CPE Speakers

Robert N. Brooks, Executive Director, North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners

Robert N. Brooks is Executive Director of the North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners, an independent governmental agency responsible for the administration of the Uniform CPA Examination; the licensing of individuals as Certified Public Accountants; the monitoring of the professional ethics and conduct of CPAs; and the administration of all other provisions of North Carolina General Statute 93. Brooks, who received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from North Carolina State University, was previously employed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. Since joining the Board of CPA Examiners in 1986, Brooks has been an active member of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). He has served on the State Board Executive Directors’ Committee (of which he was Chairman); Awards Committee; ALEC; Search Committee for NASBA President; Annual Meeting Planning Committee; CPE Advisory Committee; CPE Sponsor Registry Committee; Litigation Response Committee; Meetings and Events Committee; Bylaws Committee; the Public Perception Committee; the UAA Committee; and the Examinations Committee. He is currently serving on the Computer-based Testing (CBT) Administration Committee. Brooks has also served as the Executive Directors' Liaison to the NASBA Board of Directors and as Executive Directors' Liaison to the Examination Review Board.

Robert L. Commerson, Enrolled Agent

Robert Commerson has been an enrolled agent since May 2008, specializing in taxpayer representation, employment taxes, trust fund recovery penalties, installment agreements, offer-in compromise cases, innocent spouse claims, penalty abatement requests, and N.C. Department of Revenue cases. Previously, he had a 35-year career with the Internal Revenue Service as a revenue officer, group manager, program analyst, branch chief, disclosure officer and member of the IRS Instructor Cadre. His professional and civic involvement includes National Association of Enrolled Agents, N.C. Association of Enrolled Agents, Tax Controversy Professionals Group, United Way of Greater High Point (finance committee), Reading Connections (reading tutor), and Sherwood Forest HOA (board member).

William Ezzell, Retired Partner, Deloitte LLP; Co-leader, Pathways Commission

Bill Ezzell was one of the original six members of the Pathways Commission which was formed in 2010 to study of the future structure of accounting higher education. In 2012, Ezzell retired from Deloitte LLP after over 37 years as an audit professional. During his career he served as audit partner on many financial institution engagements and led the firm’s national practice in financial institutions. During his last decade with the firm, he led the legislative and regulatory activities for the Deloitte entities. He was directly involved in the enactment and implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, both of which resulted in significant change for the profession. Ezzell began his professional career with Deloitte in Greensboro, N.C. after receiving his BSBA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a frequent speaker and panelist at accounting conferences and education forums discussing current and emerging issues of interest to accounting educators, practioners and other stakeholders. Ezell has been an active volunteer for his profession and served on the Board of Directors of the AICPA from 1998-2004 and as its chairman from 2002-2003. Subsequently, he served as President of the Board of Trustees of the AICPA Foundation. In 2009, Ezzell received the AICPA's highest service recognition, the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service, and in 2011, he received the Outstanding Service Award from the American Accounting Association.

Mark Kurt, Associate Professor of Economics, Elon University

Mark Kurt is an Associate Professor of Economics and has been at Elon University since 2008. Prior to Elon, Kurt earned his B.S. in economics from Clemson University and his Ph.D. at The University of Iowa. While at Iowa, Kurt worked on the Health Prediction Markets and developed derivative contracts traded on the only SEC licensed prediction stock market. Kurt's research interests include health, labor and macroeconomics. He maintains an active research agenda with publications in journals such as Health Economics and Journal of Labor Research. Outside of academia, Kurt has worked at Lockheed Martin and consulted for ACT.

Greg Lilly, Associate Professor of Economics, Elon University

Greg Lilly taught at Wake Forest University before joining the Elon faculty in 1990. His areas of interest include bounded irrationality, experimental economics, exploratory data analysis and assessment of student learning. He received a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University and a doctorate from Duke University.

Addison Maille, Tax Partner/Member, Smith Leonard

Addison Maille has over 20 years of experience serving individuals, public and privately held companies in the construction, manufacturing, distribution, retail, transportation and not-for-profit industries. His specialties include tax planning for high net worth families, succession planning, and trusts and estates. Maille received a BA in political science from the State University of New York, an MBA from Union University, and a JD from Albany Law School. Maille's professional and civic involvement includes American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, American Bar Association, Greensboro Estate Planning Council, Piedmont Estate Planning Council, Pleasant Ridge Church (treasurer), Rotary Club of the Triad (past president), and GO FAR (board member).

David R. Nance, Deputy Director, North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners

With the NC State Board of CPA Examiners, Nance oversees the board’s financial and administrative functions as well as assists with the board’s professional standards activities. Nance previously worked 30+ years as an audit manager for the Office of the State Auditor (OSA). He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1986. In his years of service with OSA, he worked on audits across the state government spectrum including the Department of Transportation, Wildlife Resources, the Department of Administration, and the N.C. Ports Authority. He also spent over 12 years overseeing OSA’s non-profit audit efforts for the Smart Start programs. His main area of responsibility in the latter years with OSA was oversight of the audit efforts for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and its numerous human services programs.

Matt Valle, Love Professor of Business, Elon University

Matt Valle is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former Air Force pilot. He received an M.S. in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas, an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Florida State University. Valle is an award-winning teacher-scholar and has published over 70 articles in journals such as the Journal of Managerial Issues, the Journal of Management Inquiry and the Journal of Small Business Strategy. He has consulted with Boeing, Raytheon, Bombardier Aerospace/Learjet, Gates Rubber Co. and Conagra, among others. Valle served as a team member and project lead on several high-value DOD acquisition and program upgrade projects. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) and maintains a certification as an associate in project management (CAPM®).  This preparation allows him to effectively teach and guide candidates for the PMP® and CAPM® certifications (offered by the Project Management Institute).

Keith A. Wood, Attorney at Law

Keith Wood is certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a board certified specialist in estate planning and probate law. His practice areas include tax planning and representation of clients before the Internal Revenue Service, corporate law and business transactions, and personal estate planning. Keith is a frequent speaker to civic and professional groups on business planning, taxation, and estate planning, and he has authored published articles on these topics. Mr. Wood is also a CPA and is an active member of NCACPA and a former member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Wood received his undergraduate degree in business administration and his law degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina. While in law school, Keith served as the business manager of the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation.