Firm News

Cherry Bekaert Names Ten New Partners

calendar iconNovember 5, 2014

Announcing one its largest groups of internal promotions, Cherry Bekaert LLP (“the Firm”) would like to recognize Senior Managers Tara A. Edwards, Jennifer C. Heath, Richard E. Hedley, Jr., Christopher L. Lewis, Jeffery M. Olender, Aaron Parris, Christopher Rux, Adam Salvia, Dara M. Simon and Michael Valerio on their admission to the Firm’s Partner group, effective November 1, 2014.

Joining Cherry Bekaert in 2004, Tara A. Edwards is a member of the Firm’s Risk Advisory Services group. With over 15 years of experience, she provides audit and consulting assistance to clients with internal controls, fraud prevention and compliance. Based in Raleigh, Edwards serves government, nonprofit and various commercial entities, as well as government contractors with accounting issues related to their federal contracts and grants. Additionally, she has presented multiple seminars on government contracting, risk advisory and single audit topics. She also is active with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA), National Contract Management Association (NCMA) and Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

Starting her career with Cherry Bekaert in 1997, Jennifer Heath advises clients in the financial services and nonprofit sectors with audit and assurance needs, as well as employee benefits matters. Located in the Augusta office, she has instructed the Firm’s managers in utilizing technology for increasing audit efficiency and other topics. Heath is also a member of the Audit Professional Practices department, where she oversees the development of internal tools and templates. In professional circles, Heath is active with the AICPA, South Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (SCACPA) and Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants (GSCPA).

Relocating to the Roanoke office, Richard E. Hedley, Jr., will provide tax planning, compliance and advisory services for closely held entities, S corporations, partnerships, LLCs and individuals. With over 13 years of experience, his expertise in residential and commercial construction and manufacturing will complement the needs of clients in Cherry Bekaert’s Blue Ridge practice. Previously located in the Tampa office, Hedley has been involved in the Hillsborough Education Foundation, a Board Member of Shelton Quarles Impact Foundation, and a member of the Rotary Club of Tampa.

Possessing more than 12 years of public accounting experience, Christopher L. Lewis helps clients throughout all phases of tax planning and compliance. Based within the Firm’s Augusta practice, he offers closely held businesses, medical practices, and real estate companies guidance with the tax challenges and opportunities they face. Lewis is also active in organizations across Augusta, including being President of the Martinez-Evans Rotary, serving as Executive Board Member and Treasurer of the Augusta Sports Council, a Member of the Augusta Estate Planning Council, and Alumni of Leadership Augusta.

With over seven years of experience, Jeffery M. Olender provides audit and business advisory services to publicly traded companies and privately held businesses within the technology, life science, manufacturing, distribution, real estate, construction and hospitality industries. An instructor with Cherry Bekaert’s national training program, he has guided with audits, reviews, compilations, agreed upon procedures, litigation support and internal control consulting. Located in the Firm’s Tampa practice, he is actively involved in the local community through participation with Leadership Tampa, the Florida Venture Forum and Association for Corporate Growth.

A member of Cherry Bekaert’s Manufacturing & Distribution and Real Estate & Construction industry groups, Aaron Parris began his career with the Firm in 2000. Based in the Greenville practice, he offers assurance and consulting services to privately held and family-owned businesses. In addition, Parris has worked with clients on internal control documentation projects, merger and acquisition transactions, and environmental remediation assessments. Over the years, he has served on various Firm committees such as the FIN 46 Implementation Committee, ACL Committee, Engagement Manager Committee and Audit Efficiency Task Force. Further, Parris has served as an instructor at Cherry Bekaert training sessions on matters like going concern and liquidity issues.

Joining the Firm in 2008, Christopher Rux has served clients in the technology, manufacturing, distribution, hospitality, entertainment and government contracting sectors with revenue recognition, reporting requirements, audits and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. He represents Cherry Bekaert in the community through professional and personal involvement with the Tampa Bay Technology Forum, Florida Venture Forum, Leadership Tampa, Tampa Connection and Make-A-Wish Foundation (Suncoast Chapter). Chris is also a lead recruiter on the Firm’s University of Florida campus recruiting team.

Arriving at Cherry Bekaert in 2005, Adam Salvia works with a diverse client base of private, closely-held businesses providing audit, accounting, and business advisory services. Based in the Firm’s Lynchburg office, he specializes in financial and business consulting for healthcare, nonprofit, construction and manufacturing clients, and is well versed in the various accounting and financial reporting requirements of employee benefit plans. For the past four years, Salvia has actively served as an instructor in the Firm’s Assurance & Accounting training program.

Based in the Firm’s Tampa practice, Dara M. Simon has more than 15 years of accounting experience and is knowledgeable in handling comprehensive income tax planning advisory and compliance services for S corporations, partnerships, LLCs, corporations and individuals. Her background encompasses servicing publically traded and privately held clients in a variety of industries. In the community, Simon represents Cherry Bekaert through involvement with organizations like the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance, Leadership Tampa, Tampa Connection, LifeLink of Florida and the LAM Foundation. She is also heavily involved in the Firm’s college recruiting efforts at the University of Florida. Currently serving as Campus Lead for the University of Florida’s campus recruiting team, Simon is also on the Advisory Board of Directors for the university’s Fisher School of Accounting.

Arriving at Cherry Bekaert’s Atlanta practice in 2009, Michael Valerio counsels on audit and business advisory services to clients in the Firm’s Technology & Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Distribution, and Nonprofit industry groups. In particular, Michael has worked with emerging technology clients, development enterprises, venture capital backed companies, and multilocation and multinational companies on revenue recognition, complex equity transactions, business combinations and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance matters.

The inclusion to Cherry Bekaert’s Partner group reflects a high level of contribution, as well as a commitment to the Firm’s shared values, dedication to client service, development of people and proven success. Please join Cherry Bekaert in congratulating these ten talented individuals.