Our Team

Lea N. Graf, CPA, CGMA

Founder & President

Lea Graf is a CPA and Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor who specializes in small business accounting, tax preparation and strategic planning. She graduated from the University of South Florida and worked in public accounting before starting her own practice in 2013.

As an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Lea is one of a handful of CPAs with a deep knowledge of QuickBooks. Lea is able to quickly assess the accounting needs of businesses, and to propose solutions to meet those needs.

Lea moved to Sarasota from the icy tundra of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2001 and met her husband Zac, who is originally from Long Island. They have been married since 2008 and have two sons, Hudson and Archer. In her free time, Lea serves in a leadership role in the Junior League of Sarasota. She is a past Treasurer and currently serves as the Chair of the Simply Sarasota Cookbook Committee. She most recently led a team of volunteers in creating a new cookbook – Simply Sarasota: From Fresh to Fabulous – which will be published in October of 2018.

Lea’s no-nonsense personality, a touch of “Minnesota nice,” and years of experience combine to give you a one-of-a-kind accounting experience!

Kerry A. Weaver

Certified Public Accountant
Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Kerry graduated from Bradley University and joined her family’s public accounting firm in the fall of 1994 in her hometown of Galesburg, Illinois. Kerry has spent the last 22 years providing accounting services to businesses and individuals. She particularly enjoys working with small business owners. Kerry has extensive experience in financial statement preparation, tax compliance, QuickBooks, bookkeeping and payroll.

After moving to Sarasota in the fall of 2017 and transferring her CPA license to Florida, Kerry joined Sterling Tax and Accounting to continue her desire to assist clients with streamlining their accounting needs and allowing them to concentrate on building their businesses.

Dawn Owens

Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Cloud Accounting Team Lead, Tax Preparer & Gusto Payroll Guru

Dawn joined the Sterling Team in March 2017. Though she holds a degree as a Legal Assistant, life steered her in another direction, and she is happy it did! Dawn has over 10 years of experience in bookkeeping and tax preparation. She is also an Advanced Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor, a distinction that few in the industry hold. Dawn is currently training to become an Enrolled Agent with the IRS, which will allow her to better serve clients by representing them before the IRS.

Dawn was born in Kansas, but grew up in Michigan, where her Midwest ideals of loyalty and hard work were instilled. Dawn first moved to the Sarasota area in 2006. She briefly moved back to Michigan from 2013-2015, but quickly came to realize that Florida was where she needed to be.

In her free time, Dawn enjoys reading, watching movies, and visiting the beautiful beaches Sarasota has to offer. While she currently lives in Sarasota with her husband and 2 grown sons, Dawn makes frequent trips back to Michigan to visit her daughter and newborn grandson, along with other family there.

Loretta Mattie

Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Cloud Accounting Specialist, Tax Preparer & Technology Operations Leader

Loretta joined the Sterling Tax and Accounting team in January of 2017. She is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and has a wide range of experience overseeing departments in Engineering and Project Management.

When Loretta started her career in the technology field, supporting Commercial Banks, she didn’t realize it would last over 25 years. When an early retirement opportunity was offered, Loretta accepted and went back to school to get her Associates Degree, graduating with honors, then moving onto a 4 year program at Rutgers University in New Jersey. An Entrepreneurial course led her to start a new business venture in the construction industry. As President of the company, she relied on her knowledge in Management, Budgeting, Process Control and Compliance to grow the business to over $6 million in revenue.

Loretta is very passionate about seeing companies succeed and enjoys her current role supporting a variety of small business owners. In her free time, Loretta is in her art studio creating art inspired by the local wildlife and tropical surroundings, or just relaxing at the beach.

Heidi Burnet

Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
Administrative Assistant, Client C.A.R.E Advisor & Office Cheerleader

Heidi Burnet has over 30 years of clerical and customer service experience in a variety of industries. She is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and is an integral part of our monthly bookkeeping and payroll processes. Heidi joined the Sterling Tax & Accounting team in December 2017, and we have come to rely on her to make sure the office is running smoothly and keep spirits high throughout Tax Season!

Heidi moved to Sarasota in 1981 from Endwell, NY. She has been here long enough to see the vast growth of the area and still loves the beauty of Sarasota. She also loves spending time with her family and watching her granddaughter, Mia, grow up. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling (as much as she can), listening to music, and riding on the back of her husband Dave’s Harley – “wind therapy is the best therapy” is her favorite motto.

Call (941) 777-4700 to learn how Sterling Tax & Accounting can add value to your business!