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Who We Are

Get to Know Acena Consulting

Experienced R&D tax credit professionals ready to grow your business

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A Little About Us

Acena Consulting is a multi-dimensional tax and accounting services company supporting both public and privately held companies. Our experienced team of R&D tax professionals includes former "Big Four" national office partners, attorneys, CPAs, engineers, and other knowledgeable tax professionals.

Our roots may stem from major national accounting firms, but make no mistake — Acena Consulting's client approach is hands-on, conservative, and technically driven. At Acena Consulting, our goal is simple: we want to help clients across multiple industries reduce tax their tax burden and operation expenses to increase cash flow and drive overall business growth.

Whether you are curious about federal research and development tax credits, or want more information about export incentives, such as the IC-DISC, Acena Consulting can help you break it all down. We work diligently to help you understand, document, and monetize these opportunities and other tax incentives for your business to optimize ROI.

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Our Core Values

Acena Consulting Builds Partnerships Based On:

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Trust

Our experienced R&D tax credit specialists prioritize direct and honest communication to establish trust

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Adaptability

Acena Consulting recognizes every client has unique tax requirements; we adapt our process to meet your needs 

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Transparency

We prioritize transparency throughout the entire process for fully compliant R&D tax credit solutions that drive cash flow

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The Team

Meet your team of R&D tax professionals


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Randall Eickhoff

President

Randall has partnered with more than 200 companies during more than 20 years of experience securing tax credits and other government incentives. He launched his career with the tax practice Arthur Andersen in southern California. Today at Acena Consulting, he shares his industry insights with middle-market and Fortune-500 companies through direct partnerships and indirect relationships via CPA firms.

During the past 14 years, he has driven the growth of Acena's specialty-tax services, including Section 41’s Research & Development tax credit. His corporate partners range from multinational technology firms to smaller, privately held manufacturing, sports, and technology enterprises.
 
Randall is a licensed CPA and member of the California Society of CPAs. He earned his Bachelor’s in Business Economics at The University of California, Santa Barbara.

He lives in Ventura County with his wife and two sons. He is a Masters swim coach, Top-Ten swimmer, and former Lifeguard hailing from the U.S. National Team. He thrives during open-water and Masters-pool competitions, loves reading and writing, and enjoys beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Joined Acena:

May 2009

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Nick Pyzow

Senior Manager

Nick Pyzow is an energetic and engaging professional who builds relationships for not only direct services, but also resources for the business community. Having founded and successfully sold three businesses, he brings an entrepreneurial perspective to his service approach. He leads with understanding and empathy as he helps his national and international partners develop customer sourcing, problem solving, and solutions advising. 

He frequently serves as a keynote speaker, presenter, and trainer on business-optimization topics, including customer service with expectations setting, effective communication, and growth through networking. Nick also has a wealth of music-industry experience and specializes in artist contracts and negotiations, distribution, licensing, production, promotion, and royalties.

Nick is a former professional musician, performer, and songwriter. As a child watching The Beatles perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” he decided to learn guitar and sing. He was gifted his first instrument that Christmas: a plastic one with nylon strings. He never looked back.

Joined Acena:

January 2021

Laura

Laura Whittenburg, MS

Technical Writer

She most recently migrates from the drug-development and medical world. Serving as a Clinical Research Associate for three years, she attended a U.S. medical school, passed her USMLE Step 1 “Boards” exam, and completed clinical rotations before finding her calling as Acena’s Technical Writer.

She sports the color purple at an alarming frequency to support her alma mater, Northwestern University, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences and Master’s in Biomedical Engineering.

Away from her desk, Laura reads fantasy novels and plays with her two miniature schnauzers, Lyra and Vivenna, who make guest appearances during her video-conference calls.

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Rae Smoltz

Senior Tax Associate

With more than eight years of professional financial experience, Rae began her career in Venue Management and has several years of R&D tax consulting experience with both public accounting and boutique firms. Her clients include Fortune 500 and privately held companies in manufacturing, technology, software, agriculture, and engineering companies. She offers her expertise with calculating complicated tax credits by engaging in projects from start to finish, including meeting and consulting with clients, analyzing complex data, and preparing detailed and compliant client forms.

She holds various degrees from University of Rhode Island, including bachelor’s degrees in business administration, environmental natural resource economics and sustainability, with minors in environmental engineering and interdisciplinary neuroscience. She grew up in Rhode Island and recently moved to Michigan with her husband and two sons.

Fun Fact:

Rae is a collegiate Women’s Goalie Lacrosse Coach and KonMari consultant. She enjoys being a mom and watching documentaries with her husband. She also enjoys reading in her free time, as well as practicing calligraphy and quillwork.

Joined Acena:

January 2023

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Erica Valdescaro

Operations Coordinator

Erica began her career coordinating and collaborating with a multitude of different parties in 2015. Most recently she was working with a Hawai’i non-profit that assisted homeless and at-risk families by providing education and outreach services. Her contribution impacted grant proposals for the foundation and assisted in the quality of education provided for children between the ages of birth through five years old. Through this rewarding experience she learned how to manage up to 30 cases simultaneously while effectively meeting all deadlines. With dual degrees in political science and psychology from the University of Hawaiꞌi at Mānoa, Erica spent her time during undergraduate working as a research assistant and conducted various independent research projects which are still used today. Two notable studies include, but are not limited to, Child Development and Poverty and Public Policy Guidelines for City Zoning Areas. Erica’s research background guided her interest in data science and data programming, which led her to pursue a data science master’s program.

Fun Fact:

Erica enjoys spending her free time at the beach and participating in beach clean-ups. She has a long-haired mini dachshund, Pepino, who tags along on all of her beach and hiking adventures.

Started at Acena:

January 2023

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Sami Mazumder

Senior Tax Associate

Sami Mazumder helps business owners and financial advisors navigate cost-segregation and research-and-development tax programs. He launched his banking career as a Credit Analyst in Credit-Risk Management, then held diverse roles across industries in the financial-advisory vertical. Today he works in the retail industry with the high-value partners of Acena Consulting.

Sami enjoys spending time at home with his family and copiously eating Ramen. He loves playing soccer, although these days, he primarily plays on gaming consoles instead of fields. He aspires to improve his golf game.

Recent Articles

The Acena Consulting blog offers industry insight and tips to help you stay informed and protect your business interests.