Edward O'Connell

NJCPA Names O’Connell President

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) has named Edward G. O’Connell, CPA, CGMA, CFF, CFE, audit partner in the technology and life sciences practice at WithumSmith+Brown, president for the 2023/24 term. O’Connell replaces Kathleen F. Powers, CPA, CGMA, PSA, chief financial officer of Chelsea Senior Living, on June 1.

O’Connell has been active at the NJCPA since joining in 1997 and has served as secretary and trustee. He is currently a trustee of the NJCPA Scholarship Fund and has participated in several committees and interest groups, including the NJCPA Education Foundation Board of Trustees; New Jersey CPA Political Action Committee (NJ-CPA-PAC); and the Accounting & Auditing Interest Group as chair of the SEC and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) subcommittees and was a Board of Trustees Liaison for the Monmouth/Ocean Chapter.

Prior to Withum, O’Connell worked in public accounting at firms including EisnerAmper; Wiss; and Cowan, Gunteski & Co., P.A., and at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). He has extensive experience with multinational organizations and is a member of HLB International’s Assurance Committee. O’Connell is also a member of the Board of Advisors of TechUnited New Jersey and a member of the Executive Board of the Global Lyme Alliance. He earned his Bachelor of Science in business/accounting at Rider University and lives in Old Bridge with his wife, Tammy, and children, Ed, Kayla and Joey.

An avid proponent of growing the pipeline of candidates to become accounting professionals and CPAs, O’Connell plans to focus his NJCPA presidency on efforts to inform and engage younger generations. He has been a mentor to many individuals and believes in working with all staffing levels and the local communities to encourage more accounting enrollments and CPAs.

“We are excited to welcome Ed as our new president. His many years of auditing and financial reporting knowledge will help guide our members and aspiring CPAs in the right direction,” said Ralph Albert Thomas, CPA (DC), CGMA, CEO and executive director at the NJCPA (retiring June 30).

2023/24 NJCPA Board of Trustees

  • President: Edward G. O’Connell, CPA, CGMA, CFF, CFE — WithumSmith+Brown
  • President-Elect: June M. Toth, CPA, CFF, CITP, CGMA — WilkinGuttenplan
  • Secretary: John M. Szczomak, CPA — Smolin, Lupin & Co., P.A.
  • Treasurer: Ralph J. Evangelista, CPA, CGMA, MST — Frazer, Evangelista & Company, LLC
  • Immediate Past President: Kathleen F. Powers, CPA, CGMA, PSA — Chelsea Senior Living
  • CEO & Executive Director: Aiysha (AJ) Johnson, AM — NJCPA (effective June 12)
  • Trustees:
    • Brent M. Ashton, CPA — Ernst & Young LLP
    • Kathleen Bernard, CPA — Lota & Bernard LLP
    • Nicole M. DeRosa, CPA, MAcc — Wiss & Company LLP
    • Altheia Leduc, CPA — Gold Gerstein Group LLC
    • Christopher M. Lovasz, CPA — Deloitte
    • Brian G. Nafash, CPA — Massood & Company, P.A.
    • Chris J. Schiffer, CPA, CFP, MBA, AIF — Wealth Enhancement Group
    • Dr. Sean D. Stein Smith, CPA, CFE, CGMA, CMA, DBA — Lehman College (CUNY)
    • Catherine Syslo, CPA — CohnReznick LLP
    • Michele Theuerkauf, CPA — Michele Theuerkauf, CPA LLC
    • Paula M. Young, CPA — EisnerAmper LLP
    • Katherine E. Zech, CPA — PKF O’Connor Davies LLP

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