YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Cohen & Company expanded its team and its reach in 2023 by adding key people and acquiring three firms. With the acquisitions of Szymkowiak & Associates CPAs and PEAR Consultants in Buffalo, N.Y., and BBD’s Investment Management Group in Philadelphia, the Cleveland-based firm added 65 team members.
“The acquisitions helped to strengthen Cohen & Company’s position as a premium provider of assurance and tax services by promoting greater efficiencies and offering additional talent and depth of services,” says Marc Mazzella, managing director of the firm’s Youngstown office. “These include the areas of tax controversy and dispute resolution, residency planning and pre-audit tax services, and registered funds.”
Cohen & Company has offices in Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Overall, the firm hired 140 full-time employees in 2023.
As the firm expanded into new markets, it remained “solidly focused on northeast Ohio,” Mazzella says. Among the wide range of expertise it provided clients was guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act, Employee Retention Credit and Ohio’s TechCred program.
Keith Klodnick, assurance partner, last year was named market leader for the Ohio region, where more than 400 Youngstown, Cleveland and Akron employees live and work.
The Youngstown office added eight full-time hires in 2023. And, as part of its long-standing partnership with Youngstown State University, the firm welcomed 15 interns. Employees also connected with students by hosting an open office event and attending the university’s accounting career day.
Cohen & Company achieved a milestone in 2023 – its 40th year of serving private companies in the Mahoning Valley. The firm marked the anniversary by hosting clients, alumni, employees and friends for an open house celebration, as well as by donating to Project MKC, an organization that aids the Mahoning Valley’s most vulnerable children and families. Throughout the year, Cohen & Company employees also volunteered at and donated to the Rich Center for Autism, raised money for the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley and competed in the YMCA of Youngstown’s Community Cup athletic challenge.
Another important focus for the firm was enhancing how it connects with employees in a flexible environment, which includes 100% in the office, remote or hybrid.
The firm created a welcome committee in each office – including its remote “office.” The committee helps to acclimate new employees as quickly as possible and to ensure they integrate into the culture, can navigate their office and work environment and feel comfortable knowing where to go for questions.
Additionally, the 40-plus employees on the firm’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in Action (IDEA) Team, led by Youngstown-based assurance director Trinette Simon, focused on working with the firm’s leadership to create a strategic plan with specific goals, measurements and tactics.
Pictured at top: Cohen & Company last year celebrated the 40th anniversary of its Youngstown office. From left are CEO Chris Bellamy, retired partners Neil Kaback, Pat Piteo, Frank Dixon and Kerry Gubics, and assurance partner Lisa Metzinger.