Alumni Career Journeys
Patty Basti ‘93 grew up in Beavercreek, Ohio, and first heard about Miami from her best friend’s parents, who are a Miami Merger. A visit to Miami’s campus convinced her Miami was where she wanted to be. “The feel of the campus with the red brick buildings and the beautiful landscapes was just what I was looking for. The fact that the accountancy program was so strong was a bonus.”
Patty’s dad, who was the first one in his family to attend college, influenced her decision to major in accountancy. “He suspected that accounting jobs would be plentiful… and wisely steered me towards a financially stable career.” At Miami, she actively participated in academic clubs, such as APICS, and the Miami Rowing Club.
Patty obtained summer internships in financial analysis and internal audit before graduating summa cum laude. She earned her CPA and started her career at KPMG soon after. After being promoted to audit manager, Patty switched gears and managed the global internal audit department at Chiquita Brands. Later, as director of accounting policy and internal control, she designed and implemented Chiquita’s initial global SOX program. In 2007, Patty returned to KPMG as a director in the advisory practice, building the firm’s Cincinnati team. She was promoted to partner in 2016 and was named KPMG Cincinnati office managing partner in 2020.
“My current role as office managing partner for KPMG Cincinnati and client service partner for Risk Assurance Services guarantees that my days are filled with challenge and variety! In any given week, I may work on developing our office growth strategy and supporting our professionals in building relationships in the community, as well as crafting solutions for our clients’ business problems and sharing insights and recommendations for improvement. No two days are the same, which ensures I am continually developing both personally and professionally.”
Paul Beswick '94 decided to attend Miami because of the strong reputation of the business school, specifically, the Department of Accountancy. Upon graduating in 1994 with dual majors in Accounting and MIS, Paul joined Ernst & Young in his hometown of Pittsburgh for three years, then transferred to the Cincinnati office, working primarily on public company audits.
In 2005, EY nominated Paul for a two-year fellowship at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). He then joined the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), eventually becoming the SEC’s Chief Accountant. In 2015, he rejoined EY at the national office, serving as the firm’s deputy chief accountant. In this role, Paul assists in leadership of the national accounting teams and communicates changes in the FASB accounting standards to internal and external stakeholders. He also consults with the accounting teams on complex and novel accounting issues. Furthermore, as the Americas IFRS Desk Leader, he also answers interpretative questions on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the Americas and supports the development of EY policies on IFRS globally.
“The best part of the job is getting to work with a lot of smart and committed people. I enjoy the interactions we have on a daily basis discussing technical accounting matters.”
Robert Craycraft ‘87 entered Miami as a nontraditional student in his mid-twenties, switching gears after 5 years in a different career path. Bob was able to complete the classes he needed to take the CPA Exam within two years on an exacting schedule: “Graduation week I took my finals on Monday and Tuesday, the CPA Exam (all four parts) on Wednesday–Friday, graduated that weekend, and began working at Deloitte (assurance) on Monday!”
In the 34 years since graduation, he has worked for only three companies: 5 years at Deloitte, 14 years at Fifth Third Bank, and 15 years at Cintas, where he is currently VP of Internal Audit and Chief Compliance Officer. Bob manages all of Cintas’ internal audit activities, including policy-based corporate audits, SOX audits, and payment card industry (PCI) audits. “In my Chief Compliance Officer role, I work with compliance groups across the enterprise to help ensure we adhere to compliance requirements that affect the company.”
“There is great satisfaction that comes from helping ensure that the Cintas Culture not only remains intact – but continues to flourish. At Cintas, Internal Audit works with the business to ‘get better together.’ It is a partnership that requires considerable effort – and yields significant dividends.”
Donna Deye ‘79 calls Cleveland, Ohio, her hometown. She chose Miami because of its reputation for having a strong, nationally recognized accounting program. Donna began her career in public accounting with PwC (formerly Coopers & Lybrand). After working in public accounting for 5 years, she moved to private industry, starting at totes»Isotoner Corporation as assistant controller. She was eventually promoted to the position of executive vice president and CFO.
Retiring from full-time work in 2016, she currently serves on one nonprofit board and two for-profit boards. Donna also serves as Global CFO and board member at BRS Sports Holdings, LLC. The part-time Global CFO role was taken at the request of the Company’s owners to help with special projects and consolidate two separate companies they had purchased.
“I enjoy serving on Boards, as it allows me to share my many years of experience with the companies, helping them with their strategic initiatives and other business challenges that develop.”
Craig Glazier ‘01 was a finance major at Miami. He took a couple of accounting classes at Miami and enjoyed them, but always saw himself in the world of finance. However, he ended up pursuing his Master of Accounting (University of Notre Dame) at the request of his employer, which he believes laid the foundation for his future success.
Starting his career with EY as staff member in the Cincinnati office’s audit practice, Craig has enjoyed several significant opportunities over the years, including moving to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to live for 18 months; a move from Cincinnati (his hometown) to Cleveland, taking on various leadership roles, including the Entrepreneur of the Year program; and recently, exploring client relationships outside of audit. Craig has been with EY for 20 years and is currently a partner who spends about 50% of his time with audit clients (both public, private, and private equity-backed) and 50% with non-audit clients, recently involving work with SPAC transactions.
“What I love about my role at EY is it keeps evolving. I have been able to change what I do so often and stay challenged throughout my career, allowing me to continue to develop and gain new experiences. The opportunity to lead client relationships both in our audit practice as well as outside audit has allowed me to bring a diversified perspective to my clients, get to know many of the other services and ways EY is helping our clients, and ultimately to bring more relevance to my clients as an overall trusted business advisor.”
Brad Hunkler ‘94 grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Miami University was his first choice for college; he loved the campus environment and was further convinced by older friends who were attending Miami and a few visits there for ‘Little Sibs’ activities. Brad started out as a business major and selected accountancy “mostly as a placeholder....[but] the truth is that I really enjoyed my accounting classes and the logic of accounting really resonated with me.”
Brad describes his career journey as “pretty traditional”—after graduating with an accountancy degree, he went to work at EY in Cincinnati. “EY provided me with a great start to my career, instilling in me critical skills in time management, communication, and hard work, and I made many lifelong friends there as well.” He specialized pretty quickly while at E&Y in life insurance and parlayed that experience into a great opportunity to lead the accounting department at Western & Southern Financial Group, where he has been since 2000 and is currently chief financial officer. In 2014, he participated in the 8-week advanced management program at Harvard Business School (HBS) for experienced executives. “I credit my career progression to the lessons I have learned along the journey from Miami, EY, HBS and Western & Southern. Despite a fairly limited number of employers, this diversity of education and experiences prepared me for the advancement opportunities I enjoyed in my career.”
Lori Kaiser ‘85 was planning to attend another college, but when she traveled with her high school boyfriend to pick up his sister from Miami, she saw the campus and was hooked. “It was so beautiful. We walked on slant walk and I was already thinking about how I was going to tell my parents I wanted to change my mind.”
Upon starting at Miami, Lori became active in student government. She ran and was elected as dorm president at Dorsey Hall, which gave her insights into being involved and helping to make an impact. She chose to be an RA during her sophomore year. “I liked helping the freshman acclimate to living independently.”
Lori chose to major in accounting after taking the two introductory courses. “I found accounting very logical, and it came easily to me.” She interned at KPMG in Columbus during the second semester of her junior year and found it a great experience. “I loved being on different audit teams and also going to different clients.” After graduation, she remained with KPMG for 7 years and was ultimately promoted to senior manager. She then started her own accounting consulting firm.
Twice she left her own business for other opportunities but kept coming back to working for herself. Obtaining an MBA from the University of Chicago in 2000 helped solidify her focus on growing and scaling her business. Today, Kaiser Consulting is a five-time “Best Places To Work” award-winning employer. Kaiser has worked with many of central Ohio’s largest employers, including Honda, Nationwide Insurance, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Express.
“As the founder of Kaiser Consulting my favorite part of my role has been mentoring my direct reports. They are a fabulous, engaged, and high-functioning team. I enjoy seeing their skill sets grow and seeing their successes!”
Howard Klein ’75 has lived in Cleveland his entire life, other than a 6-year detour to Oxford and Columbus. He chose Miami University because it had the best business school in the state. While at Miami, Howard was a member of the social fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon, serving as treasurer and then president. He was also a member of the accounting fraternity, Beta Alpha Psi. After graduation, he pursued a Master’s degree in Accounting at The Ohio State University and passed the CPA exam.
Howard’s career started at Ernst & Ernst, where he worked as an auditor for 5 years. That role provided him insight into a variety of interesting companies: a retail department store, national bank, grocery store chain, a Fortune 500 mining company, and several small businesses. His last engagement turned into a forensic investigation that resulted in a trial, where he spent 5 days in court explaining a massive fraud. After the trial, he left Ernst and became a partner at a local accounting firm that became SSK&G (the K being Klein), where he continued to perform forensic accounting. After 5 years at SSK&G, Howard decided to go solo and concentrate solely on being a forensic accountant. In 2013, he joined the regional accounting firm of Skoda Minotti, which merged into Marcum LLP in 2019, where he currently serves as partner.
Since 1988, Howard has been engaged mainly on litigation support projects, investigating a variety of frauds, including bank frauds, Ponzi schemes, embezzlements, fraudulent financial statements, related party transactions, check kiting schemes, lapping of receivables, successor business frauds, alter-ego frauds, and bankruptcy frauds. He also expanded his litigation support to include business disputes, economic damages, business valuations, and marital dissolutions. His career led him to work on the Enron bankruptcy for 3 years; most recently, he was the forensic accountant for the trustee in the Fair Finance bankruptcy (Akron, OH), a $200 million Ponzi scheme.
“I enjoy the objective role I play as an expert witness in our adversarial judicious system. Through the adversary process, each side in a dispute has the right to present its case as persuasively as possible to a judge or jury, who then decides in favor of one side or the other. As an expert witness, my opinions are objective, unbiased, and based on the facts of the case. Each case is a new experience and brings new challenges. I find it invigorating to present my opinions and findings to a judge or jury. After many hours of poring through documents, working with counsel, developing my opinions, testifying at depositions, I find it very rewarding when a case settles in my client's favor or the case is won at trial. It is especially rewarding when my work results in a criminal conviction of a wrongdoer.”
Ying Lee was born in a refugee camp in Thailand after the Vietnam War, then came to the US in 1980, settling in Toledo, Ohio. He initially started college at the University of Toledo as a pharmacy major but switched course after two years, transferring to Michigan State University where he graduated with a B.A. in Accounting. He joined Deloitte in Detroit shortly after college and pursued an M.B.A. at Walsh College while working full-time. Ying serves in the Accountancy Advisory Board at Miami University.
Ying started as an associate in the tax group working as a generalist, gaining broad exposure to all areas of tax. He then transferred to Deloitte’s state and local tax group. In 2010, he relocated to Cincinnati, where he currently resides, leaving Deloitte as a managing director to join Grant Thornton as a partner in the state and local tax practice. In his current role, Ying advises companies on multistate tax planning strategies aimed at minimizing state and local tax liabilities, resolving tax controversies, performing M&A due diligence reviews, and assisting with complex state and local tax issues.
“I enjoy my role, as it allows me to interact and develop strong relationships with my clients which includes tax managers, VPs of tax, controllers, CFOs, and CEOs. Furthermore, I’m able to work with a great team, from staff to senior manager, throughout the country, whom I’m able to develop to become future leaders.”
Adam Levitt ‘18 (BS, MAcc) decided to attend Miami because of the strong reputation enjoyed by the Farmer School of Business. He started his Miami journey in a different major, but switched to accountancy shortly after learning more about the wide range of accounting-related career paths. “I had many family members and friends who attended Miami and had only positive things to say about their experience.”
Adam first joined Progressive as a participant in the two-year Accounting Rotation Program, which provides exposure to several areas within corporate accounting and other business areas, before moving into the investor relations area. He is currently an investor relations analyst at Progressive Insurance.
Jay Moeller ‘90 grew up in St. Henry, Ohio, about 70 miles north of Oxford. He had narrowed his college selection down to three schools (all of which had great business schools). A campus visit at Miami made his choice of school easy. “It was actually a rainy day in late October, but I connected with the red brick buildings immediately. Even on an overcast, rainy day, something just felt like home.”
An undeclared business major for the first couple of years, Jay was convinced after taking ACC 321 (Intermediate Financial Accounting) that accounting was the career for him. “It just all seemed to click and it all made sense.” While at Miami, Jay participated in the Accounting Club, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and Young Republicans Club. He served on the Interfraternity Council (IFC) for two years and served on the Greek Week Rules Committee as a junior and as Chair of the Rules Committee as a senior. He also worked as a referee for football, basketball, and softball for intramural sports.
Upon graduation, Jay joined Coopers & Lybrand in Detroit as an audit associate. A few years later, he moved to Cleveland to be with his fiancée Chris (now wife of almost 28 years and a Miami Merger), joining Price Waterhouse, where he was promoted to manager. The family moved to their current hometown, Troy, Ohio, and he took a position with Battelle & Battelle LLP in Dayton, eventually becoming a partner, leading the SEC and international practices group for a number of years and through the merger with RSM, where he remained as partner. Most of his current clients are located in Southwest Ohio (Cincinnati to Lima) in the firm’s Industrial Products Industry Segment. He also serves as the firm’s lead recruiting partner for Miami University.
“I think the thing I enjoy most about my current position is the ability to work with our younger staff members. I get to work with them as a mentor and career advisor in which I get to share some of the things I have learned over the years. As well, I get to experience the great ideas that they have on how we can improve things and/or do things differently. Plus, they keep me young. I also like that my job is never the same thing two days in a row. I’ll go from doing audit work one day to advising a client on business acquisition the next…you never know what the day will bring!”
Lissa Perez ‘91 grew up in Richmond, Indiana. After seeing her older sister’s “outstanding experience” at Miami, particularly with the Luxembourg program, Lissa decided to become a Miamian as well. Her classes convinced her to pursue an accountancy major and helped her land an internship at Deloitte the summer after her second year.
Like her sister, Lissa studied in Luxembourg, where she spent her entire junior year. Her love of travel and learning about different cultures led her to focus on global opportunities at Deloitte when she started working there full-time. Having remained with the firm for over 30 years, Lissa now serves as the private audit leader in Deloitte’s McLean, Virginia, office. In her current role, Lissa enjoys being a trusted business adviser and having the opportunity to work with executives and board members from a wide array of businesses and industries.
“I enjoy working with my teams and learning about different businesses and industries. It is rewarding to be a trusted adviser to my clients and be a “go to” person when they are tackling challenges.”
Eric Peiffer ‘91 grew up near Springfield, Ohio, and selected Miami because of its beautiful campus and the “unparalleled quality” of the undergraduate business curriculum. “Now, in 2021, I believe that still to be the case!”
Inspired by a class taught by now-retired FSB Dean Marc Rubin, Eric chose to major in accountancy, noting that “accountancy complemented my finance degree; I knew that in a raging recession (into which I graduated) I would be able to land a solid job.” While at Miami, Eric joined some other FSB students, including accountancy peers, in founding the First Miami Student Credit Union.
After graduating with a double major in accountancy and finance, he joined a consulting firm in Chicago (now part of Navigant), followed by Deloitte in Denver, which he describes as “a fantastic experience, as a tax CPA who was able to ski and mountain bike every weekend.” Four years after graduating from Miami, Eric attended Harvard Business School full-time for his MBA. “I was grateful for the quality of the accountancy program at FSB for preparing me so thoroughly for this rigorous experience. Having the accountancy degree was like going into battle fully armed – I underestimated its value even while at Miami.”
After HBS, Eric transitioned into an investment banking career, spending time in New York City before landing back in Ohio, where he helped build out the fixed-income effort at KeyBanc Capital Markets (KBCM). Eighteen years later, as a managing director, he also runs a group called High Grade and Leveraged Capital Markets. As a senior-level investment banker, he heads a team responsible for raising billions of dollars of capital a year via bond offerings for large corporations and private equity firms.
“I most enjoy the thrill of engaging with, advising, and helping our clients. While bond offerings to finance M&A are exciting, just as rewarding has been helping a huge number of KBCM’s clients do capital raises to ensure adequate capital was available during the height of the pandemic in 2020. Whether advising and helping clients with assurance and tax work, strategic consulting and M&A, or raising capital in the bond or equity markets, meaningfully contributing to your clients’ success brings a lot of long-term satisfaction to a career. Working with people you really like at those clients makes it even better.”
Ethan Retcher ‘19 considers choosing Miami one of the best decisions of his life. “The small classroom sizes, liberal arts focus, and opportunities within FSB are truly second to none. I was able to study across disciplines (finance, accountancy, and rhetoric and writing), gain in-depth exposure to several different career paths through extracurriculars, study both abroad and away, and work closely with professors on research projects.” Through all of these, he became confident that he wanted to work in investment banking post-graduation.
Ethan works as an investment banking analyst in Lincoln International’s capital advisory (leveraged finance) group. “Day in and day out, I have the opportunity to work directly with entrepreneurs and C-suite executives to help them solve some of the most complex and pressing needs of their business with capital markets solutions.”
“I thoroughly enjoy having the opportunity to analyze several businesses (quantitatively and qualitatively), share their investment highlights to institutional investors in the market, and then work to create an optimal solution to propel the businesses’ future growth.”
Bryan Roberson ‘17 (BS, MAcc) grew up in Twinsburg, Ohio, just south of Cleveland. After many campus visits, Bryan selected Miami because it was the one place where he felt completely at home—“I imagined myself being the biggest cheerleader for [Miami].” True to his words, he became a tour guide for prospective Miami students.
Bryan was active in several business student organizations, including Phi Chi Theta, NABA, and the Multicultural Business Association. He was also involved in Greek Life and the Dean of Libraries Student Advisory Council.
Bryan chose to study accountancy to gain the “necessary business acumen” that would really open the doors to a variety of different career opportunities. After graduating, Bryan earned his CPA and now works as a Senior Business Consultant for EY in Cleveland, OH, focusing in Technology Risk.
Lauren Roberts ‘13 grew up attending sports camps at Miami, developing a love for the university that her father attended. Her interest in accounting stems from a love of mathematics and the creative problem-solving aspects of accounting.
Lauren joined EY as an intern in the summer prior to her senior year, soon followed by a full-time position where she enjoyed a wide variety of experiences. Three years later, Cincinnati Public Schools contacted Lauren about a unique opportunity to serve as the director of internal audit. “My initial career expectations were to stay within the more typical business world, but after learning more about the opportunity with Cincinnati Public Schools, I was thrilled to take on the challenge.” As director of internal audit, Lauren serves as a key advisor to various business operations leaders to ensure that tax dollars are used as intended to benefit students and the community.
“I find the position to be highly rewarding as I often serve as a key advisor to our business operations leaders and I can see the direct impact my contributions have on the organization. I feel an additional sense of accomplishment and pride by working for a school district, as every dollar we save or process we improve ultimately benefits the students and our community.”
Mark Ross ‘87 grew up on the East side of Cleveland in Mentor, Ohio. As a senior in high school, his best friend had the opportunity to visit his brother for a weekend at Miami, and he was invited to join. “The beauty of the University and how welcomed I felt, along with the reputation of the business school, sold me on Miami over that weekend.”
As a first year student, Mark joined a fraternity, which gave him significant leadership opportunities later on, including serving as pledge chair and vice president. Mark was initially a marketing major and was planning to change to finance when he saw one of his fraternity brothers, dressed in a suit, heading to an event on a Thursday night. Over a few discussions, he learned about the opportunities for accounting majors, organizations like Beta Alpha Psi (which he subsequently joined), the career opportunities of the Big 8, and most importantly, the reality that Miami accounting majors with good grades and a decent personality would have multiple job offers before Christmas senior year. “Given this intel, a little coercion from my roommate at the time who was an accounting major, and the fact that I really enjoyed my accounting classes, I switched majors, and never looked back.”
Mark started his career as an Audit Staff member at Price Waterhouse in Cleveland. His journey with the company took him to Miami, Florida, to lead the Deals and Advisory practices as partner, then to San Francisco to lead the West Region Deals business. His last move was back to Cleveland to become a market managing and office managing partner. This move allowed him to develop the PwC brand in Cleveland and engage on multiple nonprofit boards, building his passion for education, diversity & inclusion, healthcare, the arts, and economic development. After hitting the age 55 milestone for early retirement, he retired with the intent to focus almost entirely on his nonprofit boards and related roles. One new role he holds is that of PwC FSB Executive in Residence at Miami. Mark also teaches a mergers and acquisitions course at Miami.
“My last position at PwC (Office Managing Partner in Cleveland) was the most important and meaningful one as it allowed me to truly find purpose—using my time, talent and treasure to help nonprofit organizations achieve their missions.”
Teri Schaffer ‘93 grew up in Eastlake, Ohio. She worked in her church’s office in her early teens, where she was responsible for posting parishioner contributions to their accounts, and produced annual statements at the end of the year. Later in high school, she worked in retail and was responsible for balancing the cash drawer and reporting daily results to the regional office. She took her first accounting class as a senior in high school, and was “hooked” on accounting.
As a student who anticipated paying her college tuition through summer work and loans, Teri put a lot of effort into the college selection process. Miami was high on her list, with a highly ranked accounting program. “I wanted a school with a strong accounting reputation, and strong career placement opportunities. When I finally had a chance to visit the campus on a beautiful October day, I knew that Miami was everything that I wanted my college experience to be, and chose to apply early.”
Teri currently serves as the office managing partner for the Northeast Ohio audit practice of BDO USA, LLP. She works with the office leadership team, overseeing talent management (recruiting, advising, matching resources with opportunities); operations (budget, forecasting); business development (building community relationships, matching opportunities with the right resources within BDO), and client service.
“The part of my role that I enjoy the most is the amount of teamwork involved. As partners, we work together to improve our practice on a daily basis: turning national and regional initiatives into local office best practices; driving to provide growth opportunities for our local team; building true relationships with our clients that bring value, not just compliance, to them; and building the BDO brand in Northeast Ohio.”
Doug Schosser ‘92 grew up in a small town in Connecticut, but his family was originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Seeing himself as a bit more “Midwestern” than East Coast, he leaned towards Miami’s perfect blend of the “classic college campus” and the Midwestern appeal he was looking for. Doug came to Miami as an undecided student and enrolled in a variety of classes to see what might peak his interest. “Accounting was that thing for me. I was always strong in math, and a good logical thinker, so accounting appealed to me.”
While at Miami, Doug was a Delta Sigma Pi brother and enjoyed being exposed to other business majors and outside speakers that helped bridge the gap between the real world and college. A summer job at a bank convinced him that he wanted a career in the financial industry. Unsuccessful in finding a role with the Big 8, he decided the next best thing was going into an internal auditing position within a financial services firm. “I think that was a great choice to start a career. Internal audit exposes you to so many facets of a firm and allows you to really understand processes and a way of thinking and probing areas that are foreign to you.” He credits those skills for his successes throughout his career.
From there, his career took him to roles of increasing complexity at KeyBank and its parent company KeyCorp, all in the Business Finance area (financial analysis and decision support, up to and including divisional CFO roles). As Key’s Corporate Bank CFO, he became interested in a recent acquisition and led the integration of that business into Key. Currently, Doug is EVP and Chief Accounting Officer at KeyCorp.
“The best part of my current role is the scope of the job and the fact that I can really find almost unlimited ways I can add value to Key by working with our business leaders, technology partners, and others to constantly improve the processes we follow and increase the quality of the information we use to run the company. I think the future of accounting will be to help companies continue to use data in different ways to drive better business outcomes. The way we are trained to think about controls and data integrity and translate all that into business actionable insights is a unique skill that, when paired with technology experts, can really drive results. Many executives don’t have the time to dive deep into these issues but want to have access to more and more information and understand how changes to processes can influence outputs. That seems to be the sweet spot that “data driven” accounting and finance professionals can offer.”
Scott Schweinfurth ‘76 grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and selected Miami because of the great reputation of its business school and “comfortable” size. He started as a finance major, but after taking some accounting courses, he switched to the accountancy major. While at Miami, he was a member and officer of Beta Alpha Psi, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, and a member and president of the Student Advisory Council, which allowed him to participate in the Dean’s Business Advisory Council meetings as the student representative.
In his senior year, Scott interviewed with public accounting firms, with the goal of relocating to Chicago. He received multiple job offers and decided to join Arthur Young, where he completed the staff-to-partner track, focused on audits of consumer products companies. The EY merger occurred soon after he was promoted to partner, allowing him to experience the integration process firsthand.
Over the next six years, Scott functioned as the junior partner on his largest publicly held clients, but with the partner rotation schedule at the time, he was not likely to be considered for the lead role on these clients for several more years. In 1994, he left public accounting to become Bally Gaming’s CFO, which required relocating his family to Las Vegas, Nevada. “Within a month after joining Bally Gaming, our board decided to sell the company to a competitor based in Chicago, WMS Industries, an EY client. So my former colleagues were now conducting due diligence on my new company.” He eventually became CFO and Treasurer of WMS Industries and moved back to Chicago, after which the company was sold to Scientific Games, where he served as CFO until retirement in 2016.
Scott currently serves on the Miami Foundation Board and chairs its audit and finance committee; he also co-chairs the audit committee of a gaming industry professional group, IAGA, and provides consulting services to the entity licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission to operate the casino and sports book at the Westgate Resort and Casino.
Dan Staley ‘88 grew up in Cincinnati hearing about Miami’s great reputation. Later, he watched his older brother learn and grow at Miami, “becoming so well prepared to be successful in life after college.” What surprised him the most, however, was “how much Miami truly cares about its students forging lifelong friendships.” Among his closest friends are the four men he met when he was a first year student at Dodds Hall, and another who joined the group in their junior year.
Dan chose to study accountancy, with an emphasis on tax, because of its challenging and logical nature, as well as the many opportunities it brings. “The Miami Accounting Department was amazing back then just like it is now. It was clear that so many great companies and CPA firms, including the Big 8 firms (back then the Big 4 was the Big 8), cared deeply about Miami.”
Dan joined Price Waterhouse (now PwC) after graduating from Miami. He just completed his 21st year as a tax partner, serving as the tax lead for a number of clients in the Cincinnati and the surrounding markets.
“I really enjoy the opportunities I’ve had to develop great and trusted working relationships with so many clients and colleagues. Clients value tax advisors that take the time to get to know their businesses and how taxes apply to their businesses, because when it comes to tax, it’s so important for companies to get it right.”
Jeff VonDeylen ‘86 grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and selected Miami as an alternative to the traditional Indiana schools. Jeff majored in accountancy because of his strong math skills and enjoyment of financial information and learning. At Miami, he joined Phi Kappa Psi and was very active in a number of leadership positions.
After graduating, Jeff worked at Arthur Andersen for eight years before joining one of his clients as the controller. Since leaving public accounting, he has worked with various telecommunications and IT service companies in the United States and Europe. His career has included roles such as controller, vice president of finance and treasury, CFO, COO, company president and now CEO of Ensono, an IT managed service company based in Chicago.
As CEO, he helped Ensono grow from a $190 million business with U.S. operations to a $700 million global enterprise. Ensono is private-equity owned and was recently acquired by KKR, one of the largest PE firms in the world.
“What I enjoy most about the business is leading our associates and growing our relationships with clients. Being an ally to our clients and growing our relationships with them provides great opportunities for our associates to grow their careers. If we delight our clients with engaged employees, we know we will provide a great return for our investors.”
Jenifer West ‘96 is originally from Texas but moved to Hillsboro, Ohio, when she was in eighth grade. Her interest in accounting started with a bookkeeping class she took in high school. After a visit to Miami during her senior year, she decided that Miami, with its “history of academic excellence” combined with the small-town feel of Oxford, was a perfect fit. “I was very resolute in my choice; Miami was my first and only college application!”
During her four years at Miami, Jenifer not only enjoyed her studies but was also active in Greek Life as a member of Alpha Gamma Delta. She also worked as a student aide at the Department of Accountancy and served as a campus tour guide. “I loved having the opportunity to learn and share the rich history of the University, and I was very fortunate to have been a student of Dr. Phillip Shriver in his History of Miami course.”
After graduation, Jenifer took a position with the Auditor of State of Ohio as an assistant auditor, serving through four administrations as she advanced in her career, preparing financial statements for over twenty local governments throughout Southern Ohio.
After many long Ohio winters, she, with her husband and son, decided it was time to move south, and they returned to her home state of Texas. There, Jenifer worked as financial accountant in the City of Dallas Controller’s office, where she now serves as financial reporting manager. Her team prepares the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for the city, as well as oversees all the accounting transactions of over 30 different departments.
“The complexity of our organization’s finances is what I enjoy the most, as I am constantly learning new topics and expanding my understanding of generally accepted accounting principles, while applying all of that information to real-world, difficult problems.”
Maureen Westrick ‘05 was born and primarily raised in Ohio (with a 3-year stint in Dallas, Texas). She chose Miami because it was a top-rated Ohio school that was large enough to provide a diverse array of opportunities and activities. “A visit to the campus sealed the deal for me—I felt at home and could not wait to return to Oxford.”
Accountancy had always lingered in Maureen’s mind as a potential major, but her top choices included nursing and mass communications. After listening to some “sage advice” from her dad, she took introductory accounting and other business classes. “It felt like the right path for me. I enjoyed the challenge of my business classes, and I saw a career with a multitude of opportunities based on a solid foundation of primarily accounting and finance.”
Being one of six children, Maureen took the chance to differentiate herself and claim the Miami experience as her very own. She was highly involved in groups and organizations while working several jobs (including in catering, dining halls, bookstore, and The Miami Student newspaper). She played multiple rec sports, but her all-time favorite was broomball. She was a radio DJ, volunteered at local schools tutoring students, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. She also served as Treasurer for Miami Memos and Alpha Kappa Psi, and studied abroad in Luxembourg in Fall of her junior year.
Maureen is a Fortune 100 finance and accounting executive with 15+ years of experience working for organizations spanning an array of industries. Her early career included an audit manager role at EY, with clients that included Fortune 100 and private companies. She joined Nationwide in 2012, taking various leadership roles across different teams, and is now an associate vice president over strategic partnerships within the Office of Strategy & Corporate Development. In this role, she leads a team responsible for reporting, compliance, technical research, and significant and unusual transactions, while serving as a strategic advisor for the Property and Casualty segment.
“What I love most about my current position is that it’s multifaceted. There are certain responsibilities that are aligned to traditional accounting roles—my team is responsible for audited financial statements, we perform analytics to understand financial results, etc. What’s most intriguing and exciting is how my team supports our business partners at Nationwide to deliver value to the enterprise. For example, my team is relied on heavily for mergers and acquisitions, disposing lines of business, accounting for telematics or other new and innovative products, creating joint ventures to grow business in new ways, utilizing captive companies to write new product offerings, etc.”
Bob Woolman ‘03, originally from Salem, Ohio, chose Miami over a few other in-state and out-of-state schools based on its academic reputation, liberal arts education, and campus environment. Bob started as an industrial engineering major but decided to switch to accountancy after his freshman year. While at Miami, he was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, Alpha Tau Omega (social fraternity), and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
After graduating from Miami with a bachelor’s degree in business (accountancy major, risk management and insurance minor), he attended The Ohio State University and obtained a Master of Accounting degree. He was accepted into Ohio State’s Ph.D. program, but decided to pursue a career in Deloitte’s advisory services practice based in Columbus, Ohio, focusing on hospitality, leisure, and manufacturing clients.
After 5 years at Deloitte, Bob joined the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s internal audit department, where he has spent the last five years as the company’s chief internal auditor. At the publicly traded, $5 billion company, Bob’s role is unique in that it reports directly to the Company’s Board of Directors to establish independence from management. In his role as Chief Internal Auditor, Bob provides independent, objective assurance, assessment, and consulting services designed to add value by improving Scotts’ operations and financial performance, protecting company assets, and providing reasonable assurance that Scotts complies with applicable laws, regulations, and company policies.
“What I enjoy most about this role is the broad view of the business it provides. Internal audit’s remit covers the entire enterprise, and its efforts are generally guided by risk. This provides me with exposure to the enterprise’s various business units, functions, and processes, and helps diversify my perspective.”
Jay Zheng (‘19, BS, MAcc) is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and studied economics and accounting at Miami. During her time at Miami, Jay took advantage of its global programs, interning at a Shanghai law firm through the Farmer School of Business’ CRCC Asia program and participating in Miami’s Luxembourg program. Jay graduated in 2019 from the MAcc program and started full-time at EY (Cincinnati) as a tax staff member in their financial services organization group. “I had the opportunity to travel to a risk management conference when I was a MAcc student, and became interested in that field.”
Jay currently works at TikTok as part of the monetization integrity group. In this role, she works on risk assessments and mitigation implementations to improve user experience in the ad ecosystem.