Our Team

James Ptacek

Founder and CEO

Dave Ptacek

Vice President

David Petre

Controller, Tax preparer and Financial Representative

David began his career with Ta-Check Financial in 1999 and is responsible for leading day-to-day finance operations including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and compliance. He provides internal communications with staff at all locations and helps to create a positive and supportive work environment.

Dave also assists with individual income tax preparation and helps clients achieve short-term and long-term financial goals. His specialties include tax efficient investing, estate strategizing, insurance strategies and retirement strategizing.

David graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1999 with a Bachelors degree in Finance. He holds his securities registrations Series 7, 63 and also has his Ohio Life and Health Insurance Licenses. 

Aubrey Strippy

Executive Director

Aubrey started her career with Ta-Check Financial in 2011, and has been in the financial services industry for over ten years. She works alongside President Jim Ptacek on all client service aspects as well as on firm matters for the company as a whole. Aubrey strives to provide the absolute best service to our clients and is driven by the wonderful relationships she has built over the years. Aubrey handles individual clients, helps service many group retirement plans, is knowledgeable about life & health insurance, and absolutely loves doing taxes. She feels her financial industry knowledge now coupled the ability to offer tax strategies is a great combination to truly assist our clients reach their goals.

Aubrey attended Ohio University and graduated in 2003 from the nationally ranked College of Business with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She holds her Securities Registration Series 7 as well as her Ohio Life & Health Insurance license. She is also a public notary.

Outside of work, Aubrey loves spending time with her husband, Lou, their two daughters, Emma and Malerie and her dachshund, Ruby. Her family loves to play and watch all sports, travel when they can, and spend as much time outside as possible. Aubrey is a member of the Ohio University Women’s Club and is currently the Student Relations Chair. 

Tony Mercuri

Certified Income Specialist, Accredited Investment Fiduciary

We are proud to have Tony Mercuri as part of our financial planning department.  One of the things we look for, in our advisors, is an unselfish spirit, and a genuine willingness to help people.  Anyone that has worked with Tony will agree he fits the bill nicely.  Tony has been married to his wife Suzanne for 21 years and when Tony is not helping people with their planning, he is busy helping Suzanne raise their two sons, Anthony age 17 and Nicholas age 14.  Both, he and his wife, are lifelong Clevelanders with strong ties to the community.

Tony earned two degrees from the University of Cincinnati.  He received a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.B.A. in Management.  In addition to working with Ta-Check Financial, Tony is the owner/managing partner of Sharaba’s Financial Services headquartered in Willoughby Hills.  In addition to having several financial industry registrations, he is a Certified Income Specialist and Accredited Investment Fiduciary.  These designations cover every aspect of investing, taxation, and estate planning.  Tony is one of our most Senior Advisors and has been a planner for 25 years, helping hundreds of families in the greater Cleveland area.

Tony will profess; there are five areas of concern for the person who is retired or getting ready to retire:

  1. Make sure there is enough income to last the rest of your life.
  2. All beneficiaries are correctly listed.
  3. All the “Family Money” stays in the Bloodline.
  4. Long-term care is provided if the need arises.
  5. Taxes are kept to a minimum.

In addition to his in-depth research and knowledge, he is a great communicator to the groups and individuals he speaks to and has a genuine willingness to help his clients.  We truly believe he will provide you with an in-depth, thorough, and individualized retirement / estate plan.

Jason Yuhas

Financial Planner and Tax Preparer

Jason began in the financial industry 19 years ago while attending Cleveland State University where he received a degree in Business Administration with a major in Finance. He has been with Ta-Check Financial since 2001 as a Financial Planner and Tax Preparer. Jason takes pride in helping clients understand and work towards meeting their financial goals. 

Sean Sargent

Financial Advisor and Tax Preparer

Sean graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a degree in Business Administration and Sport Management. He started his career in financial services with Ta-Check Financial where he specializes in tax preparation and retirement strategizing.

Sean’s clients appreciate his attention to detail, listening skills and friendly demeanor. He is effectively supported by a team of administration and investment product specialists whose teamwork and professionalism help him build long-term relationships with his growing client base and provide excellent customer service. His goal is to provide you and your family with guidance to help secure your financial future.

Sean resides in Medina with his wife Tiffany and their daughter Addison. Away from the business he enjoys camping, hiking, fishing and spending time with his family and friends.

Dan Ruminski

Marlene Muscovich

Financial Advisor and Tax Preparer

Marlene joined Ta-Check Financial in August of 2009. She has been in the financial services industry since 1996, when she began her career with PaineWebber, Inc., now USB Financial Services. She studied Marketing and Business at Cuyahoga Community College with an emphasis on professional sales. She also holds the Series 7 and 63 registrations, Ohio Life and Health and Variable Annuity licenses. Marlene is also a registered tax preparer.

Marlene’s primary focus is on helping women become financially independent, and assists them in making the right investments when planning for retirement. In her free time she enjoys cooking, gardening, playing golf and traveling. She also works as a volunteer at a non-profit dog rescue organization. Marlene resides in North Ridgeville with her dogs Max and Manny.

Stephen Dowdell

Financial Advisor and Tax Preparer

Stephen Dowdell has been with Ta-Check Financial since 2015.  He graduated from Cleveland State University where he received a degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting.  He has been in the financial industry since 2011 and he believes that his accounting background, as well as his financial experience, are an ideal foundation for his work as a tax professional and financial advisor. 

Attention to detail, good listening skills, and great empathy are words used to describe Stephen by his clients.  He is effectively supported by a team of administration, group benefits, and investment product specialists whose teamwork and professionalism help him build long-term relationships with his growing client base and provide excellent customer service.

When he’s not working, Stephen is a sports enthusiast who enjoys snowboarding, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Don Lambo

Registered Assistant and Tax Preparer

Don started with Ta-Check Financial in January of 2004 after 15 years of owning/operating food establishments in downtown Akron and 10 years in the Legal Department of Babcock & Wilcox, which included duties as the Legal Consul at Bailey Controls. Don holds his Securities Registration Series 7 and the Ohio Life & Health Insurance License. He currently works with Dan Ruminski with retirement planning services for clients.

He holds degrees from Albion College (B.A.), Michigan (M.B.A.), and Windsor (J.D.), and is, and has been an adjunct professor at Walsh University for 6 years.

Away from the office, he is learning how to be a Dedo (grandfather in Macedonian) and is very active in   the Serbian Men’s Choir, “Kosovo” and the St. Nicholas Church Choir in Mogadore, Ohio.

Sylvia Geers

Compliance Officer

Sylvia Geers joined Ta-Check Financial in July 2015 with a background in operations and suitability review.

Sylvia's former roles include compliance analyst, investment operations supervisor, and principal reviewer.  Sylvia received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh.  She holds the series 7, 63, 65, 9 & 10 registrations with FINRA.  She also holds an Ohio insurance license.

Sylvia resides in Fairview Park Ohio with her family where they enjoy outside activities, recreational basketball, volleyball and swimming.

Lisa (Ptacek) Eaton

Administrative Assistant

Lisa has been blessed to work with her brothers, Jim and Dave, since 1998. She is based out of the Fairview Park office, and can be found providing support in various capacities with the company. Tax preparation, electronic filing, investment support, office management and occasional landscaping, Lisa enjoys making life easier for all clients who walk through the doors.

Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her two sons, Matt and Nick, and her many nieces and nephews. Lisa also writes poetry and performs regular poetry readings with local musicians in the Cleveland area. She enjoys the vibracy, creativity and community within Cleveland's artistic and music scene.

She especially loves spending time with family and friends, meeting new people and sharing laughs. She dearly loves her family and friends and treasures both her co-workers and clients who have also become like family. 

Tammi Baun

Administrative Assistant

Tammi graduated from Bowling Green State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She has worked in the financial services industry since 1998 and has been with Ta-Check Financial since 2009. Tammi is involved in her church and enjoys spending time with her children Ryan and Olivia. 

Dawn Williams

Administrative Assistant

Dawn joined Ta-Check Financial in 2005 from the banking industry. She has an educational background in Business Administration and human Resource and is responsible for assisting the Vice President of Ta-Check Financial with day-to-day client service issues. Dawn provides investment support and assists with the preparation for client meetings.

Dawn is married with two sons and enjoys hiking, gardening and renovating her home with her husband Keith. 

Amber Wolff

Administrative Assistant

Amber Wolff began her career with Ta-Check Financial as intern while obtaining her associates degree at Bryant & Stratton College in Accounting and Business Administration. Amber works as an administrative assistant supporting numerous financial advisors in all aspects of client service. She currently holds her Ohio Life and Health Insurance license and plans to obtain her Series 7 Securities registration.

In her spare time, Amber enjoys travel and being outdoors with her husband and two beautiful daughters Adriana and Lillian. She and her family have two American Bulldogs and are active members of the ASPCA.

Jaymee Rae Ellis

Administrative Assistant

Jaymee recently joined our team in January of 2016. As an Administrative Assistant, Jaymee’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, preparing financial appointment analytics and spreadsheets, preparing and processing paperwork for clients, inputting spreadsheets and data analysis, and scheduling advisor’s appointments. Jaymee currently works out of our Fairview Park office and claims the most rewarding part about working at Ta-Check is helping our clients.

Jaymee graduated from Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business, in December of 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, and major in accounting. Jaymee also has her Ohio Life & Health Insurance License, and is currently studying to achieve her securities registrations and CPA License and training to prepare income taxes.

Jaymee has three English setters, Betty, Maggie, and River, and enjoys helping out on her family apple farm. Jaymee also enjoys running, biking, traveling, and overall exploring the outdoors. 

Tejay Anderson

Administrative Assistant for tax business

Tejay began working with Ta-Check Financial in the fall of 2015. He currently assists Controller, David Petre with many accounting functions within the company including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and tax preparation.

Outside of work Tejay enjoys spending time with his wife Megan and their two children Ava and Claire. During his free time Tejay also loves working out, paintball and spending time with family and friends.

Dawn Beckford

Administrative Assistant

Dawn started her career with Ta-Check Financial in 2016 and has been in the financial service industry for more than ten years. Dawn strives to provide the absolute best service to our clients. Dawn holds an Ohio Life and Health Insurance license and is also a public notary.

Outside of work Dawn loves spending time with her husband, Nelson and her son Colin. Her family loves to take advantage of the Cleveland Metroparks system when the weather is nice. She also loves to travel with her family when time permits. 

Brian Tabar

IT Specialist

Brian has been with Ta-Check Financial for 18 years. He is responsible for maintaining the computers at the Fairview, Parma and Strongsville offices. Brian is also responsible for handling all the electronic filing of client’s tax returns for the company during tax season. Brian began his career in the computer industry in 1986 with Basic Computer in North Olmsted.

Brian is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys golf, basketball, horseshoes, bocce ball and going on walks with his dogs during his free time.

Alison Carbone

Marketing Coordinator

Alison joined Ta-Check Financial in 2016 and brings a unique perspective and skill set to all marketing projects. A graduate of Walsh University with a degree in Corporate Communications, Alison has been a marketing professional for many years. Alison came to Ta-Check Financial from Compass Health Brands where she worked in the home healthcare division as Marketing Coordinator for the Roscoe Medical Brand. She specialized in building and maintaining a strong, consistently effective brand identity and innovative thought leadership during her 11 years there.  

Alison is passionate about communication, and emerging technologies and loves the challenge of working on growth in a tightly regulated industry. Alison, a Cleveland native, is a fitness enthusiast and avid runner who enjoys spending free time with her husband Jim and their three children, Michael, Lucia and Dominic. 

Sarah Franklinn

Administrative Assistant

Sarah joined the Ta-Check team in January of 2016. She studied marketing and professional sales at the University of Toledo where she was very involved on campus. Sarah currently works at our Strongsville location but has also worked in the Parma and Fairview offices. As an Administrative Assistant, her responsibilities include client meeting preps, preparing and processing paperwork, spreadsheets and data management, client relations, and maintaining client files and records. Sarah is constantly learning about the industry which supports her long term goal of becoming a fully registered Financial Advisor. Her favorite thing about working at Ta-Check is the people!    

Outside of work, Sarah enjoys spending time with her Bernese mountain dog, Bentley, and Great Dane, Noah. Some of Sarah’s hobbies include yoga, volleyball, cooking, shopping, and traveling. In the summer, you can find her relaxing and boating up at Kelley’s Island.

Matthew Egizii

Administrative Assistant

Matthew studied at John Carroll University and graduated in May 2016. Matthew started his financial career with Ta-Check in September 2016 and is an administrative assistant. Matthew holds his license in Life, Accident and Health insurance and is a professional tax preparer. Matthew is known for his skills in public relations and his attention to detail. He is supported by an excellent team in all aspects of the financial industry who help him learn and expand his knowledge to become an excellent financial advisor and able to provide great customer service.

Outside of work, Matthew enjoys playing sports and spending his free time outdoors. Matthew is also an assistant coach for the Parma Blackhearts Rugby team and wishes to expand the sport and its popularity.