Colleen Black, CPA
Colleen was born in Spokane Washington and moved to Billings as a young child. She grew up in the Billings Heights. She is a graduate of Billings Senior High School - GO BRONCS!
Colleen received her Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration with an Accounting Option from Montana State University - Billings in 2000. She also earned her Master's of Science in Public Relations from Montana State University - Billings in 2004.
Colleen founded the company in 2003 and continues to operate the small accounting firm in Billings where she specializes in individual and corporate tax, business accounting, payrolls and consultation work.
Colleen is a member of the following organizations:
Montana Society of Public Accountants - Past President
Montana Society of Certified Public Accountants
National Society of Accountants
Billings Area Chamber of Commerce
Jeanne Stecher, EA
Jeanne Stecher graduate from Havre Central High School and has a BA from Kinman Business University of Spokane, Washington. Her love of taxes drew her from a General Motors Accountant position at Evans Engine Spokane, Washington to pursue a profession in the Income Tax Industry. She has 43 years in the tax industry.
In 1984 she earned her “Enrolled Agent” status and was licensed by the U S Treasury to practice. This required her to pass a four part exam on all areas of taxation. It also requires continuing income tax and ethics education annually for the renewal of her license. The Accreditation Council for Accountancy & Taxation, Inc (ACAT) has designated her as an Accredited Tax Preparer and Tax Advisor in 1996.
She is also a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents, National Society of Accountants, Montana Society of Public Accountants, American Society of Woman Accountants, National Society of Tax Professionals and ACAT.
She has owned her own Accounting & Tax by Stecher EA practice for the past twenty-four years. January she sold her practice to her daughter Colleen Black. She hoping to semi- retire but continue to serve her many wonderful clients.
She has been married to Willie Stecher for almost 50 years and has four wonderful daughters.
Jolynn Munro and Jeff in Libery Lake, Wa, Colleen Black and Bill in Billings, Mt, Tiffany King and Joe of Smithtown, NY and Tara Hamby and Michael of Mission Viejo, Ca. They have graced them with nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren. The Stecher’s pride and joy is there wonderful family and the roots they came from.
Cerena grew up in Vienna, VA and has lived in Colorado and Wyoming.
Cerena graduated from Casper College with three associates degrees and received her Bachelor's of Science in Accounting degree from Montana State University - Billings.
Cerena loves animals and has 1 dog, and 2 cats. She is married to Duane, and has 4 kids - Amber, Cory, Duane, and Britney.
Frank Kuehn, a long-time Billings, Montana resident, has worked in the Accounting field for more than 25 years. He has recently finished his sixth tax season working for Accounting and Tax by Stecher, EA, where his primary focus has been serving the accounting and tax needs for corporate clients.
A look at Frank’s background reveals a varied interest in many unrelated activities spanning several decades. He has worked in the market research field as a data analyst, in radio as a personality hosting old-time radio broadcasts from the fifties, even a stint as a substitute instructor teaching an introductory Accounting course (what else!).
In the late eighties and early nineties, Frank could occasionally be found in the limelight, on stage in community theater productions. And, if you look very closely, you might catch a glimpse of Frank portraying a Washington, DC dignitary in the movie, Son of the Morning Star, another retelling of the Custer saga made in Billings and the surrounding area at the end of the eighties.
These days, when not engaged in career activities, Frank enjoys reading novels of all kinds, hiking in the mountains of Montana, playing pool, good food, and a little red wine. An avid movie fan, Frank is equally at home at the movie theaters, or catching a classic oldie-but-goody on late night television.
Born in Havre, Sandra married and migrated to the Wolf Point area, spending 25 years in rural Montana. Sandra has spent the last several years in Billings and has loved every minute of it enjoying the Mustang games, Farmers Markets and of course the whole shopping/restaurants/greenhouses variety. Sandra and her husband, Art have two grown daughters who also live in Billings.
With a passion for learning, Sandra has 3 bachelor degrees from Northern Montana College and Montana State University-Billings (finance, teaching and accounting), and a master’s degree from the University of Montana (MBA.) Frequently, she takes the Adult Learning classes on different subjects ranging from wine to glass art.
In her spare time, Sandra reads, plays Sudoku and is an avid gardener with a specialty in tomatoes; growing, cooking, canning and photographing. Sandra’s dog, Murphy (cocker spaniel-black lab mix) is her good buddy and loves the parks in Billings (there are 54) where he is allowed and helps Sandra enjoy her summer hobby of going on picnics.
I was born in Crow Agency, MT, and raised in Hardin, MT as one of four children to Lawrence and Bonnie Vandersloot. My passion for many years was running my own business (Cal’s Conoco in Hardin MT) and working on all makes of cars. It was always challenging, as well as fun, keeping up with the new automotive technology, while building long-lasting friendships with all my clients. It was from my experiences as an owner/operator that I decided to go to college and further my education by attaining an accounting degree. I graduated from MSU-Billings in 2002. With diploma in hand I moved to Denver, CO and worked for the IRS for five years where I gained significant experience in tax law before returning home to Billings. In conjunction with my experience in tax law, I wanted to do tax preparation, and started working for Jeanne Stecher in the fall of 2007. Working for a small firm has been a constant learning experience. There is so much to learn about tax because the laws are always changing and our clients’ needs are constantly changing as well. It’s also a plus when your employer and co-workers are great to work with.
I am married to Alisa and have two older sons, Chris, age 30 and Nic, age 28, and a young daughter, Elena, age 8. Alisa is my rock and my social butterfly, as she is always doing something. Both boys live in Portland, Oregon. Chris works for a winery and last winter he bottled his own wine with its own unique label. Nic finished Pharmacy School in June and will start his new job this summer in California working as a Pharmacist for Rite Aid. Elena enjoys figure skating in which she has won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in the Big Sky State games. She keeps me and Alisa young. My favorite pastimes are landscaping, camping and fishing, and I live for Montana summer weather. On weekends, you can find me spending time with my wife, daughter, family and friends.
Last, but not least, I love, love, love chocolate. No chocolate is safe around me. I eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner and usually have a chocolate snack before bedtime. My favorite chocolate snack is chocolate-covered cherries; I can sniff them out from across the kitchen.
Oh…..I have a dog named Sasha, and I hate cats.
I was born in Great Falls, MT and have 3 siblings: a twin sister and an older brother and sister. My family travelled around Montana and Wyoming following the rig my Dad worked on and we eventually ended up in Sidney, MT toward the end of the last oil boom in the 1980's.
I graduated from high school in Savage, MT with a class of 9 students in 1994 and was salutatorian (not hard with only 8 others competing against you:). I have many fond memories of my childhood growing up in the small farm town including riding horses, swimming and floating in the canal, riding bikes all over, playing on bales and oh so much more.
I have 2 wonderful sons, Scott who is 17 and Brett who is 13. I enjoy watching them play sports including bseball and football because both of them are so athletic and talented. I also have 2 girls....ok so they're dogs, but I call them my girls. Shi'Anne is a border collie/blue heeler and Jersey is a border collie/terrier.
I earned my Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with an Accounting Option from Montana State University-Billings in 2012 but started working for Colleen Black and Company in the fall of 2011 as an intern. I completed another intership with her in the spring of 2012 and was hired fulltime and love everyday that I'm here. Colleen and the staff are wonderful to work for and with.
When I'm not working, I enjoy camping, sporting events, concerts, horseback riding, watching my boys' sports, playing with my dogs, warm weather....pretty much being outside in the summer is my passion.
I am a member of the American Society of Women Accountants.
Rebekah was born and raised in Billings and is a graduate of West High. She earned her degree in Accounting in 2009 from Montana State University Billings. In 2006, Rebekah did a Cooperative Education Internship under Colleen through MSU-B and earned the Cooperative Intern of the Year Award. She has been working tax season for Colleen ever since and in 2012 went to work full-time for Colleen Black & Co.
Rebekah is married to Jeremy and they own a dog named Kobe. She loves playing, watching, and teaching tennis. Rebekah played tennis in college and her MSU-B tennis team earned their way to the NCAA Division II Nationals held in Florida in 2009. She loves doing anything outdoors in the sun and she loves Montana.
Melanie Powell, CPA
Melanie was born in Idaho and moved around quite a bit while growing up – her family lived in several states including Washington, Texas, Alaska and Montana. After graduating from Skyview High School she moved to San Diego, California where she went to college. She graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a BS in Business Administration/Accounting. Melanie began her career in the Federal government, working for the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services for five years. She decided to pursue a career in the private sector and took a position with a San Diego accounting firm where she did compilations, financial statement and benefit plan auditing. She obtained her CPA license in California in 2008. Melanie returned to Montana in 2008 (for the three consecutive coldest/snowiest winters she can ever remember!) and worked for a small local accounting firm for two tax seasons. She took a position with Billings Clinic in the finance department in December 2010. She worked for Colleen Black during the tax season of 2012 and was so excited to come on full time in September 2012.
Melanie has many interests besides work. She loves to cook and bake and recently discovered an amazing pizza crust recipe! She also enjoys traveling, although she hasn’t gotten to do as much of it as she would like; she has been to Europe one time, Toronto, Mexico, and many places in the US. She hopes to do more traveling in the foreseeable future. Her top 10 destinations include, among others, Buenos Aires for the Carnival festival, Australia, the Amalfi coast of Italy, China and India. She loves art and architecture of all kinds and enjoys learning about them. Melanie is a dog person (but also likes kitties); this is the first time in a long time she is without a faithful four-legged friend.
Melanie is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Kim Schwend, CPA