Our Team

Partners      Columbus Office      Circleville Office      Piketon Office


Michael A. Balestra, CPA

As a partner for BHM, Michael has the responsibility for the management of a variety of services provided to the firm's clients. These services include financial statement audits and compilations, consulting projects, fraud projects, financials projections, account reconciliations, tax preparation, and agreed upon procedures for a variety of clients. Michael's primary responsibility is directing the Government Sector for the firm which includes consulting, audit and accounting services for Federal, State and Local Governments. Michael is a Technical Peer Reviewer for the AICPA Peer Review Program. Michael is also a licensed Ohio School District Treasurer and Ohio School District Business Manager.

Before joining BHM CPA Grroup, Michael's firm offered technical training, consulting services and attestation services to all levels of government and small businesses. Prior to starting his own firm, Michael was a Senior Audit Manager for the Southeast Region of the Auditor of State's office where he gained extensive experience in accounting and auditing for State and Local Governments. Michael has been involved as a speaker for training sessions for the firm, other CPA firms, professional organizations, Auditor of State, and South Central Ohio Computer Association.

Michael earned BBA degree in Accounting and Economics from Ohio University. He is licensed to practice as a Certified Public Accountant in the States of Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Also, Michael is a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Government Finance Manager, Certified Information Security Manager and Certified Information Technology Professional.

Michael is a technical review committee member for the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) where he volunteers his time to review Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports for governments. Michael participates in the Junior Achievement Program in local schools. Michael is a past member of the Regional Advisory Board of the Ohio Auditor of State and the Hooks for Books, a non-profit program to provide scholarships for Appalachian Students. Michael also volunteers as a manager and coach for the City Recreation Department, Little League, Upward Bounds, and Youth Soccer League.

Michael is a member of the following professional organizations:

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

  • Ohio, West Virginia, & Kentucky Societies of Certified Public Accountants

  • Association of Government Accountants

  • Government Finance Officers Association

  • Information Systems Audit & Control Association

  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

  • Institute of Internal Auditors

  • Association of College and University Auditors

  • Ohio Association of College and University Business Officers


Jeffrey A. Harr, CPA

Jeffrey A. Harr, CPA, graduated from The Ohio State University in 1978 with a BSBA and a major in accounting. Jeff is the firm's Director of Auditing and Quality Control and was employed for nine years as a senior audit manager with an international accounting firm.

He has taught numerous auditing courses for the international accounting firm and BHM CPA Group. During his career he has gained extensive experience in audits of all types of entities and non-profit organizations. He has also performed many peer reviews of other CPA firms in Ohio and other states.

He is a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs, the National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives, Pickaway County YMCA Board of Directors (Past President), Sunrise Rotary Club (Past President), and the Circleville City Schools Board of Education (Past President). Jeff and his wife Ann have been married for 37 years and reside near Circleville, Ohio. They have 10 children and 9 grandchildren.


Douglas P. Mayr, CPA

I come from a long history of entrepreneurs, dating back to my great grandfather who owned a pharmaceutical business in Maryland.  Ever since I was a teenager it was always my goal to own my own business and in November 2012 that dream became a reality.

After graduating from Ohio University, I started my career with Price Waterhouse.  During my 24 year career I have worked at accounting firms ranging from large, international firms to regional and local accounting firms.  The majority of my experience in public accounting has been focused on Tax and Business Consulting Services, serving closely held businesses, in a wide array of industries.

Although my background is in tax planning and consulting, I try to balance tax strategy with my client’s overall business plan.  I have been known to profess, “I never want the tax tail to wag the dog.”  Although tax is my trade and will always be a part of my core, I believe clients are looking for advisors to assist them with all aspects of their business.  As such, I spend most of my time with my clients understanding their needs and  learning about their  business functionality so we can develop a financial strategy.

I have assisted clients in many different ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Tax Planning and Consulting
  • Succession and estate Planning
  • Assistance with monthly, quarterly, and annual accounting records
  • Assisting clients with financing options, whether with debt or equity structures
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Strategic planning

I am a member of Ohio Society of CPA’s as well as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. I also sit on the Advisory Board for School of Accountancy and the College of Business Board  at Ohio University.


Brenden Balestra,  CPA, CISA, CGAP, CGMA

Mr. Brenden Balestra leads our Governmental audit practice and is a partner in our Piketon office. With over two decades of experience in auditing and financial compliance, Brenden has served as lead partner on several audits of municipalities, public sector agencies, and quasi government entities. He is highly skilled in developing analytics for governmental entities and brings specialized government industry knowledge to each of his clients.

Brenden offers extensive experience leading audit teams and training individuals to go beyond examining facts and figures to truly become a trusted advisor. He is responsible for developing audit methodologies for financial auditing of government entities, and also creating an audit approach for addressing single audits to meet and exceed the requirements set by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) A-133. As a result of his experience, he is well-versed in financial operations and report preparation processes for public sector organizations and governmental agencies.

Brenden earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Liberty University and is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Ohio and Kentucky.   Additionally, Brenden also holds the following certifications:  Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Government Auditing Professional, and Chartered Global Management Accountant.

Brenden is a member of the following professional organizations:

·       American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

·       Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants

·       Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants

·       Information Systems Audit and Control Association


Ryan Link, CPA

I have more than 10 years of professional tax experience in public accounting.  During this time I have served privately held corporations, partnerships, LLCs and individual clients, advising on various issues involving federal, state, and local tax matters.  I am involved in tax planning, research, and compliance issues for my clients.

I have extensive experience working with companies operating in industry sectors ranging from automotive, manufacturing, transportation & logistics, and wholesale distribution.  I can also help with tax planning and the different tax ramifications associated with transfers/sales of partnership interests and S corporation stock.

I am a graduate of Bowling Green State University with a B.S.B.A in Accounting in 2007 and a Master of Accountancy with a Specialization in Taxation in 2008.

  • Member - The American Institute of Certified Public Accountant
  • Member - The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants


Matthew S. Rakay, CPA, CHFP

I graduated from The Ohio State University (BSBA, 2006) with a major in Accounting and Finance.  I joined BHM CPA Group in August 2017 after working for 11 years at other regional firms where I worked primarily on audits focused in the healthcare industry. My clients included large hospital systems, senior living facilities, and home health agencies located throughout the country, as well as their employee benefit plans. Since joining the firm, I have lead the audits of electric cooperatives, agricultural cooperatives, construction companies, employee benefit plans, and nonprofit organizations. As a leader of the firm my focus is to be an expert in all of the new accounting and auditing standards and present those standards updates frequently both internally to staff, and externally to my clients, and professional organizations. I am a past president of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and am a Certified Healthcare Financial Professional. In addition, I am a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants.


Columbus Office:

Chris Gleason, CISA

I graduated from Ohio State University (BSBA, 1996) with a major in Accounting and MIS. Joining the firm as an auditor in 1996,  I spent the first 10 years serving as a manager on several agriculture, electric, employee benefit, and nonprofit audit and consulting engagements. As the firm's presence in technology increased, I spent more of my time working on the firm’s IT infrastructure and in 2006 transitioned to the firm’s  Director of Information Technology. In June of 2005 I passed the exam to become a Certified Information Systems Auditor. My memberships include the AICPA, Ohio Society of CPAs, and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.

I’ve been married to my wonderful wife and high school sweetheart, Heather, for 22 years.  We’ve been blessed with 2 darling daughters--Claire and Mary.  I currently serve as an elder at CenterPoint Church Westerville where I also get to enjoy one of my other passions—playing guitar.  I love the outdoors and spending time with my family while finding new places off the beaten path.  I’m also an avid homebrewer, and love the art of zymology.  If you’re interested in grabbing a pint, let me know.


Circleville Office:

Patricia A. Stockwell, CPA

Patricia A. Stockwell, CPA, graduated from Ohio University (BSBA 1986) with a major in accounting. Patty joined the firm in 1998 and is responsible for the firm's tax and accounting practice. She manages and supervises the day-to-day activities of several staff and the tax and accounting services to many individuals and small businesses throughout Ohio. Patty is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants.


Dawn Knaub, CPA

I began my career with the firm in 2001.  I graduated with an Associate’s Degrees in Accounting and Business Administration from Southern State Community College.  I then received my BS degrees in Accounting and Business Administration from Willington College and earned my CPA license in July of 2012.  As a Senior Tax Accountant at the Circleville office, I have experience in individual, partnership, and corporate tax preparation and tax planning.  As well as compilation and review work. I also prepare and review payroll tax returns.    I am a member of the Ohio Society of CPA’s.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, traveling and spending time with family and friends. 


Jennifer McGowan, CPA

I began my career with the firm in 2004 upon graduating with a BS degree in Accounting from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio.  After completing the necessary additional coursework and successful passing of the exam, I obtained my CPA license in January of 2012.  As a Senior Tax Accountant at the Circleville office, I have experience in individual, fiduciary, partnership, and corporate tax preparation as well as tax planning.  I provide daily tax and accounting services to many individuals and small businesses throughout Ohio.  I am a member of the Ohio Society of CPA’s.  My husband, Jason, and I live in our hometown of Circleville, Ohio with our daughter, Darby, and dog, Ozzie.  In my spare time, I enjoy reading, photography, & spending time with family and friends.


Patti Miller 

I graduated from Southeastern Business College (1992) with an associate’s degree in Business Administration.  I have been with the firm for over 25 years in one capacity or another.  Starting out as a receptionist while still in high school, I worked my way up within the firm with a great understanding of each position (as I have work experience in most of them).  I have acted as the Firm Administrator since 1995  I am a member of the CPA Firm Management Association and SHRM.  I reside in Lancaster, Ohio, with my husband, Jeff, and two children, McKenzie and Logan.  When not busy with work or school activities, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, walking my dog and traveling.  


Piketon Office:

Paul Rennick, CPA

I am responsible for the accounting and auditing technical support for the governmental/utility area of the firm.  I am responsible for ongoing support for the water and sewer district utilities that the firm has as clients.  I have more than thirty-six years of government experience with thousands of hours of government and non-profit audit and consulting experience. I have worked on numerous county, city, water and sewer district, and other government and non-profit audits and consulting projects.  My experience includes 10 years with the Auditor of State of Ohio, 4 years in the government consulting area for the accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young), 3 years as an auditor/consultant for my own firm and the remainder of my time with Balestra, Harr & Scherer, CPAs.

I am a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPA’s. 

I live in Wheelersburg with my wife, Jan and son, Justin.    


Timothy W. Loper Jr, CPA  

I graduated from Shawnee State University in 2007 with a BSBA in accounting. I started my career with the firm as an intern and have worked my entire career here. I have served in various rolls over the past 15 years and I’m currently serving as the Director of Government Auditing Services - West Virginia Division.  During my time I have provided audit and consulting services to several Local governments, state agencies and not-for-profit organizations.  I am a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Ohio and a current member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. I currently reside in Portsmouth, Ohio with my wife Candy and our three children, Mekenzie, Malachi, and Madelyn. I enjoy coaching and watching my children play various sports. I also enjoy riding giga coasters, the faster the better.


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