Ask Gabe LePera what he does for a living and he’ll define his job as a combination of risk management, corporate compliance, and operational effectiveness. If that sounds like a lot of work — it is. As the senior executive in charge of the Internal Audit team, Mr. LePera oversees all areas of integrity for Compass Diversified Holdings, including compliance with federal Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). The company’s internal controls begin with an annual risk assessment of all of the Compass Diversified Holdings subsidiaries, as well as conducting internal audit reviews, and when necessary, hiring and overseeing outside vendors. In order to accomplish this, Mr. LePera and his team often travel to the subsidiaries’ home offices to discuss with their management teams the scope of due diligence and testing necessary for compliance. In addition, Mr. LePera presents quarterly reports to the Audit Committee. He and his team are currently working to put in place an IT General Controls (ITGC) audit for each subsidiary with the goal of having IT Audit Certification in the near future.
Mr. LePera joined The Compass Group in 2008. Prior to that, he was with J.H. Cohn; Youth Consultation Services and Ehrenkrantz & Company. Mr. LePera is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the University of Hartford.
Ms. Sahin’s work often takes her on the road to visit the subsidiaries’ home offices where she works closely with internal finance teams and conducts audits. When necessary, she is responsible for hiring and supervising outside vendor/auditors and collaborates to provide the testing required for a specific audit. One of the many reasons Ms. Sahin appreciates working at The Compass Group is that the company provides her the opportunity to perform audits in different vertical markets, thus exposing her to a diverse set of necessary skills, unique to each industry. Ms. Sahin joined The Compass Group in 2009. Prior to that, she was with Weiser LLP; CACI International; Cherry, Bekaert & Holland and Hozik & Company. Ms Sahin is a graduate of George Mason University. Ms. Sahin is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Information Systems Auditor.
One would not think of Internal Audit as “helping people to improve their process by making it stronger,” but that is just how Ms. Vearrier views her job. Based out of The Compass Group’s California office, Ms. Vearrier responsibilities are multi-facetted; she looks for potential weaknesses as they relate to financial statements, puts in place internal audit controls, and ensures that all subsidiaries are SOX compliant. In addition, Ms. Vearrier assists external auditors to perform their duties. Not surprisingly, one of Ms. Vearrier’s special interests is “quality control.” Ms. Vearrier joined The Compass Group in 2011. Prior to that, she practiced public accounting with Kieckhafer, Schiffer & Company LLP. Ms. Vearrier is a Certified Public Accountant, and a graduate of the California State University, Fullerton.
Coming from a diverse background and experience, including manufacturing, petrochemical, trading, and oil and gas industries, Ms. Nguyen embraces the dynamic and the inherent challenges that come from within each business sector. She continually looks for process improvements and strengthening internal controls – operationally and financially, and provides feasible and value-added recommendations to internal clients. Ms. Nguyen joined The Compass Group in 2017 and is based out of the Irvine, CA office. Prior to joining Compass, Ms. Nguyen worked as an Internal Auditor at El Paso Energy, Lyondell-Basell, and as a Consultant at Sirius Solutions and RGP. Ms. Nguyen holds a Bachelor in Business Administration – Accountancy, from the University of Houston central campus. She is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Ms. Christiansen joined Compass in 2018 and brings experience from her previous roles as well as an eagerness to continue to increase her learning. She has spent time working in private and public accounting, most recently as an Experienced Accountant with Insero & Co., CPAs where she spent over two years developing her knowledge of financial and compliance audits, however, the majority of her time was spent on internal audit consulting with a focus on SOX testing. Her experience also includes an internship with the internal audit group at Paychex. Ms. Christiansen is based out of the Westport, CT office and travels along with the team to various subsidiaries across the country with a special focus on east coast companies. Ms. Christiansen received her undergraduate accounting degree and Master’s in Business Administration from St John Fisher College. Ms. Christiansen has completed all four parts of the CPA exam and will soon be licensed in the State of New York.
Based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, places Ms. Couch in the position of being able to say that she has worked with most of the Compass Group subsidiaries. Her flexibility to travel on a need basis, allows her to capitalize on the knowledge gained by working with companies on both coasts. Her responsibilities include conducting audits, tests, and making sure that each company is SOX compliant. Ms. Couch joined The Compass Group in 2009. Prior to that, she was with Faulkner and Stevens; Fifth Third Bank and Arthur Andersen. Ms. Couch received her undergraduate degree and Master of Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ms. Couch is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner.