Welcome Sarah Viana

Jul 20, 2015

Sarah is joining us as the Director of Organizational Development. She is a dynamic results oriented leader with over 16 years of progressive human resource management experience in the accounting industry. Sarah has had exceptional success in identifying, recruiting students and developing top performers that consistently deliver the highest business results. She has a proven ability to identify, develop and execute business initiatives as well as tailor solutions to meet individual needs. Sarah graduated from State University of Buffalo with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Human Resources Management.

Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo

Jul 20, 2015

Ronald McDonald House® of Buffalo, opened in 1983 with the single focus of providing a "home away from home" for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. Since that time, more than 17,000 families from Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania, the country and the world, have benefited from the comfort provided by the our House.

On Monday, July 20th, the Helping Hands team participated in the Cooks for Kids program at the Ronald McDonald House. Our team planned and cooked a meal that was served to families of seriously ill children receiving treatment.

Hawk Creek Wildlife Center

Jun 26, 2015

Hawk Creek Wildlife Center is an accredited wildlife sanctuary. They are a non-profit group without public funding, primarily staffed by volunteers, yet they successfully rehabilitate hundreds of animals each year for release into the wild while offering permanent sanctuary to over seventy non-releasable animals.

On Friday, June 26th, our Helping Hands crew was at Hawk Creek Wildlife Center in East Aurora. They are in the process of relocating and rebuilding their center, the winter took a heavy toll on their existing facility so they are trying to get the animals moved ahead of schedule before next winter. Our volunteers helped rebuild homes for their animals.

2015 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge

Jun 25, 2015

Our office annually participates in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Buffalo.  The challenge is a 3.5-mile run/walk in Delaware Park.  This year our team competed against 396 teams with 11,914 runners.  After the run, our team got together for a cookout and shared fun stories about the day.  Look for us at the challenge next year.

Click here for photos.

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden

Jun 12, 2015

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Garden is a living museum dedicated to advancing appreciate for and knowledge of plant life and its connection to people and cultures through its documented living plant collection, historic conservatory, education, research and exhibits.

On June 12, 2015, volunteers from our Helping Hands team went back to help the Garden beautify their landscaping.  Volunteers planted annuals that will be there for visitors to enjoy for years to come. 

Dress Down Fridays 2015

May 15, 2015

From Friday, April 24th through Friday, September 4th, our firm will participate in Dress Down Fridays to support different charitable organization each week.

So far, we have supported the following causes:

- April 24: MS Walk. Lynne Gross, Tax Manager, has participated in the MS walk in honor of her mother for 12 years. Her mom was diagnosed with MS in 1995 and she lived with its affects until her passing in 2003. This was Lynne’s 13th year waking in her memory.

- May 1: The YWCA of Niagara Frontier Domestic Violence program. They have saved thousands of lives and have provided safety and resources for countless women and children.

- May 8: Ride for Roswell. Valerie Kaufman, Senior Accountant, will be participating in the Ride on Saturday, June 27th in memory of her mom. This is her 3rd year of participating.

- May 15: The Massachusetts Avenue Project. The Massachusetts Avenue Project proudly hosts the Growing Green Program, a youth development and urban agriculture program about increasing healthy food access and improving our communities.

- May 22: Evergreen Health Services of Western New York. In memory of our own Rosemarie Steeb, who passed on May 21st, we are donating this week's collection to Evergreen. Evergreen is on the front lines of the fight against HIV/AIDS. Rosemarie had someone very dear to her who has successfully battled this disease for 15 years and it is organizations like Evergreen that has provided invaluable support on her journey.

- May 29 / June 5: Hope for Two. Hope for Two...The Pregnant with Cancer Network is dedicated to providing women diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with information, support and hope. This organization was created by Molly Murray's (our receptionist) mother after being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer while pregnant in 1996.

- June 12: Hawk Creek Wildlife Inc. Hawk Creek is dedicated to creating and knowledge of the natural world and its relationship to humankind through conservation of the earth's wildlife, environmental education, wildlife rehabilitation, and sanctuary for animals.

- June 19: Cradle Beach Camp. For 125 years Cradle Beach has served thousands of children with disabilities and those who come from some of the poorest sections of Buffalo and Western New York. Cradle Beach offers three unique programs that meet the educational, social, emotional and physical needs of each child while helping those children achieve their full potential in life.

- June 26: Hospice Chautauqua County. In memory of our own William "Bill" Karin, who passed away on June 13th, our collection will be donated to Hospice Chautauqua County. Hospice Chautauqua County is dedicated to restoring comfort, dignity and control to the lives of patients and families in Chautauqua County facing a serious or terminal illness, as well as educating our community about palliative and hospice care.

- July 1: Hasek's Heroes. Hasek’s Heroes provides a foundation of athletic development and educational support, enabling children from low to moderate income families to achieve their future life goals. It provides them the opportunity to learn basic skating and hockey skills and, for those with the aptitude and commitment, the opportunity to participate in the tiered hockey development program. Hasek’s Heroes works in partnership with the Buffalo Public School System to promote academic achievement as an integral component of athletics.

- July 10: AFS Intercultural Programs. AFS Intercultural Programs supports intercultural exchanges to promote peace and understanding between people of all cultures from all over the world. Tax Principal, Gina McDonough, has been involved with the organization for 10 years. In August 2005, her family hosted their first international student and have hosted 5 more students since then.

- July 17: Wings Flights of Hope Inc. Wings Flights of Hope helps people in need of free air transportation for medical and humanitarian purposes. Wings does not want transportation to stand in the way of a patient receiving the best possible treatment available.

- July 31: The Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo. The Ronald McDonald House is a community supported organization dedicated to children and their families by offering a "home away from home" by providing lodging and emotional support for families of children receiving medical treatment in Buffalo. In addition to this week's donation, our Helping Hands crew particpates in the 'Cooks for Kids' program. Volunteers for this program shop and prepare meals for the guests staying at the House.

- August 7: Compass House. Compass House provides runaway, homeless and street youth with safe shelter and services, through a voluntary and mutually agreed-upon process, in an environment that supports dignity, respect and self-reliance. In a context where young people live in unsafe homes, on the edge of homelessness and with few options, we consider our mission a vital one.

- August 14: Miles for Smiles - Going the Distance for Kids. Miles for Smiles benefits the Craniofacial Center of Western NY and the Comprehensive Oral Health for disabled Youth Program at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for patients with special needs and craniofacial anomalies through fundraising for education and support.

- August 21: Pink Tie Guy - Susan G. Komen Western New York. Through the end of October Susan G. Komen is promoting the Pink Tie Guy initiative. Pink Tie Guys provide financial and personal support to the mission of Susan G. Komen® Western New York, and create awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Landmark Wealth Management's Mark Collard is committing to a “give-or-get” pledge of at least $500 and collect funds through October 2015.

- August 28: Habitat for Humanity. Tax Senior Manager Joanne Bender has worked on the board the past four years, assisting with the financial reporting and getting more information to help with decision making. Her assistance has lead to some significant changes in house pricing and matching families with houses they can afford. Habitat Buffalo is always looking for volunteers to help in many different ways.

- September 4: Brian Blesy Memorial Scholarship - Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Tax Supervisor Lisa Szarleta and her family started the fund for this scholarship in 1998 with help from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo in memory of Lisa's brother who played football with the spirit that showed his love of the sport. This scholarship is given out to a Springville-Griffith Institute graduating Senior who not only played football, but played it with a great love of the sport like Brian did. Over the last few years, this scholarship has been one of the largest given out at Springville’s high school graduation and we will be increasing the scholarship amount next year. This has helped to keep Brian’s memory alive and helped those pursuing football in college. On Saturday, September 12, 2015, the 13th Brian Blesy Memorial Golf Tournament and Picnic will be held at Concord Crest in East Concord.

CTBK is Awarded Recruiting Organization of the Year

May 06, 2015

CTBK proudly received the University at Buffalo School of Management's Recruiting Organization of the Year award during a ceremony at the Buffalo Club.

This award is given by the Career Resource Center to honor an organization for its impact on students' career development. CTBK was chosen to receive this award because of the breadth and depth of our relationship with the school.

Michael Schaffstall, CPA, CTBK partner and UB alumni, accepted the award on behalf of the firm during the ceremony. "The rapid growth we have enjoyed over the years would not have been possible without the partnership we have with UB," said Schaffstall. "Due to significant client wins last fall, we had a need and wanted to shift our internship philosophy. With the help of the School of Management Career Resource Center we were able to achieve our staffing goals and add seven interns to the CTBK team."

In Fall 2014, CTBK decided to change its philosophy on the internship process. "We want to start focusing on exceptional juniors, as well as seniors, to continue to build a strong future for our firm," said Schaffstall.

To further this new philosophy, CTBK will offer a one-day leadership program for students interested in learning more about the firm and the accounting industry. The program, entitled 'The L.E.A.D. Summit', will allow students to participate in teambuilding exercises, speak with CTBK clients, and develop themselves as leaders. This will be the first year for the program and will be held on July 24, 2015.

CTBK's Buffalo's Biggest Trivia Competition Accomplishment

May 06, 2015

On Friday, April 17 at 6pm, Buffalo's Biggest Trivia Competition was held at Salvatore's Italian Gardens to benefit Cradle Beach. Even though we didn't win, we were very proud to be the highest fundraising team. Our CTBK Trivia Gurus:

Steve Brady
Charlie Chiampou
Gene Kershner
Jon Pellish
Steve Baxley (guest CTBKer)

Cradle Beach has served thousands of children with disabilities and those who come from some of the poorest sections of Buffalo and Western New York. Cradle Beach offers three unique programs that meet the educational, social, emotional and physical needs of each child while helping those children achieve their full potential in life.

All proceeds from the competition and the cocktail party will benefit Cradle Beach programs and services, including:

Residential Summer Enrichment Program - Every summer nearly 800 children are served in this summer camping program – the program addresses the academic "summer slide" that low-income children experience that contributes greatly towards these children not graduating from high school. Children with and without disabilities are fully integrated in this program, allowing for all children to have full access to all programming and services while living together in cabin units.

Project SOAR - A school-based educational and leadership program grounded in our philosophy that students who are engaged with peers from diverse backgrounds, in an active learning environment, will develop the skills they need to succeed in school, career, and life.

Respite - A program that offers a reprieve from the daily tasks associated with caring for a loved one who needs special attention.

Gregg Gallson Earns CVA Credential

Apr 22, 2015

Greggory P. Gallson has earned the designation of Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA).

Mr. Gallson is a Business Valuation Consultant at Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP in Amherst, NY. He has been with the firm since 2008, and has over seven years of experience. He graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics/Finance.

As a CVA, Mr. Gallson is an expert in preparing valuations in various situations, including estate and succession planning, litigation, the sale of a business, or the development of a buy-sell agreement between business owners.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines. Visit them at www.nacva.com

Welcome Christina Barone

Apr 22, 2015


Christina Barone, CPA joined our firm in March as a Senior Staff Accountant to assist us with our busiest time of the year. We are pleased to announce that Christina has decided to join us full-time as a Tax Manager. She brings 9 years of business experience including extensive experience in public accounting.

Christina is also very involved in the community. She is the incoming chapter president of the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance, a board member of the Pro Zoo, and on the Finance Committee of Susan G. Komen of Western New York. Christina graduated from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.