Kim Ruane, CPA, Shareholder and Practice Manager
Hails from the Chicago area. Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Passed through CPA firms in Santa Clara, California and Naperville, Illinois on her way to Colorado where she raised her family—now three great adults. As of 2018 added the title of Grandma! REALLY enjoys doing tax work but handles accounting, payroll, and other issues as well, while keeping the practice on track as our Organization Maven—AKA Practice Manager. Outside of the office, enjoys walking, bicycling and all things family. Enjoys domestic travel to see family in Illinois, New Jersey and Florida. Caught the international travel bug a few years ago and has enjoyed a few days visiting each France, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and Austria! With the practice since 1996.
Stacey Garrett, CPA, Shareholder
Stacey spent her first few years in New York, and then moved to California. She was raised in the Simi Valley area, where she earned a B.S. in Accounting from California Lutheran University in nearby Thousand Oaks. She married her high school sweetheart in 1995, and entered public accounting just weeks after returning from their Jamaican honeymoon. They were feeling a little froggy in the fall of 1996, and decided to try out a short stint living in Colorado. It didn’t take long for them to fall in love with the area, and their short stint turned into a permanent residence. While raising their two teenage children in Parker, Stacey has worked in both the audit and tax areas of public accounting serving individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. We are so glad that our paths crossed in 2017, and Stacey joined our firm. We are loving her wicked good sense of humor, along with her passion for organization and process – critical keys in a CPA practice. In her time away from the office, she is an avid book lover, an adventurous cook, a culinary summer gardener, and a long-haul road trip warrior. Her family vehicle has reached far off places such as Niagara Falls, Disney World and the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Her other life pursuits involve learning classical Latin, and finishing the historically accurate Victorian dollhouse that she has been building meticulously from scratch for a long time.
Julie A Bechtel, CPA, MT, Shareholder
The daughter of a career Army Officer, Julie grew up an “Army Brat,” moving from Post to Post every couple of years. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from Kansas State University (there is a time and a place for all things “fun”,) she moved to the Denver area. She went on to complete a second Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from the University of Phoenix and a Master’s of Taxation from the University Of Denver Sturm College Of Law. Her path to Zaffore Ruane (she joined us in 2015) began at PwC, spanned several contract positions in industry, includes multiple years in a local public accounting practice in the Longmont area, as well as a year with CliftonLarsonAllen. She is a member of the AICPA and the Colorado Society of CPA’s. Her focus at Zaffore Ruane is assisting closely held businesses as well as individuals with a variety of tax, payroll, accounting, and IRS issues. Julie strives with care to meet the needs of her clients, to find the best solutions. In addition to her work at the firm, she serves as a member on both the School and Parish finance councils at Ave Maria.
Kathy Zaffore, CPA, Consultant part-time
Grew up in a CPA practice in Los Angeles, so destiny was sealed. Family also owned and operated a motel business at Disneyland. Lost count of number of times she’s ridden the Matterhorn. Earned Bachelor of Science at University of Southern California—Fight On! An MA at San Francisco State, and then a Master’s of Science in Accounting and Economics at University of Colorado – Denver. After years with other firms, started a practice in the fall of 1994 to follow her heart – working with people, helping them grow and manage their businesses and their wealth. Sold the firm to Kim Ruane, Stacey Garrett and Julie Bechtel in January 2019. Still at her desk part time. Enjoys the Pinery wildlife, her grandson Ian and a little Italian cooking. Trying to carve out time for the beach, travel, friends, reading, writing, and learning languages (has added Norwegian along with Italian). Alex the horse is now 30 and doing well for an octogenarian.
Kathleen Bell, CPA
A Denver native! Completed Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from University of Colorado – Denver. Following a stint as assistant controller for two large companies, she “came to her senses” and entered public accounting. A Sage50 (aka Peachtree) Wizard — through the trials and tribulations of setting up and maintaining some challenging accounting environments. Also works with QuickBooks, Timeslips and Sherware, a software specific to the oil/gas industry. Enjoys the details of day to day bookkeeping all the way through to financial reporting and tax return preparation. Truly spoils her pampered group of clients. Lives on the west side of town for quick escapes to the mountains – loves a good hike and the views from tree line. Married with two adult children. An adventurous kitchen chef, she makes the best lemon bars anywhere. In the practice from, well, the beginning – 1994.
Mary Kitchen, Staff Associate
Grew up in Peru where she completed a BS in Accounting at the National University of the Center of Peru, IN. She holds a Master’s degree in Accounting from Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, UT. Mary joined ZR CPAs in August 2022 with a QuickBooks ProAdvisor certification, and five years of bookkeeping and tax preparation experience. She is both dynamic and a quick learner- a highly motivated and determined professional. Mary looks forward to learning something new each day. She is passionate about problem solving and works to implement solutions exceeding client needs and expectations. She enjoys tennis and exploring new places, especially the Colorado outdoors, with her German Shepard, Coco. As a CPA candidate, Mary is hoping to soon add this credential to her growing list of accomplishments.
Vicki Hager, Bookkeeper / Tax Tech / Computer Wiz
Another Denver native – well, Englewood. Wears many hats in our practice with good humor and a true desire to be helpful to all. Along with tax return preparation, Vicki works with many of our small business clients on payroll, sales tax and bookkeeping issues, cleans up clients’ computer files, installs software, troubleshoots problems and provides training on QuickBooks. Also serves as our resident IT department. She has been a lifesaver at Zaffore Ruane since 1996.
Michelle Cox, Bookkeeper
Arrived in Colorado from Pennsylvania in 1987. Completed a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Sciences from Metro State University with an interest in land use after working as an accounting assistant for Lutheran Medical Center for five years. Met her husband while stationed as a contractor in Antarctica. She spent a year there as an administrative assistant and a summer season as a research scientist studying the continent’s water quality. Managed the bookkeeping and administration for a small, family-owned plumbing business for several years. Enjoys being in the mountains with her husband, teenager, and three dogs. Here at the office, takes on a wide variety of bookkeeping and payroll duties for clients. She also serves as our firm’s Accounts Payable Specialist. Joined us in 2014.
Judy Fischer, CPA Assistant
Judy joined Zaffore Ruane CPAs in December 2021 with an extensive background in administration ranging from paralegal work to bookkeeping, payroll, and CPA firm administration. She arrived in Parker, CO in 1991 after being born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Judy holds a BA degree in Political Science from Virginia Tech, where she also met her husband. Together they have raised four amazing children and a beloved 14 year-old Golden Retriever. They have seen the oldest three kids through college and their youngest is currently a college student. In addition to following Virginia Tech football and basketball, Judy enjoys walking, hiking, and photography. Photographing her family is a favorite. As our CPA assistant, you will hear from Judy directly as she assists us in providing top notch service to our client base.
Cati Meinberg, Part-time Administrative Assistant
Cati joined the front office of Zaffore Ruane CPAs as a part-time administrative assistant in December 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Business degree from Metro State University along with an Associates degree in Nursing. Cati’s background is in medical and lab facility office administration to include front desk operations, coordinating programs, and general administrative tasks. Cati is a Colorado native who enjoys exploring and participating in the many outdoor activities our beautiful state has to offer with her daughter, husband, and new puppy by her side. She is excited to learn new things, and to provide friendly telephone assistance.