Meet our Team
Mark Halpert, CPA, BA
I am thrilled to serve the accounting needs of non-profit organizations. I appreciate that my work allows me to support the efforts of many inspiring people and organizations.
I’m a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), registered in California and Canada, and have worked with non-profits and small businesses since graduating from the University of Western Ontario's Honors Business Administration (HBA) program in 1996. I worked first as a public accountant and auditor for five years and then as the Deputy Director of City CarShare, a non-profit car sharing organization. I also served as Director of Finance and Human Resources for 3Degrees, a clean energy startup. I started consulting for non-profit organizations in 2005 and partnered with my first associate in 2008. Our firm now serves dozens of non-profit organizations across the country.
I practice yoga and appreciate that accounting is only one area in life where balance is important. I am a certified yoga instructor, and I play hockey, drums (tabla, dumbek and djembe), and guitar. My other passions include travel, being outside, taking photographs (including all of the photos on this website), mountain biking and hiking. I live in Los Angeles with my wife and two young children.
Zach Cohen, CPA, BS
I graduated from university with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting and have worked in small business, public accounting, and nonprofit environments for the last eight years. I am grateful for the role my skills allow me to play in service to noble organizations working to better our world. In 2012, I obtained my CPA designation.
Subsequent to my graduation from the University of Florida, I worked for two years at Deloitte before feeling compelled to apply my skills directly to organizations whose missions I feel deeply passionate about. I spent three years managing the fund accounting and grants administration system for Larkin Street Youth Services, during which time I also spent a year living in a remote off-the-grid traditional Chinese martial arts training center in the mountains of Northern California studying meditation, Taijiquan, and Kung Fu. Before focusing my practice exclusively on nonprofit organizations, I served as CFO of Cutting Edge Capital and K2 Legal, a related law and consulting firm devoted to helping socially responsible businesses, co-ops, and nonprofits access funding that is harmonious with their missions.
In 2011, I founded Biketopia Community Workshop, a South Berkeley community bicycle education and youth services nonprofit. I’m an avid juggler, dog lover, bicyclist/bike mechanic, amateur cook, amateur gymnast, ashtanga yogi, and kettlebell enthusiast. I also practice and teach acroyoga.
Kara Halpert, CPA (Canada), CGA, BA, ACIA
I am a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and have worked in the field since 1994, serving small businesses, non-profits and individuals. I have worked in public accounting firms in Edmonton and Vancouver, Canada, conducting month-end financial closings and year-end accounting, including taxation and auditing.
I am now a Senior Accountant, working directly with clients across the United States and reviewing the work of my colleagues. I enjoy working with mission-driven organizations and find it satisfying to gather and disseminate information that helps others to function in their work and make informed decisions.
I earned my Canadian CPA in 2015 and am also a Certified General Accountant (CGA) and earned an Advanced Certificate in Accounting (ACIA) in 2000. I have a BA in political science from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. I play soccer and enjoy traveling, mountain biking, swimming and skiing. I live with my husband and two daughters in Victoria, Canada.
Molly Isenbarger, BA
Ever since my time at Brown University, where I graduated with BA degrees in Sociology and American Civilization, I have been passionate about supporting organizations with social missions to become financially sustainable and operationally effective. I have run grant competitions, business development seminars, and been involved in various research teams to better understand and educate entrepreneurs and other nonprofit leaders.
Most recently, I was the Managing Director/CFO for a nonprofit called Generation Citizen offering an action-civics program to middle and high school students across the country to empower the next generation as engaged and effective citizens. I developed accounting and financial systems, budgeting processes, donor management structures, and financial control protocols to support our growth. In this role, I was able to help the organization grow from a start-up in 2010 to a national organization serving over 10,000 students each year in sites across the country.
I now live in Fishers, Indiana with my husband, Mark. Outside of MHCPA, I run a small quilting and design business and love to spend my free time trying new recipes or gardening in our yard.
Amoreena Lucero, BA
I started my career in accounting in 1995, working for a local CPA firm that served small businesses and non-profits. Since that time, I have enjoyed working directly with clients to set up useful and efficient accounting systems. I enjoy getting to know an organization and its team well, helping to find solutions that fit their unique needs. That part of this work is particularly rewarding for me. I received my BA in Communications from California State University, Sacramento in 1994, and have continued my professional development with college-level accounting classes and ongoing study.When my first child was born in 2001, I felt the need for more work-life balance and became self-employed and more actively involved in the community.
I currently serve on the boards of two non-profit arts organizations, Shoestring Family Theatre and Vivace Youth Chorus of San Jose. I also volunteer weekly at my children’s schools. I’m very glad to have community involvement as a part of my daily life.
Cooking and nutrition have been lifelong passions, and I am always aspiring to learn more and teach others. I hope to find time to attend culinary school one day, and continue to look for ways to hone my skills – whether it be cooking for my family, planning themed dinners with friends or teaching cooking classes at my children’s schools. I also teach a child-safety class to parents, perform annually in the theater company’s musicals, and enjoy hiking at our beautiful local parks in Silicon Valley.
Krestin Ryan, BS
I have worked for CPA firms since graduating from California State University Chico with a degree in Business Administration with an option in Accounting in 1997. In that time, I spent 7 years working closely with nonprofit organizations of all sizes, providing auditing, bookkeeping, 990 preparation and consulting services. In those years, I gained a strong understanding and appreciation of nonprofit organizations and their staff.More recently, I worked as an accountant for individuals and corporations but I have maintained my appreciation for nonprofits.
I have been active in the nonprofit sector by serving as the Treasurer of the Angioma Alliance for several years as well as spending time fundraising for various organizations that my family holds in high regard. I am glad to have this opportunity to refocus my professional attention toward nonprofit organizations.
I live in Roseville, California with my husband, son and daughter. Our daughter plays soccer on a competitive travelling team and our son plays basketball and soccer. We love to travel as a family and enjoy camping and hiking during the summer. During the winter you can find us on the slopes of Lake Tahoe’s mountains, snowboarding.
Meg McIntyre, BA
Before joining MHCPA, I served for five years, ending as General Manager for Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn, New York, participating in the company’s growth from a small, local, draft-only operation to a packaged, internationally distributed craft brand. More recently, I followed my long-held interest in carpentry and furniture craftsmanship to Vermont, where I completed a woodworking certificate at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in 2014.
I began working in non-profit accounting in 2003, providing bookkeeping and reporting services for an urban planning educational institute in Portland, Oregon while I completed my undergraduate degree in Applied Linguistics. Since then I’ve held a number of financial and business management roles within small businesses and non-profits in Oregon, California, and New York. I also worked independently as a consultant for startups in the arts and music industries. I am glad to return to serving non-profits as I particularly enjoy working with mission-driven organizations.
I live in Brooklyn where I’ve built a tiny wood workshop in my apartment from which I make small custom furniture and home accessory pieces and nurture my burgeoning tool addiction.
It was a tremendous gift to live and grow my accounting skills in the San Francisco Bay Area. There I spent 17 years as a freelance, full-charge bookkeeper for a diverse group of individuals and small businesses, including several architectural firms, as well as working for 9 years on the Burning Man Accounting and Human Resources teams. However, it was through my work and training with a successful San Francisco CPA that I was first introduced to non-profit accounting. In 2012, I turned my attention to supporting social justice work and the community, and began a full-time position as Bookkeeper for Forward Together in Oakland.
From my volunteer work with Jai Bhim International to working with MHCPA, I appreciate the high level of accuracy and transparency required with non-profit accounting. I believe that an organization’s financial health, shown through exacting and timely reporting, enables its sustainable growth in staff and programs.
In late 2014, I returned to my hometown of Shreveport, LA where I live with my husband and our dog and cat. I enjoy cycling, yoga, meditation, home cooking, gardening and visits from my college-aged daughter. A long-time peace and environmental activist, I also have a certificate in Library Information Technology from City College of San Francisco, and have been known to lose myself in libraries.
I enjoy serving the non-profit community through my accounting skills as I appreciate the services that so many nonprofit organizations provide. Some of the amazing non-profit organizations I’ve had the privilege of working for are: Burning Man Project, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, Public Policy Institute, Second Harvest Food Bank and Oakland Ballet.
Subsequent to my graduation from San Francisco State University, I got my first taste of bookkeeping and budget management by running the campus recycling program there. I discovered that by being savvy with numbers and money, I could have a positive impact in the world.
I am a singer-songwriter and enjoy recording music with my band Soma Holiday. Besides my passion for music, I am also a certified yoga instructor, meditator, mountain biker, camper and lover of the great outdoors. I live in Bozeman, Montana with my husband. We are excited to be moving back to California this autumn.
Darlene Mowrey, CPA
I am a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in the State of California, and I have enjoyed serving non-profit organizations since 2002. Prior to that, I worked in public accounting as an auditor and then as a forensic accountant. During that time, I began volunteering for the Junior League of Los Angeles and became actively involved in my community. I found it so personally fulfilling that I decided to pursue a career in the non-profit industry. I began as a Grant Administrator and later became a Controller at Break The Cycle, where I worked for 9 years. I am happy to have the opportunity to serve many non-profit organizations through my work with MHCPA.
I train in martial arts, love to sail and in the winter, I ski. I live in Hermosa Beach, California with my husband, and Golden Retriever.
Emily Paulos, MA
In the mid-90's while beginning my teaching career as a high school art teacher and staff development instructor, I completed my MA in art education pursuing the convergence of storytelling and new media. My masters thesis, a website called The Mom Project, examines issues of narrative and the use of technology in the art classroom. In 2002 I joined the staff of a Berkeley-based nonprofit, StoryCenter, teaching storytelling media training workshops around the world, as well as taking on the role of Managing Director. As the staff grew, and with the birth of my first child, I shifted away from teaching, focusing instead on developing StoryCenter's organizational and financial systems.
I became familiar with Mark Halpert, CPA + Associates as a client in 2009 and am pleased to now be a part of the team. I find that my creative energies are put to good use toward refining and streamlining the functions of organizations. As Administrator, I will support the sustainable growth of MHCPA as we work to better serve non-profits.
My husband and I live in Berkeley with our son and daughter. We enjoy the bounty of great food and nature in the Bay Area, and make treks back to Iowa and Canada to visit family each summer.
Shannon Ellis, MNA, BA, CNAP
I have worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 15 years, and have a strong commitment to supporting mission-driven organizations. As a Senior Advisor for MHCPA, my focus is on working with new clients. I work with the client to assess the accounting needs for the organization and I lead the implementation phase where we establish new or improved accounting systems. I find this work rewarding and satisfying as I understand that financial statements are more than just numbers – every balance sheet tells a story. I enjoy helping clients to understand the connection between financial reports and the organization’s goals and performance.
In the past, I served as the Associate (and then Interim) Executive Director of the Family Violence Law Center, where I was responsible for all financial operations at a $2 million agency. In addition to my work with MHCPA, I am a Project Director at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, where I work in finance and strategy, supporting nonprofit leaders in effectively managing to their dual bottom lines of programmatic impact and financial viability.I have a Masters in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco, a BA in American Culture from Northwestern University and I am a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP).
I enjoy reading, writing, and traveling. I spend most of my free time trying to keep up with my young children.
Certified Public Accountant (CPA), California Board of Accountancy
Mark Halpert, Zach Cohen and Darlene Mowrey
Certified Public Accountants of Canada (CPA)
Mark Halpert and Kara Halpert
QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor
QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor
CompassPoint Finance Professionals Network (FPN)