Our People

Shareholders

Earl Blackmon, CPA, CGMA

As a long-time resident of the Eastern Shore, Earl is deeply committed to serving his community through such organizations as Sertoma (SERvice TO MAnkind) and the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce. His dedication and loyalty are reflected in the care he gives to his clients, many of who have relied on his guidance for years. As a specialist in business processes and accounting issues for small and mid-size businesses, Earl helps his clients achieve maximum efficiency and profitability through careful business and tax planning.

Earl is a proud graduate of the University of South Alabama where he earned a bachelor of science in business and management and currently serves on the University’s Accounting Advisory Board. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He holds the Lean Six Sigma CPA Green Belt and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Estate Planning Council of Mobile. He is also a member of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (Mobile Chapter) and has been appointed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to the Alabama State Board of Accountancy. Earl’s extensive knowledge and expertise has earned him invitations to present to the industry’s most prestigious conferences including Winning Is Everything and the Association of Accounting Administrators. In addition, he’s had several opportunities to represent the accounting industry at other professional conferences and webinars, most recently the Alabama Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics Practice Management Association.

Earl has served as president and treasurer of the Eastern Shore Sertoma Club, chairman of the board, president and treasurer of the Eastern Shore Chamber. He currently serves on the University of South Alabama Gift Planning Council, Prodisee Pantry Advisory Council, and as president of the University of South Alabama National Alumni Associations’ Baldwin County Chapter. Earl and his family attend Eastern Shore Baptist Church where he teaches a Sunday school class as well as served as Chairman of the Finance Committee and as a deacon.

B. Vance Kilgore, CPA, CGMA

If you’ve ever been to Brewton, you’ll find everyone knows Vance. Always ready with a warm smile and a friendly greeting, Vance goes out of his way to provide personal service to all of his clients – from small businesses to local governments. Although Vance is well known for his ability to provide meaningful guidance to a wide range of clients, he has specialized expertise working with local governments, municipalities and hospitality companies. When he’s not sharing lunch or a cup of coffee with a client, Vance takes an active role in community groups such as the Kiwanis and Rotary. Away from the office, Vance enjoys hunting and reading…occasionally at the same time.

Vance is a graduate of the University of South Alabama and a Certified Public Accountant. He has earned a Certificate of Educational Achievement in Governmental Accounting and Auditing and is a members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Brewton Rotary Club, Alabama Society of CPAS, the past-president of the Brewton Chamber of Commerce, and past-president of the Brewton Kiwanis Club.

Dennis E. Sherrin,  CPA, CVA, CFF, CGMA

Dennis has invested more than 28 years in the industry at International and local firms. Throughout his career he has taken the time to learn about each entity he works with. This knowledge has been used to provide highly effective audit, tax and consulting services. After working with so many clients, Dennis has accumulated a wealth of knowledge on structure, strategy, operations and effective leadership. Dennis seeks opportunities to work with clients on strategy and development of highly effective organizational structures that utilize the talents of the organization as a whole.

Dennis is the Managing Shareholder of hb&k, Director of Audit Services and leads our Business Valuation services team. He provides insight and solutions for a wide range of issues, including audit, financial reporting and business valuations. He works with organizations in a variety of industries, particularly local government, manufacturing, benefit plans, hospitality and condominium associations.

Dennis’ life outside of hb&k includes volunteer positions with youth soccer and the Boy Scouts of America. He claims to have visited what seems like every soccer complex in the Southeast watching his sons play. If not on a soccer field somewhere, keep your eye open for a scout troop climbing a mountain, riding the river rapids, zip lining or running from torrential rains, you may just see Dennis. Aside from soccer and scouts, Dennis and his wonderful wife and sons (Amy, Kyle and Kody) love traveling the U. S. (well, Kyle really hates snow). Whether it’s eating awesome beignets in New Orleans, walking trails in the Smokies, watching moose in Montana or sitting on a pier in the Keys, they love it.

Dennis received a bachelors degree from the University of South Alabama. He has earned numerous designations including Certified Public Accountant, Certified Valuation Analyst, and Certified in Financial Forensics and Chartered Global Management Accountant.

Principals

Rachel M. Godwin, CPA, CGMA, MAcc

Rachel has been with hb&k for more than 11 years and focuses on audits for governments, municipalities, and non-profit organizations as well as provides accounting and tax services for small businesses and individuals. Her industry experience includes Not for Profit Entities, Governments & Municipalities, Hospitality, Agriculture, Construction, Retail, and Manufacturing. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Jay Chamber of Commerce. Rachel received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting (magna cum laude) and Masters of Accountancy from the University of West Florida.

Allen Cave, CPA

Before joining hb&k, Allen was a sole practitioner in Brewton, Alabama, and built his practice assisting small to mid-sized business with a wide variety of accounting, tax and consulting services. He has 18 years of experience in public accounting.  Since joining hb&k he has concentrated his practice in the areas of tax compliance and consulting where he works with various businesses, individuals and not for profit entities.  Allen is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants and serves on the board of directors of the United Fund of Brewton and the Brewton Public Library Foundation.  Allen received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting (magna cum laude) from Samford University.

Of Counsel

Xavier A. Hartmann, III, CPA

Xavier, known as “X,” is almost as passionate about Saints Football as he is about his clients. With the insight he’s gained over his 40+ year career, X provides strategic consulting, tax planning, litigation support and estate planning for a wide range of businesses and individuals. No matter how busy he is in the office, X always makes time for community work and is currently serving as past-president and vice president of endowment for the Mobile Council Boy Scouts of America and a board member of the Mobile-Baldwin Salvation Army. X and his wife Patricia have three adult children, four grandchildren and one spoiled Maltese named Angel.

X graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Alabama and Louisiana Societies of Certified Public Accountants, The Estate Planning Council of Mobile, the Mobile Council of Boy Scouts of America, and the Fairhope Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow).

Rucker T. Taylor III, CPA

If you thought “Midnight Madness” was just for basketball, think again. “Coach” Taylor once opened a youth baseball all-star practice with a “Midnight Madness” – style practice at 12:01 a.m. That kind of initiative is a hallmark of his dedication to clients throughout Baldwin County. Over his 30+ year career, Rucker has worked closely with a wide range of companies to provide strategic guidance, audit services, tax planning and tax preparation services to help clients better manage their growth and profitability. Although he hung up his coach’s cap years ago, Rucker remains involved in the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation, which provides mentoring and peer counseling to teens in Baldwin County, as well as high school and college baseball.

Rucker graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor of science. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Daphne United Methodist Church, vice president of the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation, past-president of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, former member and president of the Foley Optimist Club, and a former coach in Youth Baseball.

Sally S. Wagner, CPA

Speed and strategy are two reasons Sally enjoys NASCAR events. Not surprisingly, they also describe her approach to client service. Sally offers our clients – from individuals to complex entities – timely and strategic guidance on a wide range of issues including taxation, accounting and estate planning. Sally is extremely knowledgeable about a number of industries and has specialized expertise in issues pertaining to healthcare providers, law firms and high net worth individuals. When she’s not in the office, Sally is usually found working with one of the many community groups she supports, including the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce and the Point Clear Rotary.

Sally graduated from the University of South Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in finance. She is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, Mobile Chapter of Certified Public Accounts, Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce and Point Clear Rotary (Paul Harris Fellow). Sally is very involved with the her community and Christ the King Catholic Church.

Diane Anderson

Director of Client Development

Diane is a graduate of the University of South Alabama where she received her Bachelor of Science in Finance.  Her career in banking started while she was in college and continued over the next 25 years.  She most recently served as the Market President for a local bank in Baldwin County.   She joined hb&k in 2014 as the Director of Client Services and Business Development.  Diane and her husband Dan have lived in Baldwin County for over 20 years. She spends many hours volunteering for various local organizations and enjoys traveling.

Tammy L. Busby, CPA, CGMA

Manager of Tax Services and Client Data Systems

With the exception of a year in Montgomery, Tammy has been a part of the hb&k team her entire professional career. A Troy University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree, Tammy is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, Foley Performing Arts Association, and Troy University Alumni Band.  As the manager of tax services and client data systems, Tammy works closely with a variety of clients for tax, estate, and gift.

Marian Pekelder, CPA

Tax Manager

Marian has been with hb&k since January of 2008. She became a CPA in 1992, and since then has become proficient in many areas of tax return preparation, including corporations, partnerships, trusts, non-profit entities and individuals. In the past few years, she has increased her knowledge of and has become adept handling IRS tax resolution issues. She has been previously certified to practice public accounting in Texas and Florida, and is currently a licensed CPA in Alabama where she is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants. Marian received her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of South Alabama where she received The Robert Merton Certificate of Achievement. She returned to school at Texas A&M while living in Texas and completed her accounting and finance course work in order to satisfy requirements for CPA licensure. She is treasurer of her subdivision homeowners’ association.

Shea Dean, MBA, CVA

Manager of Tax and Accounting Services

Shea, a Certified Valuation Analyst, brings with her a decade of experience to hb&k working as an accountant and supervisor for local accounting firms.  She oversees accounting services for businesses and individuals conducted by staff accountants and performs tax and accounting services, financial analysis, and provides litigation support for a variety of clients. Shea is an ambassador for the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce, member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysis. She received her bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2003 and her master’s degree in business administration in 2007, both from the University of South Alabama.

Tiffany L. DeRoy, CPA, MAcc

Tax Manager

Prior to joining hb&k, Tiffany served 8 years in the US Navy as an Inventory Manager.  After the military, she spent the next 14 years working in both private industry and public accounting.  Tiffany’s experience includes, consolidated return filings, S Corp/Partnership/LLC tax preparation, international tax filings, foreign information reporting, non-resident alien tax filings, IC-DISCs and Multi-state tax issues.  She is a member of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Association of Tax Professionals.  Tiffany received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (magna cum laude) and Masters of Accountancy from the University of South Alabama.

Josh Jensen, CPA

Supervisor of Tax and Accounting

Josh, a Mississippi State graduate, has spent his entire career with hb&k. He works primarily in compilations, reviews and income tax preparation for corporations, limited liability companies, non-profits and individuals. Although he serves clients in many industries, Josh specializes in complex construction accounting in which he prepares financial statements, tax returns and contractor’s license applications. Josh has proudly served his country in the MS Army National Guard. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and both the Mississippi and Alabama Societies of Certified Public Accountants. He and his wife volunteer their time and accounting knowledge with their local church. In his spare time, Josh enjoys going to Saints games, tuna fishing and hitting the slopes.

LeeAnn May, CPA

Supervisor of Audit and Accounting

A Troy University graduate, LeeAnn works primarily in the area of audit. She is a member of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  She is a member of and volunteers with Crossroads Church at Belforest Student Ministry and Big Brother Big Sister of South Alabama, and loves to bake delicious treats in her spare time.

Kim Britain, CPA and MAcc

Tax Supervisor

Kim received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Auburn University and her Masters of Accountancy from Troy University. She has more than 15 years of experience in public accounting specializing in individual and corporate tax return preparation. Kim is a member of the AICPA, Alabama Society of CPAs and an active part of her community in Brewton, AL where she is a member of the First Baptist Church. Outside of the office she spends most of her spare time watching her two children play sports and cheering them on at T. R. Miller High School. Go Tigers!

Chris Knight, CPA

Senior Accountant

Chris was recently promoted to senior accountant. He has been with the firm for 4 years, and his focuses are primarily on accounting and audits of governmental and various for profit industries. He did a summer internship with hb&k in the summer of 2009, and was hired full time in 2010 and has been with the firm ever since. He attended Huntingdon College earning a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, and also played 3rd base for the Hawk’s baseball team. He is a resident of Fairhope, and his wife Melissa is a math teacher at Fairhope High School. He is a member of First Baptist Church of Fairhope, the Alabama Society of CPA’s, and Rotaract Club of the Eastern Shore. He is currently training to compete in his first triathlon.

Chad Green, MAcc

Senior Accountant

Chad has been with the firm since July 2014, and focuses primarily on audits of governmental and various for-profit industries. Before joining hb&k, he worked for a CPA firm in Albany, GA for two-and-half years. He attended Huntingdon College earning a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree, while playing catcher for the Huntingdon Hawks baseball team. After earning his bachelors, he attended the University of South Alabama to earn his Masters in Accounting. Chad is looking forward to his wedding this summer to fiancé Sarah Beth Sweatt and is a member of 3Circle Church of the Eastern Shore and Rotaract Club of the Eastern Shore.

Kate W. Thigpen  CPA, MAcc

Staff Accountant II

She has been with the firm full-time since Fall 2013 with experience in both audit and tax preparation of corporations, LLC’s, non profits, and individuals. Kate completed both her undergraduate and Masters of Accountancy at the University of Alabama. While attending Alabama, she spent a semester participating in hb&k’s internship program during the 2012 tax season. She has recently been selected for Class V of the ASCPA Leadership Academy. Kate currently works remotely for hb&k while residing in Hoover with her husband, Van. She is a member of the Young Professionals of Birmingham, an active attendee of the Birmingham Young CPA meetings, and volunteers through the Alabama State Society of CPA’s.

Matt Nettles, CPA

Staff Accountant II

Matt grew up here on the Gulf Coast in Pensacola, Florida and is a graduate of the University of West Florida where he received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He and his wife, Katie, reside in Fairhope and are members of the People of Mars Hill Church. Matt is also a member of the ASCPA and has been selected as a participant in the ASCPA Leadership Academy in 2015-2016. His experience includes tax and audit engagements, while more recently focusing on audit. In his spare time, Matt enjoys hunting, fishing, and Alabama football.

Derrick Cook, CPA, MBA

Staff Accountant II

Derrick is a graduate of Troy University where he received both his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and his Masters in Business Administration. He provides a wide variety of services for our clients within the tax and audit departments. He is a member of the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants.  He and his fiancée, Heidi, have recently purchased a home in the Foley area and attend Gulfway Church where he plays bass for the praise team.  When he has free time, you can find him playing whatever sport he can find.

Erann Thompson

Staff Accountant

Erann is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration specializing in Professional Accounting. She serves clients in a wide variety of industries in both the tax and audit departments. She is also a leader of the FRG with the 778th Support Maintenance Company of the Alabama National Guard out of Jackson, AL. A resident of Foley, Erann enjoys spending time with her family.

Chris VanArsdale

Staff Accountant

Chris is a graduate of the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. During his final year at South Alabama, he participated in hb&k’s internship program during the spring of 2014, which lead to his permanent position on the team. He serves clients of all industries in both tax and audit departments. A current resident of Daphne, Chris spends his time playing golf and traveling.