Elisa Walker, CPA – Owner
Elisa is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and previously worked in public practice with two Okanagan firms.
She has experience in a wide variety of small businesses and sole proprietorships including deep experience with fishing and construction firms, personal real estate corporations (PRECs), retail, restaurant and other service companies, healthcare professionals, farms and greenhouse operations, as well as considerable “not-for-profit” experience. Elisa also performed dozens of senior audit and review engagement assignments for private companies and not-for-profits with her prior public practice employer.
Elisa is enthusiastic about continuing to innovate to serve Ocean Breeze CPA’s existing clientele better, as well as serving new clients in a forward-looking manner.
She enjoys spending time with family, sharing a bottle of wine with friends, and reading a good book. Elisa is a budding oenophile and loves exploring the amazing wineries throughout our beautiful province. She and Jay are looking forward to enjoying the “Sunshine Coast Lifestyle” and getting out in the community more as she settles into this wonderful area.
Jeanne-Maré van der Merwe - Senior Accountant (Professional Accountant [SAIPA])
Ocean Breeze CPA is very pleased to welcome Jeanne-Maré as a Senior Accountant to our growing firm. Jeanne-Maré started with Ocean Breeze Accounting Inc. in August 2022 after emigrating from South Africa with her husband, Coenie, and two school-aged children.
Jeanne-Maré is a fully-designated Professional Accountant (SAIPA) in South Africa and will be looking to transition to a Canadian CPA designation at her first opportunity. She has over 15 years experience in accounting, including a wealth of public practice experience working with a wide variety of clients in construction, retail and hospitality, sole proprietors, real estate firms, trusts, engineering firms, farming, non-profits and government entities, and more. Her background also includes stints as a Financial Manager in two firms, so she is also knowledgeable about internal reporting that may be helpful for growing businesses. Jeanne-Maré is multi-lingual, being also a native speaker of Afrikaans. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and running.
Ocean Breeze CPA looks forward to seeing Jeanne-Maré in an ever-expanding role in here. If you see Jeanne-Maré around town, please welcome her to the Sunshine Coast and Canada!
Jay Walker, AACI – Strategic advisor
Jay is a beneficial co-owner of Ocean Breeze CPA and was previously employed as Ocean Breeze CPA’s Office Manager for several years. Jay is currently employed as a Senior Consultant with an international real estate valuation firm. He has previously worked as a senior commercial real estate appraiser, and manager for two private corporations and one public corporation.
Jay is eager to continue Ocean Breeze’s long tradition of great customer service, while continuously updating the practice to serve Ocean Breeze CPA’s clients better and in this capacity will be a strategic, special projects, and human resources advisor to Elisa Walker, CPA.
Jay is married to Elisa, and they love living and working on the Sunshine Coast. In his spare time, Jay enjoys being a volunteer appraisal reviewer for Candidate Members of the Appraisal Institute of Canada. Jay also enjoys stock-market research, general reading, playing hockey, and watching the Vancouver Canucks.
Gord Hardwicke – Staff Accountant
Gord has several decades of accounting experience including over 10 years in public practice. He has been with Ocean Breeze CPA since 2013 and on the Sunshine Coast for over ten years.
He prepares financial statements and related tax returns for corporate and non-profit organizations as well as tax returns for individuals, proprietorships, and partnerships. He is also knowledgeable in a variety of accounting software including Sage and QuickBooks and has an IT background, which can be helpful for clients.
On the personal side, Gord is married and has two children and one grandchild. In his leisure, he enjoys genealogy and computers, and the Sunshine Coast lifestyle.
Mariah Riepe - Certified Bookkeeper
Mariah is a 2022 graduate of the Okanagan College Bookkeeping Program, and began with Ocean Breeze Accounting Inc. in the spring of 2022 on a practicum. She is now a permanent full-time employee and we look forward to her working with us for years to come and to see her grow her career with Ocean Breeze Accounting Inc. Mariah enjoys outdoor sports and recreation and she and her daughter live in Davis Bay.
Mei Combas – Administrative Assistant & Payroll Clerk
Mei is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese, and has experience in bookkeeping with a major retailer on the Sunshine Coast. During 2020 and 2021, she graduated from several courses with certificates in bookkeeping, payroll, and tax preparation. She joined the firm in the spring of 2022, and is now in a permanent full-time capacity. Mei, her husband, and son, live in Davis Bay. We look forward to seeing Mei grow her career with Ocean Breeze Accounting Inc.
Jacquie Chess – Accounting Assistant
Jacquie is a 2022 graduate of the Capilano University Accounting Assistant program, and began with Ocean Breeze Accounting Inc. as a practicum student in the spring of 2022. She previously was a business owner in the Sunshine Coast area, and so has awareness of business deadlines and needs. Jacquie is an NBA fan, and a Vancouver Canucks fan as well. Jacquie lives in Sechelt.
Giovanna Gerencser – Bookkeeper
Giovanna joined the Ocean Breeze Accounting Inc. team also in early 2022. She has a wealth of experience in more senior roles in accounting and human resources. Giovanna and her husband live in Sechelt.