Loni Woodley, CPA is the Managing Partner of ATLAS CPAs & Advisors PLLC, an ATLAS Navigators LLC Firm. Before ATLAS came to be, Loni cut his teeth in public accounting as a Senior Manager at McGladery. Loni then spent time as a CFO for a large organization before starting and becoming Partner at the first ATLAS location in Colorado, then known as Accounting For Success.
One location quickly grew to two which quickly grew to now 17 locations ten years later through successful mergers and acquisitions. Throughout his years in public accounting, Loni has honed his skills in accounting and tax, merging in other offices, Partners and key team members and transforming ATLAS to what it is today.
ATLAS is now focused on the greater need of its clients, as a true advisory and consultative partner to help them steady their day-to-day while focusing on the big picture. The promise of ATLAS to clients is to give their business the same attention they do and the firm was built around the motto, Advisors That Listen And Serve.
After growing up in New Delhi, India, Nitin Gupta, CPA moved to the states in 1990. Nitin began as a bookkeeper and transitioned to tax work in 1993 in California. In 2003, he left the LA traffic behind and moved to Phoenix, AZ where he saw a need for a well versed CPA to advise clients. He has over 25 years of experience in all accounting services on the personal and business side.
After merging his firm with ATLAS in 2017, Nitin has contributed to the growth of ATLAS on the merger and acquisition side as well as the addition of new service lines within the firm. Nitin has a passion for consulting and helping his clients grow and achieve their personal and business goals. He continues to live his life on his steadfast belief to never forget where one comes from.
Eric is the partner in charge of the ATLAS firm in Denver and works with the other Colorado ATLAS firms. He is also a partner in the firm’s affiliate Capital Advisors LLC handling business brokerage transactions. Prior to entering public accounting in 1987, Eric worked as the CFO for a distribution company. This gave him a strong foundation in dealing with the financial issues that business owners need help with to succeed.
His passion for helping business owners led him to develop the Atlas outsourced CFO services department, giving assistance with financial management, budget and cash flow planning, ownership transition issues and human resource matters. Eric completed his undergraduate work at the University of Colorado Boulder and Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Eric lives in southeast Denver with his wife Sally. He enjoys travel adventures with her and is a long time running enthusiast. He gets an immense amount of satisfaction in striving to have a positive impact on everyone he knows – be it through business, family, friendships, or his longtime volunteer work for peace initiatives.
Karl M. Killmer, CPA, CVA, is a Regional Managing Partner of ATLAS CPAs & Advisors PLLC, an ATLAS Navigators LLC Firm. Before ATLAS came to be, Karl cut his teeth in public accounting as a Partner-in-Charge at the Casper Office of McGladery & Pullen LLP. Karl then spent time as a member of Macy & Associates, LLC, before starting and becoming Partner-in-Charge of Killmer & Associates, P.C. In 2020, Karl became a Partner-in-Charge of the Casper office for ATLAS CPAs & Advisors PLLC.
Karl is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Wyoming Society of Certified Public Accountants (WSCPA), and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA). Karl Killmer is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Valuation Analyst with over 40 years’ experience in auditing, cost accounting, income tax preparation and planning, business and strategic planning, estate planning, income tax analysis, and related financial consultation services.
When Karl is not working with clients, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He also enjoys the occasional round of golf, boating and reading.
ATLAS Partner, Ken Kolek, oversees our Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Marion, Illinois offices; in addition to being our Regional Managing Partner, and Midwest Development Director for ATLAS locations in Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio. Following Ken’s graduation from U.S. Marine Corps Training and the Naval Aviation Flight Academy; he graduated from the University of Northern Iowa. Ken has nearly 50 years of experience in the areas of accounting and business consulting. Prior to starting his own accounting and consulting firm, Prototype Consulting Services Inc., in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the mid-80s, Ken spent time working as an accountant with top-ranked CPA firm, McGladrey and Pullen (now RSM), as a comptroller for one of the largest area real estate firms, and as a controller for an international distributor. In addition to this, he spent time in the industries of farming, telecommunications, and construction, giving him direct, personal insight into the needs of his clients. At Prototype, Ken provided strategic transactions and operations management services to business clients in over 20 states. He helped with initial business setup, business plan implementation, business strategies for growth or recovery, and business reorganization; as well as tax planning and preparation; while helping his clients achieve status awards as top volume new businesses, several years in a row. Later, Ken merged his firm with ATLAS CPAs & Advisors PLLC, allowing Ken to continue providing the high-level business accounting and consulting services his clients appreciated, while expanding the service offerings and resources available to his clients, to include the many other areas of expertise that can be found within ATLAS. Ken is heavily involved with his local community, and is passionate about helping others.
He has coached baseball and basketball, winning state titles in Eastern and Northern Iowa; is involved with his local Rotary; sits on the board with several community service and ministry organizations; seeks volunteer opportunities for mentoring others such as a Big Brother and Hope Community Development; is working on a farm conversion that will serve as an educational safe space for at-risk youth; and is a board member with several national organizations. Ken’s hands-on approach with non-profit organizations has led him to be an expert in non-profit accounting and tax services, as well as an excellent resource to all ATLAS clients in the non-profit sector.
In and out of the office, Ken enjoys spending time with his wife, Ginni – an Accounting Manager with ATLAS. Together, they have four adult children.
Brendan J. Kennedy is a highly recognized Business Valuation Expert within the state of Arizona and is a partner with ATLAS CPAs and Advisors PLLC. Mr. Kennedy is responsible for all business valuation and litigation support services within the firm and brings over 35 years in finance and accounting, with emphasis in business valuation, litigation support, financial analysis and presentation, forecasting, and mergers and acquisitions.
He serves clients in many different industries including manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, retail, healthcare, law, real estate and other professional services. Mr. Kennedy has also testified as an expert witness in the area of business valuation and economic damages in both state and federal courts. Mr. Kennedy’s certifications and credentials are a testament to his devotion to the profession to which he has dedicated his career.
Below is a list of Mr. Kennedy’s academic achievements, professional credentials and affiliations.
Academic Achievements and Professional Credentials:
Brendan grew up on a farm in Northwest Iowa along with his mom and 10 brothers and sisters. At 93, his mom still lives on the farm but she likes to spend a bit of time in Phoenix in the winter.
Kelli Berardi joined the ATLAS Partner ranks in September of 2019, right before finishing her Masters in Accounting and Finance. Kelli is a Partner in our Arizona offices, splitting time between the Northwest Phoenix and Scottsdale offices, while also working on projects for clients across the firm’s locations.
When she’s not working with the tax team or clients, you can find her watching all the forensic and true crime shows. She’s a self-proclaimed true crime junky!
Before making the jump into the public accounting world and after graduating from Concordia College in MN with his BA in Accounting, Kelly was a Controller and CFO of a residential construction company for 11 years. Kelly now has over 13 years of public accounting experience, with 7 of those years spent at ATLAS.
Kelly grew at ATLAS, starting as a Manager in our Denver office and later transitioning to the Colorado Springs office as a Partner. Throughout this journey, he got to know our team and clients well. Outside of the office walls, Kelly enjoys watching sports, playing golf, and spending time with his wife, 3 daughters, and dogs.
Kelly Kleven, CPA, is a member of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and COCPA (Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants).
Tom Frazier, CPA, has been a Partner since 2013 when his Phoenix area tax and accounting firm merged with ATLAS CPAs & Advisors PLLC. He brings more than 50 years of experience to ATLAS, which includes his time as a controller, CFO, and VP of Finance in the private sector, along with more than 40 years in public accounting.
Following graduation from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelors in Business Administration, Tom worked with two large, regional CPA firms in Idaho and his home state of Washington. He later moved to Arizona as the CFO of a large real estate developer. In 1993, Tom started his own CPA firm in Mesa, AZ, and spent the next 20 years building this well-respected business.
“I most enjoy helping clients minimize state and federal taxes by using planning opportunities that are unique to their individual circumstances.” Tom’s experience in private accounting put him in the position of the client, giving him a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of each client and their needs.
Tom’s long history in public accounting has taught him the ins and outs of numerous matters relevant to his clients, while establishing the importance of always staying up-to-date with the latest tax law changes from the IRS and states. Through all of this, Tom gained expert knowledge in income tax planning and compliance, with the specific purpose of helping individual clients and business owners in the areas of taxation, estate planning, business mergers and acquisitions, and real estate transactions.
With Tom’s personalized, comprehensive approach for tailored tax savings suggestions, it is no wonder he has developed so many close working relationships over the years. Merging with ATLAS has benefited Tom, his team, and his clients. While Tom’s primary areas of practice continue to be high-level taxation, accounting, and advisory, he appreciates being able to tap into the expertise of the other ATLAS Partners and their teams. This has allowed Tom to assist his clients with those matters that typically fall outside the realm of traditional accounting, such as financial planning services, business valuation, risk management, and more.
Fun fact! Tom spent 15 years in the Big Sky Conference as an on-field referee for college football. He also spent six years as an instant-replay official, and two years in the instant-replay booth for Arizona Cardinals games. Outside of work, Tom enjoys traveling, boating, and sports.
Nicole earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Colorado State University. Prior to joining our firm, she was an accountant in the private industry for eight years.
She and her husband own L1 Automotive, an automotive repair business in Northern Colorado, giving her invaluable and unique insight into the day-to-day challenges and responsibilities faced by the small business owner. A member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Colorado Society of CPAs, Nicole says her favorite part of her career with ATLAS is working with, and getting to know, the wonderful clients that we serve–getting acquainted with their families and watching them change and grow every year.
Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons at home in the foothills of Larimer County, where they love seeing the wildlife native to the area. As a family, they enjoy camping, boating, and 4-wheeling. Favorite vacation destinations include Moab and Lake Powell in Utah.
Michael Abbate is an ATLAS LPG (Lifestyle Planning Group) Partner. Michael’s background spans 23 years of industry experience, which began on institutional capital markets and commodities trading floors around the world, including New York, Chicago, London and Paris. He made the switch to individual and small business planning and consulting nearly 15 years ago, desiring to connect with clients on a personal level that impacted their families and businesses, rather than overnight and across the oceans.
Gary Mitchell, CPA, is a Tax Partner out of our Amarillo location. With 35 years of experience, his specialties are income taxation and planning for commercial entities, corporations, individuals, and trusts, including S-corporations, closely held companies, and accounting method changes.
Gary stays very involved in his community as Treasurer of the Rotary Club of Amarillo, a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and more.
Thomas Justiss, CPA, is a Partner out of our Amarillo, TX office. Thomas has been with the Amarillo location since 1999. With 22 years of experience, he has extensive expertise in tax and accounting services for clients.
Thomas has been married for 24 years, has one child, and two bulldogs. Outside the office and working with clients, he enjoys time with family and friends, hiking and exploring the mountains, travel, and always loves good food and whiskey.
Darla Chappell, CPA, is a Tax Partner in our Floydada, TX location and works with several CMMS offices in Texas and across ATLAS. With over 35 years of experience in preparing individual, partnership, corporation and trust tax returns, Darla is also a member of the Texas Society of Public Accountants. Her husband has farmed for many years and she has extensive experience in working with farmers, tax planning and the tax laws associated with agriculture.
Ray Pendergast, CPA, is a Tax Partner in West Texas (our CMMS locations). As a Certified Public Accountant, he has more than 37 years of experience working in a variety of sectors, including education, research, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, and wealth-management.
He enjoys working in partnership with his clients to maximize their position through the use of quality financial, accounting, and tax information. When Ray is not working, he can be found in the company of family and friends.
Barb joined ATLAS as a Partner with the merger of our Longmont, CO office. She earned her Bachelor of Science with a Major in Accounting from Colorado State University in 2000 and has been engaged in the practice of accounting since 1995. In 2002, Barb founded the former firm with her mom, Mary Naud. Since then, the firm joined ATLAS in 2020. Barb is a member of the Colorado Society of CPAs and the AICPA.
In addition to her expertise in tax planning, preparation, and accounting for individuals and small businesses, Barb has years of experience in performing non-profit and government audits. Barb has three children—two girls and a boy. She is an active volunteer at her kids’ schools and loves traveling, camping, and skiing with her family and friends.
Tyler Scott joined ATLAS as part of a merger with our Cincinnati locations. He strives to cultivate clients’ success through delivering exceptional accounting and advisory services. No matter the size or type of clients, all receive a promise – we will understand your priorities and solve problems together. This philosophy and personalized attention have enabled the firm to expand in the Cincinnati area, and others, serving a full array of accounting services to a diverse mix of businesses and families.
Tyler has a passion for coaching owners of closely held businesses. He thrives on supporting their financial wellness and finds great satisfaction when those relationships spawn referrals to other individuals, a true measure of being a trusted advisor. Tyler has grown his breadth of financial knowledge by moving through roles in these functions since he joined the former firm in 2009, forming the basis for business advisory expertise.
Tyler is a life-long resident of Cincinnati and a graduate of The University of Cincinnati. He has a natural curiosity about applications of math and science in the world around us and enjoys relaxing on a golf course or listening to his extensive music collection.
Katrina Owens, CPA, joined the rank of ATLAS Partner in January 2022 as an Audit Partner out of the Amarillo, TX office. Prior to joining the Amarillo office, she was in private accounting for 11 years. With 22 years of experience, she has extensive experience in auditing and accounting.
Katrina completed her degrees in Bachelor of Business Administration and her Master of Professional Accounting at West Texas A&M University. She currently lives in Amarillo with her husband Dustin. When away from the office, Katrina enjoys traveling with her husband and son and spending time with family and friends.
Thomas N. Gearhart, Jr., a practicing CPA for over forty years, helps his clients achieve their objectives and keep more of what they earn. As a partner, Thom manages ATLAS full-service locations in Woodland Park and La Jara, Colorado, and co-manages ATLAS’s Colorado Springs location with Kelly Kleven. Thom is regionally published for his work on tax resolution and tax strategy, and is often invited as a guest speaker at tax and accounting industry conferences. In addition to earning his CPA, Thom is a Certified Tax Strategist (CTS), a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives (FACMPE) and is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Colorado Society of CPAs, Medical Group Management Association, holds active CPA licenses in Colorado and Illinois, and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant.
He is an avid racquetball player, and recently completed his first marathon at age 70. Thom graduated from Brigham Young University in 1977 earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. Thom and his lovely wife, Teresa, have eight children and twenty-five grandchildren.
Before joining ATLAS CPAs and Advisors, Nancy Rix led the Dickerson Rix and Company team in the area of audit and assurance with 30-plus years of public and private experience. In 2002, she and LouAnna Dickerson partnered to create Dickerson Rix and Co. Nancy grew the audit side of the practice at Dickerson Rix, adding both nonprofit and for-profit clients in a wide variety of industries.
Prior to private practice, Nancy spent five years as a Senior Manager and then Director with Ernst and Young, LLP, and PriceWaterhouse Coopers, LLP, respectively, in their Chicago-based specialty transaction services groups. She led world-wide buy-side and sell-side engagements in a variety of industries. Her clients included financial as well as strategic buyers and sellers. From 1992 to 1994, she was Assistant Controller for a publicly-owned manufacturing firm and was responsible for SEC filings, banking relationships, and internal reporting.
Early in her public accounting career, she spent two years working for the CFO of Bank of America as a technical analyst responsible for dealings with the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Nancy began her career in 1984 as a member of the audit staff of Arthur Young and Company. There, Nancy serviced large multi-nationals and high technology corporations.
Lou Anna Dickerson was the founding partner of Dickerson Rix and Company. She has 40-plus years of experience in the accounting field, primarily serving closely held corporations and high net worth individuals. LouAnna gained her experience working in the tax department of the predecessor to Deloitte and Touche, LLP, Touche Ross and Co. She also served both publicly-owned multi-nationals as well as closely held corporations. She has been the tax manager for a Fortune 500 company.
LouAnna was a tax manager with a large regional firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, counseling clients on a broad range of issues, including divestitures, acquisitions, and compliance. In 1976, LouAnna began practicing as a CPA working for a regional firm in San Jose, California. LouAnna is an active member of the Rancho Bernardo Rotary Club, and she is past Treasurer for the San Diego Foundation’s Rancho Bernardo Satellite chapter and the Blue Sky Ecological Preserve Foundation.
Elaine K. Pressler, CPA/ABV, joined ATLAS as a Partner in our Akron and Canton, Ohio offices in January 2023. She has more than 30 years of experience in the practice of Public Accounting, with areas of expertise in small business advisory services, business and individual tax return preparation, business valuations, firm management, and more.
“I enjoy helping small businesses with many diverse issues, and getting to know my clients’ needs so that I am able to help them on their business journey, while saving their tax dollars.”
Elaine graduated with a BA from Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, with triple majors of Accounting, Finance, and Business Management. In addition to having her CPA (Certified Public Accountant), she has also earned and maintained her ABV licensure (Accredited in Business Valuations.)
Elaine first developed an interest in accounting during a high school course. She enjoyed the class immensely and excelled quickly. Her love of accounting only deepened as she pursued higher education and a career path devoted to accounting services and fulfilling the needs of her clients.
Over the years, Elaine has worked in a variety of positions contributing to her vast knowledge and expertise in business, tax, and accounting. She spent 15 years in finance in the life insurance industry as a controller, CFO, and operations principal. She then owned and operated E.K. Pressler & Co. CPAs, her tax and accounting practice in Ohio, for many years before joining forces with Shields-Blice. As a principal at the firm, Elaine worked alongside the well-respected owner, Scott Shields, for nearly 10 years. Shields-Blice merged with ATLAS CPAs & Advisors PLLC in 2022. Upon Scott’s retirement, Elaine was asked to step in as Partner for ATLAS’s northeastern Ohio offices.
As a Partner of ATLAS, Elaine seeks to serve those around her – whether that be her clients, her staff, or her peers. It is her passion to help others, find answers, and pursue growth. Elaine places a high value on client relationships, communication, and serving her clients’ unique needs as best she can. She spent many years working alongside auditors, attorneys, investment professionals, bankers, and more; and several years working with regional CPA firms. She understands the importance of having connections that serve her clients.
There are many areas of expertise that can be found within ATLAS. By having a direct connection to these valuable resources, Elaine is able to expand the network she had already developed, to provide her clients with more holistic care.
“My greatest joy in life is my family” – When away from the office, Elaine enjoys spending time with her 3 adult children and their families, including 3 grandchildren.
Andrew Wendt joined ATLAS CPAs & Advisors at the Partner level on January 1st, 2024. He brings more than 13 years of experience to ATLAS, including time spent performing audits in public accounting, as well as internal audits.
Andrew has spent the past 3 years as a Senior Audit Manager in ATLAS’s Northwest Phoenix and South Phoenix locations, performing audits for clients across the country.
Andrew graduated from DeVry University with a Bachelors in Accounting; following which he attended Keller Graduate School of Management where he earned his MAFM – Masters in Accounting and Financial Management – in 2012. Post-graduation, Andrew spent more than a decade handling public accounting audit work in various sectors, including government, education, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, and more. His years in internal auditing provided the unique perspective of participating in audits from the client side when external auditors were present. Andrew leans into this experience and insight to ensure a smooth process and a high level of care for his clients.
Exemplary work and impressive leadership qualities, made Andrew a logical choice for a Partner promotion with ATLAS. When asked what he loves most about his chosen career, Wendt said, “I most enjoy the satisfaction from my clients;” and it shows in Andrew’s commitment to high level, professional audit work, with positive client relationships. His favorite type of audit work is with government, school district, and non-profit organizations.
“I am beyond grateful for everything ATLAS has provided me with. I look forward to continued success here at the firm, and seeing our audit team and other employees continue to develop and grow into their careers.
ATLAS stands for ‘Advisors That Listen And Serve’ and I try to keep that in mind throughout my work day. Our team is great at keeping the client in mind and making sure they are completely happy with the outcome of the services provided. Overall, I feel we have a team in place that will keep growing the firm, while also giving clients the satisfaction of successful services in all areas of audit, tax, accounting, and more, as provided by ATLAS.”
Outside of the office, Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife, and their 2 children. They enjoy pool time with family and friends; and love traveling the world together. He plays men’s softball, and coaches his son’s baseball and football teams.