Who We Trust in Business

Referral Partners

Business—like a bridge—takes time to build, devotion, and the right people. Our developed and trusted network is the key to our clients' success.

The Kaplan Referral Partner Network

Choose a field and begin searching for your expert:


Bronwyn Burleson, CPA
Partner at Burleson & Earley P.A.
Located in Asheville, NC

Bronwyn, a native of Canton, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She has served Asheville and its surrounding region in public accounting for over 20 years...

John Chennoor, ISACA, CISSP
Managing Director at Forvis
Located in Washington D.C.

John is a specialist in Tax Advisory specific to: R&D Tax Credits, Employee Retention Credits, and more.

J. William Clark, CPA, CGMA
Director at Brown Edwards, CPA
Located in Kingsport, TN

Will is a director in the Kingsport office and has over a decade of experience in helping meet his client’s needs with customized financial reporting, tax and consulting solutions.

David Dills, CPA
Regional Managing Partner at FORVIS
Located in Asheville, NC

David Dills is a tax partner in DHG's Asheville Office, where he focuses on tax advisory and compliance services for middle market, closely-held organizations...

Robin G. Earley, CPA
Partner at Burleson & Earley, P.A.
Located in Asheville, NC

Rob, a native of Bryson City, is a graduate of Western Carolina University. He has served Asheville and its surrounding region in public accounting for over 20 years, with a broad range of experience in all areas of taxation with individuals, businesses, estates and trusts.

Rollin Groseclose, CPA, CGMA
Director of Tax Services at DMJPS
Located in Asheville, NC

Rollin is responsible for coordinating the firm’s tax services for clients, both business and individual. He focuses his energies on manufacturing and distribution, construction and real estate development and hospitality.


Derek Allen
Co-Managing Partner at Allen Stahl + Kilbourne
Located in Asheville, NC

Derek is a leader in Alcoholic Beverage Law, Real Estate Development, and Zoning and Land Use. He has extensive experience with craft breweries ranging in size from small startups....

Willam C. Bovender
Partner at Hunter Smith & Davis LLP
Located in Johnson City, TN

Attorney Bovender specializes in Corporate Transactions, Litigation and Labor and Employment law. He has more than 30 years of commercial, employment, and products liability litigation experience...

William A. Bulfer
Partner at Teague Campbell
Located in Asheville, NC

Bill co-chairs Teague Campbell’s Insurance Coverage Services group from the vistas of Asheville, North Carolina. His practice focuses on complex insurance coverage and municipal law matters and, when necessary, litigation regarding the same.

Vince Childress
Partner at Roberts & Stevens
Located in Asheville, NC

Vince Childress, a shareholder of Roberts & Stevens, has been practicing for more than 35 years in the areas of Business and Corporate Law, Trust and Estate Planning and Probate, and Healthcare Law.

Carolyn Coward
Principal with The Van Winkle Law Firm
Located in Asheville, NC

Carolyn focuses her practice on health care and labor and employment law. Combining her depth of health care industry knowledge with keen legal insight, she helps to ensure physicians, hospitals, long-term care facilities and other health-care entities...

Bob Deutsch
Partner at Deutsch & Gottschalk
Located in Asheville, NC

Bob has practiced law in WNC since 1973, where he has represented clients in medical malpractice, product liability litigation, complex business and commercial transactions and litigation, and real estate development and closings.


Will Barrett
CEO of Bank of Tennessee
Located in Johnson City, TN

Barrett's career with Bank of Tennessee spans 25 years, where he served in various roles, including retail banking, credit, lending, operations, Northeast Tennessee President, COO and most recently CEO.

Peter Best
Market President at First Horizon Bank
Located in Asheville, NC

Peter has worked in financial services since 2003. He is focused on commercial lending and treasury management solutions for commercial and small business clients in Western North Carolina.

Michael Cortes
VP, Senior Commercial Banker at TD
Located in Asheville, NC

A veteran in Commercial Banking in Asheville. He advises businesses in all different life cycles to improve cash flow, finance growth, and manage financial risks using different credit, deposit, and cash management services.

Lacy Cross
SVP Commercial Banker at Movement Bank
Located in Asheville, NC

With more than 25 years' experience, Lacy's commercial, donstruction and development specialty allows him to better serve his clients with financial lending needs.

Rusty Edwards
Regional Executive at First Bank
Located in Asheville, NC

Rusty is an accomplished Commercial Banking Executive with 20+ years of experience. His extensive expertise includes strategic planning, business credit analysis, risk analysis and mitigation, and more.

Michael Estes
SVP & Chief Lending Officer at First Community Bank of Tennessee
Located in Kingsport, TN

Mike is a visionary and strategic leader who translates business strategies into value-based results. As an expert in enhancing profitability and business development, Mike brings an infectious passion to both his team and clients.

Business Consultants

Annice Brown
Small Business Coach
Located in Asheville, NC

A Best Year Yet® certified coach working with entrepreneurs and senior level corporate managers who want to grow their business, reduce stress, and simply, get stuff done.

Mark Blizard
President, Pointe Consulting Group
Located in Johnson City, TN

Mark offers more than 40 years' experience, serving businesses in the US and over 23 foreign countries in sales, marketing, product development, business development, and more.

Tommy Dennison, MPM
Director of Membership Development at Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
Located in Asheville, NC

As the collective business community, we work to develop the bigger picture of how to best improve quality of life in Asheville and Buncombe County.

Greg Hoover
President at Universal Auditing
Located in Greensboro, NC

Universal Auditing was formed to help companies control costs in various different areas. We uncover refunds and savings opportunities by auditing utility and phone accounts for errors and overcharges.

Meridith Elliott Powell
Business Coach
Located in Asheville, NC

Meridith believes uncertainty can redfine your success in business. She has developed a 9 Step Formula for Thriving in Uncertainty® to navigate the rapidly changing marketplace.

Steve Rudolph
Steve Rudolph Coaching
Located in Asheville, NC

Steve helps leaders build people-first strategies that drive sustained performance. Steve holds an International Coaching Federation and a Certified Lean Practitioner with the Six Sigma Global Institute...

Human Resources

Joel Cullum
Senior VP at SESCO Management Consultants
Located in Bristol, TN

Joel provides senior-level consulting in all areas of human resource management, with specialties in compensation program administration, affirmative action, equal employment opportunity issues, performance evaluation systems...

Bill Ford
President at SESCO Management Consultants
Located in Bristol, TN

Bill, President of SESCO, is an experienced HR consultant with specialties in compensation administration, wage hour representation, EEOC representation, organizational development, business consultancy and more.

Greg Mayo
President at Human Resource Solutions, Inc.
Located in Asheville, NC

Greg's training gets people motivated. He relates personally to each person in any group and makes a memorable positive impression. He is highly skilled in strategic planning, team building, improving employee relations, organizational development and more.

Steve Murphy
President of Carolina HR
Located in Asheville, NC

Steve's experience is extremely varied and includes managing HR for multiple companies with tens of thousands of employees located throughout North America all the way to managing HR for a single company with a couple hundred employees located in one building.

Drew Pollick
President at Craft HR Solutions
Located in Asheville, NC

Drew learned early that talent development was his passion. He learned how to harness the power of diversity in teams and interactive systems while leading HR teams that were forming and scaling their programs for a more modern workforce and business landscape.

Heather Rowe
VP, Client Success of Craft HR Solutions
Located in Asheville, NC

A seasoned leader with 20+ years of experience across the HR landscape. While highly accomplished in all aspects of HR, she has a distinguished passion for HR technology & data, process improvement, and compensation & benefits design.

Insurance Specialists

Joseph Barsanti
Area Vice President of Gallagher
Located in Charlotte, NC

Joe has 15+ years experience in various insurance solutions across a broad range of industries, providing perspective on risk in sectors including textiles, mining, energy, metals, just to name a few...

Mike Breslin
Sales and Account Manager at WNC Health Insurance
Located in Asheville, NC

Specialties: Benefit to value analysis, benefit service coordinator, wellness coordinator for employer benefits, benefits negotiator, HSA expert

G. Tate Groome, CFP®, CLU®, AEP®
Co-CEO of Colton Groome Insurance Advisors
Located in Asheville, NC

Tate has nearly 20 years' experience providing trusted life, disability and long-term care insurance solutions to individuals, businesses, and trustees, as well as other financial advisors.

Tige Hopper, CIC, CRM, CBIA, MBA
Area Vice President of Gallagher
Located in Asheville, NC

Tige specializes in Business Insurance for property and casualty coverage. He holds an MBA as well as the CIC and CBIA Insurance designations. He is heavily embedded in the WNC community and loves calling Asheville home.

Chase Kress, CRM
VP: Employee Benefits Advisor at HUB International Carolinas
Located in Asheville, NC

HUB International is a leading North American insurance brokerage that provides employee benefits, business, and personal insurance products and services. Chase helps companies attract and retain the most qualified employees through competitive benefit programs.

Tony Newsome, CWCA
Business Risk Consultant of Bankers Insurance
Located in Asheville, NC

Tony began his career at Bankers Insurance over 35 years ago. As a Commercial Insurance Broker, he performs high quality, comparative risk analysis and insurance reviews to help maintain risk management services.

Marketing Specialists

Diamond Adams
President at ID Asheville
Serving Greater Asheville, NC

ID Asheville is here to alleviate the stressors and gruntwork in your life. We elevate effectiveness and performance in your business, freeing your mind and focus for what matters most.

David Brashears
Director of Business Development at Creative Energy
Located in Johnson City, TN

David has been helping companies, organizations, and individuals create, position, and execute successful brand strategies for over twenty years.

Nathan Silsbee
CEO of Nomadic Software
Located in Asheville, NC

Nathan's team specializes in digital marketing and software engineering. They serve a variety of industries including: manufacturing, financial, logistics, healthcare and eCommerce.

M. Alan Silverman
B2B Messaging and Content
Located in Asheville, NC

Since 1985, Alan has helped facilitate the dialogue between companies and their markets; finding the words and molding the concepts that keep the conversation alive and the relationship strong.

Merger & Acquisition Consultants

Dave Kaverman
Founder of Acuity M+A
Located in Asheville, NC

Dave brings insight and perspective from his experiences in corporate management at General Motors and Hewlett Packard. As an owner, he grew his independent bookstore into the largest independent book seller in the state of Indiana...

John Stanier
Partner at Clarity Capital Advisors
Located in Peachtree Corners, GA

John specializes in helping small and medium businesses achieve their potential. He is able to help companies analyze their strengths and weakness in order to make strategic decisions that enable them to grow.

Townsend Ziebold
Managing Director at TD Cown
Located in New York, NY

During his 30-year investment banking and private equity career he served most recently as a Managing Director at Cascadia Capital and First Beverage Group, where he executed numerous M&A and capital raise transactions for leading alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage companies.

Payroll Specialists

Cori Doble
HCM Consultant at Paycor
Located in Asheville, NC

With a single source of truth for all employee data, you’ll never have to switch platforms, log-in to multiple systems, re-key information or open multiple spreadsheets. Paycor customers rave about how much time they save ...

Michael Murphy
CEO of Platinum Group
Located in Asheville, NC

Michael's passion is in helping businesses to simplify their employee management and accounting processes.

Private Equity

Jarrell "J" Deaver
Operating Partner at North Sky Capital
Located in Asheville, NC

A connector of capital to good ideas. A consultant serving the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in North Carolina and the larger Appalachian Region. Passionate about contributing to individuals and environment.

Dale Freudenberger
Operating Partner at North Sky Capital
Located in Asheville, NC

Dale co-founded FLS Energy in Asheville, North Carolina, and served as the company’s first President. He oversaw its growth from start up to over $350mm in revenue. In 2013, he was promoted to CEO, and helped steer the company to a successful exit...

Jeffrey Kaplan
Director at Venture Asheville
Located in Asheville, NC

Venture Asheville is the high-growth entrepreneurship initiative of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. Simply put, we build entrepreneurs and get companies funded...

Erika McGilley
Business Lender at Natural Capital Investment Fund
Located in Asheville, NC

Erika left a successful 20-year career as a business development officer and commercial lender to create meaningful and sustainable work through progressive economic development opportunities.

Real Estate Professionals

Hank Carr
Senior Vice President of Realty Trust Group
Located in Johnson City, TN

Hank has been in the commercial development, management, and brokerage business for over thirty years. Prior to joining RTG, he founded and was the CEO/President of Corridor Properties, LLC in Johnson City, TN.

John Speropulos
President of Mitch Cox Realtor
Located in Johnson City, TN

In his career, John has successfully represented local, regional, and national clients. He also manages a portfolio of more than 1,100,000 square feet of commercial real estate in the Tri-Cities.

Retirement Plan Advisors

Scott Marmo, AIF®
CEO of Marmo Financial
Located in Johnson City, TN

The Founder of Marmo Financial, Scott earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from East Tennessee State University. Scott is past Chairman for Junior Achievement in Johnson City, is past President of the Gideons International in Johnson City...

Dave Nelson, CRPS®, AIF®, QKA, MBA
Director of Retirement Plans at Colton Groome Financial
Located in Asheville, NC

Dave earned his Bachelors in Family Financial Management from Ohio State University, and an MBA in International Business from Xavier University. Dave brings nearly 20 years' experience focused in retirement planning.

Technology Consultants

Kemper Brown, Jr.
CEO of Electronic Office
Located In Asheville, NC

A graduate of UNC at Chapel Hill, he worked in biotechnology and drug development prior to joining Electronic Office in 2011. Kemper is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)...

Sandra Dennison
Regional Director with SBTDC
Located in Asheville, NC

Sandra has spent most of her life around entrepreneurship, being the third generation of her family to pursue owning their own business. Prior to working at the SBTDC Sandra was a Community Outreach Manager...

Wealth Advisors

Chris Amys, CFP®
Managing Partner at Elk Mountain Wealth Partners
Located in Asheville, NC

Practitioner and Financial Advisor, Chris helps clients with comprehensive wealth management, and specializes in financial planning, estate planning and portfolio management.

Tommy C. Arnold, CFA
Chairman of Boys Arnold Wealth Management
In Asheville and Hilton Head Island, SC

Tommy's experience includes extensive work in the areas of investment banking, corporate finance, investor relations, pension fund and corporate cash management, and mergers and acquisitions.

Matt Groome, CFP®, CPA, QPFC
Co-CEO at Colton Groome Financial
Located in Asheville, NC

Matt works on the Retirement Plan Team for Colton Groome, as well as with Personal Financial Planning Clients. He earned recognition as the NAPA Top 50 Retirement Plan Advisors in the U.S. Under Age 40.

Joe Kiely, Ph.D.
President & CEO of Kiely Wealth Advisory Group
Located in Asheville, NC

Dr. Kiely set out to create a different kind of investment advisory firm that did away with commission-based selling and the inherent incentives to place clients in proprietary or inferior products.

Rick Manske, CFP®, BFA
CEO of Parsec Financial
Located In Asheville, NC

Rick Manske is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner, a Behavioral Financial AdvisorTM, a member of the Financial Planning Association and a Registered Financial Advisor of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

Scott Marmo, AIF®
Founder & CEO at Marmo Financial Group
Located in Johnson City, TN

Scott has earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from East Tennessee State University in 1992 and 1994, where he also played football. Scott serves his clients as an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®.

Adrian Vassallo, CPA
Lead Consultant for FORVIS Private Client
Located in Asheville, NC

Adrian works with our clients to assist them in achieving their financial goals for themselves, their families and their business interests. His team uses an integrated approach to provide comprehensive financial, tax, insurance and estate planning.

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