Robert Gunderson

CPA, CFE, MAFF, Director

(716) 489-2000
rjg@bwbcpa.com

As a director at Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro, P.C., Robert Gunderson, CPA, CFE, MAFF, specializes in accounting and audit engagements. He also performs peer reviews of other CPA firms to evaluate the quality of their practices for their state societies. He is a Northern Illinois University graduate who received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1971 and has practiced public accounting continuously since that time.

Bob is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and a Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF)-enhancing his unique experience and training, which qualifies him as an expert witness by various judges of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and in grand jury proceedings.

Bob has a proven record as a fierce strategist in the courtroom - providing expert witness testimony in court proceedings pertaining to business and professional practice valuations, enhanced earnings capacity determinations, frauds and embezzlements. He also worked with the Chautauqua, Warren and Clearfield County District Attorney offices, Federal Prosecutors in U.S. District Court and the Federal Bureau of Investigation on various embezzlement matters.

Bob’s professional memberships include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Fun Facts About Bob


Do you have a hidden talent most people don’t know about?
Collegiate wrestler.

Describe your first car and what you loved or disliked most about it. 1955 Pontiac convertible with a green tent tarp tied on top after the convertible roof ripped off.

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Steve Merrill

Director, Insurance Specialist

(716) 701-7658
ssm@bwbcpa.com

As a director at Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro, P.C., Steve specializes in audit and advisory services for property and casualty insurers with an emphasis on those with mutual structures.

A graduate of the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting, Steve worked at an international accounting firm providing audit and assurance to the insurance industry before joining BWB. He also served as vice president of a FINRA-licensed investment banking and professional services firm where he executed client engagements—providing insurance companies with enterprise level financial, strategic and transaction advisory services including on mergers and acquisitions, capital formation and other matters relevant to the executives and Board of Directors of these companies.

Steve contributes to his industry as a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies where he sits on the Financial Management and Market Regulation committees.  Also active in his community, Steve once satisfied his alter ego in sports management while serving a local non-profit organization focused on reviving baseball in inner cities and character development in at-risk youth.

Fun Facts About Steve

What’s the most unusual item in your desk drawer? 1958 Ted Williams baseball card.

What is the No. 1 item on your bucket list?  Travel any place with my family.

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Laurie Barrera

CPA, Director

(716) 701-7600
lab@bwbcpa.com

Laurie Barrera, CPA, is a director in the accounting and tax department at Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro, P.C. A graduate of St. Bonaventure University, she has more than 30 years of experience in the accounting field. Laurie consults on for-profit accounting engagements.

She also specializes in tax engagements, particularly preparing and reviewing individual, partnership, estate and corporate tax returns, including multi-state returns. Laurie is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She is a board member, finance committee chairman and past treasure of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. A former board member of the Ellicottville Ski Club, Inc., Laurie also served on the board of directors and as treasurer for the Mental Health Association of Cattaraugus County.  

Since Laurie is clearly not busy enough, she also volunteers her time and talents to various community activities in the Ellicottville, New York area.

Fun Facts About Laurie


What is the No. 1 item on your bucket list?
Raise a seeing-eye puppy.

What one accomplishment are you most proud of? Skydiving.

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Lee Giardini

CPA, Director

(716) 701-7620
lfg@bwbcpa.com

A director in the accounting and tax department at Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro, P.C., Lee Giardini, CPA, specializes in tax engagements such as preparing corporate, partnership, individual, Limited Liability Company and fiduciary tax returns, including multi-state returns. Helping to navigate the financial success of BWB’s clients, Lee also prepares compiled and reviewed financial statements and helps businesses and individuals with tax planning and projections.

After receiving a nod as Most Athletic in high school, Lee leveraged his well-roundedness by earning his Bachelor’s in Accounting with a minor in Economics at the State University of New York College at Fredonia. Holding more than 19 years of experience in the accounting industry, Lee helps BWB clients to stay current with industry trends through his memberships with the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Fun Facts About Lee


What is the most unusual item in your desk drawer?
Guns & Roses CD.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Playing video games.

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