Seven ESOP Professionals Join in the Second Quarter of 2016 logo is happy to welcome Seven ESOP experts to the community in the Second Quarter of 2016.

​​​ is pleased to announce the addition of seven new members to the community of ESOP Lawyers, Advisors, and Consultants. We are excited to have these ESOP professionals come alongside our current members. As they pull from their significant ESOP planning and implementation experience, these individuals daily display expertise in guiding business owners and companies through the ESOP process. We are happy to welcome them to

The Individuals That Have Recently Joined are:

Succession planning can be daunting without the right advice, but with these experts on their side, business owners can approach the ESOP transaction process with confidence.

Jack Veale, Founder of

Al Holifield – Founder of Holifield Janich & Associates PLLC

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Al Holifield is the co-founder of Holifield & Janich, focusing his practice in the areas of employee benefits law, employee benefits litigation, health care compliance, employment law, employment litigation and business law. He represents local and national companies from various industries including hospitals, insurance companies, restaurants, doctors’ offices, government contractors, and construction companies.

In August 2015, Mr. Holifield was appointed as the Employer Co-Chair of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law for the Employee Benefits Committee.  In 2013, Mr. Holifield was recognized as a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. He earned his Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation through the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been recognized locally by his fellow attorneys as one of the best employee benefits attorneys in the Knoxville, Tennessee area (2010-2015) as voted upon annually in CityView magazine.

Mr. Holifield is also a member of the Knoxville Bar Association, the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section and has co-chaired the ABA Employee Benefits Subcommittee on Fiduciary Responsibility from 2008 through 2013. He has also served as the Track Coordinator for the ABA 2013 National Labor and Employment Annual Meeting.  Mr. Holifield is admitted to the United States Tax Court.  He also serves on the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board of Directors.

Mr. Holifield teaches Employee Benefits Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law as an adjunct professor. He is a contributing author to BNA’s Employee Benefits Law (3rd Ed. 2012) and ERISA Litigation (5th Ed. 2014). He has served as President of the Tennessee Valley Employee Benefits Council and speaks nationwide on employee benefit matters, including HIPAA, HITECH, and the Affordable Care Act.

Daniel Janich – Partner at Holifield Janich & Associates PLLC

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Dan Janich is a partner in the Chicago office of Holifield Janich & Associates. He focuses his practice on all legal aspects of executive and equity compensation, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP), tax qualified and non-qualified employee benefits plan design and administration, fiduciary matters, employment law and ERISA litigation.  Additionally, Mr. Janich assists boards and C-level executives of tax-exempt organizations, and in particular health care systems and educational institutions, in structuring their executive compensation plans, and has successfully represented not-for-profits in IRS audit proceedings.

Sarah Johnson – Attorney at Holifield Janich & Associates PLLC

p: 865-566-0115               

Ms. Johnson is an associate at Holifield Janich & Associates, focusing her practice in the areas of employment law and litigation, employee benefits law and litigation, real estate law, business law, corporate law, transactional law, construction law, estate planning, elder law and estate administration. She represents corporate and small business clients regarding many employment litigation matters, including Title VII claims, the Tennessee Human Rights Act, sexual harassment and wrongful termination claims, federal and state employment discrimination claims, breach of employment contracts and non-compete covenants.  Ms. Johnson also represents clients regarding many employee benefit litigation matters, including subrogation claims and severance claims.

Ms. Johnson represents business entities and business owners in a multitude of general to complex commercial transactions. Ms. Johnson regularly assists businesses with new entity organization, asset and stock purchases and real estate transactions as well as employment and tax issues. Ms. Johnson also understands the universal need to protect one's assets for retirement and future generations. Ms. Johnson works collaboratively with her clients to create a comprehensive estate and retirement plan that addresses tax, family, retirement, disability, and financial needs.

Ms. Johnson represents clients from numerous industries including doctors and doctors' offices, restaurants, construction companies, contractors, subcontractors, commercial and residential landlords, and property rental companies.

Ms. Johnson hosts informational seminars on estate planning essentials throughout Knoxville and the surrounding areas. She is a contributing author of the "Fiduciary Responsibility" chapter in BNA's Employee Benefits Law (3rd Ed. 2012).  Ms. Johnson is a member of the American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section as well as the Labor and Employment Law Section.  She is also a member of the Knoxville Bar Association.  Ms. Johnson is also admitted to the United States Tax Court.

Carla Klingler - Senior Pension Consultant at Swerdlin and Company

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Carla began her pension career in 1980 at a national ESOP firm where she served as V.P. Administration, first in San Francisco and later in Atlanta.  Her pioneer work in the pension industry included interpreting the practical and operational aspects of ERISA and developing administration procedures and mathematical models to address regulatory requirements. Her broad technical expertise effectively aids clients of all sizes and corporate structures in the practical aspects of their plan design, implementation, operations, legal compliance, accounting, & employee communications.

Carla formed Pyrastar Pension Group, later selling the company to Swerdlin and Company.

Carla received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Finance from University of California, Santa Barbara and completed post-grad pension course credits through The Wharton School of Business and Golden Gate University in San Francisco.  She is an active member of the National ESOP Association, New South Chapter ESOP Association, Women in Pensions (WIPS), & NCEO.  She also currently serves as an active member of the National Administration Advisory Committee of The ESOP Association where responsibilities include active lobbying for the interests of companies with Employee Ownership, interpreting the practical applications of new laws, updating operational & communication procedures, peer reviews, and speaking at national, regional, and local conferences.            

Susan Petrirena - Business Development Consultant at Swerdlin and Company

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Susan entered the field of employee benefits over 30 years ago and has extensive experience in all types of retirement plans, including ESOPs, 401(k), 457, and nonqualified.  She is a member of the Administrative Committee of the National ESOP Association and is active in the NCEO. She is a frequent speaker at ESOP conferences, both locally and nationally.               

Bryan Browning – Managing Director at Valuation Research Corporation

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Bryan Browning is qualified in both real estate valuations and value-related financial analysis. His time is spent on valuations of intellectual property, capital stock, and business enterprises; he also develops opinions concerning solvency, fairness, and capital adequacy. He has significant experience providing valuations for the retail industry, as well as financial and professional services firms.

Patrice Radogna – Senior VP at Valuation Research Corporation

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Patrice Radogna has over 17 years of experience in the valuation of privately held businesses, professional practices, pass-through entities and intangible assets. Her areas of specialty lie in the disciplines of ESOP valuations, trust and estate tax planning, and shareholder transactional work. Patrice has experience as a valuation advisor to clients in various industries with a particular expertise in the professional services practices.

As it relates to ESOPs, Patrice performs feasibility studies and valuations in connection with ESOP formation and assists in transaction design and structuring. Valuations include both those for plan initiation and those required annually under Federal law. Our firm has extensive experience working with numerous ESOP companies in various industries. We have valued leveraged and unleveraged ESOPs, controlling and non-controlling ESOPs as well as early stage and mature ESOPs.          

A Note from      

Regarding these new additions to the superb lineup of ESOP Lawyers, Advisors, and Consultants, Jack Veale, the founder of, said, “We are honored to have these ESOP professionals as a part of the community. Every day, they help business owners and companies explore and enact best-practice choices for ownership succession. Succession planning can be daunting without the right advice, but with these experts on their side, business owners can approach the ESOP transaction process with confidence.”

About us: is the premier online location to find the most competent and experienced ESOP Lawyers, Advisors, and Consultants in North America. These ESOP professionals work carefully with the parties involved in an ESOP to achieve the most favorable outcomes in the implementation and running of an ESOP.


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