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Lauren Gleba Burns Honored as Fisher’s Accounting Alumnus of the Year

April 1, 2019

St. John Fisher College honored Lauren Gleba Burns ’82 as its 2019 Accounting Alumnus of the Year during the 30th annual Accounting Awards Banquet, held on Thursday, March 28.

Dean Rama Yelkur, Lauren Gleba Burns, President Gerard Rooney

As vice president of business development for TalentBridge LLC, Burns is responsible for developing new business relationships, establishing a sales program for multiple offices, and developing new marketing strategies to grow the upstate market.

She functioned as a CPA and CFE for 17 years before diving back into the CPA world by developing and managing a full service, payroll processing firm with Bonadio & Co. There, she grew the business to nearly $3 million in revenue before it was acquired by ADP Payroll.

Simultaneously, she brought the Moxie Exchange to Rochester in 2011, a national women’s leadership organization. The Rochester chapter has since assisted more than 500 local women to grow both personally and professionally, encouraging them to become better thought leaders, stronger businesswomen, and greater contributors to the community.

In addition, Burns formed and grew two substantial networking organizations in Rochester—the TIP Club and High Value Business Group—both of which develop and guide individuals whether they are business owners, civic leaders, or valuable employees in this community.

As a former resident assistant at Fisher, class president throughout her time on campus, and dedicated student worker, Burns has continued her volunteer work with the College. She currently serves as a co-chair of the Scholarship Golf Tournament, has served on the President’s Strategic Planning Council, and has participated in numerous fundraising activities. Outside of her involvement with Fisher, she volunteers for the Open Door Mission and Habitat for Humanity.

Melinda Perez, Danielle DeJoy Moss, Richard Brienzi, and Joseph Dillon were among the 2019 Rising Stars.

Melinda Perez, Danielle DeJoy Moss, Richard Brienzi, and Joseph Dillon were among the 2019 Rising Stars.

At the awards banquet, the College also honored six alumni with Rising Star Awards. Given to alumni who have found success early in their careers, the award honors career achievements, involvement with both the community and the College, and demonstrated potential for even greater success as their accounting careers mature. The winners included Kathleen Neubeck Adler ’09; Richard Brienzi ’10, ’11 (MBA); Joseph Dillon ’09, ’11 (MBA); Danielle DeJoy Moss ’08, ’11 (MBA); Melinda Perez ’11, ’12 (MBA); and Daniel Pollock ’09.

Adler serves as a valuation consultant with Empire Valuation, where she has worked since 2015. She is responsible for completing valuations for a variety of purposes including hedge fund and private equity reporting, financial and SEC reporting, estate and gift tax reporting, lending, and stock option granting. In her time there, she has worked with many major private equity firms, hedge funds, publicly traded companies, and closely held companies. As a member of Empire’s Culture Committee, she is responsible for coordinating employee charity events. She has also participated in the National Alliance for Mental Illness walk on campus with the School of Pharmacy.

Brienzi is a senior manager of financial reporting at Carrols Restaurant Group in Syracuse. He has been with the company since November of last year, and ensures timely identification and compliance with accounting standards and technical accounting issues under GAAP and SEC standards. In addition, he assists the controller with valuation activities related to acquisitions. Prior to joining Carrols Restaurant Group, he served as an audit manager at Dannible & McKee, LLP, in Syracuse for four years. Upon his graduation from Fisher in 2011, he was an assurance senior association for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Rochester where he worked until 2014. Brienzi serves on the board of the Syracuse Chapter of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Dillon is currently a manager with The Bonadio Group in the statewide Fraud, Forensics, and Consulting Division. He specializes in forensic examinations to support criminal and civil litigation and is experienced in designing on-site examination programs to identify fraud. In addition, he provides consulting services focused on improving workflow efficiency, strengthening internal controls, and managing risk. He is a CPA, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Outside of work, he is very involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester as a Big for the last three years, and last year, the Democrat and Chronicle recognized Dillon for his service to the organization.

Moss went to work for Ernst and Young (EY) upon her graduation and worked her way up to manager in the advisory-risk assurance practice, a role she assumed for her last two years with the firm. During her time there, she owned and managed multiple projects and engagements – many of which were the largest and most complex engagements in EY’s history. Today, she serves as a project manager at StrategicSource, Inc. In her role, she is responsible for managing clients of the company’s profit improvement program, and she works directly with the CEO and director of sourcing on strategic initiatives and new offerings for clients. She is a New York State licensed CPA, and a member of both the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In the community, Moss is involved in the Chautauqua County 4H Program as a member of the Horse Program Committee. She has also served as a member of the Fenton History Center Board of Trustees and the Barrel Racers of Western New York Board of Directors. She has regularly participated in and coordinated recruiting events at Fisher, and has been a mentor for many Fisher students.

Perez has been an employee with Heveron and Company CPAs since her senior year at Fisher. During her time with the firm, she has become an audit manager and tax team leader. In her spare time, she has run in 14 half marathons and one full marathon, and has recently started taking part in triathlons. Currently, she is training for a half ironman. For the last few years, she has also worked to raise money for the American Diabetes Association during the annual Tour de Cure bike ride.

Pollock, a graduate of the Class of 2009, is currently manager of corporate development and mergers and acquisitions at SAM Companies in Austin, Texas. In this role, he is responsible for the development and execution of SAM’s strategic growth initiatives, including the pursuit of M&A opportunities. Prior to joining SAM, Pollack spent five years with Deloitte & Touche LLP, beginning as an audit senior and rising to the role of manager. He is a CPA in New York and a Chartered Financial Analyst. In addition to his Fisher degree, he earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin’s Red McCombs School of Business.