Our Team

A select group of Talent

We are dedicated

As iron sharpens iron, our professionals are people who are never satisfied with the status quo and challenge each other in all aspects of their lives. We have the privilege of serving people of great accomplishment, clients and colleagues alike.  

Recognizing the virtue of interdependence, our team maintains a high level of accountability and commitment to the firm’s vision and strategic plans. At the same time, there is life-giving camaraderie and banter among team members, making for a fun and invigorating work environment.

Renda Burkhart

President

Rachel Arendt

Principal

Courtney Whitt

Senior Relationship Manager

Megan Beatty

Relationship Manager

Brittany Craig

Relationship Manager

Beth Ewing

Relationship Manager

Katie Mize

Relationship Manager

Hope Bullion

Accounting Associate

Lisa Chamberlain

Senior Accounting Associate

Karigan Cunningham

Senior Tax Associate

Lauren Fletcher

Tax Associate

Micah Jackson

Tax Supervisor

Liz Koskelowski

Tax Associate

Claire Paganelli

Senior Tax Associate

Linda Shinkle

Firm Administrator

Administrative Team

Kerry Neitzel, Debra Baird, Donna Dodson

Renda Burkhart, CPA

President

Renda is founder and President of Burkhart & Company, P.C. After graduating with highest honors from the University of Tennessee, she worked for Arthur Andersen & Company in its Chattanooga and Knoxville offices. Her vision for a niche CPA firm was sparked by a desire to holistically serve enterprising individuals and their families.

Bringing elegant design, balance and order to anything gives Renda a charge. Reducing complex matters to crystallized decision points is her forte. Renda’s most notable leadership quality is her ability to see the virtues and giftedness in others.

Through the years Renda has served on numerous boards of public and private foundations, non-profit organizations and publicly traded and closely-held businesses. She currently serves on the boards of University Health Systems and Pinnacle Financial Partners. She enjoys listening to and encouraging others, especially those bound for leadership roles. Beautiful gardens, her library and relaxed gatherings in her home are favorite recreational sites.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Offering perspective and guidance through the various phases of life and business enterprise

E

Working with clients through the challenges inherent in transitions

E

Helping clients align vision, purpose and use of resources toward creating legacy

E

Applying effective charitable and family gifting techniques

Rachel Arendt, CPA

Principal

Rachel joined Burkhart & Company after graduating Summa Cum Laude from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. While attending Middle Tennessee State University, Rachel received recognition for the Financial Executive Institute award, highest GPA of senior accounting majors, first place in the Middle Tennessee State University Oral Competition, and the Accounting Alumni Appreciation Day award.

Rachel has the aptitude to work through very complex tax issues and then translate the outcome in simple terms. She approaches every engagement with the priority of establishing a warm and sincere relationship with the client and gaining an understanding of their interests and priorities. She sets an example to all of her colleagues as to how to own job responsibilities and wear them with a smile.

Since high school, Rachel has been an avid runner who enjoys reading while completing her early morning runs on the treadmill. She and her husband, Andy, stay on the go with their three wonderful children. A family favorite consists of summer days spent on the lake surrounded by family and friends. When her three generation family gathers on Sunday afternoons to break bread they total thirty-five and counting.  Rachel serves on the board of the Estate Planning Council and is also active in her church where she teaches preschool children.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Family Office & high-net-worth families

E

Trust accounting and tax compliance

E

Taxation of investment transactions

E

Accounting for partnerships and LLCs

Courtney Whitt, CPA

Senior Relationship Manager

Courtney graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Accounting. During her junior year, Courtney was chosen to represent the Darla Moore School of Business at the Beta Gamma Sigma Student Leadership Forum.  After graduating from South Carolina, Courtney then went on to the University of Memphis where she earned her Master of Science degree in Accounting with a concentration in Taxation. While attending the University of Memphis, Courtney co-authored three articles for publication as part of her research assistantship. Courtney worked for a regional accounting firm in Jackson, Tennessee, before moving to Knoxville and joining Burkhart & Company.

Courtney grew up as a big sister, developing a caretaking and path-carving demeanor. She is a natural leader, quick on the draw with constructive input and rarely caught without a fresh idea. Courtney stays all on, infusing the team with energy and vivaciousness. Her thoughtful challenges push good ideas to best ideas making her an asset on any client engagement.

Courtney served on the Blount Mansion Association Board as treasurer for six years. During her time on the board, the Blount Mansion Association completed a capital campaign, restoration work on the Mansion and launched an education program for Knoxville students to experience hands-on historical learning. She loves to combine her professional skill set with a passion for meaningful community service. During her free time, Courtney enjoys spending time with her husband, two boys and friends.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Serves entrepreneurs and their closely-held businesses

E

Tax compliance and planning for businesses and complex individuals

E

Accounting operations and financial reporting

E

Business consulting services

Megan Beatty, CPA, CFP®

Relationship Manager

Megan graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, and continuing at UT, earned her Master of Accountancy degree with a concentration in Taxation. As a collegiate senior, she interned at Burkhart and Company and discovered a vision for a great career. She moved out of the Knoxville area while her husband finished his graduate studies. During this time, Megan worked for local and regional accounting firms in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia. Settling back in the Knoxville area, Megan re-joined Burkhart & Company, continuing the career path that had started during her senior year in college.

With experience outside of the Knoxville area, Megan brings fresh insight and ideas to keep Burkhart & Company on the leading edge. Providing clients superior value energizes Megan, motivating her to deliver the highest level of service. Her energetic attitude and sweet spirit are contagious, positively affecting all who come in contact.

Megan enjoys nothing more than spending time with her husband, Brent, and their sons, Will and Graham. Graced with a very large extended family as well, she is kept busy traveling throughout the southeast to visit nieces, nephews, siblings, parents, and in-laws. Megan rarely skips an opportunity to demonstrate that family is a top-priority. Megan and Brent are actively involved in their church and love to host dinner gatherings and other social events in their home.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Family Office & high-net-worth families

E

Tax compliance and planning for family limited partnerships, trusts, and individuals

E

Personal financial planning including social security, retirement, and estate planning

E

Accounting operations and financial reporting

Brittany Craig, CPA

Relationship Manager

Brittany’s instant facility with accounting discovered in her first undergraduate business courses illuminated her future career path. Brittany graduated Summa Cum Laude from East Tennessee State University with both a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and a Masters of Accountancy degree. While attending East Tennessee State University, Brittany was recognized as the Fred C. Ward Outstanding B.B.A. Student in Accountancy.  In addition to her high academic achievements, Brittany worked tirelessly through school breaks and non-study hours. During her graduate assistantship, she guided other students to successfully engage in volunteer work. She held several positions in Young Life, finding it to be an effective means of reaching those who might otherwise be abandoned. Working at a bank exposed her to a variety of financial concepts and instruments, an experience complementary to her accounting career.

Brittany’s winsome and genuine nature is only the beginning of what she has to offer. Her ability to communicate directly and her motivation to succeed make her an asset both inside and outside the office. Brittany will fearlessly engage herself in whatever task is at hand, using her resources and tenacity to provide thoughtful, tailored solutions.

Brittany loves spending time outdoors. Many weekends are spent hiking with friends, out for a run, or enjoying the day at the park. Because of her faith and desire for a strong sense of community, Brittany enjoys involvement with her church, Bible study groups. She also loves supporting Young Life, a ministry that holds a special place in her heart. Brittany was led to Knoxville after college to establish her career, and she is enthusiastic about establishing a network among her generation of dynamic business people.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Family Office & high-net-worth families

E

Tax compliance and planning for family limited partnerships, trusts, and individuals

E

Foreign reporting for complex investments

E

Accounting and financial reporting

Beth Ewing, CPA

Relationship Manager

Beth graduated Summa Cum Laude and as Valedictorian from Lipscomb University where she maintained a 4.0 grade-point average. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Professional Accountancy and Finance/Economics and with minors in Spanish and Information Systems. During college, she was the recipient of the Provost Scholarship, the Department of Accounting Award, and the Tennessee Society of CPAs Scholarship Award. Before joining Burkhart & Company, Beth graduated with highest honors from the University of Tennessee, where she received her Masters of Accountancy degree with a concentration in Taxation.

Beth’s humility is gracefully juxtaposed with her keen intellect. She is quiet and steady by nature, yet has a work ethic that can peel down the heaviest task list with seemingly little strain. Clients appreciate her easy-going personality while quickly finding trust in her dedication to their goals and well-being. Beth exemplifies the virtue of better to hear than be heard.

Beth developed a love of travel after she studied abroad for a semester in Vienna, Austria, visiting over ten countries during her stay in Europe. Beth enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and their two children, Landon and Emma. Beth and Michael are actively involved in their church and its couples’ fellowship program.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Family Office & high-net-worth families

E

Personal financial planning strategies

E

Tax planning and compliance

E

Accounting for investments and trusts

Katie Mize, CPA

Relationship Manager

Katie began her career with Burkhart & Company as an intern and returned to join the professional team upon completing academic studies. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Katie also received her Master of Accountancy degree with a concentration in Taxation. Both degrees were earned at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition, Katie managed a day camp for children during her summer breaks and served an accounting assistantship working in the University Controller’s office.

Katie is in high demand due to her quality workmanship, eagerness and desire to please.  She is quick to embrace new challenges, learn technology and research on the fly. She has a mature ability to assess value and drive effectively towards it. With her contagious positive attitude, Katie brings energy and fire to her team.

Born and raised in East Tennessee, Katie loves spending time with her family on the lake, at a sporting event, or around the dinner table. The wife of a triathlete and mom of two boys, the weekends are full of activities often spent on a race course or on nearby biking and running trails. She enjoys opening her home to friends and family for times of Bible study and fellowship, and on most fall Saturdays you will find her sitting at Neyland Stadium cheering for the Vols!

Practice Emphasis:
E

Serves entrepreneurs and their closely-held businesses

E

Tax compliance and planning for businesses, trusts and complex individuals

E

Accounting operations for businesses and trusts

E

Oversight of home accounting services including bill pay

Hope Bullion, CPA

Accounting Associate

Hope graduated from Maryville College with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.  After graduation, she held positions in sales and property management that led her to realize that accounting was her true calling. She proceeded to complete her accounting degree garnering a 4.0 GPA. Affirmed in her scholastic success, she expeditiously completed all the requirements to become a CPA.

Hope is a quiet servant leader who embraces challenges, ever learning and always giving. Her intellect is rich with dry humor and her character is unpretentious and caring. Her passion is centered in seeing others succeed. Hope is a real asset to the team, always ready to assist with any project and is a continual delight to her colleagues and clients.

Reading is one of Hope’s great loves.  She has a special affinity for novels full of interesting characters and thick plots. Her imagination is kept alive by her devouring five to six books in a week. She loves to spend time playing video games with her husband, Stephen.  Hope basks in her home which is filled with love of family, friends, and her many pets who are fortunate to have found their forever home.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Providing bill pay services for family office clients

E

Preparing financial statements

E

Designing decision support information to help clients form good strategy

E

Performing general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll services

Lisa Chamberlain

Senior Accounting Associate

Lisa graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a major in Finance. She was selected in high school as a top academic achiever eligible to enter a Junior Fellowship Program through which she earned an Outstanding Performance Award from the Department of Energy and her college degree to boot.

Lisa possesses a strong work ethic and a never quit, go-the-extra-mile mentality. She operates out of her God-given aptitude for numbers and processes. Quick to laugh, Lisa keeps a cheerful heart and a positive outlook. She equates life challenges as opportunities for personal growth.

Lisa cherishes quality time with her husband, Scott, and their two children, Brandon and Brittany. Lisa is an avid Big Orange fan and can be found supporting the Tennessee football and basketball teams every game day. Hiking tops the list of favorites, especially in the Smokies, and she and Scott hope to one day be proud members of the 900-mile club. To strike a perfect balance, happy pastimes also include enjoying an occasional all-day movie fest on the weekend and reading a suspenseful who-done-it.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Providing meaningful financial information so clients can make good decisions

E

Home accounting services including bill pay

E

Performing general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll services

E

Financial statement preparation

Karigan Cunningham, CPA

Senior Tax Associate

Karigan joined Burkhart & Company after graduating with honors from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting. During college, Karigan received recognition both academically and athletically. She was invited to join Beta Gamma Sigma, a membership awarded to only the top ten percent of students in the College of Business, and she spent four years playing for the women’s soccer team where she earned all-conference honors. Upon graduation from Tennessee Tech, Karigan began her career through an internship with Burkhart & Company and readily decided to continue full-time with the firm.

Karigan’s friendly, easy-going nature makes her a pleasure to work with on any occasion. Her time spent as an all-conference soccer player during college has helped shape her strong leadership and teamwork skills in the office. She is always eager to tackle whatever challenge lies in front of her.

Karigan loves to spend her free time surrounded by her family and friends. Although most weekends are spent at her family’s lake house, Karigan also enjoys attending or watching any kind of sporting event. When possible, Karigan likes to find her way back home to Louisville, Kentucky, to spend time with the people who matter most to her. Karigan came to Knoxville after college to develop her career and begin a new chapter of her life.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Tax compliance and planning for businesses, family partnerships, trusts and individuals

E

Family office services and financial planning

E

Financial accounting and tax management for businesses

E

Accounting and financial reporting

Lauren Fletcher

Tax Associate

Lauren graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration. While attending Louisiana Tech University, Lauren was recognized as a recipient of the “Who’s Who Among Students” award which highlights academic achievement, leadership, and campus and community involvement. During college, she represented her University as a College of Business Ambassador, an Orientation Student Leader, a Student Recruiter, and a member of the Peer Leadership Council. Lauren embraced every opportunity to serve her university and encourage others in their college experience.

Throughout her years in college, Lauren gained relevant experience in accounting by working part-time as an Accounting Associate at a local firm. She also served on the worship team and college leadership team at her church where she strengthened her communication and leadership skills. Lauren is a true team-player who brings out the best in those around her with her encouraging nature and willingness to serve.

Lauren explores her creative side in her free time and is always looking for a fun adventure. She thrives on investing quality time with family and friends and loves getting to know people deeply. Lauren enjoys staying active in her church and local community and is excited to plant roots in East Tennessee.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Tax compliance and planning for businesses, family partnerships, trusts and individuals

E

Family office services and financial planning

E

Financial accounting and tax management for businesses

E

Accounting and financial reporting

Micah Jackson, CPA

Tax Supervisor

Micah graduated Cum Laude from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance. He was drawn to personal financial planning and analytics upon his first exposure to them in school. This led to a career stretch in banking and investments where he focused on developing comprehensive financial plans for clients. It was there that he decided to progress toward the specializations of accounting and taxation. Micah integrates all his natural talents, education and professional experience in serving clients with a well-rounded perspective.

Micah is a hard-working, self-motivated individual who was influenced by his parents who exercised a weekly discipline of balancing the family finances and openly discussing them. The accountability, hard work, and motivation he grew up with became his own. He fully understands the power of responsible financial management and the “good life” that such responsibility affords. He welcomes technical challenges and has earned a reputation for being willing to take on complex, intensive work with a great attitude and capability.

Micah loves beach time, lake time, family cook-outs, golf, fishing and simply relaxing outdoors. His wife, Jordan, and sons, Grey and Finn, are his companions in all these things, and they are happy to be among the beautiful natural resources in East Tennessee.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Tax compliance and planning for businesses, family partnerships, trusts and individuals

E

Taxation of investment transactions

E

Financial accounting and tax management for businesses

E

Family office services and financial planning

Liz Koskelowski

Tax Associate

Liz graduated Magna Cum Laude from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree and double majored in Accounting and Spanish. During college, Liz was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, an accomplishment awarded to the top ten percent of students in the School of Business, as well as Beta Alpha Psi, an honor organization for finance and accounting students. She further applied her aptitude for accounting by tutoring fellow students in accounting courses.

Liz has a heart for giving back and has been drawn especially to international volunteer work. During her college years, she helped others through a service trip to Nicaragua and a semester abroad in South Africa. Her altruistic calling also led to her first postgraduate role at The Haitian Project, a small non-profit focusing on education in Haiti, where she served as Controller and Treasurer. Originally from Connecticut, Liz, along with her family, sought to relocate in the southeast. Now pursuing a career in tax, she is excited to be a part of the Burkhart & Company team and call Knoxville home. Liz fits well in the Firm and serves her coworkers and clients with the same kindness and selflessness that emanates from her humanitarian heart.

Liz enjoys exploring Tennessee by taking in the beauty of the Smokies, trying out new restaurants, and treating her four-legged best friend to local dog parks. She continues volunteering in her free time with The Haitian Project.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Tax compliance and planning for businesses, family partnerships, trusts and individuals

E

Family office services and financial planning

E

Financial accounting and tax management for businesses

E

Accounting and financial reporting

Claire Paganelli, CPA

Senior Tax Associate

Claire graduated Summa Cum Laude and in the Chancellor’s Honors Program from The University of Tennessee. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and a concentration in International Business. She also received her Master of Accountancy degree with a concentration in Taxation from The University of Tennessee and served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. During college she was a student member of the Tennessee Society of CPAs and Beta Alpha Psi and was awarded a TSCPA scholarship. Additionally, she was the Lead Ambassador for the Haslam College of Business and the Special Events Chair for the Chancellor’s Honors Program Ambassadors.

In college, Claire gained valuable insight and experience through internships with national and regional firms as well as the government sector. She is a hard worker with a drive for learning and improving herself. She maintains a positive attitude and is encouraging and supportive of those around her.

Claire deeply appreciates family time, whether that be spent playing board games such as Scrabble, watching football, sitting on the porch, or enjoying lunch together after church on Sunday afternoons. She enjoys traveling and studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, in college and now loves to plan trips with her husband, Sam. She is also a big fan of Dollywood and can be found there many weekends.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Tax compliance and planning for businesses, family partnerships, trusts and individuals

E

Family office services and financial planning

E

Accounting and financial reporting

E

Technical research and writing

Linda Shinkle

Firm Administrator

Linda joined Burkhart & Company bringing years of diversified experience in both her career and in her residencies stretching from Texas to Wyoming. She has enjoyed all of her varied accounting assignments including jobs in the non-profit sector, private industry and public accounting. Linda received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business with a minor in Accounting and Finance from the University of Wyoming. She then obtained a second Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Indiana State University.

Linda is calm, thoughtful and curious about how things work behind the scenes. Creating order, balancing the books and solving problems are as natural to her as breathing. Linda finds joy in things coming together as they should. She is a peace maker and that attribute radiates an atmosphere of wellbeing all around her. Her technical capabilities coupled with her desire for her clients and the Firm to be successful make her an invaluable team member.

Linda loves outdoor adventures with her husband, Justin, and their two children, Jaxon and Olivia. Running, racing obstacle courses and hiking all around East Tennessee’s abundance of parks, trails and mountains are favorites.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Administering firm operations

E

Financial accounting and management reporting for the Firm

E

Supporting tax, business and accounting professionals

E

Research and implementation of best accounting processes and related technology

Administrative Team

Kerry Neitzel, Debra Baird, Donna Dodson

Our seasoned administrative professionals are dedicated, caring and capable individuals. They bring an array of well-developed skills and are integral to our firm’s commitment to superior service and warm and hospitable client relations.

Practice Emphasis:
E

Serve as liaisons with clients

E

Administer firm operations

E

Support tax, business, and accounting professionals

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