Accounting Advisory Board

Forensic accounting, taxes, audits of financial statements, international business, financial planning for retirement, personal and business insurance, and medical technology represent the diversified specialties of the 12 CPAs and accountants who make up the newly formed Menlo College Accounting Advisory Board.

The Menlo College Accounting Advisory Board was formed with three main objective areas: curriculum, community outreach/events, and internships/job placement.


In addition to discussing curriculum for business needs, we also plan to interact with classes and have speaker days and events in classes and on campus. Our accounting classes have increased from 2 basic classes required under the business major to 10 courses plus opportunities for class credit in an internship program.

Community Outreach and Events

We encourage students and alumni to help us promote the new accounting major in events such as our annual Accounting Day or in class projects such as an internal controls course in which students created poster boards depicting and describing how a fraud was perpetrated.

Internships and Job Placement

You can help us prepare future leaders by keeping an eye open for openings at your company or by creating a spot for a fellow Menlo Oak for an internship or a full-time job position. Let us know if you'd like to help!

Please contact us if you are interested in participating—whether it's being a panel speaker in a class, attending or sponsoring an event, or filling a job need with a Menlo student or alum. We would love to hear from you. Keep in touch with us through this website to find out about the Board members, upcoming events and opportunities.

Our future plans include an accounting networking link through LinkedIn for those in industry who work in accounting or have a background in accounting. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Board Co-chair Donna Little is Associate Professor of Accounting & Finance at Menlo college, where she has taught and advised since 1986. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Iowa with an MBA from Santa Clara University, and she is currently a doctoral candidate at the Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France. Profession experience includes over 15 years in executive positions in accounting and finance in the Silicon Valley. Donna is an emeritus Business Advisory Board member at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Jerry Nightingale, a CPA, MBA, and certified personal financial specialist, does financial planning and investment management for high net worth individuals. He is Principal of Nightingale Financial Advisory, a registered investment advisory. He is Chairperson of the Personal Financial Planning Committee, Peninsula Chapter, and Vice-President of the National Association of CPA Financial Planners and past Chairperson of the State Financial Planning Committee, sub-chair of the Financial Literacy Committee and former Vice-Chair for CalCPA.

Matt Price is a 2006 graduate of Menlo College. After graduation, Matt completed the Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency program at Santa Clara University. Matt is a licensed CPA and has been working at Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP in Palo Alto, CA since September 2006.

Board Co-chair Sharon Selleck is a Director in the Palo Alto office Assurance group at Burr Pilger Mayer. Sharon has over 15 years of experience in public accounting providing audit and review services for both publicly held companies and closely-held businesses. In addition to chairing the new Menlo College Accounting Advisory Board with Professor Little, Sharon also chairs the scholarship committee of the Peninsula-Silicon Valley chapter of the California Society of CPAs which has provided scholarships to Menlo students for the past 7 years.

Mike Ray, Senior Vice President, serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for California Casualty Management Company (CCMC). Mike joined California Casualty in 2001 as CCMC's Controller, a position he held through 2006. Prior to CCMC, Mike spent seven years within the property and casualty insurance audit practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers. There, he served for three years as a manager, focusing on traditional external audits, co-sourced internal audit, and enterprise risk management engagements.Mike is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, California Society of Certified Public Accountants, (CalCPA), Financial Executives International and Western Pension & Benefits Conference. Mike serves as a director for CalCPA's San Francisco Chapter. Mike has served as a Board Member and Treasurer of Cabrillo School's Parent Teacher Organization since 2006. He is the chairperson of the Pacifica School District's Parcel Tax Oversight Committee. Mike holds a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned the designation of Certified Public Accountant from the State of California.

Carolyn Amster '79 is a Tax Partner in the Palo Alto office of Burr Pilger Mayer. Carolyn has over 20 years of experience in public accounting assisting clients with tax planning, estate planning, compliance and research. Her experience includes stock option planning, wealth transfer, transaction analysis and representation before the IRS and Franchise Tax Board. She started her career in the tax department of a “Big Eight” accounting firm and has worked extensively with high net worth individuals, public charities, private foundations, trusts, estates, privately owned companies, partnerships and LLCs. Carolyn graduated from Menlo College in 1979 where she was honored with the F. Philler Curtis award. She has a JD from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Laws in Taxation (LLM) from Golden Gate University. She is a member of the AICPA, California Society of CPA's, and Financial Women's Association of San Francisco. She currently sits on the board of Family and Children's Services and is a member of both the finance and audit committees. She is a former member of the Board of Governors for the University of San Francisco School of Law. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her twin girls.

David Grisham is a Director in the Litigation and Forensic Consulting Services Group in the San Francisco office of Hemming Morse, Inc. His forensic accounting experience includes construction claims, securities litigation, lost profits analyses, fraud investigations and SEC investigations. David has participated in the investigation of many complex litigation matters involving entities as diverse as commercial construction, high-tech, governmental entities, retail, financial institutions, petroleum and insurance. He also has “Big Four” litigation consulting experience and financial planning and analysis experience for an Internet infrastructure company where he was responsible for the strategic planning, external and internal reporting, budgeting and initial public offering support. David is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, California Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Construction Financial Management Association. He is also accredited as Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). He received his B.S. degree in Accounting from San Jose State University, where his minor was in Cybernetics.

Laura Olson manages Hood & Strong's domestic tax clients, ranging from complex individual, partnership, and corporate compliance to detailed tax planning. She assists her clients in balancing their business entity level tax with the related owners' tax. Her industry expertise includes professional services, real estate, high-tech, and managing family groups.

With more than 15 years of public accounting experience, she can assist companies in identifying and implementing methods to minimize their income taxes. She works with individuals and business entities to choose the correct choice of entity and works with them through out their lifecycle.

Areas of Expertise: Domestic tax consulting • Real Estate Professionals • Partnership, LLC establishment, operations, and liquidation • Real Estate: 1031 exchanges and 754 basis step up elections • Compensation planning • Tax planning and compliance for high net worth individual and families • Personal Service Corporations

Parisa Nesva Derani is in the practice of public accounting serving high-net-worth individuals and their closely held companies in the areas of tax, accounting and consulting. Prior to founding of her practice, she served as senior consultant with various companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers, BDO Seidman and Harris myCFO. Parisa is currently serving as Silicon Valley chapter Vice President at California Society of CPAs. She participates in triathlons, practices yoga, and loves spending time with her family.

Bradley Awaya graduated from Menlo College in May of 2006 with a B.S. in Management with concentrations in Business Management and MIS. Shortly thereafter, he attained the Certificate in Advanced Accounting Proficiency (CAAP) from Santa Clara University. In September of 2006, Brad started his career in public accounting at Burr Pilger Mayer, Inc. where he is currently a Supervisor in the Audit department focusing primarily on companies in the Technology and Venture Capital industries. While at Menlo College, Brad served as VP of Finance for the Student Government, Treasurer for the Allocation board, and President of the Delta Mu Delta honor society. Brad was also a member of the men's soccer team for two years. He received many honorary awards at Menlo College such as the Judge D. Russel Award and the Board of Trustees Award. In his spare time, Brad enjoys traveling to Hawaii to visit his family and friends, surfing, and snowboarding.

Tony Data is a 2006 graduate of Menlo College. After graduation, Tony completed the Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency program at Santa Clara University. In 2006, Tony joined Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP, and is currently a Senior Associate in the Assurance and Advisory division. Tony specializes in the audits of venture backed startups and not-for-profit organizations.