About » Our Team

Our Team

Yuriy G. Akopyan, CPA

Yuriy G. Akopyan, the founder of Akopyan & Co., has more than 20 years of experience in all areas of tax preparation, advising and public accounting. A Certified Public Accountant since 2002, he specializes in creating and executing operational and tax strategies for businesses to help increase efficiencies and minimize liabilities.

Akopyan & Co. clients benefit from Yuriy’s unique ability to understand their individual needs and provide expert guidance on business matters that extend well beyond accounting. They also benefit from his vast experience — he previously worked as a tax software developer and analyst at large corporations, giving him insight into the business world at large.

And as an entrepreneur himself, Yuriy understands the importance of trusted advisors, as well as the impact they can have on a growing business. His philosophy is “no client is too small,” because whatever the size of your business, it’s important to you — and it’s important to Akopyan & Co., too.

Yuriy enjoys travel and fine dining, and also is a firm believer in giving back to the community. He’s an active participant in charitable work for the Armenian community in the Northwest.

Stella O. Akopyan

Longtime accountant Stella O. Akopyan joined Akopyan & Co. in 2004, and has been instrumental in the company’s growth and development. She has extensive knowledge in several aspects of accounting and day-to-day operations, including payroll and QuickBooks.

Stella’s attention to detail and diligence helps us provide each client with personal service and advice tailored specifically to their needs. Her previous experience includes five years as a senior staff accountant for another CPA firm, along with work as a staff accountant.

She also is a dedicated and proud mother of two children. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, walking, sightseeing and helping her daughter with piano lessons.

Jennifer Berry – Client Accounting SpecialistJennifer Berry – Tax & Accounting Manager

Jennifer Berry has over 10 years of experience helping small businesses with their accounting and payroll needs. A licensed Enrolled Agent who earned her accounting degree from the University of Idaho, Jeni also volunteers her time and financial expertise in support of various local nonprofits. She enjoys exploring the outdoors as well as spending time with her husband and two college-age sons—one in Montana, the other on the East Coast.

Chris Cress – Tax & Accounting Manager

Christopher C.R. Cress – Tax & Accounting Manager

A California native who joined Akopyan & Co. in 2021, Christopher C.R. Cress took a unique path to accounting. After earning dual degrees in environmental sciences and history, he spent the first part of his career working outdoors as a researcher—and then attended Santa Clara University for his accounting certificate. He worked at PwC in San Francisco before moving to Seattle, and has nearly 10 years of experience in the industry. Christopher loves just about all outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, climbing, and ice hockey; he also is an avid cook, a “mediocre musician,” and enjoys entertaining friends and family.

Ronni Whitacre – Client Accounting SpecialistRonni Whitacre – Client Accounting Specialist

A Pacific Northwest native, Ronni Whitacre got her start with bookkeeping and accounting during her years as a small-business owner. Before joining the Akopyan & Co. team in 2017, she spent eight years working for a fast-growing builder and an accounting firm; today, Ronni is proud to serve local business owners as they grow with the community. Her interests include gardening and landscape design, learning languages (French is the current project), volunteering and spending time with family and friends.

Lidia Avakyan - Client Accounting Specialist

University of Washington graduate Lidia Avakyan provides Akopyan & Co. clients with accounting services. Lidia has six years of experience as an accounts payable lead, and also puts her professional talents to use for her condominium association, volunteering as treasurer and helping the organization maintain financial stability. When she’s not working with numbers, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Thomas High – Accounting Supervisor

Thomas High’s path to Akopyan & Co. was a unique one: After earning his degree in accounting, along with a master’s in business administration, he spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroun, West Africa. Upon his return, he spent more than 10 years with Deloitte and Touche, as well as other regional firms. Tom also has worked as a controller and CFO, and after 25 years in the financial industry, he says his greatest satisfaction comes from helping owners of small- and mid-sized businesses succeed.

Gordon Kuaimoku – Tax Consultant & PreparerGordon Kuaimoku – Tax Consultant & Preparer

Gordon Kuaimoku’s experience spans more than 20 years in tax preparation and planning for both individuals and small businesses. A graduate of Seattle University and a retired U.S. Army officer, he believes strongly in proactive tax planning; that’s why he keeps clients informed throughout the year, working with them directly to prepare accurate and timely returns that take all factors into consideration. Gordon, an old surfer from Hawaii, enjoys swimming and tennis on a regular basis.

Mary Jilek – Payroll SpecialistMary Jilek – Payroll Specialist

With both a father and husband who are small-business owners, Mary Jilek has always been devoted to supporting small businesses. A graduate of the University of Washington, where she earned a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Finance, she is very happy to be in the accounting world after years in the insurance industry. Mary has two kids and enjoys movies, going out to dinner and spending time with friends and family.

Scott Hancock – Administrative AssistantScott Hancock – Office Operations

Scott Hancock loves Seattle’s entrepreneurial spirit — he joined Akopyan & Co. because the firm’s focus on small businesses allows him to play a part in our city’s innovation and growth. Scott’s attention to detail, passion for client service and technical background keep the office (and our systems) running efficiently and effectively. When he’s not working, Scott enjoys cooking, spending time with his family and taking in the glorious natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

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