Our Strength Comes From Our Team

At Halt, Buzas & Powell, we believe we’re only as good as our team. They are the foundation of our success. How do we build a great team? We hire talented certified public accountants and business management consultants who share our core values; we create a great work environment that is professional, personable, and cooperative; we encourage superior performance; and we provide them training that surpasses the industry norms so they feel confident they can do a superior job.

We are dedicated to our clients and our employees and are deeply committed to the integrity that earns their ongoing trust and respect. Our goal is to create a place where our team can realize their professional and personal dreams. In return, we take pride in delivering services that exceeds our customers’ expectations.

Leadership Team

Learn more about our experienced, personable certified public accountants and business management consultants:

Steve Halt, CPA
Tax Partner

Steve Halt has over 42 years of public accounting experience, including advising high-wealth individuals, small- and medium-size businesses, nonprofit organizations, and estates and trusts. Steve assists clients with general business and strategic planning, income tax and cash flow planning, entity selection and structure, and human resource issues. He consults with businesses when they are considering a potential equity partner, sale, or merger of business, and directs communications with financial institutions to provide clients with assistance in obtaining lines of credit or permanent financing.

Over the years, Steve has become a tax hero to his clients by representing them successfully in federal and state tax audits, including serving as an expert witness in the federal court system. Steve is also active in his community and local civic groups and has participated on the boards of both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Steve was recognized by Northern Virginia Magazine as one of the Top Financial Professionals in the category of Income Tax Planning and Investment Planning in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 and was recognized as a Top Tax Accountant by Washingtonian Magazine in 2004, 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2015. He was also twice named a “Smart CPA” by Smart CEO magazine.

In his spare time Steve is found in his garage restoring classic cars, enjoying the fresh air on the golf course, or spending time with his family.

Primary Areas of Expertise

Education

  • University of Maryland: BA, Accounting

Professional Activities & Community Involvement

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Member

Andy Powell, CPA
Partner-in-Charge of Accounting and Audit Practice

W. Andrew “Andy” Powell has more than 25 years of auditing, operational, and financial experience in both large and small organizations, including nonprofits, government contractors, and small businesses. His broad range of expertise includes the auditing of both privately and federally funded organizations in accordance with GAAS, Yellow Book, Super Circular, and various other federal and state requirements. He is also well-versed in issues that affect the government contracting community such as DCAA compliance and pre-award audits, segregating direct versus indirect costs, and maintaining government-compliant timekeeping systems.

Andy’s client background includes such nonprofit organizations as the Duke Ellington School for the Arts and Center for International Environmental Law; government contractors such as Immersion Consulting, JASINT Consulting and Technology, and the

Institute for Building Technology; and small businesses such as Capitol Drywall, Millennium Marketing Solutions, Sandy Excavating, Inc., and Chesapeake Custom Homes.

He is a sought-after speaker on several organizational matters at professional conferences and seminars and is well-versed in the policies, procedures, budgeting process, and business practices of various organizations. He has also been an advisor to government contractors and often speaks on topics such as preparing for DCAA audits and managing internal control systems.

When Andy isn’t in the office he’s a consummate husband-in-training, proud dad, and weekend DIYer. He enjoys spending time with his family and gardening. He likes listening to the rock band Journey, watching football and lacrosse, and catching “Back to the Future” on TV.

Primary Areas of Expertise

Education

  • University of Maryland: BS, Accounting

Professional Activities & Community Involvement

  • AICPA, Member
  • Maryland Association of CPAs, Member
Rally Kamenova

Rally Kamenova
Manager, Outsourced Accounting

Ralitza “Rally” Kamenova has more than 12 years of hands-on experience providing accounting services and solutions to organizations in the greater Washington, D.C. area. Rally has an extensive background helping small businesses and nonprofit organizations achieve their financial management goals.

Rally manages the firm’s Outsourced Accounting department and is affectionately referred to as the “Supreme Leader” by her peers. She is a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and has first-hand knowledge of a variety of other accounting programs, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, Peachtree, and FundEz.

When she steps away from the office, Rally is an aspiring crafter of knitted and crocheted items, as well as jewelry, when she can find the time away from family activities.

Primary Areas of Expertise

Education

  • Tehnièeski universitet Sofija: MS, Telecommunications
  • BI Norwegian Business School
  • MS, Business Strategy

Lana Chebakina, CPA
Tax Manager

Svetlana “Lana” Chebakina is a certified public accountant with more than 10 years of public accounting experience. Lana began her career as a Senior Budget Analyst at Georgetown University before joining Halt, Buzas and Powell, where she works mostly on complex tax return preparation for various nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals.

Lana enjoys supervising and training staff and is skilled at managing multiple complex engagements and providing proactive tax advice to our clients.

In her free time, Lana enjoys spending time with her husband and their two young children. She also enjoys reading fiction novels and wishes she had more time to go to jazz and classical concerts and visit art galleries. She is also fluent in Russian.

Primary Areas of Expertise

Education

  • University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Uzbekistan: BS, Economics
  • The George Washington University – School of Business: MS, Accounting

Professional Activities & Community Involvement

  • Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants

Marco Fernandes, Jr., CPA
Audit Principal

With over 10 years of experience in the accounting profession, Marco Fernandes is a trustworthy and friendly CPA and consultant with a special focus on providing audit and business advisory services to a wide array of nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, and government contractors. His experience includes supervision and management of financial statement audits, reviews, compilations, and consulting.

Marco goes the extra mile to teach his clients accounting principles to reduce the number of future corrections. He assists his clients in cleaning up their books monthly so management can accurately determine cash flows and financial positions to accurately budget for the future. When necessary, he provides clients with internal control improvements and recommendations to strengthen internal control processes.

Marco is a loving husband and father with a penchant for traveling and cooking. When he’s not hard at work, you can find him spending time with friends and family, running, and rooting for the Redskins or the Brazil soccer team.

Primary Areas of Expertise

Education

  • University of Maryland, College Park: BS, Accounting; BS, General Business

Professional Activities & Community Involvement

  • George Mason University Employer Advisory Board, Member (2014-2015)
  • American Institute of CPAs, Member
  • Virginia Society of CPAs, Member
  • Greater Washington Society of CPAs, Member

Astrid Walleck, CPA
Tax Manager

Astrid Walleck is a skilled team leader and mentor with more than 14 years of tax and accounting experience, including experience managing accounts for C-Corporations, S-Corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. Astrid’s areas of expertise include tax compliance and planning, tax research and analysis, and general accounting practices.

Astrid has been known to improve productivity and operations through her strong understanding of tax and accounting principles, astute decision-making abilities, strong client focus, and her ability to improve processes. Her specialties include state and local compliance, financial statement analysis, client service relations, recordkeeping, and mentoring and training staff.

Outside of the office, Astrid enjoys activities such as horseback riding, golfing, soccer, and gardening.

Primary Areas of Expertise

Education

  • University of Hartford: MS, Accounting and Taxation
  • Eastern Connecticut State University: BS, Accounting

Professional Activities & Community Involvement

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
  • Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member

Rachel Ritenour
Director of Operations

Rachel is the firm’s go-to person for nearly every aspect of the firm. Having been with the firm since 2006, she has a wide variety of experience ranging from the day-to-day tasks of providing outsourced accounting support to establishing systems of controls and procedures for accounting departments. She has over 14 years of experience in the financial industry, including ten years of providing public accounting services to organizations in the Washington, D.C. area.

Rachel masters multi-tasking as being the Director of Operations. She keeps the firm moving in a positive and family-orientated atmosphere. She works with the management team to keep employees engaged and helps make the firm one of the Best Places to Work. Her energetic can-do attitude spreads throughout the office. With Rachel’s background of accounting, she is also the firm’s Controller and does HBP’s day-to-day accounting, financials, budgeting and tax preparation. Her heart is with the numbers and continuing to help our clients and employees every chance she gets.

Rachel is a loving wife and mother to a Disney-fanatic family. When she’s not focused on work, you can find her spending time with family and friends, vacationing to the beach and Disney World, at country concerts, shopping and watching Cowboys football.

Primary Area of Expertise

Donovan Brock, CISM
Director, Managed IT Services

Donovan is a solutions-oriented, results driven IT Director with more than 10 years in the IT Industry. His background is from a world of outsourced managed IT services so he has a wide range of experience with many different types of systems and environments. More recently, Donovan has been involved with planning and implementation of information security solutions. He has notable success implementing a broad range of initiatives in direct support of business objectives for a varying array of industries.

Donovan’s military background further add’s to his leadership style and dedication to a project. With a project, no matter how big or small, Donovan is not one to leave just because the work bell rings at 5:00pm. Donovan is dedicated and available until a satisfactory resolution of work required is delivered. Specific areas of expertise include Information and Technology management consulting, network design and implementation, software operations and business continuity/disaster recovery planning. He has a proven track record in secure network design, system analysis and development and full life-cycle IT project management.

Donovan enjoys a social life. Weekend cooking parties, traveling to local breweries and whiskey distilleries, finding random places in the area to explore and general good-hearted tomfoolery. And finally, Donovan loves his DC sports. At any given time if Donovan is not working, you can bet he’s Rockn’ the Red or spending some time Hail’ing the Burgundy and Gold. Go Caps! Go Nats! Go Skins! Go Wiz!

Certifications

  • Certified Information Security Manager (2016)
  • VMware Certified Professional (2015)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE Server Infrastructure) (2014)
  • Security+ and A+ Certified (2012)

Kyle Henn
Marketing Manager

Kyle Henn is a brand strategist with almost 10 years of experience and is in charge of all things marketing at HBP. In her role as marketing coordinator, Kyle oversees both traditional and digital marketing efforts, ranging from the firm’s in-house graphic design and photography to event planning and social media. Kyle brings a unique perspective as the marketing lead in the financial services industry as her career started on the client services side of the industry at T. Rowe Price. Needing a change of pace Kyle followed her passions and traded in client services for more behind-the-scenes work, working as graphic designer for both TEKsystems in Hanover, MD and later Illumine8 Marketing and PR in Frederick, MD. Her expertise in professional design paired with her knack for logistics makes her an invaluable member of the HBP team, and right at home as the one-woman marketing show at the firm.

Kyle holds a Master’s of Arts in Publication Design from the University of Baltimore, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and Media and Communication from UMBC, where she played D1 lacrosse. Kyle is an active mom to a wild and spunky toddler and two rescued pitbulls. Kyle’s lacrosse career continues after nearly two and a half decades, now serving as the team captain for the Greene Turtle Women’s Team, and serving as both a coach and referee at the youth level. Outside of work and the lacrosse field Kyle and her husband hit the waves in the summer and the slopes in the winter and love all things adventure. Her love of photography is what lead her to the graphic design and marketing field.

Education

  • UMBC: BS, Graphic Design; BS, Media and Communications
  • University of Baltimore: M.A. in Publications Design

Professional Activities

  • AIGA
  • Association for Account Marketers