After graduating with a B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Michigan, Lee went to work for the IRS as an auditor. He also worked for the Criminal Fraud Division. From there he moved to Seidman BDO, a public accounting firm, where he consulted with small and mid-size companies on an array of business and compliance issues. Following his time at Seidman BDO, Lee moved to First Chicago Bank (now Chase) where he worked in mergers and acquisitions. Next came Foote, Cone & Belding, a nationally renowned advertising agency, where he gained valuable global experience in tax management.
Since opening his own practice, Lee has served on several boards, ranging from St. Paul Federal Bank in Chicago to privately-held businesses across the country, as well as various non-profit organizations including Turning Pointe Autism Foundation. A popular lecturer and speaker, Lee has taught as an adjunct business professor for the College of DuPage as well as Aurora University. He has also served as a guest host on a radio show talking about all things tax. An entertaining, though slightly frenetic speaker, Lee has become a favorite speaker for several associations and groups where he combines an occasionally off-beat sense of humor with his diverse knowledge of all things business and taxes. While most people don’t find taxes funny, Lee uses humor to teach valuable principles to his audiences.
Aside from his professional “everything taxes” side, Lee is a musician and an artist. He has been a guitarist in Rock-n-Roll bands and currently spends his days off as a landscape artist. He’s not your stereotypical accountant. He’s your right-brained and left-brained tax guy and a real people person with an interest in leveraging his years of accounting and consultation experience to find solutions to your toughest tax and business problems.
After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University, Joanna put her degree to use during a 13-year accounting career, working for both public and private companies. She enjoyed working with clients in a variety of industries, such as manufacturing, service, not-for-profit, and government, gaining experience and insight from companies like Nicor Gas, State Street Financial Group, H&R Block, The Morey Corporation, and Blackman Kallick (now Plante Moran).
Joanna joins Lee Mandel & Associates from The Morey Corporation, where she was a Senior Accountant. While working at The Morey Corporation, Joanna incorporated an Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual to provide departmental support for performing all accounting functions and assist with cross training among staff and between departments. Joanna has extensive experience working on streamlining processes to maximize efficiency and profitability for businesses, as well as financial statement analysis.
Joanna and her husband are kept very active by spending time with their three children and attending to all of their sporting and school activities.
Justin Ali graduated from North Central College in 2016, majoring in Accounting, Finance, and Economics. While at school Justin was an intern at Lee Mandel & Associates during tax season. After graduation, he worked for a healthcare consulting and accounting firm. While there, he worked on a firm-wide software conversion, monthly bookkeeping and accounting, and payroll processing. In addition, he worked on consulting projects related to CPT code analysis, BPCI reconciliations, and data analysis. Justin came back to Lee Mandel & Associates in 2017 full-time, where he works with individual and corporate tax clients. Specializing in clients with tax issues such as foreign and multi-state income, there isn’t a tax problem he doesn’t want to solve.
Outside of tax season, Justin keeps himself busy by playing tennis, coaching high school speech at York High School in Elmhurst, and by being an active member of his church, Grace Church of Dupage.
Jennifer contributes to the team here at Lee Mandel & Associates in a supporting administrative position. After earning her Accounting degree from North Central College in Naperville, Jennifer worked in the private sector for several years before staying home to raise her two daughters. While raising her daughters she worked several part time jobs throughout the years in addition to many volunteer roles at church and school. Jennifer lives in the area with her husband Steve and is a dog lover and frequent concert goer!