Katina Peters, Jami Johnson, and Jaime Staley are the owners and founders of PJS & Co. CPAs. Peters, Johnson and Staley began working together at CPA MOMS, where they founded a business relationship and discovered the strength they had as a team. While the core of our business is providing a service of unmatched quality, our true essence is mission driven. Our values as a company can be found on our About Us page.
PJS & Co. CPAs’ commitment to providing the best value in the industry has been paramount in earning a reputation of trust and reliability. We support a team of accomplished, dedicated professionals you will be thrilled to welcome to your business.
Katina Peters, Owner, CPA, CGMA, is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant with 20 years accounting expertise. Katina earned her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and after ranking in the top ten of CPA exam participants, obtained her CPA license in 2001. During her tenure at the firm where she established her career, Katina became one of two partners who successfully grew the business to a regional CPA firm, serving a diverse group of businesses and individuals with a vast array of accounting, tax, business advisory, audit and consulting services.
Jami Johnson, Owner, CPA, MSA, obtained her Bachelor of Science in Finance & Accounting and her Master of Science in Accountancy from Illinois State University. Jami’s accounting career began over 11 years ago in the banking industry and continued in the agriculture and insurance fields. She held various analyst, audit and executive level roles preparing in-depth and high-level audits and financials. Jami’s professional experience includes business consulting, tax and business planning, budgeting, business valuation services, management advisory services and all phases of business accounting and financial statement preparation. She is focused on services for small to medium sized businesses as well as clients in real estate, start ups, health care and service-based businesses. Jami is passionate about the business success of her clients and is committed to delivering tax and accounting services that meet each clients unique objectives.
Jaime Staley, Owner, CPA, MSA, earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Bradley University and shortly thereafter earned her CPA designation. Jaime started her career in public accounting at KPMG in Chicago working in the tax department. She then moved to the Tribune Company where she gained invaluable experience in multiple roles over a 10-year period while earning her Masters of Accounting from Loyola University Chicago. During her tenure at the Tribune Company, Jaime began as a Financial Analyst in the corporate office later advancing to Senior Financial Analyst. She was later promoted to Accounting Manager with a business unit and finished as Controller of Metromix Chicago. After starting a family, Jaime found that working in a more flexible setting gives her the balance she needs to be successful. While looking for opportunities that offered a better work-life balance, she found CPA MOMS, where she met future business partners Katina Peters and Jami Johnson.
Joan Weiss, CPA, has over 20 years of accounting, audit and tax experience. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and began her career at Reznick Fedder & Silverman (currently CohnReznick), a Maryland public accounting firm. After moving to San Francisco in 1998, she joined another public accounting firm, Novogradac & Co. LLP, where she managed audit, tax and consulting engagements of low-income housing Section8 HUD and tax credit real estate properties and also conducted firm CPE trainings regarding HUD audits and tax credits. After 10 years in public accounting, she moved into private industry as a Vice President of Finance for a real estate development and property management company where she was heavily involved in both construction and property management accounting. Since 2009, Joan has been working with clients in a broad range of industries and supporting their financial goals.
Melissa Strength, CPA, has worked in both corporate and public accounting for over 9 years. She began her career in Texas at a Big 4 public accounting firm and throughout her career has gained advanced tax experience in various areas of taxation. She’s earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science with a concentration in Taxation. Melissa has extensive experience preparing individual, partnership and corporate tax returns including small businesses. She enjoys serving small business clients the most.
Cindy Kelly, CPA, CVA, is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Valuation Analyst. Cindy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting from the University of Montana. She obtained her license in one sitting for the CPA exam. Cindy has decades of experience in tax, litigation support, business advisory services, and as a chief financial officer.
Cindy began her career in public accounting, where she quickly advanced to an ownership position in a CPA firm with 60 employees at the largest office in Montana. During that time, Cindy specialized in many areas of tax and managed a diverse client base to include banks, consolidated groups, auto dealerships, real estate development, oil and gas drilling partnerships, manufacturing, medical clinics and practices, and law firms.
Melanie Nuckolls, CPA, obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance and her Master of Accountancy from Texas Christian University. Melanie began her accounting career over 12 years ago with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Dallas, Texas. While at PwC, she participated in the audit planning, fieldwork and completion of private equity funds invested in foreign and domestic debt and equity securities for Fortune 500 companies. Melanie then gained 9 years of financial accounting experience in the private sector with Beal Bank. During her career at Beal Bank, she progressed from a Senior Accountant position to Assistant Vice President of Loan Accounting. In this role, she was instrumental in creating a new cohesive chart of accounts across multiple entities and upgrading the accounting system, resulting in more efficient and accurate reporting. In addition, she designed databases for forecasting and oversight used by executive management. She also has experience developing, implementing and documenting internal control procedures for multiple industries. Melanie resides in Frisco, TX, with her husband, young daughter and German Shorthaired Pointer.
Sara Douangvihanh, Bookkeeper, has over 8 years of bookkeeping experience. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Business Administration. She is currently working toward her Master’s in Accountancy and plans to become a CPA in the near future. Sara began her career in the Accounting industry as a Payroll Specialist for an agency that focused on staffing. This is where she realized she was very interested in Accounting and decided this would be her field of study. She worked at a tax and accounting firm as a bookkeeper in Milwaukee, where she gained great experience, specifically in the franchise industry. Most recently, Sara held an Accounting Management role for a small manufacturing business in Wisconsin, where she gained valuable experience in the industry. While in this role, she also managed bookkeeping for real estate investments and fitness franchises, as well as personal income tax preparation. Sara enjoys spending time with her husband and five children and works hard to continue her personal and professional growth.
Kim Nixon, Operations Manager, is a former hotel executive and controller with 20 years of operations, financial, management and sales experience and has a proven track record of creating and implementing operational controls that improve the bottom line. Her career spanned properties of all sizes from the small family-owned inn to the large high-end resort. Kim grew up with a father in the military and a mother who devoted her time as a volunteer. Being about service is in her DNA and she is committed to doing her job well. Kim has learned to be focused on the long-term success of an organization and make decisions with this goal always in mind. Kim helps others set priorities and stick to them. She uses her outstanding project management skills to focus the team on the critical path to success. She is a leader you want on your team. Kim is an active community volunteer and lives in San Diego with her husband and their two children.
Megan Spicer, Marketing Manager, has experience working over 8 years in various marketing-related roles that focused on events, social media, website development, brand building, logo and other creative design and more. She began her office career working in accounting but quickly fell in love with marketing as she fulfilled the marketing assistant role in a small business and was given the opportunity to plan an anniversary party from start to finish. When the event brought in three times more revenue than prior years, she was hooked on the results-driven success that can accompany a well executed event or campaign. Megan continued to gain experience while attending school and graduated with a business degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from San Diego State University. After obtaining her degree, she went on to earn a position building a brand from the ground up after a total overhaul and launch of a new product line. As a marketing professional, she has continued to pursue knowledge of programs like Adobe Illustrator, as well as earning certificates from Google Analytics, Google Adwords and Hubspot. She enjoys continually learning and enjoys reading to provide a well-rounded view of successes and opportunities. Megan enjoys spending time with her husband and children hiking many of San Diego’s amazing trails and volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster youth.
Cara Bencic, Team Liaison, earned her Master’s Degree in Economics from Eastern Illinois University and went on to teach at Southeast Missouri State where she found a passion for interacting with and guiding people. She later left academia and moved back home to Chicago to join the investment industry. She worked as an internal business analyst for a large investment firm creating and presenting executive level reports on HR and sales related topics. She also helped to implement and execute an accounting database for the entire sales force. Cara has always enjoyed providing information and solutions to people and believes that fostering personal relationships is an integral part of a virtual workplace. She resides in a south suburb of Chicago with her husband and three boys, where she is on the PTA board and is actively involved in her community.