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Meet our Team
Stephen C. James, CPA
Steve James is the Founder and an Independent Trustee for the SCJ Fiduciary Services Team. He founded the company in Louisville, KY in 2008. Steve spent many years practicing in public accounting for CPA firms, and afterwards served as a Controller, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), and Chief Operation Officer (COO) for several companies. Amongst his accomplishments during his almost 36-year tenure as a finance professional, Steve introduced Employee Ownership to Mortenson Family Dental (now Mortenson Dental Partners), one of the first Dental Practice ESOPs in America. In 2019, he left Mortenson to focus 100% of his time towards his passion for Employee Ownership. Steve has overseen hundreds of ESOP formations and transactions and now serves as trustee for Employee Owned Companies across America. Steve graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in accounting, and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1988
Drew Schaefer, CPA
Drew Schaefer maximizes the SCJ Fiduciary Team an Independent Trustee and Director of Finance. He joined the team full-time in 2018 and prior to that was engaged on an as needed basis for his financial expertise since 2015. Drew's expertise in finance comes from his impressive past experience as a Financial Analyst and Controller. He graduated from the University of Dayton in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Business Administration. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 2007.
Kjersti Cory, MBA
Kjersti Cory is an Independent Trustee on the SCJ Fiduciary Team. With her 25+ years of ESOP experience, Kjersti joined the team in July of 2022 and has been an asset to our team ever since. Having worked for ESOP companies since the 1990's, Great Banc Trust Company, and even opening the Illinois office for Bankers Trust Company ESOP Services, we consider her an expert in all things ESOP. Ms. Cory specializes in the implementation of new ESOPs, second-stage ESOP transactions, redemption and sales transactions, mergers and acquisitions, as well as refinancing, restructuring, bankruptcy and liquidation transactions. Kjersti graduated from the University of Missouri where she earned her degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance. She later went on to earn her MBA from Quincy University.
Heather L. Driscoll
Heather Driscoll serves the SCJ Fiduciary Team as the Director of Trustee Services. She has spent the last seven years playing a role in the ESOP community and joined the SCJ team in 2017. She brings great expertise in the areas of organizational leadership, compliance, and process documentation, as well as a focus on employee education and communication. Heather is a graduate of Western Iowa Technical Community College, the Darden School of Business, and Kellogg School of Management along with ongoing leadership development through Whitehall Management and Mary O'Neill, Inc.
Melissa Thomas, CPA
Melissa Thomas serves as the CEO of SCJ Fiduciary Services, and joined the SCJ Team in early 2020. Her financial and operational expertise bring a well-rounded approach to leading an experienced team of professionals. Melissa has served previously as an Auditor for a public accounting firm, and Assistant Controller and Director of Business Operations for the largest group Dental ESOP, giving her a wide variety of knowledge and expertise regarding compliance, business, finance and employee education and communication. She graduated from the University of Transylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and became a Certified Public Accountant in 2009.
Alexander Grasser, MBA
Alex Grasser joined the team as our Director of Sustainability in 2021 at our Louisville office. He has spent 10+ years partnering with business owners and senior leadership. His expertise includes administration and sustainability analysis of complex defined contribution plans with an emphasis in ESOPs. Alex has extensive experience with new ESOP feasibility and ongoing sustainability analysis. He received his BSBA in Finance and Business Economics from Northern Arizona University and MBA from the University of Louisville.
Perry Walter, MBA, CFA, ASA
Perry Walter joined the SCJ Team in 2021 as a Director of Fiduciary Services. He has extensive financial and ESOP transaction expertise. He has been a wonderful addition to the team and immediately hit the ground running. He has served previously as a senior equity research analyst and has several years of experience in venture capital work and management consulting, so he is well versed in many areas and the team benefits from that greatly. Perry graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor's Degree in economics and communications. Additionally, he received his MBA from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. He also became a Chartered Financial Analyst in 1995 and a Accredited Senior Aprraiser in 2010.
Shawna Messerlie joined SCJ Fiduciary Services in late 2022 as our Executive Administrative Assistant. Shawna has over 25+ years of working in a management and leadership position and is a great asset to our team. Her work is best shown through others as she takes care of managing our trustee's and client relationship manager's schedules, as well as assisting them in their administrative needs throughout our transaction and ongoing processes. Shawna graduated from Wayne State College where she earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
Madysen Wandrey joined the SCJ Team in January of 2021 as a Valuation Analyst and Marketing Manager following her recent graduation from the University of Iowa with a degree in Enterprise Leadership. Madysen uses her skillset to maintain our client relationships and continually grow our client experience. You will often see her work in our monthly newsletter "SCJ Today" and on our social media platforms, along with her support of our client relationship managers as a valuation analyst.
Tiffany Richoux joined the SCJ Fiduciary Team as a Client Relationship Manager in early 2023. Her previous employer formed an ESOP during her tenure, where she became an employee owner gaining a deep appreciation for the positive impact ESOPs can have for employee owners and the organization alike. Tiffany has a robust background in Learning and Development, Operations, C-Suite partnerships, and Strategic Planning. This exclusive set of expertise combined with her communication and collaboration approach aids in providing exceptional support for the SCJ Fiduciary Services clients and team. In 2008 Tiffany received a Bachelor of Arts, with an emphasis in Political Science and History, from Eastern Illinois University.
Mychelle Holloway joined the SCJ Team in early 2023 as a Client Relationship Manager. Mychelle has more than 25 years of experience in ESOP administration, auditing and consulting and holds the designation Certified Pension Consultant from ASPPA. She graduated from Old Dominion University where she earned her degree in Political Science. She later went on to attend VBA the School of Bank Management at the University of Virginia.