Knowledge and Insights
September 14, 2020; Princeton, NJ & Philadelphia, PA – The Mercadien Group is pleased to announce several promotions within the firm’s corporate leadership team. Ms. Lovepreet Buttar, CPA, MBA, CGMA, PSA, a member of the Nonprofit & Human Services Group, was promoted to managing director of The Mercadien Group and principal in Mercadien, P.C., CPAs (the official titles of firm partners). Lovepreet has been employed with Mercadien since 2009 and resides in Burlington, NJ.
Two professionals were promoted to the level of director: Mr. Joseph Galdo, CPA, CFE, CAMS, a member of the Financial Institutions Services Group and resident of Philadelphia, PA and Mr. Stephen Noon, CPA, CGMA, PSA, a member of both the Private Company Services and Audit & Assurance Services Groups and resident of Cherry Hill, NJ.
Four associates were promoted to supervisor: Mr. Jack Hammell, CPA, a member of the Government Services Group and resident of Piscataway, NJ; Ms. Miroslava Juscakova, MBA, CAMS, a member of the Financial Institutions Services Group and resident of Whippany, NJ; Mr. Pranav Naik, MS, CAMS, CFE, member of the Financial Institutions Services Group and resident of Voorhees, NJ; and Ms. Christina Richardson, CAMS, also a member of the Financial Institutions Services Group and resident of Hackettstown, NJ.
An additional 16 professionals in various practice areas of the firm also were promoted. Mr. Myron Gellman, MBA, CBA, CMC, Chief Executive Officer of Mercadien, stated, “We congratulate all of our colleagues on their advancements and thank them for their years of outstanding service to the firm. Their promotions were made in recognition of their skills, dedication and many contributions to the service of Mercadien, our clients and our community. Their promotions also reflect Mercadien’s strategic focus on continued business growth and the development of our people.” Mercadien employs approximately 150 individuals and provides advisory, tax, accounting and wealth management services.
Profiles of the executives promoted follow:
Ms. Lovepreet Buttar, CPA, MBA, CGMA, PSA, has over 10 years of experience performing and overseeing audit engagements for various nonprofit clients, including associations, schools, private foundations, and health and human services organizations. She is passionate about helping these organizations support their constituents and achieve their mission.
Whether supervising her team of staff, servicing her clients, or responding to urgent inquiries from either, Lovepreet is known for being thorough, as well as calm and cool under pressure. Her soothing manner, collaborative nature and keen insights lend themselves to a favorite aspect of her job – educating and consulting with nonprofit professionals to ensure they understand and are prepared to meet changes affecting their industry and organizations. Not surprisingly, Lovepreet is frequently asked to speak at conferences and events hosted by various organizations, such as the New Jersey Association of Community Providers, the Council of Nonprofits, the Center for Nonprofits of New Jersey, Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Princeton Community Works, to name a few. She leads numerous internal and external training seminars and regularly writes articles for the firm’s newsletter, Nonprofit Outlook, on financial reporting, tax and compliance topics in which she is highly proficient.
Driven by giving back, Lovepreet commits much of her free time to serving on boards and committees for various organizations, including the Princeton Area Community Foundation, Philadelphia VIP and the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council. She is also a past board and executive committee member of the West Windsor Arts Council and continues to seek other volunteering opportunities where she can lend a helping hand.
Mr. Joseph Galdo, CPA, CFE, CAMS, is a member of the firm’s Financial Institutions Services Group, where he is responsible for overseeing the Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) team through the completion of internal audits, validations, and consulting projects for community and commercial bank clients.
Mr. Galdo acts as a key management resource through regulatory examinations and audit engagements, addressing questions and areas of high risk and concern. He also supervises the documentation of clients’ BSA department procedures to identify gaps and limitations while improving their processes and reporting for monitoring of transactions and preparation of suspicious activity and other reports. Further, Mr. Galdo participates in validations of BSA/AML monitoring software to ensure data is interfacing appropriately from core to system and performs restructuring assessments of BSA departments through staffing analyses and training, mainly on high-risk relationship reviews and process enhancements. He also conducts BSA look-backs and alert optimizations, as well as handles implementation and enhancements of customer risk rating models.
In addition, Joe works closely with Mercadien’s Forensic and Litigation Support practice in matters such as forensic accounting and internal investigations, fraud detection, bankruptcy and reorganization, and civil and criminal litigation support, including economic damages assessments and other dispute consulting areas. His unique background enables him to develop a multi-faceted and comprehensive, yet focused approach to engagements, thereby providing increased value to clients. He has also presented seminars and authored articles on industry and financial topics relevant to clients and professional organizations.
Mr. Stephen Noon, CPA, CGMA, PSA, of the firm’s Audit and Assurance and Private Company Services Groups, is responsible for managing and performing audits, reviews and compilations; evaluating systems of internal controls; and preparing financial statements. Steve specializes in working with clients in the corporate and nonprofit sectors.
Mr. Noon also is a key member of the firm’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Group. He helps clients – benefit plan administrators – meet their annual compliance and reporting requirements, and provides guidance and recommendations enabling them to effectively maintain ongoing compliance with Department of Labor regulations. Steve addresses and interprets pronouncements that impact the financial reporting of benefit plans; designs and implements standardized benefit plan financial statement templates; and leads Mercadien’s employee benefit plan trainings to ensure our audit professionals are continually and deeply knowledgeable about industry developments affecting these clients.
Mr. Jack Hammell, CPA, CGFM, of the firm’s Government Services Group is responsible for testing systems of internal controls, performing analytical reviews, and ensuring staff on engagements are productive. Mr. Hammell also assists in the preparation of audit and financial statements for various state and local government entities.
Prior to joining Mercadien, Mr. Hammell worked as an accountant for Fedway Associates, Inc. He performed numerous tasks such as month-end closing procedures, bank reconciliations. fixed asset and lease liability reconciliations, and journal entry postings. He also produced quarterly external financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Jack is skilled in Microsoft Excel, QuickBooks, AS400 global accounting system, Diver, and CCH Workpaper Manager.
Ms. Miroslava Juscakova, MBA, CAMS, of the Financial Institutions Services Group at Mercadien, P.C., Certified Public Accountants, is responsible for the completion of consulting services, as well as review and audit testing processes for commercial and community banks. Miroslava has over 25 years of experience in accounting and more than 14 years in the financial services industry, where she performed reviews, agreed-upon procedures and audits, such as asset, liability and liquidity management; allowance for loan and lease losses; and regulatory compliance for many regional banks and United States branches of foreign institutions. Ms. Juscakova examines and records client internal control structures in order to identify control environment strengths and weaknesses.
Ms. Juscakova has a solid understanding of Customer Identification Programs (CIP), the USA Patriot Act and its requirements, as well as the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations. Additionally, she has experience preparing and executing audit plans, along with ensuring regulatory risks are properly identified and mitigated, to guarantee that best practices are being implemented.
Mr. Pranav Naik, MS, CAMS, CFE, of the firm’s Financial Institutions Services Group, conducts audits and testing procedures for various types of financial institutions. Pranav has significant experience in leadership, strategy development, financial analysis, project management, and technical comprehension. His combined experience in anti-money laundering and the healthcare industry provides the firm with a well-rounded point of view.
At Mercadien, Pranav is an integral part of large consulting projects, assisting in the completion of enhanced due diligence for high-risk customers, suspicious activity documentation and filing, alert and case documentation, and customer case file preparation. Additionally, he is a proficient user of a variety of Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering monitoring software programs, including FCRM, Verafin, Patriot Officer, Banker’s Toolbox, Actimize, and Yellow Hammer.
Ms. Christina Richardson, CAMS, of the firm’s Financial Institutions Services Group, is primarily responsible for the completion of consulting services and review and audit testing procedures for commercial and community banks. Christina has experience in performing reviews, audits and agreed-upon procedures for many regional banks and United States branches of foreign institutions. Ms. Richardson analyzes and documents client internal control structures in order to identify control environment strengths and weaknesses.
Christina has extensive experience performing internal audit testing and analysis on various risk-based areas including the Bank Secrecy and Anti-Money Laundering Acts, equal credit opportunity (Regulation B), Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA/Regulation C), Unfair or Deceptive Act or Practices (Regulation AA), Red Flags Identity Theft, Truth in Lending (Regulation Z), Sarbanes-Oxley Act, deposit operations, compliance management, electronic banking, and branch audits. Christina is actively working toward her Certification for Internal Auditing.
Mercadien provides a full spectrum of accounting and consulting services, including traditional audit and financial reporting, tax compliance and planning, compliance oversight, risk assessment, litigation support, management and board consulting; as well as wealth management solutions. Founded in Princeton in 1963, the firm serves privately-owned companies of nearly every type and industry, as well as financial institutions, nonprofit organizations, government entities, and wealthy individuals and families. Mercadien provides forward-thinking, relationship-driven, financial and strategic services that maximize wealth and profitability, minimize taxes and risk, evaluate systems and processes, and increase efficiencies for its many diverse and valued clients. Learn more at Mercadien.com.