The Accounting and Information Systems Emerging Leaders Board (“ELB”) is organized to serve as a network of volunteers established for the purpose of promoting, supporting and improving the Accounting and Information Systems Department at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. ELB members assist the Department and College in activities that serve for the good of the College, help strengthen relationships among the College, businesses, alumni, current and future students.

Chair

Ashley Zega

ASHLEY ZEGA
Manager
RSM US LLP
2008, Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Ashley is a Manager in RSM’s Tax Credits, Incentives, & Methods practice.  She specializes in providing clients with Research & Development Tax incentives.  Ashley has been with RSM for over one year and was previously with PwC, direct Virginia Tech campus hire, for over seven years. She currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area and visits Blacksburg multiple times each year for football and to facilitate RSM recruiting events.  In addition, Ashley currently serves as the Chair for the ACIS Emerging Leaders Board.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: For ACIS grads, you should complete all sections of the CPA exam prior to starting a full time job.  Many companies offer Fall start dates which allows for plenty of time between graduating and starting your career to knock the exams out.  In addition, you should start building out your professional network while on campus.  Attend as many recruiting/networking events as possible to not only get a sense of the different firm cultures of potential future employers, but to also distinguish yourself from other graduates.

Vice Chair

Eric Poppe

Eric Poppe

Manager
Cherry Bekaert LLP
2009, BS Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: As a Manager with Cherry Bekaert’s Government Contractor Services Group, Eric provides advisory services to government contracting clients of varying size and complexity. As part of its advisory practice, his primary focus is providing accounting and contracting support to companies in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and Cost Accounting Standards. Eric currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area and returns to Blacksburg whenever possible for football games , recruiting events and enjoying the outdoors around Blacksburg.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Set ‘mini’ goals each day.  Accomplishing many ‘mini’ goals add up to accomplishing big goals in the end.

Board Members

Roger Boateng

Roger Boateng

Manager
KPMG LLP
2010, BBA Accounting & Information Systems &
2011, Masters of Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Roger is a Manager in KPMG’s Audit practice, providing audit and related services to a wide range of organizations in the construction, financial services, media & telecommunications and federal and Not for profit organizations. He has been with KPMG for 5 years and was hired while on campus at Virginia Tech. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area and enjoys returning to Blacksburg for recruiting and mentoring activities.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Do not be afraid to ask questions at any level of your career. A problem shared is a problem solved. Additionally, build and maintain current relationships, and involve yourself in firm, alumni and community activities.

Caroline Boulanger

Caroline Boulanger

Senior Tax Accountant
Thompson Greenspon
2012, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2013, Masters of Accounting and Information Systems

Brief Bio: Caroline is a Senior Tax Accountant at Thompson Greenspon, a CPA firm in Northern Virginia. She previously worked at RSM US, for over two years, before working at Thompson Greenspon. Her clients are primarily in Government Contracting and Technology. She is based in Northern Virginia, loves Virginia Tech, and comes from a family of Hokies!

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Be a sponge! You will learn so much after graduating, take the time and soak up all of your experiences. Every day is a chance to learn something.

Kristi Epstein

Kristi Epstein

Senior Accountant
ZeroFOX, Inc.
2012, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2013, Masters in Accounting and Information Systems – Audit

Brief Bio: Kristi is a senior accountant at ZeroFOX, Inc., a cybersecurity start-up based in Baltimore, MD. Prior to working at ZeroFOX, she worked in Grant Thornton’s Audit practice for three years. Kristi currently lives in Baltimore, MD where she enjoys the foodie culture, volunteering within the community, and meeting fellow hokies to watch football with!

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Start early! Go to as many career fairs as you can as early on as you can. Recruiters really do remember students who come to their booths each year, even before they are eligible for internships and externships. An existing relationship with recruiters will serve you well later on.

Christopher L. Frye, CPA

Christopher L. Frye, CPA

Principal
Yount, Hyde & Barbour, P.C.
2004, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Chris is a Principal in YHB’s audit and tax services practice.  During his time with the firm, he has focused his efforts on providing audit, review, compilation, and tax services to clients in a variety of industries, including construction and real estate and not-for-profit organizations.  He joined the firm in 2004 after graduating from Virginia Tech.  He currently lives in Winchester, VA where he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young sons and is a passionate supporter of Virginia Tech athletics.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Never stop learning, regardless of your role within your organization.  If you think you know it all, you’ll soon be passed by others who are hungry to improve.  Find a mentor early in your career.  Listen to everything they have to say and soak it up like a sponge.  Raise up others as you progress in your career.

Allison Grinups, CPA

Allison Grinups, CPA

Fixed Asset Accountant
MAXIMUS
2011, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Allison worked for about two years in public accounting as an auditor before switching to private industry accounting. She was a senior accountant at Five Guys Enterprises for two years and is currently working for MAXIMUS, a government contractor based out of Reston, VA. She lives in the Northern Virginia area and enjoys returning to Blacksburg as much as she can.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: See an advisor as a freshman or sophomore to discuss potential career paths, don’t wait until your junior year to sit with the advisor and go over your courses. Develop a plan to obtain the best degree(s) for the future career that you want. You may be surprised with the accreditations you could walk away with in four to five years from Virginia Tech.

Zack Helmintoller

Zack Helmintoller

Senior Associate
PricewaterhouseCoopers
2011, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2012, Masters of Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Zack is a Senior Associate in PwC’s Assurance practice, providing clients with core audit services and specializing in higher education and compliance audits. Zack has been with PwC for over four years and was hired while attending Virginia Tech. Zack currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area and enjoys returning to Blacksburg frequently to watch football games, hike on the Appalachian Trails, and participate in PwC recruiting events.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Take advantage of the numerous opportunities offered by Pamplin and Virginia Tech. There are many great professional, philanthropic, and academic events offered that will distinguish you among your peers and ultimately help mold you into the business professional that you will become.

Negar Jamshidimehr

Senior
Ernst & Young
2011, B.S. Finance &
2013, M.S. Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Negar is a Senior in Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Tax practice, providing clients with tax provision and compliance services specializing in the Banking and Capital Markets industry. She has been with EY for over 3 years and was hired while on campus at Virginia Tech. She currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area and works on some DC and NY clients. She enjoys returning to Blacksburg to watch football games as well as facilitating EY recruiting events such as classroom presentations, presenting for Beta Alpha Psi, attending career fairs and mentoring students.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Develop your networking skills and attend as many recruiting events as possible. Hokie Nation is very strong and Hokies are always willing to hire more Hokies and help them develop their careers. Being able to interact with other professionals and maintain relationships is very important in developing your career. Be open and willing to learn and explore new opportunities. The ACIS Department and Pamplin provide many opportunities to network – be sure to take advantage of those while you can.

Kristy Laughlin

Kristy Laughlin

ManagerDeloitte & Touche LLP2008, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems & 2009, Masters of Information Systems

Brief Bio: Kristy is a Manager in Deloitte’s Advisory practice, providing clients with risk advisory consulting services and specializing in information technology controls audits. She has been with Deloitte for over seven years and was hired while on campus at Virginia Tech. She currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area and enjoys returning to Blacksburg to watch football games and facilitate Deloitte recruiting events.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Develop your networking skills as much as possible!  Being able to interact with other professionals and maintain relationships is very important to advance in your career.  The ACIS Department and Pamplin provide many opportunities to network – be sure to take advantage of those while you can.

Stephen Lawson

Stephen Lawson

Partner
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
2004, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio:  Steve is a partner in the Tysons Corner, Virginia office and has been with Baker Tilly for more than eleven years.  He specializes in providing transactional tax planning, compliance, and business advisory services for entrepreneurial clients in the real estate, technology, and government contracting industries.  He has experience working with a variety of business owners providing solutions to complex issues including structuring exit strategies to achieve favorable tax rates, tax accounting methods, and modeling complex joint venture allocations.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Focus on finding roles where you can learn, grow, and develop the most.  Find a mentor that you admire and use them to bounce ideas off and work on issues that arise as your professional career develops.

Katie Letchworth

Katie Letchworth

Principal
Capital One
2009, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Katie works within the Corporate Internal Audit practice at Capital One, specializing in information systems audits within their retail bank division. Prior to relocating back to her hometown of Richmond, VA in early 2016, Katie held positions at Moss Adams, D+H and Deloitte, where she started her career as a campus hire. She enjoys traveling, especially to Blacksburg to watch Hokie football games, and in her spare time can usually be found swimming, biking or running.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Find a mentor that you admire and respect professionally. Ask that person for advice, take note of their successes, but also find out about how they handled difficult situations or issues. Also, build your network and networking skills through the many opportunities Pamplin provides, as this will be valuable once you graduate.

Nasser Mikdadi

Nasser Mikdadi

Senior Associate
KPMG LLP2012,
B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2013, M.S. Accounting & Information Systems- Tax Option

Brief Bio: Nasser is an Senior Associate in KPMG’s Business Tax Services practice in the Tysons Corner, Virginia office. He graduated with his Masters from Virginia Tech in 2013.  He has over three years of experience serving Alternative Investment clients working primarily in the area of Private Equity and Real Estate.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Have a good attitude, be a team player, and work hard.

Phil Moore

Phil Moore

Partner
Kearney & Company
2000, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2001, Masters of Information Systems

Brief Bio: Mr. Moore is a Partner with Kearney & Company, P.C. with over 17 years of professional Information Technology (IT) assurance, financial, and consulting experience. Phil currently leads the Kearney IT Assurance and Cyber Services practices. In this role he provides IT audit and consulting services to his clients as well as works to expand Kearney’s Federal market presence. Before starting with Kearney in February 2016, he spend 15 years with KPMG’s federal assurance practice. Mr. Moore has been highly involved with Virginia Tech recruiting since 2002 and currently is a member of the Accounting Advisory Board, the Business Information Technology Advisory board, as well as the ELB. Phil currently resides in Springfield Virginia with his wife and three kids.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Be as flexible as possible when you enter the work place. Your ability to work hard and deliver no matter the type of project will go a long way in developing strong relationships and moving forward in your career.

Brandon Pope

Brandon Pope

Senior Associate
Keiter
2013, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2014, Masters Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Brandon is a Senior Associate and CPA in Keiter’s Business Assurance and Advisory Services practice, providing clients with a variety of services in financial services, manufacturing, non-profit, real estate industries. After starting his career with Deloitte, he was later recruited to Keiter in 2015. He currently lives in Richmond, VA and enjoys running, watching Hokie football, and visiting local breweries and wineries.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Get involved! Whether it’s a leadership role in a student organization or a professional association after graduating, the skills you develop and relationships you make will pay dividends throughout your career. Also, have fun and learn something new every day!

Kyle Pryde

Kyle Pryde

Manager
Ernst & Young, LLP
2012, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Kyle is a Manager in EY’s Assurance practice, focused on providing clients with external audit services. These services include both financial statement and SOX internal control audit services. During his career, Kyle has served clients in a variety of industries, including: Real Estate & Construction, Diversified & Industrial Products, and Consumer Products & Retail. He has been with EY for over four years, and was hired while on campus at Virginia Tech. He currently lives in Richmond, VA.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Develop your communication and relationship skills! Being able to effectively communicate and interact in a professional environment are crucial to providing exceptional service to your clients. Also, stay in contact with your classmates. They can be invaluable resources as you advance your career.

Lance Rees

Lance Rees

Manager
KPMG LLP
2009, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2010, Masters of Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Lance is a Manager in KPMG’s Audit practice, providing clients with assurance services and specializing in federal financial statement audits. He has been with KPMG for over six years and was hired while he was a student at Virginia Tech. Lance also is active in recruiting Hokies to work at KPMG offices across the US. He currently lives in Arlington, VA.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: It’s never too early to start building your network. Always try to introduce yourself and stay in contact with the professors and classmates you meet. You never know who you will run into down the road or maybe want to work with.

Estee Rios

Estee Rios

Supervisor of Internal Audit
Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)
2009, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2010, Masters of Accounting

Brief Bio: Estee is a Certified Internal Auditor at USAC where she currently serves as a Supervisor specializing in Contributor Revenue audits of Carriers’ contributions to the Universal Service Fund.  Estee has 6 years of experience in the auditing field, first at KPMG LLP where she worked on major audit engagements at the federal agency, municipal government, and private enterprise level.  Currently at USAC, she manages a number of audits of multi-million dollar telecommunications carriers.  She currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area and enjoys traveling.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Challenge yourself to develop your interpersonal and public speaking skills.  Being able to effectively communicate with your team, clients, and others within the industry will ensure a successful transition from student to professional.

Eric Scannell

Manager
The Carlyle Group
2009, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Eric is a Manager in The Carlyle Group’s Internal Co-Investment Team.  He has a team of five and oversees the Accounting Operations and Tax work for 52 Internal Co-Investment funds.  He has been with Carlyle over five years.  Before Carlyle, he spent about a year at Keiter Stephens in their BAAS Group.   He really enjoy watching soccer and college football all day on Saturdays, and getting outdoors when they’re done with in Spring and Summer.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Every job isn’t meant for every person.  Every company isn’t meant for every person.  Find work and people that motivate you and you’ll succeed.

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons

Audit Senior
Deloitte & Touche LLP
2013, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2014, M.S. Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Scott is an Audit Senior in Deloitte’s Audit practice in Greater Washington.  He primarily serves large companies in the Aerospace & Defense industry. He has been with Deloitte for over 2 years and was hired while on campus at Virginia Tech. Scott currently lives in Arlington, VA and frequently returns to Blacksburg to visit, attend football games and assist with Deloitte recruiting events.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Look for opportunities to develop the ability to work in a team. So much of our time in the workforce is spent working as a team to accomplish tasks. ACIS undergraduate, the MACIS program and Pamplin provide a multitude of opportunities through group projects and other organizations to tailor these skills.

Jenn Sober

Jenn Sober

Contracts Manager
SRI
2007, B.S. Accounting Information Systems

Brief Bio: Jenn spent nine years providing litigation support consulting services for government contractors before making the switch to industry. As a contracts manager, Jenn is responsible for the full life-cycle of a contract including proposals, contract negotiations and monitoring contract progress and deliverables. She currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area and loves to watch football with fellow Hokies.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Keep an open mind related to your career choices and career progression. Explore all opportunities, you never know when a great opportunity will pop up. Make networking a priority and do your best to keep in touch with your classmates, professors and co-workers!

Raye Spittle, CPA

Raye Spittle, CPA

Accounting Manager
VMFA Foundation
2013, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems &
2014, Masters of Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Raye is the Accounting Manager at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation, who directs, coordinates, and reviews the daily activities of the accounting staff to quickly and accurately record the activities of the Foundation. She started her career in public accounting before switching to the VMFA Foundation. She currently lives in Richmond, V.A.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Keep in touch with your favorite professors after graduation. Even after graduation, they are still a great resource and are willing to help you with any questions that you may have, whether it is career related or not.

Ben Vaughan

Ben Vaughan

Supervisory Senior
Yount, Hyde & Barbour, P.C.
2012, B.S. Accounting & Information Systems

Brief Bio: Ben is a Supervisory Senior in YHB’s Audit practice, specializing in community bank audits. He has been with YHB for over four years and was hired after his internship that he received while participating in on-campus interviews at Virginia Tech. He currently lives in Richmond, VA area and tries to make it back to Tech for as many football games/work events/social events as he can.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Make sure you always work as hard as you can but also make sure to enjoy your time away from work as well.  Also, don’t forget to go back to Tech a couple times a year if at all possible.

Laura Vitale

Laura Vitale

Campus Development Manager
KPMG LLP
2011, B.S. Accounting and Information Systems &
2012, Masters of Accounting and Information Systems

Brief Bio: Laura began her career with KPMG in the Audit practice after being recruited from Virginia Tech. With a passion for meeting new people and exciting students about a career in public accounting (especially Hokies!), she eventually transitioned into a Campus Recruiting role and enjoys the opportunity to give back to her alma mater. Laura lives in Arlington, VA and loves cheering on the Hokies, running, and trying out new restaurants in the DC area.

Advice to future Hokie graduates: Take advantage of every opportunity that VT and Pamplin has to offer! From football games to career fairs, student activities, and one-on-one time with employers, make the most of your four (or five!) years and take the time to sharpen your professional skills before graduation.