AICPA Foundation Board of Trustees

August 27, 2018

Ernie Almonte, CPA, CFF, CFE, CITP
Ernie is currently a Partner at RSM and is a firm-designated government, not-for-profit, litigation support, and higher education specialist with more than 37 years of experience. Ernie works in the Boston Not-For-Profit/Public Sector Industry team. He has managed the audits of numerous public sector and not-for-profit organizations and has provided technical assistance on accounting and financial reporting issues to these organizations. Ernie is also a frequent speaker on industry related topics.

Prior to joining RSM, Ernie spent 16 years as the R.I. Auditor General where he was responsible for the State of Rhode Island financial, performance, and fraud audits. Ernie has provided training nationally on topics such as the Yellow Book; GASB and FASAB accounting standards; and fraud risks for federal, state and local professionals serving government, not-for-profit and higher education clients. He has served in numerous committees as both a member and as Chairman including universities and the Department of Defense Audit Advisory Committee at the Pentagon. He was also a member of the Government Auditing Standards Committee for the Comptroller General of the United States. In addition to his current role with the AICPA Foundation, Ernie has previously served as Chairman of the AICPA Board of Directors.

Jerry Maginnis, CPA
KPMG (Retired)
Jerry spent 36 years with KPMG in Philadelphia, retiring in 2015. He served as the Managing Partner of the Firm’s Philadelphia Office from 2006 through 2015. Previously, Jerry spent 5 years as the Partner in Charge of the Firm’s audit practice in Pennsylvania, overseeing operations in KPMG’s Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh offices.

Previously, Jerry served as the President of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), a member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, a member of the CEO Council for Growth, a member of the Board of Trustees of Gwynedd-Mercy University and Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School, and on the Boards of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Union League of Philadelphia.

Currently, Jerry has joined the board of Cohen & Steers Mutual Funds based in New York City. In addition, Jerry serves on the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission and as an Executive in Residence at Rowan University in Southern New Jersey, where he chairs the University’s Accounting Advisory Board. In addition to his role with the AICPA Foundation, Jerry is also a Board Member of the Faith in the Future Foundation and the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Ronald Yates, Jr., CPA
Eide Bailly LLP
AICPA Board Liaison
Ronald (Ron) is a Tax Partner with the Billings, Montana office of Eide Bailly LLP.  Prior to joining Eide Bailly, Ron worked as a tax accountant in the Billings office of KPMG LLP from 1997 through 2006. Ron is a 2008 graduate of Eide Bailly's Leadership Training Program and has served as the primary student recruiter for the Montana region since 2006. Ron was elected into the Eide Bailly partnership in 2007 and, at that time, was the youngest of 105 partners in the firm. Ron currently serves on Eide Bailly's oil & gas services committee and was a founding member of the firm's women's initiative, First Focus.

Ron is a member of the Billings Chapter of CPAs (BCCPA), the Montana Society of CPAs (MSCPA), and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Ron served as a local chapter officer of the BCCPA for three years and served six years on the MSCPA Board of Directors, representing south-central Montana, as well as the MSCPA State Taxation Committee. Ron served as MSCPA Treasurer, President-Elect and ultimately as MSCPA President for the State of Montana in 2011. Ron continued his service with the MSCPA Board of Directors as Ex-Officio in 2012 and as elected AICPA Council Representative in 2013-2015.  In addition to his role with the AICPA Foundation Board of Trustees, Ron is currently an elected member of the AICPA Board of Directors through spring 2020 and serves as the liaison between the two.

Ron served two terms on the board of directors of the Billings Chamber of Commerce, including serving as board chair in 2015, and currently serves on the board of directors & capital campaign committee of the Alberta Bair Theater, Billings, and the MSCPA Legacy Foundation.

Wynne Baker, CPA, CBA, CFSA, CFF
Wynne has recently retired as a Partner at KraftCPAs PLLC after leading the KraftCPAs' Banking Industry Team as member/owner in Tennessee for over 40 years. In 2017, Wynne was appointed to the Board of Directors for Sevier County Bancshares and Sevier County Bank. He also previously served as the Chairman of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants. Wynne is certified by AICPA in financial forensics (CFF) and is a “preferred examiner” under the American Bankers Association (ABA). Wynne is a frequent speaker at CPA seminars and conventions throughout the country and is considered an authority on the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL) model, developed in the aftermath of the financial crisis by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to replace current impairment models.

In addition to being a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Wynne is also the author of its premier bank course “Introduction to Bank Accounting and Auditing.” He is also co-editor of the McGraw Hill published Handbook of Financial Management for Banks.

Tamara Bensky, CPA
Myers and Stauffer LC
Tamara is currently a Partner with Myers and Stauffer and has more than 25 years of experience in health care auditing and consulting. Her expertise is mainly in serving governmental healthcare clients with audits of nursing facilities and home offices, managed care organization (MCO) cost review and verification, litigation support for nursing facilities, and CMS Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) audits.

Tamara takes an active role in mentoring and coaching staff and managers in the firm. She is a member of Myers and Stauffer’s PEAK Leadership Development Committee and is assisting in the design and implementation of the firm’s Mentoring Program. She is also active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Health Lawyers Association. In addition to her role with the AICPA Foundation, Tamara is also a Towson University Accounting Advisory Board Member and a member of the Bike Maryland Board of Directors.

Ben Ellingson, CPA, CGMA
Eide Bailly LLP
Ben currently serves at the Partner-in-Charge at Eide Bailly’s Mankato office in Minnesota and has been providing public accounting services to clients in a variety of industries since 1999. He focuses primarily on closely held businesses, with extensive experience serving the construction, manufacturing, and wholesale distribution industries. Along with traditional tax and audit services, Ben also holds expertise in operational efficiencies, tax strategies, internal controls, and strategic business planning.

In addition to his role with the AICPA Foundation Board of Trustees, Ben currently serves on the Board of Directors for Eide Bailly and as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Society of CPAs.

Tonya Flesher, Ph.D., CPA
University of Mississippi Patterson School of Accountancy
Tonya is a Professor Emerita of Accountancy, the Arthur Andersen Professor of Accountancy, and the Director of the Tax History Research Center at the University of Mississippi. She served as Dean of the School of Accountancy from 1987 to 1993 and was the first woman to hold an academic deanship in the 150-year history of the University.  Tonya has authored eight books and over 100 articles and is currently a contributing author to Concepts in Federal Taxation. She has been published in Journal of Accountancy, The Accounting Review, The CPA Journal, and The Tax Adviser.

Tonya is an active member of several professional organizations including the AICPA, the American Accounting Association, the American Taxation Association, the Mississippi Society of CPAs, and the Academy of Accounting Historians, the latter organization of which she served as international president in 1993.  She was also a member of the AICPA Minority Initiatives Committee. For eight years, Tonya served on AICPA committees that were responsible for the CPA Examination, including a term as chair of the Regulations Committee, and as a member of the Content Committee. She has also been a member of the AICPA Pre-Certification Education Executive Committee.

Eduardo L. Jordan, CPA, CGMA
E. L. Jordan and Associates
Eduardo (Ed) is currently the principal of his own consulting company, E.L. Jordan. Previously Ed served as the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations at Nolet Spirits U.S.A. In this role, he served as lead manager of the U.S. Finance and Personnel function in the completion of the distribution joint venture between the company and Diageo, and successfully managed the construction and subsequent addition of the company’s U.S. headquarters and Hospitality Center. Ed has also served as a mentor for leaders in Logistics, Warehousing, Finance, I.T., and Personnel functions. In 2015, he launched his own vodka brand, Spa Girl Cocktails, and served as the company’s President until 2017.

In addition to Ed’s role with the AICPA Foundation Board of Trustees, he currently serves as a member of USC Marshall’s Leventhal Board of Advisors within the USC Leventhal School of Accounting. Previously, he served as Chair of the California Society of CPAs, as a member of the AICPA National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, and as a member of the AICPA Board of Directors.

John Schiffman, CPA
Schiffman, Dattilo, & Co., PC (Retired)
John retired from his firm, Schiffman, Dattilo, & Co., PC, in 2007 after twenty-three years specializing in middle market companies, litigation services, financial remediation, and arbitration assignments. Prior to starting his own firm in 1995, John was a Senior Partner at Smith, Batcheider & Rugg, specializing in merger and acquisition work, health care, and litigation services. In this role, John was crucial in guiding the firm back to solvency in the early 1990’s.

In addition to his role on the AICPA Foundation Board of Trustees, John is currently the Chairman of the Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation, which he organized in 2014 to preserve a community ski area in New Hampshire. Previously, John has served as the Chairman of the AICPA PCPS Executive Committee and the AICPA Life Insurance Trust and served as a member of the AICPA National Accreditation Commission. He had also previously served as the President of the New Hampshire Society of Certified Public Accountants, and on the boards of Public Service of New Hampshire and Amerinst, Inc.

Paula Thomas, CPA, DBA
Middle Tennessee State University
Paula is currently the Deloitte Foundation Professor of Accounting at Middle Tennessee State University, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1989.  She also served as the Department Chair and Advisory Board Distinguished Professor between 2002 and 2007.  Paula is a Certified Public Accountant and is an active member of the American Institute of CPAs, the American Accounting Association, and the Tennessee Society of CPAs (TSCPA). Paula served three-year terms on both the AICPA Board of Directors and the Board of Examiners. She has also chaired and served on numerous other AICPA committees and task forces, and has volunteered in several areas for the TSCPA, including Treasurer, Finance Committee, and Council.

Paula has published on a variety of accounting issues in academic and professional journals, including Accounting Horizons, Journal of Accountancy, Advances in Accounting, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Directors Monthly, Tennessee Society of CPAs Journal, Advances in Public Interest Accounting, and Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance.  She has also presented accounting professional issues and updates, and academic papers to professional and educator groups throughout the United States.

Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA
New Jersey Society of CPAs
Ralph is CEO and Executive Director of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA). Prior to joining NJCPA in 1999, he was a vice president and regional audit head for Citibank, and held various accounting positions at AT&T, Potomac Electric Power Company, and PriceWaterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers).

Ralph is a lifetime member and former national and chapter president of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). He currently serves on NABA’s President’s Advisory Council, Finance Committee, and Corporate Advisory Board. He was also appointed Chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s (NASBA) State Society Relations Committee and serves on NASBA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He is a member of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Cornerstone Initiative and was appointed to the Chamber Board of Directors. In 2018, Ralph was invited by Senate President Steve Sweeney to join a newly formed bipartisan Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup comprised of a variety of economists and policy experts.

Ralph is a member of the accounting advisory boards of Lehigh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Montclair State, Felician, and Thomas Edison universities, as well as Middlesex County College. In addition, he is a member of Lehigh University’s Audit Committee, the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and the College of Business Board of Advisors, and he has been named a Lehigh University Trustee Emeritus.