Meet the Team
Bernie Headshot 3 - Meet the Team

Bernie Walter, CPA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 21


Bernie Walter, CPA, is a Partner of Northwest CPA Group PLLC. He started his accounting profession in 1990, and previous to Northwest CPA Group PLLC, he was a partner with a regional CPA firm in Eastern Washington. He advises business clients in a variety of industries, including construction, agricultural, personal services and real estate. He works in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, tax planning, general business consulting and accounting services.

Outside of the office, Bernie enjoys outdoor activities, travel and has recently taken up running. He serves on the board of the Columbia Basin College Foundation.

Kristi Headshot - Meet the Team



Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 20

Kristi Nelson, CPA, graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting. She has over 29 years of experience in public accounting, specializing in businesses within the service, manufacturing, nonprofit, healthcare industries, and individual taxation. She also assists clients with QuickBooks and financial management.

Many of her clients have out of state activity and she works on state taxation issues as well. Kristi began her career in the audit department of Ernst & Young, which is one of the four largest accounting firms in the nation. She then moved back home to Tri-Cities to work for a regional accounting firm, leaving there to help form Northwest CPA Group PLLC in 2004.

Kristi spends her time away from the office with her husband and two sons, entertaining, movie watching or tackling escape rooms! Her family also loves to travel and hike.

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Don Persinger, CPA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 15

Don Persinger, CPA, joined Northwest CPA Group in 2004, after graduating from Washington State University, Go Cougs! Don’s practice primarily focuses on small businesses and their owners. Don serves a significant number of agricultural clients along with dental and medical practices and high net worth individuals. Don also works with trusts and estates in the office.

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Sandra Gamble, CPA

Member, Retired

Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 17

Sandra Gamble, CPA, is a retired Partner with Northwest CPA Group. She has extensive experience in public accounting, specializing in income taxation and accounting services. Her industry specialties include agriculture and construction.

Outside of work, Sandy enjoys golf, fishing, cooking and spending time with her family, especially her three grandsons Jake, Luke & Spencer

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Alison Gebers, CPA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 14

Alison Gebers, CPA is a Principal with Northwest CPA Group who joined the firm in 2004. She is a graduate of Washington State University and holds licenses to practice public accounting in Washington, Oregon and Arizona. Alison has over 20 years of experience in public accounting, providing financial statement, income tax, and consulting services to individuals and businesses in broad variety of industries. Within these areas, she has an extensive background and specialty in performing financial statement audits, reviews and compilations, as well as providing internal control consulting services. The nonprofit sector is an area of particular emphasis for Alison.

When not at work, Alison spends most of her time with her husband, Keith, and two kids, Jayden and Kallee. Together, they enjoy traveling (especially to Hawaii), riding bikes during the summer, playing games, working puzzles, and taking long walks while enjoying the sunshine.

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Megan McCary, CPA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 18

Megan McCary, CPA, is a Tax Manager and joined Northwest CPA Group in 2011. Before that, Megan worked as the Accounting Manager for a local general aviation business for over two years. Megan grew up north of Pasco before attending and graduating from Washington State University where she studied accounting and agricultural economics. She specializes in income taxation and accounting services related to small to medium sized businesses and individuals, including experience with various industries such as construction, wineries, and a specialization in farm and ranch taxation.

Outside of work, Megan enjoys traveling, reading, spending time with family, and supporting her alma mater, the Cougs.

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Bonnie Santschi, CPA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 34

Bonnie Santschi, CPA, joined Northwest CPA Group in 2018. Prior to that, Bonnie spent nine years working at a regional firm in the Seattle area after graduating from the University of Washington. Bonnie’s practice primarily focuses on the taxation of commercial businesses and their owners, with an emphasis on partnerships and corporations. She enjoys working with clients in the real estate, family business, construction and professional service sector. Bonnie has also completed her Master’s in Taxation through Golden Gate University.

When not at the office, Bonnie enjoys time with her husband and two kids, gardening, scuba diving, traveling and reading. She has completed over 35 dives in seven different countries – she has even dove with sharks.

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Francesco Giangualano, CPA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 12

Francesco Giangualano, CPA, joined Northwest CPA Group in 2020. Francesco grew up in a small town in Southern Italy. He holds an Italian Law degree from the University of Macerata, a Business degree from Dublin Business School in Ireland (where he resided for three years), and an Accounting certificate from Portland State University. He started his career in Seattle specializing in international tax issues and worked with businesses and individuals to address their complex filing requirements. After moving to the Tri-Cities, he has redirected his focus on advising small business owners in several industries, including hospitality, personal services, and real estate. He continues to offer his expertise in cross-border tax issues.

When not at work, he loves spending time with his daughter and wife, running, playing soccer, and reading a good book. He also loves to cook Italian food for his family and friends.


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Elina LaPlant, CPA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 27

Elina LaPlant, CPA, is a Supervisor at Northwest CPA Group PLLC. She earned her Accounting degree at Washington State University and joined the firm in 2017. Elina performs a variety of services for clients such as tax return preparation, audit and attestation, and bookkeeping. Prior to public accounting Elina worked in private industry, including billing insurance companies, sales, and ultimately as the controller of a durable medical equipment company. In particular, Elina enjoys connecting with individuals and helping them find solutions, whether it’s regarding a payroll tax or optimal entity structure.

When not studying new tax legislation or working, Elina has an affinity for exploring the FIRE movement, helping out with Sunday School at the church she attends, as well as spending time with her wonderful husband and daughter.

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StePhen Maciboba, EA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 13

Steve Maciboba, EA,  joined Northwest CPA Group in January 2012 after working for the Internal Revenue Service for over thirty-three years. He is a seasonal employee who works full-time during tax season and by appointment outside of tax season.

Outside of work, Steve enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Samson Headshot - Meet the Team

Samson Martinez, CPA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 23

Samson Martinez, CPA, is a Supervisor with Northwest CPA Group. Samson graduated from Whitworth University in Spokane, where he studied Accounting and Leadership Management and was a member of the men’s golf team. He has been with the firm since 2015 and has multiple years of experience with tax, audit, and other A&A services among multiple industries. He specializes in helping taxpayers and business owners plan strategically to optimize their situations. Samson was born and raised in the Tri-Cities region and has a passion to help serve the community as it continues to grow at a rapid rate.

During his free time, Samson enjoys golfing competitively, playing piano or guitar, and spending time with his wife, family, and friends.

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Samantha Vickery, CPA


Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 16

Samantha Vickery, CPA, began her career in public accounting at Northwest CPA Group in 2017. She holds two degrees from Washington State University; one in Business Administration, and one in Psychology. At work, Samantha enjoys auditing and preparing financial statements, with a focus on non-profit organizations. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, reading, and knitting.

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McKenzie Rowley, cpa

Senior Accountant

Phone: (509) 735-1300 ext. 12

McKenzie Rowley, CPA, is a Senior Accountant with Northwest CPA Group. McKenzie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting. She started with the firm in 2019. She focuses on the preparation of tax returns and tax strategizing for individuals and businesses. She also performs audit and assurance work.

McKenzie is originally from Portland, OR and is happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest after several years away. In her free time, she enjoys any chance she gets to play in the water, dancing, and cheering on her favorite sports teams with her husband and daughter.