NSA Member of the Month Program
Welcome to the
NSA Member of the Month Program
“Excellence endures and sustains. It goes beyond motivation into the realm of inspiration.”
NSA’s Member of the Month Program was established as an important tradition of the organization because we believe that excellence should be rewarded as they serve as inspiration and motivation for other members to follow.
While it is difficult to single out one awesome member when all members are awesome, we’ve narrowed our search to those who have distinguished themselves through their contributions to the Society, their participation in its programs, and who serve as an inspiration for other members.
If you are an NSA member and would like to nominate another member as a Member of the Month, please submit their name and your rationale for why they should be recognized. Please send nominations to email@example.com.
OCTOBER MEMBER OF THE MONTH
George Hodge, the National Society of Accountants’ (NSA) October Member of the Month, is a testament to the power of persistence and the value of the professional community. George’s tax preparation journey, spanning nearly six decades, showcases the remarkable impact one can make when dedicated to one’s craft and connected with a supportive network like NSA.
Armed with an accounting degree from Auburn University in 1963, George was ready for a promising career, but military service intervened. This commitment did not keep him from assisting residents with their tax returns during his off-duty hours. Word spread about his skills, and he soon managed a growing tax preparation business. Following his military service, George returned home to manage his family’s farm, but he continued to provide tax preparation services during tax season. Through dedication and word of mouth, his business thrived, peaking at over 600 returns annually. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he and his wife, who serves as office manager and receptionist, swiftly adapted, transitioning to remote consultations, secure email, and contactless drop-off and pickup solutions.
George joined NSA in 1992 and has valued the sense of community it offers. The Tax Talk online community and tax help desk have been indispensable resources throughout his career. George imparts essential lessons for newcomers to the field and those considering NSA membership:
- Fairness and Honesty: Treat clients fairly, provide honest answers, and maintain professional boundaries. If issues arise, don’t hesitate to part ways.
- Value Your Expertise: Charge your worth from the outset, as raising rates significantly later can be challenging.
- Networking and Learning: Engage in accounting groups like NSA and actively participate. Don’t fear asking questions, and leverage resources like the Tax Talk forum.
- Professionalism: Cultivate a professional work environment to boost productivity and client satisfaction.
George Hodge’s journey exemplifies the enduring qualities of diligence, adaptability, and dedication to professional growth. His story underscores the importance of organizations like NSA, which offer support, resources, and a sense of community to accountants on their unique journeys. Congratulations to George Hodge, the NSA October Member of the Month!
SEPTEMBER MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Irene Wachsler, CPA
The NSA has recognized Irene Wachsler, CPA, as the September Member of the Month. Making a significant career shift, Irene transitioned from being a software engineer with more than two decades of experience to becoming a CPA on her mother’s advice. Her journey led her to leave Deloitte and join her mother’s CPA firm. Under Irene’s guidance, the firm underwent a complete transformation, embracing a fully cloud-based approach to its operations. Irene’s firm now provides services catering to small businesses, including comprehensive guidance and solutions for IRS-related concerns. As a newcomer to the NSA, Irene made the most of the opportunities presented by the association. She engages in CPE courses and leverages networking resources to build valuable connections. For those embarking on a career in accounting, Irene’s counsel is to select a specific area of interest within the profession and dedicate efforts toward mastering it. This focused approach can lead to greater success and expertise.
The NSA takes pride in acknowledging individuals like Irene Wachsler for their exceptional contributions and dedication to the accounting field.
AUGUST MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Clare Fazackerley, CPA, CFP
NSA proudly recognizes Clare Fazackerley, CPA, CFP, as this month’s Member of the Month, acknowledging her 15 years of active dedication to the organization. Her career shift from banking regulation to tax preparation marked her true passion, leading her to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 1996, followed by an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) designation in 2013 and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification in 2015.
Founding One Tax Financial, Clare’s vision is to guide clients toward sound financial decisions aligned with their values and well-being, encapsulated in her guiding motto, “Your money, your values, your sanity.” She actively engages with NSA’s Tax Talk platform, benefiting from camaraderie and valuable advice, and values webinars to enhance her expertise for her client’s benefit.
Clare offers sage advice to aspiring tax professionals, emphasizing setting boundaries, engaging in the professional community, and fostering personal and professional growth. The NSA congratulates Clare Fazackerley, CPA, CFP, for her outstanding contributions to the tax profession, serving as a role model for others.
JULY MEMBER OF THE MONTH
TINA P. FERNANDEZ, CPA, PL
SAINT JOHNS, FL
JUNE MEMBER OF THE MONTH
HYMAN (HY) ZACHARIA, CPA
WEST PALM BEACH, FL
We are thrilled to announce that Hyman (Hy) Zacharia, CPA, has been selected as the NSA’s Member of the Month for June. Hy has demonstrated exemplary participation in the Society’s programs and has consistently engaged positively with the headquarters staff.
Having been part of the NSA family for over five years, Hy underscores the invaluable support he receives from his fellow members through platforms like Tax Talk, which he considers indispensable. He enthusiastically admits, “Without Tax Talk, I wouldn’t be able to navigate a single day.”
Hy’s firm, York & Zacharia, CPAs, specializes in tax preparations, but his true passion lies in handling IRS Criminal Investigation cases and collaborating with Tax Attorneys in Kovell. These challenging scenarios ignite his enthusiasm and allow him to showcase his skills and expertise.
For newcomers to the tax profession, as well as those newly affiliated with the NSA, Hy offers valuable advice. He urges them not to underestimate their potential and to fully leverage the abundant resources offered by the NSA.
MAY MEMBER OF THE MONTH
James C. Perkins, CPA, PA
Arlington Heights, IL
NSA proudly announces May’s Member of the Month, James C. (Jim) Perkins, CPA P.C., in recognition of his exemplary participation in the Society’s programs and interactions with headquarters staff. Jim began his accounting career in the mid-eighties. As a supervisor and a controller, Jim founded his firm in 2001, providing accounting and tax services, tax planning, and preparation for small businesses.
As an NSA member for over 10 years, Jim appreciates networking and sharing experiences with his fellow members. Jim encourages aspiring tax preparers to “Find an aspect of accounting and tax you enjoy and focus on being an expert in that area.” Jim’s firm is in Arlington Heights, IL. Contact Jim at (847) 217-3071.
APRIL MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Roger Lubiens, MBA, LPA, CTRP, PA, RTRP
R&S Tax Service, Inc. Folsom, CA
NSA proudly announces April’s Member of the Month, Roger Lubiens, MBA, LPA, CTRP, PA, RTRP in recognition of his exemplary participation in the Society’s programs and interactions with headquarters staff.
With 30-years of experience as an Auditor/Sr. Compliance Officer with the California Franchise Tax Board, Roger offers accounting and tax services to businesses and individuals. As a member of the NSA for over five years, Roger feels the NSA offers “Plenty enough programs to help members grow their expertise, and engaging in Tax Talk and educational webinars will elevate one’s own business.”
Roger has relied on solid work principles like honesty, integrity, and Christian values to develop his business. You can contact Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-983-6415 or visit www.rstaxservice.com.
MARCH MEMBER OF THE MONTH
J. Stephen (Steve) Odem, EA
Kathleen Accounting and Tax Service, LLC Lakeland, FL
NSA proudly announces March’s Member of the Month, J. Stephen (Steve) Odem, EA of Kathleen Accounting and Tax Service, LLC, in recognition of his exemplary participation in the Society’s programs and interactions with headquarters staff.
Steve’s practice is in Lakeland, Florida, and he says he loves it there as the region offers a variety of client occupations and needs that are often an exciting challenge.
Steve has been a member of the NSA for over a decade and, like others, feels TaxTalk is “an outstanding resource for members to collaborate on questions posted.” Steve further explains that having multiple people jumping in to help is an incredible benefit.
Steve advises, “New members in the Society should take advantage of all the programs and resources that NSA has to offer if they want to grow as a professional and to help their businesses flourish.” Steve continues, “Being a member of the Society is only complete with being an active participant in the networking, group learning, and ongoing discussions NSA offers.”
FEBRUARY MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Louis (Lou) Haskel, CPA
Louis Haskel, CPA, Clearwater, FL
The NSA proudly announces February’s Member of the Month, Louis (Lou) Haskel of Louis Haskel, CPA, in recognition of his exemplary participation in the Society’s programs and interactions with headquarters staff.
Located in Clearwater, FL., Lou’s firm assists small business owners with tax and accounting services and offers business advisory services. Lou works personally with each client to provide individualized solutions to their tax and accounting needs.
Lou has been a member of the NSA since May 2009. When asked what stands out about NSA, Lou feels that, “NSA is a strong advocate for the accounting community offering great forums to interact with other members.” He advises new members to join member forums to get all the practitioner resources and benefits the NSA offers.
Lou is a graduate of Boston College. In addition to being a member of the NSA, he is also a member of the Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA) and the National Association of Tax Practitioners (NATP).
JANUARY MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Mark Nelson, Jr.
Nelson Tax Accounting, LTD, Milwaukee, WI
The NSA proudly announces January’s Member of the Month, Mark Nelson, Jr., of Nelson Tax Accounting, LTD, in recognition of his exemplary participation in the Society’s programs and interactions with headquarters staff. Mark has been a member of NSA for eighteen years, beginning his career at the tender age of twelve, helping his father with administrative duties in the office.
Before he turned 16, Mark was doing simple tax returns, which made him realize being a tax professional was his true calling. We laughed with Mark when he told us of how he did a cheat on a career assessment test, answering the questions that would steer him to become a tax professional versus a different career opportunity. Sounds like it was an excellent “cheat.”
Mark’s firm is a busy boutique firm in Milwaukee, adding several part-time helpers during the tax season. Besides preparing tax returns, services include entity returns and payroll for clients. Mark’s father gifted him with an NSA membership. Mark walks the talk, being involved with various committees, checking in daily on Taxtalk, and searching for information to help him grow and assist others. He urges new members to get involved as well. Mark credits a great deal of his professional growth researching questions posted on Taxtalk, discovering that what he thought to be correct was not always the case while learning additional information to add to his knowledge and expertise.
DECEMBER MEMBER OF THE MONTH
SHIRLEY BUCHANAN, ATP
Buchanan’s Financial & Tax Services, Inc. Suitland, MD
The NSA proudly announces December’s Member of the Month, Shirley Buchanan of Buchanan’s Financial & Tax Services, Inc., in recognition of her exemplary participation in the Society’s programs and interactions with headquarters staff.
Located in Suitland, Maryland, Shirley services individuals and small businesses and has been doing so since 1989.
Talk about empowering oneself, Shirley owned a business and educated herself to prepare her business tax return. Later, she realized she wanted to help other business owners by providing them valuable information.
She earned a Master’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland. She later achieved the Accredited Tax Preparer’s (ATP) credential from ACAT.
Having a passion for helping students and graduates, Shirley assists young professionals entering the job market getting them off on the right foot with their tax experiences.
Shirley feels the annual conference is an excellent avenue for networking. She also encourages people to attend the webinars and earn CEs. Being part of the Roundtable discussions allows members to share and network with like-minded people. She is inspired by how the NSA supports and defends the right to practice for all practitioners.
Shirley advises new members to stay abreast of the updates and utilize NSA’s resources. Members improve the organization by participating in all that NSA has to offer. The NSA belongs to the members who can grow and prosper with member participation and leadership.
NOVEMBER MEMBER OF THE MONTH
CINDY L. HUNT, EA
Cyntax, LLC of Huntsville, AL
We are pleased to announce Cynthia L. Hunt, EA, of Huntsville, AL, as NSA’s Member-of-the-Month, in recognition of her exemplary participation in the Society’s programs and interactions with headquarters staff.
Cindy entered the accounting profession in 1981 as a part-time tax accountant but quickly realized helping others with their tax and financial needs was her calling. She earned her Enrolled Agent status in 1999 while working with a local tax and accounting office and later became an Investment Company Representative with Avantax in 2003. In 2005, as that owner retired, she opened her own office, Cyntax, LLC. Cindy attained the Accredited Tax Advisor credential in 2007. Cindy has served as a District Governor and a member of the Board of Directors for NSA. She is also active in the Alabama Association of Accountants’ leadership.
Cindy’s advice to new member is “Don’t just join; pay your dues and forget about it. Get involved and contribute your ideas to improve the organization. The networking possibilities are unlimited. The CPE offered is often CPE you cannot find elsewhere, and it is included in the membership.”
Congratulations, Cindy, for your exemplary participation in NSA’s programs and for generously contributing to the future of our organization!
OCTOBER MEMBER OF THE MONTH
BRADLEY (BRAD) CRAIN, CPA
Erwin & Company of Little Rock, AR
We are pleased to announce that longtime member Bradley (Brad) Crain, CPA of Little Rock, AR, has been chosen as NSA October Member-of-the-Month in recognition of his exemplary participation in the Society’s programs and interaction with headquarters staff.
Having been a member since 2003, Brad currently serves as an NSA Director-At-Large and contributes to multiple of the Society’s committees. Brad is a CPA with Erwin & Company of Little Rock, AR., offering exemplary services for sophisticated clients in Arkansas and across the country. Brad is also a proud Alumni Bear, having graduated from the University of Central Arkansas.
Brad joined NSA because of its focus on helping boutique accounting and tax preparers. “NSA provides excellent educational, networking, and leadership opportunities for the small practitioner. These are all very important benefits. I have used all of these and am a better accountant for it!”
He advises new members to network through tax talk and participates in the monthly round table discussions. He feels NSA builds a community environment where everyone is ready, willing, and able to support and assist other members.
We asked Brad for his final thoughts on new and existing members who may not be taking full advantage of what the NSA offers. “I’ve found a country full of accountants willing to help me when I’ve needed it. I’d also encourage them to take advantage of the excellent educational resources and CPE offered by the NSA. From the affordable pricing to the timely topics, NSA’s education has been a practical benefit that I’ve used often over the years.”
Congratulations, Brad for your exemplary participation in NSA’s programs and for generously contributing to the future of our organization!