Nick Lanese, CPA and Partner
Nick, a partner in Lanese + Associates, was born and raised in Highland Heights, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland). He graduated with honors in 1983 from John Carroll University in Ohio, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Nick became a CPA shortly thereafter (passing all 4 parts of the CPA on the first attempt) and went to work for Cohen & Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Nick moved to Tampa in 1986 to escape Ohio’s harsh winters and went to work for a regional CPA firm located in downtown Tampa. He soon decided he wanted to be his own boss and founded Lanese + Associates, Inc., in 1987. Nick is married to Karen S. (27 Years) and has two children; both now college graduates. He is passionate about family. He is also passionate about bringing value to clients and obtaining a deep understanding of his clients’ businesses and interests; this understanding routinely turns into a better tax result and useful business insights. Nick acknowledges one of our proudest accomplishments is the fact that Lanese & Associates still service many of the accounts we established back in the 1980s and early 1990s as well as some second-generation businesses founded by their children. His hobbies include golf, reading, piano, understanding people and word games. Nick currently serves as the treasurer of the Sun City Chamber of Commerce.
Rick Lanese, CPA and Partner
Rick (Nick’s brother), a partner in Lanese + Associates, was born and raised in Highland Heights, Ohio, and graduated from John Carroll University in 1981. Rick earned his CPA certificate but went to work in industrial accounting (LTV Steel Company) rather than public accounting. Rick moved to Florida in 1987 where he worked as a controller for a general contractor until 1993. Rick graduated from the University of South Florida with an MBA in May 1993 at which time he moved to Tennessee with his wife, where he worked for the City of Chattanooga as a financial/legislative analyst. In 1997 Rick moved back to Florida and become Nick’s partner at Lanese + Associates, Inc. Rick is passionate about being an all-around tax, accounting and business advisor for his clients large and small. Nothing compares to being a valued member of a client's team in navigating business and personal decisions, assisting clients on the road to achieving their goals. Rick's unique combination of private and public accounting makes him a valuable resource to his clients.
Rick Bennett, CPA and Partner
Rick is a partner in our tax, and A & A department with twenty-nine years of public accounting experience. His main area of expertise is in the tax arena, but also has experience with audited, reviewed, and compiled financial statement preparation. He has been a QuickBooks ProAdvisor for over fifteen years and is familiar with a wide variety of accounting software. He is a member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Illinois Certified Public Accounting Society, and is on the event committee for the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance. Rick earned a degree in accounting and a degree in finance from Eastern Illinois University. Rick is married with two grown sons. He relocated to the Tampa area from Chicago in September of 2008. He enjoys traveling, boating, the beach, playing poker, and hanging out with friends and family.
Karen B. Lanese, CPA Principal
Karen specializes in individual taxes, trusts, estates and small non-profits. Karen finds challenge and satisfaction in assisting her clients navigate changes they face in their lives. A significant aspect of her work involves helping clients understand and take charge of new responsibilities when the need arises. Whether working with newly retired individuals, individuals who have lost a spouse or with families facing the challenges of administering a trust or estate, Karen tries her best to educate and assist to make the process less frustrating for those involved. The people aspect of the business is what keeps her coming to work each day.
Karen graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor’s in Accounting, from the University of Akron with a Master’s of Taxation and from the University of South Florida with a Ph.D. in Business. She holds an active CPA license in Florida. After working for a large regional then a national accounting firm, and then teaching at the college level, Karen has found the right fit working at Lanese + Associates since 2002 alongside her husband Rick, brother-in-law Nick and the rest of the staff.
Jonathan K. Walliser, CPA Manager
Jonathan is a Manager who deals primarily with individual, corporate, and partnership accounting and tax related work. He is also proficient in helping clients organize and maintain their accounting records. He started his career at Lanese + Associates as an intern in July 2007 progressing to full time in July 2011. Jonathan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of South Florida in the spring of 2011 and became a CPA in the fall of 2015. Jonathan is married with a son and daughter and enjoys camping and many other outside activities with friends and family.
Brenda Stempson, CPA Manager
Brenda joined Lanese + Associates in 2007. A significant part of Brenda’s work involves tax and financial statement preparation for business owners. She believes in helping business owners and professionals utilize accounting information as a tool for being more successful. She holds an active CPA license in Florida, a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from George Mason University and an MBA from Regis University. She has worked in for-profit and non-profit companies before working in public accounting beginning in 2001. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, golfing, and hanging out at the beach with great friends and her husband of 37 years.
Rick A. McCarthy, Senior Accountant / Cost Segregation Specialist
Rick’s primary responsibilities include federal and state tax compliance, tax planning and research for corporate, partnership, estate, trust and individual tax situations. Rick has worked in public accounting since 1984 and has over fifteen years experience in estate, trust and gift tax. For the past six years, Rick has invested substantial time in developing experience and expertise in the Cost Segregation fixed asset area. He is a member of the American Society of Cost Segregation Professionals (ASCSP). Rick's years of experience and specialized knowledge make Rick a valuable resource within the Lanese & Associates team.
Rick graduated in 1983 with a B.A in Accountancy from The University of South Florida. He has consistently added to his original base of knowledge through continuing education and is committed to assisting his clients reach the best possible outcome on their taxes.
Jana Goldberg, Sun City Center Office Manager
Jana joined the team at Lanese + Associates in December 2004. We like to call her the “Director of First Impressions” for the Sun City Center office. Jana is the friendly voice you hear when you call the Sun City office, she greets clients and helps them with their paperwork, she is our main accounts receivable person and can help if you have a query on your account, she processes and electronically files tax returns and also prepares and processes payroll tax returns. Before Lanese, Jana worked as administrative support in another CPA office, and in hospitality in the hotel and restaurant industries. Jana enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to concerts and musicals, travel and eating out.
Kim R. Hann, Sarasota Office Manager
Kim started full-time with Lanese + Associates in May of 2009. Over the past 28 years, Kim has worked in an office environment wearing many hats including accounts payable, accounts receivables, purchasing, receptionist, file clerk, inside and outside sales and even some controller duties. She enjoys training and assisting clients to better use QuickBooks and the other services our firm offers. Kim enjoys working both remotely or on-site to better assist clients. Kim strives to provide high-level customer service that goes beyond merely reconciling accounts but aims to provide meaningful data for use in year-end planning and decision making. Her primary duties include monthly, quarterly and annual bookkeeping including payroll, sales, and other tax processing. She has two children and one grandson and one granddaughter who are the joys of her life. When not working, she enjoys NASCAR, football and hanging out with family and friends. Her friends have grown to include some very special clients. Kim is the friendly voice you often get when you call the Sarasota office.
Tim W. Eacret, Staff Accountant
Tim joined the staff of Lanese + Associates in June 2011. Prior to joining the firm, he had 20 years experience in public accounting and an additional 11 years experience in the private sector. Tim assists clients with their monthly, quarterly, and annual bookkeeping needs whether in-house, on-site or in the cloud. He is experienced in payroll processing, live or after the fact, including the related tax returns. When he is not at work, he enjoys the time he spends with family and friends and all outdoor activities – especially scuba diving.
Tammy L. Zilz, Staff Accountant / Client Service Specialist
Tammy joined the staff of Lanese + Associates in November 2007. She has over 20 years experience in bookkeeping and routine business compliance activities. Tammy enjoys assisting clients with monthly, quarterly and YE bookkeeping whether in-house, on-site or in the Cloud. She is highly involved with payroll processing, the related tax returns and year-end filings whether live or after the fact. In addition, Tammy assists our QuickBooks Cloud and online payroll clients with set-up and training. You’ll also catch Tammy answering the phones, greeting clients and providing administrative support to the Sun City Center office when needed. Her joy in life comes from her husband, 5 children and growing number of grandchildren.
Laurel Bourgeois, CPA Staff Accountant
Laurel has brought a combination of education and experience to Lanese + Associates since 2014. She graduated from the University of West Florida with degrees in Accounting and Business Administration. She brings experience as a small business owner which enables her to provide practical insight when assisting clients in establishing sound tax and financial processes. Her area of expertise is streamlining internal control and computerized accounting systems for small businesses. Since relocating to Baton Rouge, LA, she takes pride in continuing to provide her Florida clients with a high level of service from a remote location.
Other Staff Resources
In addition to our year-round staff, we utilize other skilled accounting and tax preparers to assist during our especially busy times of year. We have been fortunate to either find or train a number of individuals who are a valuable addition to our team. Their backgrounds range from previous full-time CPA firm experience, tax season preparation with Enrolled Agent credentials, tax season preparation (primarily individual taxes) to running their own bookkeeping service with tax preparation on the side. These individuals contribute to the overall success of the firm sharing our values of quality work with high client service.