Staff Highlights – Winter 2022

Candle making, Escape Room, Fencing, oh my! These are a few of the incredible outings we’ve hosted with #teamBMF members. Because it’s not only about what we do at work. It’s getting to know those new to the firm, new to a team, and those we just don’t get to see every day – that’s #teambuilding!

New Associates

We are excited to announce the following additions to our professional staff.

  • Conner Bast returns as a full-time Staff Accountant in Assurance & Advisory after completing two BMF internships and his MSA at Kent State University. He loves Cleveland sports teams and his favorite he’s visited is the Pacific Northwest. Conner has been working through his CPA exams and is excited to return full-time – and we look forward to having him back! Welcome back, Conner!
  • Eden Copley joins us as a Staff Accountant in Assurance & Advisory. Eden completed her MSA from Kent State University and has been preparing for the CPA exams this summer. She cheers on The Ohio State University sports teams and enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors. Her hope is to travel to every U.S. National Park, and her favorite place she’s visited so far is Maui. Welcome, Eden!
  • Dakota Dunwiddie returns as a full-time Staff Accountant in our Tax Department after serving an internship with us in 2020. Dakota completed his MSA from Kent State University in May and has been working through his CPA exams. He loves all Cleveland and KSU sports teams and his goal is to attend a game at every NFL and MLB venue. During quarantine, he practiced cooking and baking, including pizza and bread from scratch. He has four chihuahuas and enjoys fishing, swimming and video games. Welcome back, Dakota!
  • Kaitlyn Eades joins us as a Senior Accountant in our Business Advisory Services practice. After graduating from The University of Akron, Kaitlyn started her career at a local CPA, where she spent three years honing her skills before taking a role as Assistant Controller for a local construction company. Her favorite place she’s traveled is Switzerland, and she hopes to take a cross-country road trip soon! Kaitlyn lives in Akron with her mini-dachshund, Heidi, and loves Cleveland baseball and trying new restaurants and coffee shops across town. She’s looking forward to returning to public accounting, surrounded by like-minded professionals. Welcome, Kaitlyn!
  • Katelyn Garlitz joins our Tax Department as a Senior Accountant. After graduating from Kent State University, Katelyn spent seven years at a Big 4 firm in their State and Local Tax Department where she received several recognitions for going above and beyond. Recently she’s taken some time off to focus on the CPA exam and spend time with her kids—who she lovingly calls ’minions’. She hopes to take them to Disney World in the next year or two. She’s excited to learn a new area of tax at BMF! Welcome, Katelyn!
  • Sarah Rexrode joins our Audit Department as a staff accountant. Sarah is a recent graduate from Pensacola Christian College and has moved back to NE Ohio with her husband, a U.S. Marine. Growing up in Massillon, Sarah is a Cleveland Browns fan and enjoys kayaking & biking. Her favorite place she’s traveled is Laguna De Apoyo in Nicaragua where she traveled for a mission trip and hopes to travel to Africa someday. Welcome, Sarah!
  • Cori Rich, CPA, joins us as a Manager in our Tax Department. After graduating from Kent State University, Cori spent seven years at a Big 4 Firm serving a variety of clients including real estate partnerships, family offices, high net worth individuals and trusts and served as champion for new technology implementation & process improvements. She also led training to encourage professional growth & development of her team. Cori lives in the Highland Square area with her husband, two kids, and three dogs, and after working at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in college, plans to visit all Disney parks around the world! Welcome, Cori!
  • Breanna Wilson joins our Business Advisory Services team as a Staff Accountant. After graduating from The Ohio State University, Breanna served an accounting internship at a manufacturing company where she learned accounts receivables/payables and payroll. Breanna hails from the village of New London and her favorite trip was to the Grand Canyon. Welcome, Breanna!

Staff & Community Updates

Help isn’t just defined in a business context. We encourage our teams to invest in our communities, in each other and in ourselves. Here are some of the ways we’re enhancing our efforts to support our local charities by continuing our roles as nonprofit agency leaders and investing in our individual growth and development.

  • Kristian Barr joined the board of directors for Aluminum Cans for Burned Children, which raises money to help burn survivors and their families by funding educational and support programs, and paying for non-medical items or services that aren’t covered by insurance, such as protective clothing that helps skin heal, bicycles that help children exercise burned arms or legs, transportation to outpatient treatment for needy families, and more.
  • Joe Blaha has been re-elected to Treasurer for the NEOhio Region Sports Car Club of America, which fuels a safe, fun and exciting motorsports experience for auto enthusiasts.
  • Geoffrey Jacobson has been appointed to the Audit Committee of Notre Dame Schools.
  • Cindy Johnson was featured in the AICPA’s September edition of the CPA Risk Report, where she speaks to her early days as a paraprofessional to becoming the first female partner at BMF to her current role on the Executive Committee, as well as her numerous roles on committees and volunteerism over the years. Check out the podcast or read the interview!
  • Nathan Lieb was named a 2021 Recipient of the 30 For the Future Award by the Greater Akron Chamber! This award recognizes young professionals who make an impact on the Greater Akron Region through leadership in their industry and community engagement.
  • Mindy Marsden was selected for inclusion in Crain’s Forty Under 40 recognition program!
  • Jim Merklin has been appointed Chair of the Fiscal Oversight Committee for Summit County ADM Board, which funds and/or supports a network of organizations that offer services to help individuals in recovery.
  • Dana Mountjoy has been appointed treasurer of The Blick Center, which provides high-quality services for children, adolescents, adults and their families with developmental, behavioral, physical and mental health conditions. She was also appointed to the board of directors of Main Street Wadsworth, which seeks to revitalize downtown Wadsworth through preservation-based economic development using Main Street America’s Four-Point Approach of Design, Economic Vitality, Promotion, and Organization.
  • Betsy Robb has been appointed to the marketing committee for the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which inspires the use, preservation and support of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
  • Stephanie Smith was unanimously elected to the board and appointed to the executive committee of the Cuyahoga Falls Chamber of Commerce, which serves as the gateway to connecting businesses, individuals and community through programs, services and events.

About the Authors

Stephanie E. Smith
Stephanie E. Smith
Strategic Communications & Engagement Manager, Marketing Department


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