Pal, Antennucci, Feraidoon, and Franchino receiving their awards earlier this year.
Pal, Antennucci, Feraidoon, and Franchino receiving their awards earlier this year. WithumSmith + Brown

WithumSmith+Brown, PC (Withum) recently awarded nine staff members with their 2016-17 Strength Awards. The recipients were chosen by over 800 of their peers and honored at Withum’s annual "State of the Firm" meeting in January.

The awards are a part of the firm's yearlong Strength Stories campaign - a recognition program in which Withum staff, clients and external individual submit candidates for consideration. Recognized Withum staffers will also have the opportunity to appear on Bloomberg Radio to share their own "strength" stories.

“At Withum, our responsive, talented staff has established an extremely high benchmark for industry expertise and client service and these individuals have elevated our standards to an entirely new, impressive level,” said Bill Hagaman, Withum's managing partner and CEO, in a statement. “Their unwavering creativity and commitment help their peers and clients achieve a position of strength – for which these awards are so aptly named.”

Rhen, Rodriguez, Cassano, Sharma, and Lazaro with their awards.
Rhen, Rodriguez, Cassano, Sharma, and Lazaro with their awards. WithumSmith + Brown

The following Withum staff members were recognized as 2016-17 Strength Award recipients:

· Jarrod Rhen (Croydon, Pa., senior manager/Princeton office) - Fred S. Withum Outstanding Achievement Award:
Recognized for his ability to teach complex issues, particularly in the area of derivative transactions. Rhen also assumed critical audit areas and provides services that build team-wide consensus.

· Keishla Rodriguez (Orlando, Fla., office manager/Orlando office) - Withum Administrative Strength Award:
Rodriguez provided notable client service associated with assimilating another large Orlando firm into Withum’s Florida office. She also designed and implemented a financial statement approval process and created a centralized system for handling job requests.

· Joe Cassano (Aberdeen, N.J., senior manager/New York City office) - Withum Marketing Strength:
Cassano is directly responsible for generating nearly $250,000 in revenue, with almost as much in outstanding proposals. Cassano has also written three industry-related articles and is a co-contributor of Withum’s Alternative Investment Fund Prof-Forma Financial Statement Reference Manuals and Emerging Manager Desk Reference Manual.

· Anurag Sharma (Pennington, N.J., principal, SOC/Cyber Advisory Services/Princeton Office) - Withum Innovative Strength:
Sharma recommended a newly issued NIST Cybersecurity Framework to a large firm client. He led methodology implementation and provided a multi-tier reporting structure, which enables a detailed technical-personnel reporting framework. The executive summary was presented to the audit committee and full board.

· The General Assembly Team of Stephen Antenucci (Jamesburg, N.J., manager/Red Bank Office); Solomon Feraidoon (Jersey City, N.J., senior/Morristown Office); Sumit Pal (Plainsboro, N.J. principal/Princeton Office); and Salvatore Franchino (New York, N.Y., staff II accountant/New York City office) - Leonard H. Smith Strength of Client Service:
During an engagement involving an all-encompassing ACL/Data mining project, the group provided over 10,500 service hours spanning 10 months. The team completely reconstructed a company’s financial statements spanning two years and five countries.

· Christina Lazaro (Toms River, N.J., manager/Red Bank office) - Withum Community Strength:
Since 2012, Lazaro has been the event chairperson of the Monmouth/Ocean St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, which raised $160,000 for the second consecutive year. She also attended the Volunteer Leadership Conference at St. Jude in Memphis, Tenn. this year.

For more on the Strength Awards and Withum, head to the firm's site here.

Sean McCabe

Sean McCabe is a senior editor with Accounting Today.