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Avantax Planning Partners Recognizes Affiliate Accomplishments, Builds on Strong CPA Firm Relationships During National Conference

DALLAS, May 14, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Avantax Planning Partners℠ (APP), Avantax Inc.'s (Avantax’s) employee-based investment adviser that partners with CPA firms to provide clients with holistic advisory services and retirement plan solutions, recently hosted its annual Elevate Conference, attended by accounting affiliates, sponsors and Avantax team members. The annual event gives attendees the opportunity to hear ideas, strategies and best practices they can take back to their firms to build on client successes.

Avantax Planning Partners was born out of a CPA firm 29 years ago and is a national leader in providing financial planning and wealth management in partnership with accounting firms, especially large, multi-partner firms. Accounting firms wanting to offer clients holistic tax and investment advice can do so through an affiliation with Avantax, while the CPAs retain full control over their client relationships.

“I’ve been with APP since its infancy, and it’s always a privilege to update our CPA firm affiliates and our staff on the state of APP, especially when I can confidently say our future together has never been brighter,” said Louie Rosalez, Head of Avantax Planning Partners. “Our shared success is rooted in our commitment to learning what matters most to each client, then creating a planning experience that is meaningful to them. I would put our planning deliverable up against anyone in the country. We take planning through a tax lens very seriously and it’s what sets us apart in the industry.”

This year’s conference – themed “Gateway to Success” – was conducted April 30 – May 2 in St. Louis, Missouri, and included educational sessions, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, networking opportunities, sponsor exhibits and award presentations.

“Elevate Conference attendees know first-hand that aligning with Avantax Planning Partners not only moves CPA firms away from a transactional relationship with clients, but helps add value to their client relationships, creates a revenue stream unrelated to time, and frees up the firm to focus on how to compete in the new accounting and tax industry,” said Avantax President Todd Mackay. “APP has grown rapidly because CPA firms increasingly want to provide clients with tax and financial planning, and it’s very difficult for local wealth management firms to do what Avantax Planning Partners can do at scale, nationwide.”

As part of Elevate’s annual awards night, the highest-performing Avantax affiliate partners were recognized as part of President’s Club, whose winners demonstrate exemplary productivity, client service, communication, planning guidance, and are advocates of Avantax Planning Partners. This year’s winners are:

  • Tom Harper, Blue & Co., LLC
  • Mike Ziembo, Baden Gage & Schroeder LLC
  • Jeff Knapp, Erpelding, Voigt & Co., L.L.P.
  • Brian Sohn, Erpelding, Voigt & Co., L.L.P.
  • Wendy Sims, Welgaard CPAs and Advisors
  • Kathy Ettensohn, Harding, Shymanski & Company, P.S.C.
  • Matt Folz, Harding, Shymanski & Company, P.S.C.
  • Kevin Eggebraaten, Casey Peterson
  • Jon Harville, Evans, Harville, Atwell & Co. CPAs, PLLC
  • Pete Bender, Yeo & Yeo
  • Perry Mattson, Brady Martz & Associates

In addition to recognizing top wealth advisory firms, other awards included:

Firm of the Year
Erpelding, Voigt & Co., LLP received the Firm of the Year award for demonstrating exemplary productivity, client service, communication, planning guidance, and true advocacy of Avantax.

Consistency Award
Honkamp P.C. won this year’s Consistency award, which is presented to a firm that continuously serves as clients’ most trusted advisor by always approaching client needs holistically, and adopting Avantax best practices.

Best Practices Firm Award
Blue & Co., LLC received the Best Practices Firm award for exhibiting a strong commitment to following Avantax strategies.

Rising Firm Award
Two recipients were selected this year for the Rising Firm award: Evans, Harville, Atwell & Company and CS&L (Christopher, Smith, Leonard & Stanell, P.A.). These firms’ accomplishments put them on a trajectory for exceptional wealth management growth and advisory relationships.

Growth Award
The Growth award was presented to Yeo & Yeo, recognizing them for implementing a wealth management growth plan and exceptional year-over-year results.

Retirement Plan Excellence Award
The recipients of the Retirement Plan Excellence award, Harding, Shymanski & Company, P.S.C., had exemplary Avantax Retirement Plan Services℠ (RPS) productivity and demonstrated commitment to Avantax RPS through ongoing partnership strategies.

New Firm of the Year Award
Baden Gage & Schroeder LLC received the New Firm of the Year award for quickly adopting best practices and demonstrating a strong commitment to wealth management as a service line after affiliating with APP in 2023.

Risk Management Partner Award
The Risk Management Partner award was presented to Yeo & Yeo for their comprehensive review of clients’ entire financial picture – including risk management strategies – by fully engaging with the Avantax insurance and annuity teams.

Client Advocate Award
Two individuals received this year’s Client Advocate award for consistently demonstrating advisory principles with clients: Tara Strensrud of Yeo & Yeo and Stephanie Imhoff of Honkamp P.C.

Top Planning Partner Award
This year’s Top Planning Partner award was presented to Brian Sohn of Erpelding, Voigt & Co., L.L.P. for participating in his firm’s wealth management work, demonstrating his commitment to Avantax and showcasing planning principles with his clients.

About Avantax Planning Partners℠
As part of Avantax, a unique community within Cetera Holdings, Avantax Planning Partners℠ offers services through its RIA, insurance agency, and affiliated broker-dealer, Avantax Investment Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, and partners with CPA firms to provide their consumer and small-business clients with holistic financial planning and advisory services. Using the Guidance Planning Strategies planning tool, Avantax Planning Partners visually lays out a long-term plan, considering a wide array of financial decisions and their potential impacts on clients’ financial health. Through this unique and proven approach, Avantax Planning Partners and CPA firms help clients make progress toward their financial goals through strategies such as asset management, estate planning, retirement planning, tax planning, risk management and more. Collectively, Avantax had $92.8 billion in total client assets as of Dec. 31, 2023. For more information, please visit us at or on LinkedIn and Facebook.

About Avantax®
Avantax, a unique community within Cetera Holdings, delivers tax-intelligent wealth management solutions for financial professionals, tax professionals and CPA firms, supporting its goal of minimizing clients’ tax burdens through comprehensive tax-intelligent financial planning. Avantax has two distinct, but related, models within its business: the independent Financial Professional model and the employee-based model. Avantax refers to its independent Financial Professional model as Avantax Wealth Management®. Avantax Wealth Management (AWM) works with a nationwide network of Financial Professionals operating as independent contractors and offers its services through its registered broker-dealer, Avantax Investment Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, registered investment advisor (RIA), Avantax Advisory Services, Inc., and insurance agency subsidiaries. We refer to our employee-based model as Avantax Planning Partners℠. Avantax Planning Partners offers services through its RIA, insurance agency, and affiliated broker-dealer, Avantax Investment Services, Inc., and partners with CPA firms to provide their consumer and small-business clients with holistic financial planning and advisory services. Collectively, Avantax had $92.8 billion in total client assets as of Dec. 31, 2023. For additional information, please visit

Media Contacts:
Tony Katsulos
Avantax, Inc.
(972) 870-6654

Alexandra Lynn
StreetCred PR for Avantax, Inc.

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