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Team

Craig Stephanson, CVA

Managing Director

Craig specializes in the valuation of family limited partnerships and the valuation of real estate entities for estate planning and administration as well as succession planning and partner disputes. Craig has hands-on experience working in closely held businesses where he was responsible for all accounting and tax functions, as well as project financing, management, and acquisition and feasibility analysis.

Craig began his career in public accounting in 1981 at Arthur Andersen & Co. providing auditing and income tax planning services for public and private companies for five years. He then went on to serve as Chief Financial Officer for several private real estate development and investment companies within the metropolitan Washington, DC area. In 1995, Craig joined Valuation Services, Inc. to provide valuation and litigation support services. In 1998, he became President of Valuation Services, Inc. Craig is a leading expert on the formation and valuation of family limited partnerships and specializes in the valuation of real estate partnerships for estate planning and administration, succession planning, divorce proceedings, partner disputes, and litigation support. Over the years, he has published articles and books, presented, and been engaged as an Expert Witness in the areas of valuation of closely held businesses and fractional interests in closely held businesses. Craig is an active member of national and local valuation related professional organizations, and a member of both the Washington, DC Estate Planning Council and the Northern Virginia Estate Planning Council.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • University of Richmond, BS in Accounting
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
  • National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)
  • Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA)
  • Washington, DC Estate Planning Council (WDCEPC)
  • Northern Virginia Estate Planning Council (NVEPC)
LITIGATION EXPERIENCE
  • American Arbitration Association
  • Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, MD
  • Circuit Court for the City of Baltimore
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of VA
  • Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Kings
PUBLISHED WORK
  • The IRS Continues to Attack Poorly Designed Family Limited Partnership – Estate of Concetta H. Rector – Wealth Strategies Journal, October 2008 (co-authored with Jeff Bae)
  • Family Limited Partnerships Must Jump the Section 2036 Hurdle – Practical Tax Strategies, May 2003
  • Hackl v. Commissioner – IRS Wins Round One in Court Battle Regarding Gifts of LLC Interests – Practical Tax Strategies, February 2003
  • Family Limited Partnerships – Teaching Materials on Estate Planning, 2nd edition, Gerry W. Beyer, November 1999
  • Consultants Column, Valuing Real Estate Ownership Interests – Corridor Real Estate Journal, February – June 1999
  • How to Establish a Successful Family Limited Partnership – The Practical Lawyer, September 1998
  • Valuation Discounts for Tenancy in Common Interests in Real Estate – Valuation Examiner, February 1998
SELECTED SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
  • What to Look for in a Valuation Expert and How to Review Their Reports – Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Valuing Reimbursement Rights in Generational Split Dollar Arrangements – 2005 Key Advisor Symposium, Las Vegas
  • Guest Lecturer – American University, Graduate Accounting Program, Seminar in Family Estate Planning
  • Guest Lecturer – Georgetown University Law School – Certificate in Wealth Planning Program
  • The Real Truth About Valuation Discounts – D.C. Estate Planning Council presentation
  • Taking the Mystery Out of Valuation Discounts – Suburban Maryland Estate Planning Council presentation

Jeff Bae, JD, CVA

Managing Director

Jeff provides valuation consulting services for business owners, attorneys, accountants, and other professional services providers, for gift and estate tax reporting, income tax reporting, reorganizations, buy/sell agreements, marital dissolution, litigation support, IRC §409A (deferred compensation), financial reporting (i.e., ASC 805/350 and SFAS 123R), ESOPs, and financing purposes.

Jeff began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in their National Tax Office. As an international tax associate, he advised multinational companies on the tax implications of their international operations as well as coordinating U.S. tax laws with foreign tax laws to develop optimal tax strategies. Jeff’s main expertise is in the valuation of ownership interests in operating businesses and closely-held, private entities that own real properties, marketable securities, and other income-producing assets. He is an active member of national and local professional organizations and frequently travels to Florida to manage VSI’s Miami office. Jeff has been involved in over 6,000 valuation engagements.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Admitted to the Maryland Bar
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • University of Virginia – MS in Accounting – Tax, DuPont Fellowship Recipient
  • University of Miami School of Law – Juris Doctor
  • Emory University – BA in Sociology
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
  • National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)
  • Virginia Chapter of NACVA
  • Maryland Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Northern Virginia Estate Planning Council
PUBLISHED WORK
  • The IRS Continues to Attack Poorly Designed Family Limited Partnership – Estate of Concetta H. Rector – Wealth Strategies Journal, October 2008 (co-authored with Craig Stephanson)
  • Family Limited Partnerships Must Jump the Section 2036 Hurdle – Practical Tax Strategies, May 2003 (co-authored with Craig Stephanson)
  • IRS Wins Round One in Court Battle Regarding Gifts of LLC Interests – Practical Tax Strategies, February 2003 (co-authored with Craig Stephanson)
  • Disclaimers: The Last Line of Defense When Wrestling with Estate Planning Problems – Trusts & Estates, December 200 (co-authored with Dr. David Maloney)
SELECTED SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
    • Navigating Through the Business Valuation Process – JD Networking Group, March 20, 2015
    • Business Valuations Hot Button Topics – Broward County Estate Planning Council, November 13, 2014
    • Business Valuations Hot Button Topics – McLean Estate Planning Council, June 25, 2014
    • Business Valuations Hot Button Topics – Arlington County Bar Association, May 13, 2014.
    • Valuing Derivatives – National Association of Valuation Analysts Maryland/DC State Chapter Meeting, May 20, 2011.
    • Debunking the Myths: Business Valuations and Their Legal and Financial Impacts During Tough Economic Times – Society of Financial Service Professionals – National Capital Chapter, May 27, 2009.

Emrah Kocak, CFA

Principal

Emrah provides valuation and consulting services for tax and financial reporting purposes. Emrah has particular experience in valuation of ownership interests in operating businesses (including early-stage companies with complex capital structures), private equity, and venture capital funds. His experience also includes valuation of stock options, warrants, restricted stock and other types of equity-based compensation for tax and financial reporting purposes. Emrah is a CFA charterholder and is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining VSI, Emrah worked at Hogan & Hartson L.L.P. as a Financial Analyst where he analyzed financial data for the Executive Committee and worked closely with the Chairman and Managing Partners performing a variety of financial and analytical tasks.

A graduate of Purdue University (2003) with an MBA in Finance and Strategy, Emrah also holds a BS in Public Administration & Political Science from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Purdue University – MBA in Finance and Strategy
  • Middle East Technical University, Turkey – BS in Public Administration & Political Science
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
  • CFA Institute
  • CFA Society of Washington, D.C.

Reza Sadeghi, CVA

Director

Reza provides valuation and consulting services for attorneys and other professional services providers, for purposes of gift and estate tax planning, reorganizations, buy/sell agreements, divorce and litigation support. He is also an active member of NACVA.

Prior to joining VSI, Reza worked at America Online as a Financial Analyst where he performed financial reporting and budget analysis. Reza also has experience in the public sector at the Department of Transportation where he produced monthly financial profiles, projected fiscal year purchases and assisted in the fiscal year close out process.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University (2008) with a Master’s in Applied Economics, Reza also holds a BS in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University (2002).

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • Carnegie Mellon University – BS in Business Administration with a Major in Finance
  • Johns Hopkins University – M.A. in Applied Economics
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
  • National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)

Stephanie Kenny

Director

Stephanie has extensive experience providing valuation services for companies from a variety of industries, but specializes in the valuation of complex estates and multi-tiered entities. She has worked closely with clients conducting fair market valuations for gift and estate tax planning, income tax, buy-sell agreements, corporate planning and restructuring, and Employee Stock Ownership Plans. Stephanie also has experience conducting purchase price allocations and intangible asset valuations as well as conducting goodwill impairment testing for financial reporting purposes. Additionally, Stephanie has valued private equity and venture capital funds.

Prior to joining Valuation Services, Stephanie was an Assistant Vice President at a national valuation firm.

Stephanie graduated summa cum laude from The College of New Jersey, with a BS in Finance.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • The College of New Jersey – BS in Finance

Karen Kidd, CVA

Director

Karen specializes in the valuation of closely held entities primarily for gift tax and estate tax planning and compliance purposes. Due to her vast experience in the real estate industry, Karen’s main expertise is valuing fractional ownership interests in private investment holding companies that own commercial real estate. The different types of commercial real estate held by such closely held entities include office, industrial, multi-family, retail, lodging, and development land. Karen also values closely held entities that own other types of passive investments such as marketable securities and other financial instruments.

Karen began her career in public accounting in 1988 with Ernst & Whinney and later Ernst & Young. After four years, she went to work for Western Development Corporation, which later became the publicly traded real estate investment trust, Mills Corporation. Karen obtained the position of Property Controller and left in 1997 to raise her family. Karen joined VSI in 1999 as a consultant.

Karen graduated from James Madison University with a BBA in Accounting.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • James Madison University, BBA in Accounting
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
  • National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)

Brienne Shepski, CVA

Director

Brienne performs business valuations for a variety of purposes including gift and estate tax planning, financial reporting (ASC Topic 805, 350 and 718), mergers and acquisitions, stock option pricing, shareholder disputes, marital disputes, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, and S corporation elections. Brienne’s expertise includes operating businesses, government contractors, professional practices, restaurants, retailers and limited partnerships holding a variety of assets including real estate and marketable securities.

Brienne holds an MBA from The Sellinger School of Business at Loyola University Maryland and a BS in Business from Salisbury University. She is a member of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA) and holds the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) designation. Prior to joining Valuation Services, Brienne was a Senior Analyst at Patuxent Valuation Group in Columbia, Maryland.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • Loyola University Maryland, MBA
  • Salisbury University, BS in Business
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
  • National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)

James McCrane, CFA

Director

James graduated cum laude from Villanova University (2006), with a BS in Finance and a BS in Economics. Before joining VSI, James worked as a Vice President at a national valuation firm.

James provides business valuation services for various purposes including gift and estate tax reporting, corporate planning, financial reporting, and Employee Stock Ownership Plans. James has performed valuations of many types of entities, including securities and real estate holding companies, contractors, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers. He has also valued interests in hedge and private equity funds. James has worked closely with attorneys, accountants, company directors and managers, and shareholders, among others.

James is a CFA charterholder and is a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Philadelphia.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Villanova University, BS in Finance
  • Villanova University, BS in Economics
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
  • CFA Institute
  • CFA Society of Philadelphia

CJ Stephanson, CVA

Manager

CJ’s experience includes providing valuation services for asset holding companies holding a variety of asset categories, including real estate, marketable security investments, private note receivables, and other miscellaneous assets types. Additionally, CJ has experience providing fair market value analyses and other valuation services for operating businesses in diverse industries, private equity funds, hedge funds, options, thinly-trade public securities, and restricted stock. CJ has worked with numerous clients conducting fair market valuations for family-owned entities including limited and general partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability companies, and C and S corporations. He also has extensive experience valuing assets as part of complex, multi-entity ownership structures. CJ performs business valuations for gift and estate tax planning and reporting purposes, income tax reporting purposes, as well as for internal corporate planning, restructuring, and financial lending purposes.

CJ graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Corporate Finance and a minor in Accounting. Prior to joining Valuation Services Inc., CJ was an Associate Wealth Advisor at United Bank.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • Clemson University, BS in Corporate Finance, Minor in Accounting
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
  • National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)

Jacob Meredith, CFA

Manager

Jacob provides valuation services for various types of closely held enterprises including asset holding companies and operating businesses in a wide gamut of industries such as government contracting, manufacturing, real estate, technology, and professional services, among others. Additionally, Jacob has extensive experience valuing intangible assets, such as trade names, and interests in complex, multi-tiered entities. He has worked with clients conducting fair market valuations for both gift and estate tax planning and reporting, as well as internal corporate planning and financial lending purposes. Jacob’s expertise includes capital markets analysis and risk profile assessment.

Prior to joining VSI, Jacob founded and operated an independent registered investment advisory firm.

Jacob graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a BS in Business with a major in Finance. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Washington, D.C.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech): BS in Business, Major: Finance
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

William Stehm

Senior Associate

Will provides valuation services for asset holding companies that own a variety of asset categories, including marketable security investments, private equity and hedge fund investments, real estate, private note receivables, and other miscellaneous asset types. Will has worked on numerous valuation engagements providing fair market valuations for gift and estate tax planning and reporting, as well as internal corporate planning.

Prior to joining VSI, Will spent five years in the Institutional Investment Solutions group of SunTrust Bank where he provided comprehensive investment management services to private foundations, endowments, and trade associations across the U.S. After SunTrust, he spent two years at a real estate development and investment firm in Cincinnati, Ohio before returning to the Washington, D.C. area.

Will graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a BS in Finance with a concentration in Investment Management. He is currently a CFA Level III Candidate and a member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Washington, D.C.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, BS in Finance

Annie Buckalew

Senior Associate

Annie provides valuation services for asset holding companies that own a variety of asset categories, including marketable security investments, private equity and hedge fund investments, real estate, private note receivables, and other miscellaneous asset types.

Prior to joining VSI, Annie spent seven years at a retail trade association in Washington, DC where she provided systems and accounting services to the non-profit organization. Annie graduated magna cum laude from The Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University with a BS in Finance, as well as a concentration in corporate finance and a minor in accounting. She is also currently a CFA Level 1 Candidate.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Clemson University, Calhoun Honors College, BS in Financial Management

Vera Nugent

Controller

As the Controller, Vera is responsible for the overall smooth operation of the company. This includes, but is not limited to accounting, human resources, and operations management.

Vera has over 18 years of experience working for small to mid-size companies, specializing in accounting and business operations. Prior to joining the VSI team, she worked as the Controller for Rounds Vanduzer Architects. She also worked for Pasternak & Fidis, PC where she handled accounting and bookkeeping.

Vera has a BA in Communications, a BS in Business Administration, and a Corporate Finance certificate from Georgetown University. She is a Notary Public for the Commonwealth of Virginia as well.

EDUCATION & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies – Certificate in Corporate Finance
  • University of Maryland – BS in Business Administration
  • Janos Kodolanyi College (Budapest, Hungary) – BA in Communications

Anna Rose Greenberg

Office Coordinator

As Office Coordinator for VSI, Anna Rose is responsible for report editing, as well as website updates, office organization, and other administrative tasks that ensures VSI’s stable and smooth operation.

Prior to joining VSI, Anna Rose wrote and edited marketing content for technology startups in the DC area.

She graduated from Oberlin College with a BA in Creative Writing and a minor in Russian and East European Studies.

Education & Certifications

  • Oberlin College, BA in Creative Writing & Minor in Russian and East European Studies

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