Meet our Team
Stephen C. James, CPA
Steve James is the Founder and Independent Trustee of the SCJ Fiduciary 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. During his almost 20-year tenure as a finance professional at Mortenson, Steve introduced ESOP to Mortenson Family Dental, one of the first Dental Practice ESOPs in America. In 2019, he resigned his CFO position to focus 100% of his time towards his passion for Employee Ownership. 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.
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.
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.
Melissa Thomas, CPA
Melissa Thomas brings her skillset to the SCJ Fiduciary Team serving as the Director of Fiduciary Services. She joined the SCJ Team in early 2020 where her financial and operational expertise bring a well-rounded approach to an experienced team of professionals. Melissa has served previously as an Audit Supervisor, Assistant Controller, and Director of Business Operations in her previous jobs giving her a wide variety of knowledge regarding both business and finance. 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 is a Associate Director of Sustainability in 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 knowledge and 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 in 1987 with a Bachelor's Degree in economics and communications. Additionally, he received his MBA from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill in 1993. He is also became a Chartered Financial Analyst in 1995 and a Accredited Senior Aprraiser in 2010.
Shamere Grant, MBA
Shamere brings his arear of expertise to the SCJ Fiduciary Team as the Director of Client Discovery. He joined the SCJ team in 2018, bringing a wealth of knowledge from his time in the banking industry. His depth of understanding and ability to wear many hats allows him to be an asset to the company in many ways- his favorite being marketing and client discovery. He has an intricate knowledge of web-based solutions and leverages his unique skill set to help educate the clients of SCJ along with their employee owners. He graduated from Campbellsville University where he earned his degree in Economics as well as a Master's Degree in Business Administration.
Madysen Wandrey joined the SCJ Team in January of 2021 as our Client Relations Specialist 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 the rest of the SCJ team in project management and administrative and compliance initiatives.