Our Team

salimSalim Omar, CPA is the rare accountant who guarantees success to clients who follow his advice.  As one of New Jersey’s top CPAs, clients from across the state hold Salim in the highest esteem. He believes small businesses are the foundation of our economy and has dedicated his practice to helping them attain financial health and security through his services. With this mission in mind, he’s been able to build one of the most successful and respected firms in the state of New Jersey and has hundreds of raving fans across the state (check out the testimonials section).

His education includes a unique blend of two financially-based accreditations: Masters Degree in Accounting and a Certified Public Accountant. His professional background includes experience as a former Chief Financial Officer and, for the last seventeen years, as a small-business owner in New Jersey. He is author of the popular book “Straight Talk About Small Business Success In New Jersey.” His articles appear in publications around the country including prestigious industry publications such as Accounting Today and The CPA Journal. His passion to help small-business owners succeed – and his personal business success – makes him a much-in-demand speaker, panelist, writer and advisor.

Salim says:I hate for small business owners to get bogged down in unnecessary, time-consuming detail when I can help them enjoy their businesses – and life — more fully. This is what The Omar Group is all about – removing the roadblocks and paving the way toward success for every entrepreneur.” 

 

 

Drew Kowalsky, CPA is our Chief Operating Officer (COO). He is responsible for the day-to-day operations and is our “go to” seasoned pro for clients that need answers to tough questions relating to business growth, profitability, deal structure and tax minimization.

He has extensive experience and an amazing background.  He has worked for 16 years in the Big 4 accounting environment in the mergers & acquisitions, forensic accounting, audit & restructuring arenas. Subsequent to the Big 4 environment, Drew worked primarily in the real estate arena as a controller, CFO and business owner as well as a trusted CPA advisor to a wide range of small and mid-sized businesses in various industries.

Drew graduated with an MBA in Finance and Investments from the Zicklin School of Business at the Baruch College in New York, NY. He received his BBA degree in Accounting from Hofstra University in Long Island, NY. Drew is a Certified Public Accountant whose clients have consisted of the most prestigious law firms, investment banks, manufacturers, retailers in the world.

Drew says: “I am passionate about helping you solve problems or explore new opportunities. Whether you are buying or selling an investment property or business, having a dispute with a business partner or anything that may have a significant impact on your business, give me a call and we’ll work through it together.” 

 

 

Mary Ann D’Angelico, our Office Manager, brings with her 35+ years of administrative and financial operations management experience. She is the backbone behind the firm’s smooth day to day operation. Mary Ann works closely with our team to consistently deliver stellar 5-star service to our clients.

In her words: “It’s a delight to be part of a team that understands and lives the belief that the success of our firm and us as professionals is wholly tied to the success of our clients. This enables us to work with a single focus of ‘clients come first.’ We believe that the rest takes cares of itself.”

 

Vrajesh Shah, CPA has more than 25 years of tax planning and financial reporting for both small and large businesses and is a valued member of our team. As Straight Talk CPA’s Tax Consultant and Accounting Advisor, he provides his expert research, thoughtful analysis, and diverse knowledge to our clients to help them minimize and resolve their most complex tax and accounting issues.

In his words: “The biggest expense for most taxpayers is their income tax bill. Its been very gratifying to help clients slash their tax bill so they are paying the least amount legally possible. My role at Straight Talk CPAs entails guiding our clients towards a sound financial and tax reporting system.”

 

Pat Coleman is a Financial Accountant with a degree in Economics and Accounting from Rutgers, The State University of NJ. She is our Quickbooks Doctor, responsible for resolving our client’s accounting software issues and expanding their use of financial accounting software to manage their businesses more efficiently. Pat started her career at Merrill Lynch in NYC and spent the last ten years as a controller for a NJ based business. Pat has been a consultant for many businesses, large and small, and understands the financial concerns that business owners face daily.

Pat says: “I enjoy the challenge of implementing strategies for businesses to succeed. I am here to help them overcome the obstacles that come along with running a business.”

 

Helen Passariello is our bookkeeper and payroll-sales tax specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She has over 20 years’ experience in the accounting industry. She worked for a Wall Street firm for over 15 years that maintained books and records for independent NYSE floor brokers. She also holds NASD series 27 certification.

Helen says: “It’s important to have accurate books and records as well as timely payroll and sales tax filings. By assisting small businesses with these functions, it allows them to concentrate on growing their business.”

 

 

Elliot

Elliot Krauss is a senior tax professional with a Masters degree in finance/investments from Bernard M. Baruch College and a Bachelors of Science degree in finance from Long Island University.  He has more than 30 years of experience in financial systems and reporting, commodity management and purchasing while employed by Merck & Co., Inc., a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company.  He joined The Omar Group in 2005.

Elliot says:It has been very gratifying to help clients with the preparation of their personal tax returns. My interaction with clients and the discussions I have had on tax saving strategies have resulted in many fulfilling client relationships.”

 

 

 

Donna Azzolina is our administrative assistant with more than 30 years of experience ranging from office administration to sales and account management. At Straight Talk CPAs, Donna helps keep the office in tip-top shape by keeping financial records organized, answering important prospect and client calls, and keeping the office systems updated with important data and information.

In her words: “I really enjoy getting to know our clients, answering all of their questions and resolving their concerns quickly. We strive to provide excellent customer service. The personal touch we offer our clients is what sets us apart from other firms.”