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Profiles

Our Team

Robert L. Winters, CPA, MST, Managing Partner

Bob has over 30 years of tax planning experience serving closely held businesses, wealthy family groups, and high net worth individuals. He is the managing member and founder of Winters LLC. Before forming the Firm, Bob was tax manager at Arthur Andersen LLP. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with honors and a Master of Science in Taxation from DePaul University. Bob grew up in Bensenville and is proud of his blue-collar roots. He currently resides with his family in Countryside Lake.

Kent Bellgrau, CPA, MSA, MST, Partner

As a partner with Winters LLC, Kent’s manages the Firm’s accounting, attestation, risk management, and business development practices. He joined Winters LLC in 2011, bringing three years of experience as a senior manager at Plante & Moran PLLC and over five years with RSM US LLP. Kent provides holistic and specialized tax, accounting, consulting, and attestation services to closely held businesses and their owners. He holds both a Bachelor and Master of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Science in Taxation from Northern Illinois University. Kent grew up in Palatine and currently resides with his family in Lake Barrington..

Nora Gile, CPA, MST, Tax Director

Nora joined Winters LLC in 2017. She spent 20 years as a tax manager in two medium-sized firms and most recently spent eleven years growing her own tax and accounting practice. Nora specializes in individual, trust, estate and business income tax. Nora received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her Master of Science in Taxation from DePaul University. In her spare time, Nora loves singing with the Glen Ellyn Wheaton Chorale, and spending time on the lake with family and friends.

Debbie Hansen, CPA, Tax Manager

Debbie concentrates on audits, reviews, accounting services, and tax preparation for a wide array of entities. Debbie graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy degree and she obtained her CPA license shortly after graduation. Debbie worked with Arthur Andersen LLP for three years in the audit division and with Northrop Corporation for two years as an internal auditor. After raising a family, Debbie returned to her professional career with a local CPA firm, providing accounting, tax and attestation services for 15 years before joining Winters LLC in 2013.

Marci Olague, EA, Accounting Manager

Marci is Winters LLC’s accounting manager. Aside from being an IRS enrolled agent, she is also a certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Marci provides tax, payroll, and accounting consulting services for closely held businesses and individuals. She especially enjoys helping new business owners get started by guiding them through various mandatory tax filings, setting up their accounting software needs and establishing accounting procedures. Marci graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and has been with Winters LLC since 2005. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with family and friends and going for long nature walks with her kids and dog, Bogie.

Sarah Knox, CPA, Supervisor

Sarah graduated from Wartburg College with a Bachelor of Arts in Accountancy and obtained her CPA license shortly after graduation. She has worked for Winters LLC since she graduated college in 2018. In addition to being a CPA, Sarah is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Sarah concentrates on tax preparation for entities and individuals, as well as audits, reviews, and accounting services.

Valerie Anderson-Jones, CPA, JD, Tax Senior

Valerie has worked in the accounting field for over thirty years, primarily in public accounting and joined Winters LLC in December 2017. She has worked as a controller for a not-for-profit organization and as a third-party retirement plan administrator with a law firm. Valerie is passionate about estate planning and administration and excels in working through estate issues with clients. She understands how difficult it can be to deal with the loss of a loved one while moving forward with their financial affairs, as she had to do this with her parents’ estates. She also works with individuals and businesses to provide tax advice and preparation. Valerie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College and a Law degree from DePaul University. Outside of work, Valerie enjoys singing in her church choir, teaching Sunday School, and keeps active playing volleyball and softball.

Matt Leibforth, Senior

Matt Graduated from North Park University in 2016. For two years Matt was the accountant for a large private dental group. In pursuit of more professional growth Matt joined Winters LLC in the spring of 2018. Matt specializes in assisting small business with their accounting and tax services and delving into the needs of new clients. In his spare time, Matt likes to do all things outdoors – camping, fishing, hiking etc.

Ryan McNeil, Tax Senior

Ryan joined Winters LLC in 2020. Prior to that Ryan was a Senior Tax Accountant with RSM US LLP for four years. Ryan specialized in the private client service practice at RSM where his focus was on individual tax returns. At Winters LLC, Ryan does tax preparation and planning for a variety of individual and business entities and also provides accounting support as needed. Ryan graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Having recently started a family, Ryan and his wife moved from Chicago to Lake In The Hills to be closer to family.

Tyler Longhenry, Staff

Tyler graduated from Illinois State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Finance with an emphasis in Financial Planning. He has been an accountant with Winters LLC since 2019 providing attestation, tax, payroll, and accounting services for individuals and closely held businesses. Tyler grew up in Roscoe, Illinois and currently resides with his wife and new baby in Arlington Heights. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with family, watching sports, and eating good food.

Lexi Nelson, Staff

Lexi started with Winters LLC in 2019 as an intern and later came on as a full time employee in 2020. She is a QuickBooks Pro Advisor and provides tax, payroll, sales tax and accounting services for businesses and individuals. Lexi graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. She currently resides in her hometown of North Barrington and enjoys getting outdoors with her dog.

Wendy Maki, Office Manager

Wendy has been an integral part of the Firm since 2012. She has been working in the accounting field as an administrative assistant for over 30 years. Her extensive experience and strength as a team coordinator is crucial to keeping client data records organized and tax deadlines met. Wendy is an avid sports fan and enjoys hiking and traveling with her husband, and dog, Elsa.