Sarah E. Richards, CPA

A&A Partner & Practice Leader

Sarah works with a variety of non-public companies ranging from closely held businesses to venture capital and private equity backed entities, with a concentration in private equity and investor-controlled businesses. She primarily provides clients with accounting and assurance services including audits, reviews and similar financial statement engagements in a range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, consumer products and technology. She is sought after as an internal resource for addressing complex accounting matters in a practical manner for advising clients. Sarah’s experience also includes providing buy-side financial due diligence on merger and acquisition transactions.

Additionally, Sarah has extensive experience in audits of employee benefit plans and is the leader of the firm’s Employee Benefit Plan Audit Practice, which provides audit services to approximately 60 defined contribution and defined benefit plans annually.

Prior to joining the firm in 2004, Sarah spent three years in the Assurance and Advisory Business Services group at Ernst & Young. Sarah graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Master of Accountancy and a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Sarah is a member of the AICPA and the Vermont Society of CPAs. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Lake Champlain Chamber, the board of trustees of the Vermont Commons School, and as a Corporator for Northfield Savings Bank. She is also a 2009 graduate of the Leadership Champlain program, and a 2014 graduate of the Excellence in Executive Leadership (ExcEL) program.

She resides in Fairfax, Vermont, with her husband, Ben, and her daughter, Eliza.

Steve works with a diverse range of clients in commercial sectors and is the firm’s expert in servicing not-for-profit organizations in both compliance and consulting capacities.  He is particularly effective in working with mission-driven organizations with multiple bottom lines and organizations with formal boards of directors on broad issues.  In the not-for-profit sector, his clients include social welfare agencies, foundations, a national membership association, research organizations, and religious institutions, many of which follow a “policy governance” model.  In the commercial sector, Steve services clients including consumer food cooperatives, manufacturing, distribution, construction, and software development industries, among others.

Steve’s philosophy is to help clients, in both audit and consulting capacities, build internal strength to develop more accurate, timely, and meaningful financial information for the overall effective management of their organizations.  Such services include improving financial accounting and analysis for decision making and planning, increasing the effectiveness of internal accounting control and office operations, developing effective internal financial reporting systems and protocols, developing indirect cost rates for grant cost recovery, and enhancing cost controls.  Steve has also worked closely on many executive searches to find the right people, at various levels, for our clients.

Steve earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Vermont in 1983.  Married since 1982, he and his wife, Debbie, have raised four wonderful children to adulthood, and are actively involved in the community.  He currently serves on the Elder Board of Christ Memorial (since 1997), the Operations Committee of the United Way of Northwestern Vermont (since 2000), and as President of the Board of Directors of Christian Ministries, Inc. (media broadcasting, since 2012). He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants.

 

Mark provides accounting and consulting services to a diverse client base, and leads the firm’s Business Valuation and Litigation Support services team. In public accounting, Mark provides services to a variety of industries including, but not limited to manufacturing, retail, distribution, food, construction and service organizations. Mark’s varied business experience provides him with the ability to understand the various requirements of clients and to provide value-added services whether it involves accounting, business valuation or other business consulting matters, such as mergers and acquisitions.

Mark earned his Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) designation after completing the Exit Planning Institute’s intensive CEPA five-day executive MBA-style program in Chicago. He joins an elite group of business advisors who have received this designation. The program was specifically designed for business advisors who work closely with owners of privately held companies.

Mark is a graduate of the Graduate School of Professional Accounting Program at Northeastern University, where he received his Master’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Vermont.  In addition, he has obtained further specialized certifications from American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), National Association of Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) and the Exit Planning Institute (EPI).

Mark is very community focused and values being of service to others. He is currently a board member of the Center on Rural Innovations and Advanced Transit (local transportation non-profit).  His previous community involvement includes service on the Upper Valley United Way Board as President and Treasurer, as a board member of the Granite United Way Executive Committee, a Trustee of the Howe Library Corporation, and Treasurer of Connecticut Valley Cal Ripken Baseball League.

Mark resides in Hanover with his wife Laura and their children.

Fran works with a broad group of commercial businesses varying in size, recently emerging as a specialist in the food and beverage industry while also serving clients operating in the manufacturing, distribution, retail, construction, and professional services sectors. He specializes in financial statement reviews and compilations, with multiple years of audit, accounting, and business advisory experience.

Fran joined GFC in 2018 after five years with RSM US LLP in Boston. Fran earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Saint Michael’s College and completed his Master of Science in Accounting at Northeastern University before starting his public accounting career with RSM.

Fran is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants. He currently serves as a Board Member of Mercy Connections, a Vermont-based nonprofit committed to education and social justice, as well as empowering people to make significant life changes.

Mark works with a broad variety of commercial and not-for-profit organizations including retail, service providers, and mission-oriented organizations.  He specializes in financial statement audits, reviews and other accounting services, and has experience in a variety of industries including with construction, manufacturing, residential care facilities, independent schools, public broadcasting and health and welfare employee benefit plans.

Mark joined GFC in 2020 as an Audit Manager.  Prior to joining GFC, he spent over three years at KMPG and over three years at PwC in their Vermont offices.  Most recently he worked for  six years at Grippin, Donlan, Pinkham, a small local firm in South Burlington, Vermont.  Mark earned a Bachelor’s degree in Science of Business Management with a concentration in Accounting from Babson College.  He played for the NCAA Division III soccer team all four years.

Mark is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Mark grew up in rural Fletcher, Vermont, and currently resides in South Burlington with his wife, Samantha.  In his free time, he enjoys traveling, playing soccer and supporting his eclectic choices of sports teams.

Cathy has substantial experience in both public and private accounting. In public accounting, she has provided audit services to a variety of industries including, but not limited to manufacturing, construction, service, retail, real estate, and captive insurance. She also has experience serving organizations with Uniform Guidance requirements. While in private accounting, Cathy was responsible for the general ledger and financial reporting for a national healthcare software provider, a national food service company, and a large printing company serving primarily the Eastern United States.

Prior to joining GFC in 2010, Cathy spent eight years as an auditor with KPMG’s Burlington, Vermont, office where she audited large publicly traded companies, non-public companies, employee benefit plans and captive insurance companies. Previous to KPMG, Cathy spent eleven years in various accounting roles in several privately held companies in the Burlington, Vermont, area.

Cathy is a graduate of Trinity College of Vermont, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration. She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Vermont Society of CPAs and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Cathy resides in Fairfax, Vermont, with her husband Kirk.

 

Kelly is an Audit and Consulting Partner with substantial experience in both public and private accounting. In public accounting, she has provided audit and consulting services to a variety of industries including, but not limited to manufacturing, construction, retail, real estate, ski resorts, government contracting, health care, and higher education. She also has experience serving pension audit clients and organizations with Uniform Guidance requirements. While in private accounting, Kelly was responsible for the general ledger and financial reporting for a large Vermont construction company which operates throughout New England and the eastern United States.

Prior to joining GFC in 2009, Kelly spent 15 years as an auditor with KPMG’s Burlington, Vermont, office where she audited large publicly traded companies, non-public companies and not-for-profit organizations. Previous to KPMG, Kelly spent 10 years as Assistant Controller of a privately held construction company in South Burlington, Vermont.

Kelly is a graduate of Trinity College of Vermont, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Business Administration. She is also a member of the American Institution of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Vermont Society of CPAs.

Kelly resides in Hinesburg, Vermont, with her husband Ernie and daughter Grace.

Rachit Shah has been in public accounting since 2010. He has vast experience in A&A, having served clients in India and the US in the manufacturing, EV, real estate, telecommunications, IT, retail, and hospitality sectors.

Rachit joined GFC in 2022 from KPMG where he served as a Manager. Prior to that, he worked as an Assistant Manager at EY and has also worked in the EY Atlanta, GA office for 4 years.

Rachit graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Auditing from Gujarat University. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and Certified Public Accountancy in Oregon.

He currently resides in Ahmedabad, India with his wife, Khushboo, and their two children, Anmmay and Anvika. He likes to watch movies and listen to music.

Amy  works collaboratively with a broad range of commercial and not-for-profit organizations including manufacturing, distribution, retail, service providers, and various mission-oriented organizations. She specializes in financial statement and uniform guidance audits, reviews, form 990s, and other accounting services, and has experience in a variety of industries including software, renewable energy, industrial manufacturing, consumer products, independent schools, and private foundations.

Amy joined GFC in 2009 after graduating from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Accounting. She serves on the board of directors of Special Olympics Vermont as treasurer and finance committee chair. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants. She is also certified to perform audits in accordance with Government Auditing Standards for entities receiving federal funds.

Amy was born and raised in rural northeast Vermont, where she grew up in a large family. She currently resides in Waterbury, Vermont with her husband, Andy. In her free time, she enjoys scenic walks and hikes, spending time with her nieces and nephews, and undertaking ambitious home renovation projects. She was also a long-time member of GFC’s softball team.

university of vermont logo

  • University of Vermont, Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Accounting
  • Serves on the board of directors of Special Olympics Vermont – Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair
  • Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • Member of the Vermont Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Certified to perform audits in accordance with Government Auditing Standards for entities receiving federal funds