LEVITZACKS, Certified Public Accountants
(Tax, Audit, Estate Planning, Litigation, Consulting)
Our Team

world-class-accountant
Theresa M. Drouillard, CPA - Shareholder and CEO

For over thirty years, Theresa Drouillard has provided tax, accounting and related consulting services to a wide range of companies and industries, both public and privately-held. Her skills and experience are broad based and include addressing and solving complex tax issues for high net-worth individuals and their closely-held partnerships and corporations. She also provides consulting services in the areas of trust and estate planning, federal and state tax audits and litigation support.

In addition to client services, Ms. Drouillard has successfully guided LEVITZACKS through a transition from the original shareholders to the second generation of owners while simultaneously directing a period of unprecedented growth in the Firm.

Theresa Drouillard joined LEVITZACKS in 1985. Prior to that time, she worked for six years with an international CPA firm. She has nearly ten years of experience in Fortune 500 companies.

Certification:
 
* Licensed CPA in California

Professional Affiliations: 

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Tax Section

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

Education: 

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Accounting
* Summa Cum Laude
Duquesne University

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Michael C. Friedman, CPA - Shareholder

Michael Friedman advises LEVITZACKS clients on a wide range of taxation issues. His skills encompass income tax planning, estate/trust/gift tax planning along with tax compliance. Mr. Friedman represents medium to large sized closely-held business and investment entities as well as high net-worth individuals. He is an especially strong resource in the area of partnership taxation.

Mr. Friedman’s client experience encompasses a variety of businesses and industry types, such as: manufacturing, high-tech, software, biotech, not-for-profit, hotels, vehicle and heavy equipment dealerships, farmers, and many types of real estate businesses. He has substantial experience helping clients structure complex transactions, representing them during merger/acquisition activities, and defending them before governmental taxing agencies.

Prior to joining LEVITZACKS in 2003, Mr. Friedman had more than fourteen years of experience in a regional public accounting firm.

Certification:
 
* Licensed CPA in California

Professional Affiliations: 

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Tax Section

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

* San Diego Venture Group

* San Diego Building Industry Association

* MIT Enterprise Forum, San Diego Chapter

Education: 

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Accounting
San Diego State University

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Daniel I. Lavis, MPA, CPA - Shareholder

Dan Lavis’ areas of tax proficiency include choice of entity, acquisitions and dispositions of businesses, tax deferred exchanges, and tax accounting issues involving depreciation, utilization of the cash method, inventory, installment sales, and long term contracts.

His responsibilities also include tax compliance and planning with a heavy emphasis on corporations in manufacturing, contracting, and retailing businesses, S corporations, consolidated returns, partnerships, multistate returns, as well as high net-worth individuals.

Mr. Lavis has successfully handled more than 100 IRS and Franchise Tax Board audits.

Dan Lavis joined LEVITZACKS in 1983. Prior to that time, he worked for four years for an international CPA firm with a focus on high-tech and multinational Fortune 500 corporations.

Certification:


* Licensed CPA in California

Professional Affiliation:

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

Education:

Bachelor of Business Administration, Major in Accounting
* with Highest Honors
University of Texas, Austin

Master in Professional Accounting, Specialization in Federal Taxation
University of Texas, Austin

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Cristanne M. Leitner, CPA - Shareholder, Vice President and Director of Tax

For over twenty years, Cristanne Leitner has provided tax and related consulting services for closely-held companies in a variety of industries. Her experience includes addressing and solving tax and accounting issues for high net-worth individuals and working with their related entities. She also provides consulting services in the area of estate planning and wealth transfer techniques.

Prior to joining LEVITZACKS, Cristanne Leitner worked for several large local and regional accounting practices in San Diego.

Certification:

* Licensed CPA in California

* Licensed Certified Financial Planner™

* Accredited Estate Planner®

Professional Affiliations:

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

* Estate Planning Council of San Diego

* North County Estate Planning Council - San Diego

* Girl Scouts - San Diego 

Committee Memberships:

* Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation Estates & Trust Committee, Executive Committee Member

* Estate Planning Council of San Diego, Past President

* Girl Scouts - San Diego, Promise Circle Chair

Education:

Bachelor of Science, Accounting Emphasis
San Diego State University

Master of Science in Taxation
Golden Gate University, San Diego

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Victor G. Ramsauer, CPA - Shareholder and President

During his thirty five years in public accounting, Victor Ramsauer has honed a broad range of skills in auditing, merger and acquisition, as well as in general business consulting services to both large and small public and private companies.

He advises the Firm’s clients with the sale, acquisition and divestiture of businesses with values exceeding $175 million. His skills include deal structuring and negotiation, financial reporting research, and the design and performance of due diligence procedures. He has extensive knowledge of Government Contractors and the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Mr. Ramsauer also advises various government contractors in preparing for the successful completion of pre-award surveys by Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) and in the preparation and negotiation of forward pricing rates. His experience also includes assisting a Client’s negotiations with the Terminating Contracting Officer for the successful approval of the termination-for-convenience claim.

Prior to joining LEVITZACKS in 1985, Victor Ramsauer worked for eight years with an international CPA firm.

Certifications:
 
* Licensed CPA in California and Nevada

Professional Affiliations: 

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

* Cyber Center of Excellence, Treasurer

* Aerospace and Defense Forum, San Diego Chapter Steering Committee

* Association of Government Accountants

* San Diego Military Advisory Council, Secretary

* National Defense Industry Association, Board Member

* Downtown San Diego Partnership, Board Member and Finance Committee

* Provisors San Diego Downtown 1

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Accounting
* with Honors
California State Polytechnic University

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Thomas E. Rex, CPA - Shareholder and Technical Director, Accounting and Audit

Thomas Rex has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of generally accepted accounting principles and auditing standards, SEC rules, regulations and reporting, and litigation resolutions. He excels at identifying, analyzing, and resolving complex accounting and financial reporting issues. He advises LEVITZACKS clients in sales and business transactions valued from $5 million to more than $100 million.

Mr. Rex has successfully served as a key advisor to defense counsel in a federal criminal trial which involved complex accounting issues related to multiple acquisitions. He is known to interact effectively with Securities and Exchange Commission and Financial Accounting Standards Board staffs.

Certification:

* Licensed CPA in California

Professional Affiliations:

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

Education:

Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Major in Accounting
Washington State University

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Bruce A. Strumlauf, MS, CPA - Shareholder

Bruce Strumlauf has considerable experience in many aspects of planning, structuring and tax compliance in a wide variety of industries, including wholesale/retail, manufacturing, hospitality, technology, real estate, mortgage securities and venture capital. Mr. Strumlauf handles the tax services on some of the Firm’s largest accounts. His strengths center around corporate, multi-state and international tax issues, with strong exposure to partnerships and other pass-through entity matters.

Individually or as a team leader, Mr. Strumlauf guides clients in understanding the importance of good tax policies and practices within their organization, be they publicly-held corporations or private, closely-held entities.

In addition to the industry experience referenced above, Mr. Strumlauf has also gained specialized industry tax experience in the areas of investment partnerships and real estate mortgage securities investment trusts. As a result of his efforts, the mortgage trust division of one of the largest middle-market banks in the U.S. was able to offer tax advisory and compliance services related to the mortgage securities trusts then currently administered by the bank. Mr. Strumlauf also represented the bank before the Veteran's Administration, resulting in the bank being awarded the multi-million dollar trust administration position on the Ginny Mae Mortgage Securities program.

Prior to joining LEVITZACKS in 2004, Mr. Strumlauf had more than twenty-two years of experience in tax, including thirteen years with two national CPA firms.

Certification:
 
* Licensed CPA in California

Professional Affiliations: 

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

Education: 

* Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Accounting
California State University, Northridge

* Master of Science in Business Taxation
Golden Gate University, San Francisco

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Kim W. Ufford, CPA, CFF, ABV, ASA - Shareholder

Kim Ufford has extensive audit and accounting experience. Since 1979, he has served a broad-based clientele in a variety of industries ranging from start-up businesses to Fortune 500 companies to not-for-profits. He provides services involving audits, reviews, compilations, acquisition due diligence, initial public offerings, private placements, forecasts and projections, internal control reviews, management consulting, and fraud investigations. Mr. Ufford is Certified in Financial Forensics through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Mr. Ufford has considerable experience in the analysis of damage claims involving accounting, economic and valuation matters in a variety of litigation cases. These matters have included lost earnings and profits, business valuations, spousal support and excess compensation issues. He has testified in California Superior Court, Federal Court and before various arbitration panels as an expert witness.

He also has extensive experience as a business appraiser and holds the designations of Accredited in Business Valuation from the AICPA and Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers. His valuation assignments have included appraisals and consultations regarding the valuation of various businesses in connection with: marital dissolution, business damages, estate and gift taxes, mergers and acquisitions, and shareholder disputes and agreements.

Mr. Ufford has taught several courses on a variety of accounting and auditing topics.

Prior to joining LEVITZACKS in 1986, Kim Ufford had more than seven years of experience in an international CPA firm.

Certifications:

* Licensed CPA in California

* Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers

* Accredited in Business Valuation from the AICPA

* Certified in Financial Forensics from the AICPA

Professional Affiliations:

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants 
 - Board of Directors, San Diego Chapter, past Member
 - San Diego Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards Committee, past Chair
 - State Committee on Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards, past Member

* American Society of Appraisers
 - Board of Directors, San Diego Chapter, past President
 - Board of Directors, San Diego Chapter, past Member and past Treasurer

* Institute of Business Appraisers, Inc.

* Appellate Defenders Audit Committee, Member

* Association for Corporate Growth, Member, Board of Directors

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Accounting
University of Minnesota

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Mark C. Morris, J.D., LL.M., CPA - Tax Counsel

Mark Morris is responsible for research and planning sophisticated federal and state tax matters. His experience includes research on a wide variety of issues with heavy emphasis in estate planning for high net-worth individuals, partnership taxation and accounting, mergers and acquisitions, planning for closely-held businesses and their owners, property taxation and the tax consequences of workouts and bankruptcy. Mr. Morris’ estate planning work encompasses complex transfer tax analysis, liquidity planning for closely-held business owners, advice on various insurance arrangements, and proper structuring of wealth transfers to charitable organizations.

Mark Morris joined LEVITZACKS in 1989. From 1985 to 1989, he was a partner in a law firm specializing in estate and gift tax planning. For three years prior to 1985, he was employed with the tax department of an international CPA firm.

Certifications:

* Licensed CPA in California

* State Bar of California

* United States Tax Court

Professional Affiliations:

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

* San Diego County Bar Association, Tax Section

* State Bar of California, Trusts and Estates Section

* State Bar of California, Tax Section

* J. Reuben Clark Law Society, San Diego Chapter, Board Member

Education:

Bachelor of Science, Major in Accounting
* with Honors
Brigham Young University

Juris Doctor
*with Honors
J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

LL.M. in Taxation
*with Highest Honors
University of San Diego, Graduate School of Law

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Nicholas Palmer, CPA - Director of Audit

Nick Palmer is a certified public accountant with over twenty years of public accounting experience. He has extensive experience in planning and performing audits of companies representing a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, real estate, not-for-profit, software and data centers. Mr. Palmer also performs business appraisals of closely held companies and has completed the four courses required by The American Society of Appraisers for certification as an Accredited Member.

Certification:

* Licensed CPA in California

Professional Affiliations:

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

* San Diego Center for Children, Audit Committee Member

* Community Housing Works, Audit Committee Member

* Institute of Management Accountants, San Diego Chapter, Board of Directors

Education:

Certificate of Accountancy
San Diego State College of Extended Studies

Bachelor of Arts, History
University of California, Santa Cruz

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Jared P. Werner, J.D., LL.M., CPA - Tax Manager

Mr. Werner is a key member of the Tax Group at LEVITZACKS , where he assists clients in all areas of federal, state and international tax, with an emphasis on tax planning for individuals, corporations and partnerships.

Mr. Werner received his J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation, with honors, from the University of San Diego School of Law, where he was awarded a Graduate Law Merit Scholarship. He also was a member of the USD Tax Law Society and a student attorney at the University of San Diego School of Law's Tax Clinic, assisting on federal and state tax disputes including audits and appeals before the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board. Mr. Werner received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Prior to joining LEVITZACKS in 2011, Jared worked as an associate in the tax group of an international CPA firm, where he worked with high-net-worth individuals and large global corporations.

Certifications:

* Licensed CPA in California

* State Bar of California

Professional Affiliations:

* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

* California Society of Certified Public Accountants

* San Diego County Bar Association, Tax Section

* State Bar of California, Tax Section

 - 2015-2016 Income and Other Taxes Standing Committee, Chair

 - Income and Other Taxes Standing Committee, past Education Chair, Vice Chair, and Second Chair

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
University of Southern California

Juris Doctor
University of San Diego School of Law

LL.M. in Taxation
*with Honors
University of San Diego School of Law

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Susan Watson - Executive Vice President

Sue Watson joined the LEVITZACKS Leadership Team as Chief Operating Officer in 2007, and became the Executive Vice President in 2014. Sue oversees the administration, marketing, financial and risk management, technology, human resources, strategic planning and operations of the firm.

Throughout her career, Ms. Watson has participated in more than 30 merger and acquisition transactions, which provided her with the experience of working with all phases of an entity’s life-cycle, from start-up through disposition.

As the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Greater San Diego Transportation Company / Yellow Cab of San Diego for five years, Ms. Watson was responsible for all aspects of the company’s 490 operating vehicles as well as 800 employees and lease drivers, and directed the Operations, Administration, Marketing, and Management Information Systems departments.

Thirteen years of Ms. Watson’s career were with Western States Investment Group (WSIG). While she was with WSIG, she served as the Director of Operations for the Transportation Group, where she was responsible for the oversight of all of the company’s cab operations, as well as a cargo airline in Alaska. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of all of the cab companies and as an officer of all of the transportation companies. Ms. Watson also served as the Chief Financial Officer and Group Controller for WSIG. Her duties encompassed overseeing and coordinating the finance, banking, risk management, accounting, human resources, and benefits administration for more than 13 affiliated entities.

Certification:

*Designation of Associate in Risk Management from the Insurance Institute of America

Professional Affiliations:

*Risk and Insurance Management Society, San Diego Chapter, past President

Education:

Bachelor in Business Administration
University of San Diego

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