Lisa Human, CPA

Lisa Human, CPA, senior manager and QuickBooks ProAdvisor with CLH, CPAs & Consultants, was recently elected to serve as Treasurer for the Duneland Chamber Board of Directors. She was elected at the board’s annual membership meeting this year, after previously serving as an at-large member of the Executive Committee.

“The Chamber does incredible work to enhance the lives of residents in our area and to promote economic growth throughout the community. It’s an organization that I’ve been proud to serve for some time now, and in this new role of Treasurer, I’ll be working to ensure the Chamber remains well-positioned to continue its work for the future of Northwest Indiana,” Human said.

The Duneland Chamber of Commerce serves just under 400 local members. The Chamber’s work is focused on advocacy, community building events, networking opportunities, and many other avenues of sustainable economic growth.

Serving the Duneland Chamber is a natural step for Human, as she has a long history of community volunteerism, including having served Homeward Bound, an organization dedicated to creating community through affordable housing in La Porte County. She also serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Ivy Tech Community College’s School of Business.

Professionally, Human provides a range of accounting services to clients at CLH, including advising clients on tax implications of organizational decisions and assisting business owners to develop best practices, including policies and internal controls. She also prepares financial statements and provides oversight of the payroll and bookkeeping departments.

“When our professionals engage the community in unique ways, as Lisa does with the Duneland Chamber, great things happen for our communities. We’re so honored to see yet another of our talented accounting experts find even more ways to strengthen NWI,” said Tony Gillisse, CPA, and Partner at CLH.

CLH, CPAs & Consultants hosted an open house and ribbon cutting to celebrate their newest location at 127 East Shore Parkway, Suite E, in La Porte. Equipped with a heated tent from La Porte’s Kabelin Ace Hardware, s’mores and mini campfires, a full-size fire pit, and appetizers and beverages catered by Al’s Supermarket in La Porte, CLH embraced the snowy weather to commemorate their latest office establishment.  To celebrate, the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership conducted a formal ribbon cutting for CLH.

 

Tony Gillisse, CPA and Partner, said, “We’ve been keeping our eye on the robust economic and business development growth La Porte has experienced in recent years. While CLH has always had a presence in La Porte County, we are thrilled to have a convenient location in the City of La Porte itself to better serve our existing client base, expand our service territory, and provide informed insight and resources to locally owned businesses.”

 

CLH is a full-service CPA firm, with services ranging from client advisory & accounting services, business consulting, tax preparation, tax planning, estate planning, financial reporting, and succession planning, and business valuations, among other services.

 

“Launching an office in La Porte was a natural next step for the firm,” said Senior Manager Jeff Whittler. “We’re excited to establish a local presence in La Porte to provide the wide-ranging accounting, consulting, and business support services that our firm is known for that La Porte companies need to thrive and grow. The CLH team is passionate about serving La Porte’s community beyond our office doors.”

 

The ERC is a refundable tax credit for businesses who continued paying wages to employees while they were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic or if they had substantial declines in gross receipts from March 2020 through December 2021.

The IRS is warning employers to be cautious about 3rd party companies advising businesses to claim the ERC when the businesses may not qualify. Some third parties are taking improper positions related to taxpayer eligibility for and computation of the credit.

CLH encourages employers to be cautious of advertised schemes and direct solicitations promising tax savings that are too good to be true. It is expected that the IRS will audit ERC claims aggressively. Improperly claiming the ERC could result in taxpayers being required to repay the credit along with penalties and interest.

Please reach out to CLH with any questions or concerns regarding the ERC. We are happy to provide initial analysis regarding the ERC eligibility and prepare amended payroll tax returns to claim ERC credits.

Northwest Indiana-based CLH, CPAs & Consultants is pleased to announce that one of its senior accountants has been selected to participate in the Indiana CPA Society’s Young Pros Leadership Academy (YPLA). Alexia Perez, Senior Accountant, will be serving a two-year term.

Perez’s new role with the academy aligns well with CLH’s goals to continually develop professionals in the accounting field. YPLA is a top-tier leadership development program for CPAs in Indiana. Participants are selected based on applications, interviews, and references. They must be an INCPAS member and age 30 or younger. Throughout their term, they attend six leadership development workshops and continue ongoing learning and communications.

“We look forward to collaborating with this group of young members who want to excel as leaders,” said INCPAS President & CEO Courtney Kincaid, CAE. “Their participation not only helps them grow professionally, it also helps us identify any emerging barriers or opportunities affecting the CPA profession as a whole.”

Added Perez, “At CLH, our company believes that we have an opportunity to shape the future of the accounting field in Indiana by supporting and developing the next generation of CPAs.”  She continued, “I’m very excited to work with and learn from the YPLA so that we can bring even more resources to young professionals as they begin their accounting careers.”  Tony Gillisse, CPA and Partner of CLH, commented, “We’re excited to see Alexia step into this new leadership role.  It’s going to be a great opportunity for her to acquire new skills and assist with the development of our staff.”

Alexia Perez first joined CLH as an accounting intern in 2017 while enrolled at Purdue University. She was welcomed to the professional team as a Staff Accountant after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the Krannert School of Business in 2018. Since then, Alexia has advanced into the role of Senior Accountant. Over the years at CLH, Alexia has established a focus on income tax and state and local use taxation, and has taken on additional responsibilities in staff training and business development. A lifelong resident of Valparaiso, her lively personality energizes the team and helps to facilitate relationship building with other professionals in the industry and the CLH network in the Valparaiso area.

Gretchen Kalk-Castro, a certified public accountant and director with CLH, CPAs & Consultants, recently joined the Indiana CPA Society Leadership Council. The Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) is a statewide association representing nearly 7,000 CPAs that advocates for the accounting industry through education, ethical standards, and government relations.

“This is an important and exciting announcement for both Gretchen and our company. Gretchen’s presence will be a great addition to the council, as she is a talented and committed accounting professional with decades of experience. Through her leadership, our firm and the rest of the industry will have the potential to benefit from many new opportunities for growth,” said Tony Gillisse, CPA and Partner of CLH.

“I’m very much looking forward to engaging with the Leadership Council and helping to author the next chapter of accounting in Indiana,” Kalk-Castro said. “The field of accounting is always changing and evolving in interesting ways, and this new role with the council will be like a front row seat to learn all I can about the factors shaping the industry.”

Members of the INCPAS Leadership Council serve one-year terms, up to a two-year term limit. The mission of the council is to develop visionary professionals that are suited to help INCPAS achieve strategic initiatives through service on the board or in other leadership roles.

Kalk-Castro has been an accountant with CLH for approximately 22 years after joining the firm as an intern. In addition to her roles with CLH and INCPAS, Kalk-Castro is also highly active in community organizations, and has served in various roles with Paladin, Inc., Leadership La Porte County, and the Exchangettes, which is the women’s branch of the Exchange Club.

Denise Kavanagh, a staff accountant with Northwest Indiana-based CLH, CPAs & Consultants, was recently accepted into the Valparaiso Chamber’s Leadership Academy.

Kavanagh’s addition to this program complements CLH’s values in several excellent ways. The company is firmly committed to community support and the development of the next generation of accounting industry leaders. Kavanagh’s experiences with the Leadership Academy will align well with these goals.

“We’re very enthusiastic about professional development at CLH. We encourage all of our team to continue to build their skill sets. Denise’s participation in the Leadership Academy will not only enhance our firm and our client outcomes but will also create a new asset for the community in the form of a talented leader that can help other local organizations grow,” said Angela Grothaus, CPA, CVA, and Senior Manager in the Valparaiso branch.  Grothaus was also a participant in the Leadership Academy.

“It’s an incredible feeling when the company you work with supports and encourages your pursuits,” Kavanagh said. “My hope is to carry the lessons I learn at the Leadership Academy forward so that I may better contribute to local organizations, better assist our clients, and help to develop our growing team.”

The Valparaiso Chamber’s Leadership Academy is designed to build engagement, connections, and leadership skills in community service. The program was created as a joint effort between the Chamber and Purdue Extension and encourages individuals to be trustees of their community. Examples of the types of roles Academy graduates could transition into include activities like board service, governance, communication, ethics, accountability, and conflict management.

Denise Kavanagh is a staff accountant who joined the firm in September of 2020. Kavanagh’s professional experience includes many areas, including roles as a payroll specialist and an accounts receivable specialist. Kavanagh has also volunteered with the Porter County CASA Program, which advocates for children in need of care.

Press Release

LaPorte County businesses and non-profits have partnered to provide local, 4-H-raised protein to more than 20 local food pantries and soup kitchens as part of Operation Feed LaPorte County – a mission that has been dedicated to distributing local meat to the hungry for nearly 10 years.

This year’s distribution took place on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds in the Community Building.

Ten businesses and non-profits partnered at the LaPorte County 4-H Livestock Auction on July 15 to purchase animals, which were processed by Sims Meat Processing in Kingsbury, IN to produce approximately 3,000 pounds of beef, pork, lamb and goat meat to feed the hungry in the community.

“We want to see the quality meat raised within LaPorte County feed our community,” said Mark Parkman, LaPorte County Farm Bureau president. “LaPorte County Farm Bureau is committed to providing a nutritious food supply to our neighbors who need it the most.”

LaPorte County Farm Bureau donated approximately 2,000 pounds of fresh meat to Operation Feed LaPorte County this year, equating to about $11,000 plus processing fees.

Over the last year, LaPorte County Farm Bureau has donated over $2,000 to local food banks in the area.

“Providing to the community is a duty of the LaPorte County Agricultural Association and we could not be more excited and humbled to be a part of this mission” says Steve Mrozinski, president.

Operation Feed LaPorte County’s 2022 donors are LaPorte County Farm Bureau, LaPorte County Farm Bureau Insurance, the LaPorte County Agricultural Association, the LaPorte County Sheep Breeders Association, 1st Source Bank, CLH, CPAs & Consultants, Shireman Vet Service, Sims Meat Processing, Parkman Cattle Company and The Old Sheep Farm.

Any local business, person or non-profit that would like to be involved in 2023 should contact Catherine Mrozinski at ccmrozinski@gmail.com.

Three team members recently received promotions to new roles at CLH, CPAs & Consultants. This comes as the company, a region-based accounting and business consulting firm, celebrates its 30th anniversary in business and looks forward to the opening of a new third location in La Porte, IN, this summer.

Allison Raymond was promoted from senior accountant to manager, Jacob McVay was promoted from staff accountant to senior accountant, and Katherine Dibkey was promoted from processing specialist to assistant manager of the administrative team.

Commented Tony Gillisse, CPA and Partner at CLH, “This is a terrific achievement for our growing firm. We have three team members who are ready to graduate to leadership roles and serve as examples for incoming generations of future CLH members.”  Added Robert Lange, III, CPA and Managing Partner of CLH, “It’s a great point of pride for those of us who have been with CLH for many years because we’re witnessing the development of the next chapter of our firm. We congratulate and will continue to support these three individuals as they transition into their new positions.”

 

ALLISON RAYMOND

Having joined the firm initially as an office intern in 2014 and as a tax intern in 2015, the company officially welcomed Allison to the professional accounting staff in 2016. A lifelong resident of La Porte, Allison graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the Indiana University (Bloomington) Kelley School of Business in 2016. Allison has advanced in her career from Staff Accountant to Senior Staff Accountant to the role of Manager. At CLH, Allison primarily focuses on developing her talents in tax, payroll services and reporting, and bookkeeping. Her cheerful personality contributes to her successful development of relationships with clients, staff, and the larger community.

Allison is a member of the Indiana CPA Society and was appointed to a two-year term on the Indiana CPA Society’s Young Pros Leadership Academy (YPLA). In the past, she served as Treasurer for the United Way of LaPorte County and was involved with the Kelley School of Business Alumni Association and the IU Alumni Association. Additionally, she assists with developing the company’s relationships in the La Porte area.

 

JACOB MCVAY

Jacob McVay started with CLH in 2018 as an Associate before he graduated college. He completed his studies in 2019 after graduating with a B.S. in Accounting from Purdue University Northwest.

As a senior accountant, McVay’s primary responsibilities will include business tax preparation, planning, and providing support to CLH’s business valuation department.

Jacob is a member of the Indiana CPA Society as well as a member of the United Way of LaPorte County Finance Committee. McVay’s hometown is La Porte, IN, where he currently resides.

 

KATHERINE DIBKEY

Katherine Dibkey started with CLH in 2011 and currently has 17 years of experience as an administrative professional. Her educational background includes an A.S. in Computer Software Technology, which she earned from Brown Mackie College in 2008.

At CLH, Dibkey’s primary responsibilities include supporting the IT department, electronic file management, and assisting with the management needs of the administrative team.

Four individuals were recently promoted to new leadership roles at CLH, CPAs & Consultants, an accounting and business consulting firm that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Kylee Fraze Norman was promoted from her role as a Senior Manager to Director. Additionally, Angela Grothaus, Lisa Human, and Jeffrey Whittler were each promoted from Manager to Senior Manager.

“As our company celebrates its 30th year, we’re proud to announce that several of our outstanding accounting professionals are advancing their careers and becoming our next generation of leaders at CLH,” said Robert Lange, III, CPA and Managing Partner of CLH. “Each one of our four promotions represents talent that goes above and beyond for our clients, and we’re excited about all the great things that will come under their leadership.” Commented Tony Gillisse, CPA and Partner of CLH, “We have such a gifted pool of professionals and it’s impressive to see the leadership growth of each of these individuals over the last few years. We know they’re going to be instrumental in taking CLH to the next level.”

 

KYLEE FRAZE NORMAN, CPA

Having joined CLH, CPAs & Consultants initially as a Senior Staff Accountant in 2015, Kylee Fraze Norman has advanced into the position of Director. Kylee graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Purdue University in 2006 and earned her CPA credential in 2009. As a Director at CLH, Kylee primarily focuses on managing tax-related client projects and fulfills the role as Tax Department Lead. She oversees tax software for the firm, including the implementation and oversight of tax department protocol, and is also responsible for coordinating staff development and training in areas of taxation, developing internal processes, and upholding quality control standards.

Kylee also fulfills additional responsibilities, including preparation of financial statements, client consulting, and staff management. Kylee is a member of the AICPA and the Indiana CPA Society. Her approachable, outgoing personality contributes to her successful development of relationships in the NWI community.

 

ANGELA GROTHAUS, CPA, CVA

Having joined CLH, CPAs & Consultants initially as a Senior Staff Accountant in 2014, Angela Grothaus has advanced into the position of Senior Manager. Angela primarily focuses on conducting business valuations and managing assurance and financial reporting projects. Her meticulous, thorough approach is appreciated by her clients and her friendly personality has contributed to her successful development of relationships with clients and in the Northwest Indiana business community.

Angela serves as the Treasurer for the Art Barn School of Art and is a member of the AICPA, Indiana CPA Society, and National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts. She also assists with developing the firm’s relationships with the Valparaiso community.

 

LISA HUMAN, CPA

A ray of sunshine around the office, Lisa Human initially joined CLH, CPAs & Consultants as a Staff Accountant in 2014 and has since advanced to take on the role of Senior Manager. Lisa is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, having earned her B.S. in Accounting in 2013 and her M.S. in Accounting in 2017. She became a licensed CPA in 2019. Lisa provides a range of professional accounting services to clients, including advising clients on tax implications of organizational decisions and assisting business owners to develop best practices, including policies and internal controls. She also provides the firm and clients with payroll tax and bookkeeping management and prepares financial statements. Lisa is known as the QuickBooks queen of CLH and is skilled in educating clients and staff on best practices in QuickBooks.

Lisa has actively served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations in the NWI region, including Homeward Bound and Ivy Tech Community Schools. In 2021, Lisa became a Board Member of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce. Lisa actively seeks to develop effective relationships with a wide variety of business owners, employees, and the community at large.

 

JEFFREY WHITTLER

Always calm and composed, Jeff is a constant for the clients with whom he works. He joined the firm in 2006 as a Staff Accountant after graduating from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, and a minor in Information Technology. He has since developed in his career to take on the role of Senior Manager. In his position, Jeff oversees the firm’s personal property tax and fixed assets management and works directly with new staff to implement staff training, and fulfills other responsibilities, including tax preparation and planning, financial statement preparation, and client consulting.

Jeff serves as Treasurer of the La Porte Kiwanis Club and is a member of the Indiana State CPA Society and the AICPA. Originally from Mill Creek, Indiana, he hails from a family of accountants.

Lynn Duttlinger (center) is presented with two awards by Heather Donofry (L) and Julie Moore (R), representatives of the Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Lynn Duttlinger, Senior Director with CLH, CPAs & Consultants, was recently recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association of NWI with two awards commemorating her 1st place individual fundraising win and 2nd place team fundraising win for 2021. As a result, she earned the title of Top Individual Fundraiser of the Year.

Last year, Duttlinger raised $6,580 as an individual during the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s event in Michigan City. She also coordinated a team of supporters who raised an additional $100 for a total of $6,680 for 2021.

This is not the first time Duttlinger has earned awards for Alzheimer’s fundraising. Over her 10 years of participation, she has been able to raise a grand total of $41,731 to fund Alzheimer’s research and treatment.

“All of this was made possible by our generous donors, including CLH, CPAs & Consultants. Every dollar raised through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s event puts us one step closer to new breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s treatment, and I’m very honored to have been named a top fundraiser from last year’s walk,” Duttlinger said.

She explained her motivation for her fundraising efforts, saying, “My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012, and that’s when I started participating in the walk. She passed in 2017, and I made a promise that I will continue this effort until a cure is found.”

Each year, Duttlinger’s son Andrew walks in the event with her, as well as numerous good friends. She describes the walk along the Michigan City shoreline as a beautiful stroll and encourages others to join in the experience. The 2022 walk will be held on October 8th and individuals wishing to support Duttlinger’s “Team Hope” can find more information online on the walk’s website.

“The CLH team is deeply involved in community-based activities. All of us are incredibly proud of Lynn’s fundraising success for the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Robert Lange, III, CPA and Managing Partner of CLH. “To be named a Top Fundraiser more than once is a remarkable achievement and a true reflection of Lynn’s drive to reach a cure. We all share in this enthusiasm and look forward to this year’s walk.”

Duttlinger has been with CLH since 2003 and has more than 40 years’ experience in the accounting industry. She has extensive knowledge in the areas of taxation and tax analysis, but community involvement is where her true passions lie.

In addition to her work with the Alzheimer’s Association, Duttlinger is active with multiple community organizations. She serves as the treasurer for Save the Dunes, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the Indiana Dunes, and as treasurer for the South Shore Nautical Education Foundation (SSNEF), a nonprofit that promotes boating safety and education.

Duttlinger is also a board member with the Shiloh Pond Committee, which protects natural resources in Kingfield, ME, and is also a board member with the Valparaiso Family YMCA Foundation in Valparaiso, IN.