Kelly D'Emilia, President of Innovative Advocate Group, Inc. (“IA Group”), graduated from Widener University in 1990 with her MBA/MST. Kelly first began work in the Fortune 500 Company, Sun Oil Company, corporate accounting group and then moved into public accounting at Arthur Andersen LLP, working in their Federal and State and Local group, specializing in Sales and Use Tax. From Arthur Andersen LLP, Kelly then moved onto PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where she led the State and Local Abandoned and Unclaimed Property (“AUP”) practice as their Metro New York AUP Leader. Kelly has over 30 years of experience with abandoned and unclaimed property, yet throughout her career, has worked with large and mid-size companies assisting in all areas of state tax consulting. Kelly has participated in and spoken at regional Lorman Education Seminars, COST Seminars, UPPO (Unclaimed Property Professional Organization), Tax Executive Institute, as well as other various seminars and webinars.
Kelly began her AUP career working as an advocate, assisting companies with various state abandoned and unclaimed property issues, including quantifying abandoned and unclaimed property exposure, voluntarily disclosing historical unclaimed liability for various states, audit defense proceedings with various states, developing company’s policies and procedures in response to Sarbanes/Oxley requirements, implementing AUP systems designed to facilitate the abandoned and unclaimed property compliance process, and determining calculations for FAS 5 reserve requirements. Kelly has worked with the oil and gas, entertainment, construction, food service, private equity, financial service, and retail industries, among others.
In 2014, Kelly started IA Group. IA Group offers certain attributes that distinguishes itself from other providers, such as experience in both reviews of General Ledger property ("general ledger"), as well as financial services related to the equity or managed asset areas (“equity”). While most State auditors specialize in either general ledger or equity audits, IA Group brings knowledge and experience in both audit areas, as well as deep project management skills, data acquisition and validation skills, an in-depth understanding of dormancy rules, and a great understanding of industry specific issues and occurrences (e.g. decentralization of processes, mergers and acquisitions, etc.).
Suzanne Tardy graduated from Rutgers University School of Business with a B.S. in Accounting. She garnered valuable auditing experience from her position as a senior accountant at Freidman LLP and a Finance Department Manager at Tumi, Inc. She reviews documentation provided by holders, conducts background research about company clients under audit, and monitors the availability of State RFPs for Abandoned and Unclaimed Property contracts.
Tory Manfre graduated from Monmouth University with a B.S. in Business Administration, concentration in Accounting. He worked for Victoria’s Secret, where he not only processed, audited, and organized company documents, but also managed supply and payroll budgets as well. At IA Group, he analyzes and reviews financial statements and documents provided by holders. Additionally, he analyzes entity revenue matrices and outstanding account balance reviews and prepares audit work papers for the State and holders.
Through our audit and examination services, it is the goal of IA Group to efficiently identify and recover property from Holders that are subject to report and deliver said property under the respective State Abandoned Property Laws.
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Pete Skarzynski graduated from Jersey City State College with a Bachelor of Science. He came to us from the public sector with thirty years of law enforcement experience and skills. Throughout his career he was responsible for thousands of investigations. During his tenure in law enforcement he redesigned, implemented and administered his employer’s IT department and reporting protocols. He is currently pursuing an advanced degree.
Michael Lubischer graduated from Monmouth University with a B.S. in Business Administration, concentration Accounting. He previously worked at both Capital One Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. At Wells Fargo, he started as an intern, but eventually worked his way up to a position as a personal banker, where he uncovered consumer and business customers’ financial needs and educated customers on credit and spending. At Capital One Bank, he managed branch operations and cash handling assisted in Home Equity processing and closings. His vast and varied experience in the banking system allows for new ideas to constantly be introduced into our auditing procedures so that they stay efficient and up to date.
Bushra Javaid graduated from Monmouth University with a M.S. in Accounting, minor in Information Technology. She was a graduate assistant working under the accounting department for Monmouth University assisting professors with industry research. She worked for Chris Whallen, CPA assisting with tax returns, and creating weekly reports for the Controller. She analyzes holder documentation including form 1120, form 851 and bank statements.
Karen Carson graduated from Marist College with a B.S. in Business Administration, concentration in marketing. She was an independent contractor specializing in all forms of bookkeeping, examples being accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll services, invoicing, and bank reconciliations. Her background in financial analysis and reporting have proved invaluable to IA Group as she reviews documentation provided by holders.
Eric Burke obtained his Bachelor’s in Accounting, minor in Information Technology, and Master of Business Administration from Monmouth University. Before joining IA Group, he worked with the Assurance service line of Ernst & Young where he analyzed financial statement reporting for both public and non-public entities. Eric performed various testing of balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow accounts. He also played an important role in assessing the effectiveness of client’s internal controls and procedures for financial reporting in accordance with standards established by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). Eric’s project management skills and prior experience in AUP are a valuable asset to the Innovative Advocate Group team.
Steven Wood graduated from Pace University with his MBA in Finance and a B.S. in Business Administration. He was hired by IA Group due to his leadership experience, background in finance, and success in trading on Wall Street. With his broad knowledge of various financial markets and his exposure to numerous types of securities, Steven was an invaluable member of his Wall Street firm. He was pivotal in bringing his Wall Street firm from Tier 3 relationships up to Tier 1 relationships, and elevated his firm’s profile by making relations with better brokers.
On Wall Street, Steven showed he could effectively tackle larger tasks and responsibilities. While employed by Ark Asset Management Co., Inc., Steven lead a trading desk team that had over 6 billion dollars in Assets Under Management (AUM), over 36% of the company’s total AUM. The assets were comprised of both government and mortgage backed securities.
Steven gives IA Group an edge in communication with companies and allows IA Group to look at audits from a different perspective. Additionally, his ability to quickly confirm and sort through market research allows audits IA Group conducts to proceed faster and more efficiently.
Robert D’Emilia graduated from Villanova University with a B.A. in Political Sciences and obtained his law degree from St. John's University, School of Law. He serves as IA Group’s in-house counsel and reviews the majority of the legal documentation sent between IA Group and the States. He prepares and reviews administrative documents and has over 30 years of counseling experience.
Ryan Coleman graduated from Flagler College with a B.A. in both Accounting, Business Administration and a minor in Finance. He was an Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable Specialist at 758 Route 18 Associates LLC. In this position he was responsible for tenant invoice preparation, bill payment and assisted company's accountants in the preparation of financial statements and tax returns.
Gerard Meyer graduated from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Business Administration, concentration in Accounting. He worked as a Payroll Auditor in the Division of Employer Accounts for the NJ Department of Labor, and was also employed as a Level II Tax Preparer for Liberty Tax Service. He was tasked with examining tax returns, payroll records, unreported payroll expenses as well as keeping current with tax laws. His background allows him to improve IA Group’s audit procedures by providing insight into related tax laws, and quickly perform data analyses through his proficient technical skills.
Cathleen Coleman graduated from Baruch College, City University of New York with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. She worked in client rates of return reporting for Smith Barney Asset Management. She has also worked in bookkeeping and held administrative duties for an automotive parts warehouse. At IA Group, she reviews various financial statements including income statements, balance sheets, Form 851s and Form 1120s.
Innovative Advocate Group, Inc. distinguishes itself from other providers through its industry experience with both reviews of General Ledger property, as well as financial services related to the equity or managed assets areas. While most auditing and consulting firms specialize in either general ledger or equity audits, Innovative Advocate Group, Inc. brings knowledge and experience in both audit areas. Innovative Advocate Group, Inc. also prides itself on its project management skills, data acquisition and validation skills, an in-depth understanding of Abandoned Property State Laws, and a substantial understanding of industry specific issues and occurrences.
Innovative Advocate Group, Inc.'s mission is to assist the states in reuniting more property with their rightful owners, which positively impacts the lives of their citizens and helps grow the economy of the states.
Dylan Curry graduated from Monmouth University with a B.S. in Business Administration, concentration in Accounting. He joined IA Group as an intern while in his final year of college. He assisted in the review of property types, such as Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable as well as bank statements. After graduation, he joined IA Group full-time.