About Our Team

Curt Mastio, CPA

Curt Mastio, CPA

The Founder’s CPA (formerly Startup Accounting Advisors) is a Chicago Small Business Accounting firm operated by Curt Mastio, CPA.

Curt previously served as the Chief Financial Officer of Storage Squad and is an Adjunct Instructor at Northwestern University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship teaching ENTRE 395- Accounting for Startups.  In addition, Curt works with startups and small businesses that have collectively raised over $50 million in funding or are generating up to $40 million a year in revenue.

Curt is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois, and has been working alongside hyper-growth startups for 6+ years.

Chris Arlinghaus

Chris Arlinghaus

Chris joined Founder’s CPA in the Fall of 2017.  The past five years as an IT consultant he helped large multi-national consumer products and life sciences companies with process improvement, IT system implementation, and software selection.  He worked within the finance, quality, and supply chain departments at his client engagements, reporting to C-suite and Senior VP level management.  Chris also is currently President of his own startup company, hoping to bring a new food product to market.  He graduated from Cornell University with a bachelors in Biology and a minor in Applied Economics and Management.

Abdul Syed, CPA

Abdul Syed, CPA

Abdul Syed is a Certified Public Accountant who joined Founder’s CPA in early 2018. His prior experience is in the retail and consumer goods industries.  He has a passion for taxes and HATES traffic.  Abdul oversees the day-to-day accounting work for clients as well as researching complex tax issues and preparing individual and business tax forms for our clients.

Colin Burton

Colin Burton, CPA

Colin joined Founders in July 2018. He recently graduated from Bradley University with a bachelors degree in Accounting and Finance and a minor in Management Information Systems. In the past, Colin has experience as an intern in the accounting department for a small business in the manufacturing industry. He is excited to make a difference for Founder’s and our clients!

Maria Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova

Maria joined the team in early 2019 to assist with the accounting services side of the business.  Maria recently moved to Chicago from Minneapolis, MN.  She graduated from Metropolitan State University in August of 2018 with a degree in accounting.  She previously worked as an accounts payable specialist in a small law firm for 5 years.  Prior to this she spent two years volunteering during tax season in a non-profit organization that helped file tax returns for low-income individuals and families.

Jill Wade

Jill joined the team in October 2019 as our Operations Specialist, where she will drive project management and process improvements. For the past seven years, she served as a public school teacher in Chicago while also freelancing as a UX Researcher. Jill loves organization and problem-solving so she is excited to join an innovative team and find new ways to serve our clients better!

Zach Carnes

Zach joined Founder’s CPA in the Fall of 2019. He graduated from Bradley University earlier in 2019 with a master’s degree in Accounting and is currently sitting for the CPA Exam. Through internships, Zach has previous experience in the areas of fraud investigation and internal auditing. He has been brought onto the team to assist with accounting services and tax return preparation.

Ida Uddstahl

Ida joined Founder’s CPA in December of 2019 to assist with accounting services focusing on the restaurant clients. Ida has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is currently studying for the CPA exam.  Ida has several years of accounting experience in the restaurant industry. Most recently she worked as a Staff Accountant for a restaurant group, managing the day to day accounting activities of the groups five different locations. Ida loves the outdoors and spends a lot of her free time enjoying outdoor activities such as biking and hiking with her dogs.

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith joined Founder’s CPA in January 2020. After relocating to Chicago in 2019 and a 15+ year career in dance, he decided to change directions and focus on small business tax and accounting services. He has an undergraduate degree from Florida State University and a Certificate in Accounting from UC Berkeley Extension.

Megan Cherney, CPA

Megan joined Founder’s CPA in Fall 2020 to oversee accounting services work for clients. She has previous experience working at the Big 4 in financial services tax and working at real estate firms in accounting and finance. Megan also is a fitness and nutrition coach and loves exploring the outdoors. She has a BS in Accounting from The University of Arizona, a MSA from Northern Illinois University, and is a licensed CPA in the state of Illinois.

Martina Pokorski

Martina Pokorski is originally from the Czech Republic. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Accounting and Taxes. Her career started in the Czech Republic where she worked as a corporate accountant. She recently moved to Chicago from Eugene, Oregon. Her most recent experience was as an energy services financial specialist for a housing agency with an emphasis on accounting and budgeting. She is excited to join the team.

Meredith Davis, MBA

Meredith joined Founder’s CPA in March of 2021 to help manage accounting services and contribute to CFO services. Over the past five years she has worked in tech, chemical and manufacturing industries, overseeing accounting, finance and human resources for small to mid-sized companies, reporting to C-suite and senior-level management. She obtained a BS in Accounting and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Abbie Hohe

Abbie joined Founder’s CPA in April of 2021 to assist with accounting services. Prior to joining Founder’s, Abbie spent five years gaining experience in accounting services within the technology sector. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in Finance with a minor in Economics. Abbie is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Accounting.

Mariel Gallo

Mariel joined the team in July of 2019 as our summer intern!  She works predominantly in assisting with bookkeeping and HubDoc tasks for a variety of our clients.  She is currently purusing her bachelor’s degree in accountancy at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.


Rufus joined the team in August of 2019 to focus on improving overall office morale.  Though Rufus lacks the work ethic embodied by his other coworkers, he makes up for it by providing pure happiness to everyone he meets.  Try to have a meeting with Rufus without give him a belly rub (you can’t).

Some of Our Clients

founders cpa clients

Certifications & Affiliations