship Funds in the country supporting students pursuing degrees in accounting. Prior to joining the NJCPA, Ralph spent almost thirteen years at Citibank as Vice President and Region Audit Head in the M&A and Structured Finance Group. He serves on business school and/or accounting advisory boards for five Northeastern colleges and universities, on the AICPA’s inaugural National Commission for Diversity and Inclusion, and was recently appointed to the AICPA Foundation Board. Ralph is a lifetime member and former national president of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and serves on NABA’s President’s Advisory Council, Finance Committee and Corporate Advisory Board. He was selected in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by Accounting Today as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.” Beyond serving on the Accounting Department’s advisory council, Ralph also serves on Lehigh’s College of Business’ Dean’s Advisory Council and is a Trustee Emeritus on Lehigh’s Board of Trustees.
     
  • William K. Velekei (B.S., Lehigh ‘13), CPA, CFP. Upon graduation, Will Velekei obtained his CPA license and worked as an audit associate for KPMG in Philadelphia. In 2015, he transitioned from public accounting to the wealth management industry. Currently a senior financial advisor with Corbenic Partners, Bethlehem, PA, Will has recently attained his CFP certification. He assists with the preparation and presentation of financial plans and analysis for high net worth individuals and families. Will is an active member in the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). He was formally inducted as a member of the executive committee serving a two-year term beginning in May 2016.

    Will is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he presently resides. He volunteers for the Salvation Army Children’s Services of the Lehigh Valley, and serves on various sporting race committees which organize the St. Luke’s Marathon and Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Half Marathon. He also serves on the financial planning counseling team at his church, First Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem.  In his free time, Will enjoys being outside on his bike, running and hiking. He also enjoys spending time with his friends and family and playing golf.
     

    Executive Committee of the Board and Leadership Role – 2018-2019

Board Chair

  • Joe Charles (B.S. Lehigh ‘96) Partner, KPMG

Board Vice Chair

  • Mike Nichols (B.S. Lehigh ’91) Partner, Ernst & Young

Board Secretary

  • Will Velekei (B.S. Lehigh ’13) Financial Advisor, CPA, CFA, Corbenic Partners 

Members Emeriti              

  • Len Combs (B.S. Lehigh ’92) Partner and U.S. Chief Auditor, PwC (Service Years: 2010-2018)
  • Robert Levine (B.S. ’87) Chief Operating Office, EisnerAmper (Service Years: 2012-2018)
  • Taylor Limbert (B.S. Lehigh ’93) Partner Financial Services, Deloitte & Touche, LLP (Service Years: 2010-2018)
  • Ryan Murray (B.S. ’06) Senior Manager, Assurance, Ernst & Young (Service Years:  2015-2018)
  • Abby Price-Asbury (B.S. Lehigh ’12) Manager, Recruiting, PwC (Service Years: 2015-2018)
  • Stephen Smith (B.S. Lehigh ’81) EVP & CFO, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.  (Service Years: 2010-2018)

    Executive Committee of the Board and Leadership Role – 2017-2018

Board Chair

  • Len Combs (B.S. Lehigh ’92) Partner & U.S. Chief Auditor, PwC 

Board Vice Chair

  • Joseph Charles (B.S. Lehigh ‘96) Partner, KPMG 

Board Secretary

  • Taylor Limbert (B.S. Lehigh ’93) Partner Financial Services, Deloitte & Touche, LLP

Members Emeriti                     

  • Salvatore Restivo, Partner Financial Services, Ernst & Young (Service Years: 2016-2018)

    Executive Committee of the Board and Leadership Role – 2016-2017

Board Chair

  • Len Combs (B.S. Lehigh ’92) Partner & U.S. Chief Auditor, PwC

Board Vice Chair

  • Joseph Charles (B.S. Lehigh ‘96) Partner, KPMG

Board Secretary

  • Taylor Limbert (B.S. Lehigh ’93) Partner Financial Services, Deloitte & Touche, LLP

Members Emeriti

  • Sean Denham (B.S. Lehigh ’94) National Professional Standards Partner, Grant Thornton (Service Years: 2010-2016)
  • Richard Koenigsberg (B.S. Lehigh ’76) Partner, Spielman, Koenigsberg & Parker, LLP (Service Years: 2010-2016)
  • Bob Watters (B.S. Lehigh ’85) Partner, Ernst & Young (Service Years: 2010-2016)

    Executive Committee of the Board and Leadership Role – 2015-2016

Board Chair

  • Bob Watters (B.S. Lehigh ’85) Partner, Ernst & Young

Board Vice Chair

  • Stephen Smith (B.S. Lehigh ’81) EVP & CFO, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

Board Secretary

  • Len Combs (B.S. Lehigh ’92) Partner, PwC

    Executive Committee of the Board and Leadership Role – 2014-2015

Board Chair

  • Bob Watters (B.S. Lehigh ’85) Partner, Ernst & Young

Board Vice Chair

  • Stephen Smith (B.S. Lehigh ’81) EVP & CFO, The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

Board Secretary

  • Len Combs (B.S. Lehigh ’92) Partner, PwC           

Interested in learning more about the Accounting Program? Contact us today at 610.758.3451.