our team

NFP Partners is made up by a team of financial experts are committed to helping nonprofits focus more on their impactful missions and less on their accounting woes. The team members listed below come from diverse nonprofit backgrounds and have sharp accounting technology knowledge to serve the needs of our clients.

To learn more about the team members at NFP Partners, click the names below. To learn more about the history of NFP Partners, click here.

Projects

Cups of Coffee

Lee Bengston

Lee Bengston, founder of NFP Partners, more recently transitioning majority ownership and management responsibility to Laura Jorstad. He actively participates in all aspects of the business with more focus on business strategy and marketing. Additionally, Lee serves as a consultant, mentor, and quality control reviewer.

In the early 1980s, Lee formed a software development company. Several years later, he formed Bengston & Associates — a value-added reseller of Sage and other vendors’ ERP software. Eventually, the company emerged as the major Sage reseller in Colorado, with 12 employees and more than 300 clients. Subsequently, in 1999, Lee sold the company and later formed the predecessor company to NFP Partners.

Under Lee’s direction, NFP Partners has developed an innovative model to deliver accounting technology and accounting services to nonprofit organizations.

Lee’s Career

For nearly four decades, Lee has been a consultant for small businesses, state and local government agencies, and nonprofit organizations across the country. A Certified Public Accountant, Lee has deep knowledge of accounting theory and practice, which he uses to assist his myriad clients to help develop and implement financial information systems.

Lee’s professional experience serves as a strong anchor for NFP Partners. He spent 10 years as an active-duty Air Force officer and another 11 years in the Air Force Reserve, officially retiring from the Air Force Reserve in 1983 at the rank of Lt. Colonel. While in the military, Lee’s duties focused on logistics, financial management, and information technology. After leaving active military duty, Lee served as a principal and executive vice president of an independent management consulting firm that provided information system planning, design, and project management services to clients nationwide.

Within the past 10 years, Lee has served on four nonprofit boards as chairman of the audit and finance committees, as well as Treasurer, and in various fundraising project capacities. His experience as a nonprofit volunteer-led him to his current venture of helping nonprofits. Except for his military duty, Lee has been a small-business owner and entrepreneur for his entire career.

The Colorado resident is married to Carol and together they have two adult sons, an adult daughter, and four grandchildren. He is a life-long runner and, in more recent years, a cyclist. Not only does Lee like reading, but he also enjoys listening to jazz and traveling. Additionally, he belongs to the Colorado Society of CPAs and is an active volunteer with a local public radio station.

Makalah Emanuel

Marketing Manager
Joined NFP Partners is 2016
BA in Journalism with an emphasis in public relations and advertising

Makalah joined the NFP Partners team in 2016 after earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and advertising from the University of Northern Colorado. While attending UNC, Makalah served as a news writer and assistant editor for The Mirror, the school’s newspaper. Her writing has expanded from articles on nonprofit programming, profile stories, press releases, and more.

She was first introduced to the nonprofit sector while attending high school and has remained passionate about working closely with nonprofits ever since. Some of Makalah’s duties at NFP Partners include helping with email automation, website maintenance, and delivering the organization’s monthly newsletter. The Denver native loves to travel, visit small coffee shops, and watch professional basketball, specifically the Denver Nuggets.

Nicci Hardman

Nonprofit Accounting Consultant
Joined NFP Partners in 2018
Earned a BA in business with an emphasis in accounting from the University of Colorado

Nicci comes to NFP Partners with a great background in nonprofit accounting. She has over 23 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector and is adaptable, approachable and very helpful.

Before joining NFP Partners, Nicci worked as the controller at the American Red Cross and the Denver Botanic Gardens, and as an accounting manager at Rocky Mountain PBS. In her roles, she implemented accounting software systems, set up policies & procedures, managed all aspects of the general ledger operations, and created grant tracking and grant reporting processes.

Laura Jorstad

Managing Principal
Joined NFP Partners in 2010
Earned a bachelor’s degree in business and healthcare from Concordia College

Laura Jorstad is an accomplished accounting professional who brings more than 20 years of nonprofit financial management experience to NFP Partners’ clients.

Laura has served in numerous fiscal capacities for the State of Colorado. While working for the State of Colorado, she provided oversight for grant management systems and oversaw multi-million dollar budgets. Furthermore, Laura developed processes and procedures for redesigned economic systems.

In a separate role, she served as the financial and grants management consultant to a prominent Colorado nonprofit organization. In this role, she selected and implemented a financial management system, participated in the development of a five-year, statewide strategic plan. Laura also developed a $50 million business plan and budget.

When Laura joined NFP Partners, the firm was in the development stage of its accounting services delivery model. Under Laura’s direction, the firm has provided a collaborative model of accounting, CFO, and transitional services to dozens of non-profits. The firm’s original three non-profit organizations are still receiving accounting services from the NFP Partners’ team.

Laura is a certified Abila MIP Fund Accounting™ consultant and has been instrumental in the training component of NFP Partners implementation services. Her background in the public health and nonprofit healthcare sector has been beneficial in guiding non-profits in the development and implementation of the software.

Laura is married to Tony and they have two school-age children, Robert and Anna. She enjoys playing piano, gardening, and golfing. You can also find Laura spending her free time walking the country roads, camping, or fishing in the mountains.

Anne Messerli

Nonprofit Accounting Consultant
Joined NFP Partners in 2017
Earned a BA in economics from the University of New Hampshire

Anne assists nonprofit organizations with accounting services such as payroll, reconciliations, and processing of month-end financial reports.

Before joining NFP Partners, Anne worked at the Colorado School of Mines, preparing employee contracts and researching discrepancies in Federal, State, and private grant balances. While in this role, she also processed travel expense reports for faculty, students, visitors, and guests of the department.

Anne has also served as a Denver Public Schools’ Senior Financial Analyst for Financial Services and a Grant Accountant for federal programs.

Anne is married to Eric and together they have two daughters. She loves to garden, ski, and be outdoors. Furthermore, she enjoys traveling and has been to all 50 states and many countries, most recently Africa.

Tracy Sadoff

Nonprofit Finance & Accounting Consultant
Joined NFP Partners in 2013
Earned a BS in accounting with cum laude from Colorado State University

Tracy is a well-rounded consultant whose tasks include accounts receivable/payable, payroll, and cash disbursements. Not only does Tracy help clients prepare complex monthly financial statements, but she also helps with audit prep work.

She has worked for a wide array of clients, whose specialties vary from the medical industry to after-school programs for inner-city children. That to say, Tracy loves to help in the community. Specifically, she finds great pleasure in assisting nonprofits to achieve their mission.

Prior to entering the nonprofit community, Tracy worked in the tax resolution industry, helping to negotiate tax agreements between taxing authorities and delinquent businesses/individuals.

Likewise, she prepared financial statements, which were the basis for negotiations of payment plans, and helped form compromises with the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities.

She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and four children. They reside in a small rural town in Oregon and spends their weekends’ camping, fishing, and swimming in the river.

Articles Written By Tracy

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Katie Sullivan

Nonprofit Accounting Consultant
Joined NFP Partners in 2015
Earned a BA from James Madison University in Virginia, and a Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Colorado at Denver

Katie helps bridge support for organizations in transition to hiring a full-time accounting position. She brings over 20 years of experience in nonprofit communication, management, and financial systems.

Over the course of her career, Katie has worked with well-established organizations in addition to small, startup nonprofits. She has vast experience managing federal, state and local grant funding.

As with many nonprofit professionals, Katie has worn many hats to ensure that the organizations she worked for were able to fulfill the obligation to funders, the commitment to the community, and the goal of the mission. To list a few, Katie has worn the hats of AP/AR, database coordinator, grant administrator, HR, and director of operations.

Furthermore, Katie has experience with program development and implementation.

Katie has a passion for nonprofit work and traveling. She has traveled to Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, one country in Africa, and Australia. When traveling, Katie typically designates six-to-12 months to explore and always tries to find local NGOs to volunteer with.

Katie said this is important to her because by doing so, it helps connect her to the community and get a true sense of what life is like.

Stephanie Underwood

Director of Accounting Services
Earned a BA in business administration  from DeVry University, Master of Science in accounting from Keller Graduate School of Management

Stephanie Underwood helps with NFP Partners’ daily accounting services and many of the company’s financial services such as statement preparations and consulting. Stephanie brings over nine years of experience in nonprofit accounting services.

Prior to joining NFP Partners, Stephanie held the position of manager of finance for a large, private aviation company in the Denver metro area. In this position, Stephanie managed the company’s financial relationships with aircraft owners and ensured their operational efficiency. She also served at CliftonLarsonAllen, a top-10 nationally ranked public accounting firm.

At CLA, Stephanie helped several nonprofits, both nationally and internationally, develop efficient accounting departments with optimized financial processes, and provide accounting services on every level.

Stephanie is a certified Abila MIP Fund Accounting™ consultant. She enjoys working in the nonprofit industry because of the purpose-driven focus that organizations have. They are making a difference in the community and Stephanie enjoys being a part of that.

An Iowa native, Stephanie currently lives in Thornton with her husband and two children, Caden and Ava. She enjoys traveling, CrossFit, and participating in her children’s’ numerous activities.

Jody Zatorski

Nonprofit Accounting Consultant
Joined NFP Partners team in 2017
Earned a BS degree from the University of Maryland University College, MBA in Accounting from Colorado Technical University

With an extensive finance background in functions such as accounts receivables, accounts payable, and system implementation, Jody Zatorski is equipped with a wealth of accounting management knowledge.

Jody has spent nearly 20 years in various accounting and financial management positions. Most recently, she served as the Manager of Finance and Administration for the Downtown Denver Partnership, where she not only helped facilitate successful annual audits for multiple companies but also oversaw several payrolls.

Additionally, in this role, Jody standardized procedures to improve record keeping and efficiencies.

Jody believes nonprofits provide valuable services to better the world, one task at a time. Equally, she finds enjoyment in helping small nonprofit organizations reach their goals through the use of her knowledge and skills.

As a recent “empty nester” Jody enjoys traveling with her husband, reading and spending time with her dogs.

Katrina Cooke

Nonprofit Accounting Consultant
Joined NFP Partners in 2019
Earned a BA in business administration in accounting from Robert Morris University and a Master of Accounting and Financial Management from Keller Graduate School of Management

Katrina has a nonprofit accounting background in managing functions such as accounts receivables, accounts payable, payroll, audits, and system implementation and training. Also, have experience in the areas of human resources and customer databases.

Katrina has spent nearly 13 years in various accounting and financial management positions. Most recently, she served as the Manager of Finance for Elevate Energy, where she oversaw accounts receivable and payable processing, standardized procedures to improve efficiencies in accounting processes. She also created various process and procedures.

Katrina believes nonprofits play an important role in providing services and helping people and communities be their best. She finds great satisfaction with helping nonprofit organizations having dependable financial records.

Katrina enjoys spending time with her family and fiancé. Reading books on her kindle, watching movies and listening to music.

Articles Written By Katrina

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