MRA Associates announces new partners and promotions in 2020

MRA Associates, one of the Valley’s leading independent registered investment advisors, recently announced that Ryan Penniman and J.T. Vandegriff have been promoted to partner.

Ryan Penniman joined MRA Associates in 2012 and has been instrumental to our tax and wealth management practice areas. In his new role as partner, Penniman provides investment advisory, tax planning, tax compliance, and wealth management services to clients. Penniman earned a Master of Taxation degree from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University (ASU). Prior to graduate school, he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in both Finance and Accountancy, from ASU. Penniman is a Certified Public Accountant in Arizona.

Ryan Penniman

J.T. Vandegriff joined MRA Associates in 2018. In his new role as partner, Vandegriff provides investment advisory, financial planning, and other wealth management services to help clients successfully navigate their financial future. He also serves as a member of the MRA Associates Management Committee. Vandegriff earned his Master of Business Administration with a focus in Global Finance from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in 2007. He graduated Cum Laude from Ohio University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business and Business Economics. He is a CFA® Charterholder, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst®.

“Our diverse and talented MRA Associates team is dedicated to providing the highest level of client service,” said Mark Feldman, CEO and managing partner of MRA Associates. “We built our firm to be sustainable for future generations and are proud to recognize the team members who are developing into future leaders.”

The firm has also announced seven additional promotions in the new year. 

Chris Bergthold has been promoted to client advisor. In his new role, he manages investment advisory, wealth management, and tax compliance relationships. He excels in assisting our clients from both a technical skillset and client service perspective. 

Allie Russo has been promoted to senior client associate. In her new position, Russo focuses on providing high-quality service to investment advisory, wealth management, and tax clients. Her responsibilities include providing investment analysis, estate and financial planning, and tax compliance services.

Shqiprona Vojka

Jon Hersam has been promoted to human resources manager. In this new role, he directs the functions of the human resources department including recruiting, payroll, benefits management, performance management, training development, and enforcing company policies and practices. 

Marc Dacanay has been promoted to senior client administrator/CSS project manager. In his new role, Marc is responsible for performing all operational duties while supporting and coaching other client administrators in the firm’s Client Support Services department. He also leads a variety of projects with the focus of enhancing the firm’s client experience and support and increase operational efficiencies. 

Kelly Inglhofer has been promoted to marketing specialist. In her new position, she is responsible for contributing to strategic direction, design, and execution of all internal and external communications that effectively support the MRA Associates’ goals. 

Shqiprona Vojka has been promoted to human resources coordinator. In this new role, her responsibilities include supporting the human resources manager with full-cycle employee recruiting and onboarding, payroll processing, and the management of employee benefit and engagement programs.

Gina Farley has been promoted to senior tax operations specialist. In this new role, she supports the tax department with day-to-day operations and ensures process and workflow standards are maintained.

MRA Associates focuses on team building and employee-centered business practices as one of its key values. Team members are empowered to take the lead on projects and have the opportunity to become future partners. The firm continues to be ranked as one of AZCentral’s Top Companies to Work For in Arizona and one of Pensions and Investments Best Places to Work in Money Management.

For more information about MRA Associates, visit

Sherman & Howard elects 5 new partners

Sherman & Howard announced that Cody Barela, Nick DeWeese, Jessica Diaz, Beth Ann Lennon, and Jennifer Szkatulski have been elected as members of the firm.

“We are proud of these outstanding attorneys and their accomplishments,” said Chief Executive Officer Greg Densen. “They are team players who have made significant contributions to our practices, regularly deliver valued counsel, and uphold our commitment to client service. We congratulate each of our new members and look forward to their continued success.”

Jennifer Szkatulski is an Estate & Tax Planning member in Sherman & Howard’s Scottsdale, Arizona office. She advises individuals and families on wealth transfer planning, estate and gift tax planning, charitable planning, and trust administration. Utilizing creative approaches, Jennifer focuses on each client’s individual needs by creating tax-advantaged structures to assist clients in carrying out their vision, including both financial and philosophical goals for their families and communities. Additionally, Jennifer guides her clients in meeting their social and philanthropic goals as part of their overall estate planning objectives.

DFDG Architecture elevates 3 new principals

DFDG Architecture (DFDG) announced the addition of three new Principals to its leadership team, Jim Lloyd, Becky Tomasek and Jana Brickey. Each exemplifies the vision and values that have guided the firm for the last 50 years.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing three new principals into our business,” said John Dick, Principal and founder of DFDG. “Jim Lloyd, Becky Tomasek and Jana Brickey have been performing like principals for some time, and now we are formally recognizing them in that role. Over the past 50 years we have actively promoted our belief that the best way for DFDG to grow is organically, by grooming and elevating key staff into positions of trust and responsibility. Our clients, staff and industry partners know the management and operations of our company will always be in good hands.”

Jim Lloyd, AIA, joined DFDG in 2013 as a Senior Project Manager, and Studio Director managing staff and resources. Jim has been instrumental in several high-profile projects including the University of Arizona South Stadium Parking Structure, Chandler Gilbert Community College Agave Hall and Estrella Mountain Community College Arroyo Hall.

Becky Tomasek, IIDA, NCIDQ, COEE started her career at DFDG in 2003 and took over as Director of Interior Design in 2010. She plays an instrumental role on every project and mentors and guides the interior design staff. Her influence can be seen across the firm’s portfolio. Notable projects include including The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, ASU Health Futures Center at the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix Suns Practice Facility, and the SRP PERA Club.

Jana Brickey, CPSM, joined the firm as Marketing Manager in 2010. In 2014 she was named Director of Business Development, where she has been instrumental in leading successful project pursuits for the firm, including ASU Health Futures Center at the Mayo Clinic, Northern Arizona University STEM Research Building and ASU Mill Avenue Parking Structure.

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