Celebrating 40 Under 40!

Each year, CPA Practice Advisor recognizes professionals who are under 40, and are emerging as the future leaders in the profession, or those leading the development of technology that serves the profession.

First, the 40 Under 40 Awards spotlight the top practicing public accountants, educators and thought leaders who are leading their profession by visibly and incrementally changing the accounting profession through their exemplary leadership, their innovative thinking, their collaborative efforts to provide unity to the profession across the generations, and their community outreach which extends the visibility of the profession outside the workplace.

Thomas Castelli
Thomas Castelli
Tax Strategist

Thomas Castelli

Thomas Castelli is a Tax Strategist and real estate investor who helps other real estate investors keep more of their hard-earned dollars in their pockets, and out of the government's.

Thomas understands that investing in real estate, combined with proactive tax strategy and planning are key to minimizing taxes and building long-term wealth.

He holds equity positions in several multifamily properties and participated in a syndication of an 82 unit apartment complex as a general partner. His real-life real estate investing experience, combined with his ever-growing arsenal of hard-hitting tax strategies, allow him to see eye-to-eye with clients in ways an average CPA never could.

Thomas is a licensed CPA in the State of New York and is certified in Real Estate Financial Modeling.

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Ben Raygor
Ben Raygor
Tax Strategist

Ben Raygor

Ben is a Tax Strategist who grew up around real estate in a family full of landlords/flippers/realtors and
has participated in the family business from a young age.

Ben is thorough, loves tax research, and takes the time to explain tax matters to his clients. He
particularly enjoys solving complex tax puzzles regarding mixed-use property and short-term rentals.

Ben is a CPA heralding from Rochester, MN, with an accounting degree from the University of
Wisconsin.

Hobbies and Interests: Wife and 3 young kids, board games, playing the drums, tennis, wearing flannel,
reading a lot of books on investing/business development, and Taco Bell.

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Taylor Brugna
Taylor Brugna
CFO Specialist

Taylor Brugna

Taylor Brugna works with real estate investors, developers and private equity funds as a CFO, providing tax strategy, accounting consulting, and financial analysis.

As an investor himself, Taylor believes that perfecting the accounting and tax functions will lead to making good decisions that are crucial to the success of the business.  Taylor owns and operates 40+ units in the Tampa Bay Area, with no plans on slowing down! Taylor started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in a real estate valuation group.

Taylor holds a degree in Accounting and Finance from Binghamton University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Nathan Langdon
Nathan Langdon
CFO Specialist

Nathan Langdon

Nathan is a CFO Specialist with a fascination for the Real Estate Industry.  He believes that having accurate financials is one of the best ways to consistently succeed in the real estate business.  

Nathan learned the importance of accurate financials through his 4 years of experience in public accounting during college, which is also where he was introduced to the world of real estate investing.  After running the books and completing tax returns for real estate clients, Nathan knew he wanted to work full time in the Real Estate Industry.

Nathan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, a Minor in Finance, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Campbell University in North Carolina.  He is also currently in the process of studying for the CPA exam.

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JEff
Jeff Engstrom
CFO Specialist

Jeff Engstrom

Jeff Engstrom has worked side by side with real estate investors, developers, syndicators and private equity funds in both tax consulting and Controller/CFO roles for his entire career as an Accountant. As a real estate investor himself, Jeff firmly believes that solid financial reporting and analysis and a carefully crafted tax plan are key drivers in making sound decisions in the real estate investment world.


As a California native, his career experience ranges from working with CPA firms specializing in real estate industry clients to working in house as a tax consultant with large real estate firms in the Southern California area including an apartment and shopping mall developer, a real estate investment trust (REIT) and a large private equity syndication firm in the San Diego area. Most recently, Jeff held a position as a Controller for a private equity apartment syndicator in the Phoenix, AZ area with apartment complexes located throughout the southwest U.S. and Texas.


Jeff grew up in Central California graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from California State University, Fresno. When not working, he enjoys spending time with family, creating new business ideas and playing the bass guitar.

Kristina Linkedin
Kristina Mueller
Accountant

Kristina Mueller

Billy Withers
Billy Withers
Tax Analyst

Billy Withers

Billy is a Tax Analyst who works with Real Estate Investors and uses the tax laws to get the
best tax results possible.

Billy knows that while nobody likes to pay taxes and there are ways to ensure that the burden is
minimal.

Billy has worked with real estate investors for his entire career and has utilized tax regulations to
save clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes.

Billy holds a Master’s degree in taxation from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s degree
in Accountancy from Northern Illinois University.

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Giana Caliendo
Giana Caliendo
Tax Analyst

Giana Caliendo

Giana is Tax Analyst who helps Real Estate Investors reduce their tax burden.

Giana knows that optimizing deductions, keeping up with changes in tax law, and planning are crucial to lowering the client's tax liability.

Giana worked at CohnReznick prior to joining The Real Estate CPA team. During her time at CohnReznick, Giana worked with some of the largest Real Estate Investors, Developers, and Syndicates in Boston. She has brought her knowledge and skills to help clients save some extra cash that could help to fund their next real estate project.   

Giana holds a Master’s Degree in Accounting with a Concentration in Taxation and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting & Finance from Northeastern University.

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Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith
Automation Specialist

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith is an accountant and technology specialist who helps real estate investors and business professionals develop efficient and automated accounting systems.  Kevin knows that having a straight-forward accounting system helps an investor make money easier and save their most valuable asset, time.

Kevin is fluent in the most widely-used accounting, CRM, and productivity applications out today; and continuously learning.  His combination of real estate accounting experience and technology systems background allows him to create innovative systems and integrations for tech-savvy investors.

Kevin has been a QuickBooks Online Pro-Advisor for 7 years and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Barry University.

When he is not helping clients, he’s building an A.I. to help automate tedious day to day tasks.

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Rebecca Withers
Rebecca Withers
Client Ally

Rebecca Withers

Becky is the Tax Administrator and Client Ally.  She enjoys assisting prospective clients and bringing them onboard and assisting and communicating with clients to complete their tax returns.

Becky attended school at Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her passion for real estate comes from helping her family manage a residential rental portfolio.

When she is not working Becky is playing with her two young boys, going to a barre class or binge watching shows on Netflix with her husband.

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Jessica Hawkins
Jessica Hawkins
Client Ally

Jessica Hawkins

Jessica is an Executive Assistant and Client Ally.  And what exactly is that you ask? She is the firm’s shortstop, getting things to the right person and catching the pop flies.  She thrives on helping our clients find the services that will help them reach their goals.

Before joining The Real Estate CPA she ran the front desk of a community recreation center for 16 years. There, she found her passion for serving customers and forming relationships with members. During her time at the Recreation Center, she received the Outstanding Performance Award and Letter of Commendation.

She is also an investor herself having gotten started in 2015 when family friends underbid another property and needed to off-load one they already owned quickly. In 2018 they added another property to their portfolio.

When not burning up the internet superhighway for the firm you can find her enjoying the outdoors, training her latest set of tenants, working on a side hustle, or sitting in a rocking chair typing her thoughts out on her laptop.

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Josh Kreuer
Josh Kreuer
Integrator

Josh Kreuer

Josh is a Tax Analyst who works with Real Estate Investors to take the stress and confusion out of tax season by specializing in real estate tax code.

Josh strongly believes that on top of providing the maximum tax savings, it is just as important to form a partnership with his clients to make this process simple and understandable.

Josh has attained high standing in many varying fields, including education, medicine, counseling, accounting, and more! He has also owned and sold businesses in the past. His diverse background makes him stand out as a client advocate and he uses these skills to make sure that his clients feel confident in the services we provide.

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Brandon Hall
Brandon Hall
CEO

Brandon Hall

Brandon is the Founder/CEO of The Real Estate CPA. Brandon works with real estate investors, syndicates, and private equity funds to optimize tax positions and streamline accounting and business functions.

He believes that real estate investing is critical to building sustainable and generational wealth.

Brandon worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young prior to launching his own CPA firm, Hall CPA PLLC (The Real Estate CPA). Through the knowledge gain by working with real estate investors, Brandon invests in multi-family properties personally and through his capital group, Naked Capital.

Brandon is a Certified Public Accountant and national speaker. Brandon holds degrees in both Accounting and Finance from East Carolina University.

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