Meet your partners in business growth.

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Julie Hart


In her 10 years as the CFO and Vice President of Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Julie honed her expertise in budget development, cash forecasting models, and easy-to-understand financial statements. Before that, she spent nine years working in the areas of manufacturing, distribution, service and nonprofit overseeing accounting functions, performing cash flow analysis, and implementing effective cost-cutting methods. Julie draws upon her excellent communication skills, as well as the business strategy skills gained at all of her professional posts, to problem-solve and help our clients build a successful future.

Taking a big picture view of your finances, Julie will help you understand the “business” behind your company, reveal growth opportunities, identify efficiencies and create a strategic plan for your business success. During your work together, she’ll set strategic goals with you to improve cash flow and expand your business.

Julie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, earning her BBA in Finance. Since then, she has gone onto serve as a two term council member for the City of Bastrop. Prior community experience includes, serving on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. serving as a board member of YMCA of Bastrop, serving as an officer of CASA of Bastrop, Lee and Fayette County and serving as board chair for the Mamma Jamma Ride of Texas.

More about Julie:

  • Who are three people that you’d love to have dinner with? Dolly Parton, my grandmother and Albert Einstein.
  • Favorite Quote: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined." – Henry David Thoreau
  • Most people don’t know that I – Can juggle, even basketballs!
  • Favorite sports team: Texas Longhorns. Hook ‘Em!
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Paula Pate

Vice President

During her 20 years of working in both the public and private sector, including an extensive tenure with the Attorney General’s Office, Paula developed her skills in project management, systems development, project outsourcing, and quality control. She also devoted eight years to running her own small business in the areas of real estate and hospitality, learning budgeting, finance maintenance, management, and scheduling along the way.

Today, Paula brings these assets to CFO By Design as the company’s internal project manager, making sure the team stays on top of deliverables and timelines. She’ll also work directly with you to help develop processes that grow your bottom line, and systems that keep your finances organized. As a former small business owner herself, she “gets it” when it comes to a client’s needs, and helps you manage the important parts of your business’ success.

In addition to her work with CFO By Design, Paula is active in her community through a variety of organizations and nonprofits. She has served as a board member of MCC Austin, Bastrop Chamber of Commerce, CASA of Bastrop, and Bastrop Downtown Business Alliance.

    More about Paula:

    • Who are three people you’d love to have dinner with? Lucille Ball, Abraham Lincoln, my Grandmother.
    • Favorite Quote: "It's not what happens to you that matters, it's how you handle it that makes all the difference." - Zig Zigler
    • Most people don’t know that - I love old cars and old houses.
    • Favorite sports team - USA Olympic team

    Aliaa Alyassri

    Junior Accountant

    Aliaa Alyassri earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting & finance from Asia Pacific University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. At the same time, she was working as a staff accountant, where she was responsible for validating & reviewing accounts payable processes, summarizing accounts receivable on a monthly basis and overseeing the timely, accurate processing of invoices, purchase orders and expense reports.

    After moving to the United States, in 2017, she graduated with a master’s degree in accounting from Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) based in Nacogdoches, Texas, under a scholarship granted by the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and International Programs. She worked with a CPA firm as an accountant, where she prepared and e-filed individual tax returns, and maintained complete sets of financial records.

    At CFO by design, Aliaa brings superior accounting skills, a passion to learn and energetic attitude to our clients. Aliaa provides full service accounting to our clients and is adapt at client set up, building systems and reporting.

    More about Aliaa:

    • Who are three people that you’d love to have dinner with? My Sister ZIZI, my Love Max, and Oprah Winfrey.
    • Favorite Quote: "If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs." –Tony Gaskins
    • Most people don’t know that I – have a twin.
    • Favorite sports team: The Detroit Lions!

    Celeste Cazares

    Junior Accountant

    Celeste brings 20 years of experience and passion to CFO by design. As an accounting professional she began her career as a data entry technician – enabling her to learn corporate accounting from the ground up. Celeste has earned increasing responsibility throughout her career and ultimately earning a management position for accounts payable and receivables, customer service, and bookkeeping. While in this role, she learned that she had the passion for accounting and has since pursued learning to further her accounting career.

    Celeste has consistently proven herself to be a valued employee who is always eager to learn and grow. Because of this eagerness to learn, attention to detail and work ethic, she was able to move into a controller position and handle all accounting responsibilities including managing daily cash flow for a large service company, producing year end financials and managing the annual audit.

    In addition to her experience, Celeste excels in customer service and provides phenomenal customer service to our CFO by design clients. Celeste provides full service accounting services to our clients and has a proven ability to learn and understand systems.

    More about Celeste:

    • Who are three people you’d love to have dinner with? Martin Luther King Jr, my grandma and Jennifer Lopez
    • Favorite quote: “You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated” – Maya Angelou
    • Most people don’t know that I – can sew and embroider!
    • Favorite sports team: Dallas Cowboys!!

    Julaine Goertz

    Operations Manager

    After graduating from Southwest Texas State University, Julaine went to work for a family-owned company. She dedicated 27 years to various job tasks ensuring the growth, success, and ultimate sale of the company. Her responsibilities were broad and included every aspect of the business, but focused on inside sales, accounts receivable, managing client facing staff education programs, setting up new accounts, billing clients, overseeing the daily process of getting orders delivered on time and payments collected, and most importantly, executing excellent customer care and service to her many clients in Austin and surrounding towns.

    Julaine joined our team with a high level of energy, an eagerness to learn, and lots of enthusiasm to grow with our company and clients. Julaine is focused on providing impeccable service to our clients and serves to support the needs of our internal team while also focusing on business development efforts.

    She has a motto she tries very hard to live by daily; not only in work, but in life as well: "Always do the right thing."

    More about Julaine:

    • Who are three people you'd love to have dinner with? Carol Burnett, Charlie Pride, and Jerry Faye Wilhelm
    • Favorite quote: "You have to have faith that there is a reason to go through certain things. I can't say I'm glad to go through pain, but in a way one must, in order to gain courage and really feel joy." -Carol Burnett
    • Most people don't know that: Blondes do have more fun!
    • Favorite sports team: The Rockne Roosters (my nephew's little league baseball team)
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    Makenzie Kindt

    Staff Accountant

    Born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas, Makenzie graduated from Midwestern State University with a BBA in Finance. During her collegiate career, she was able to acquire real-world experience working on projects such as university campus expansion development. After falling in love with beautiful Austin, Texas, she decided to move to the big city to pursue her career in the corporate business world. Makenzie is able to bring her strong sense of dedication and detail-oriented mindset to the CFO by design team. With several years customer service experience, Makenzie is very personable and client-oriented.

    More about Makenzie:

    • Who are three people you'd love to have dinner with? Walt Disney, Dr. Suess, and my Papa.
    • Favorite quote: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not." -Dr. Suess
    • Most people don't know that I- love to hula hoop.
    • Favorite sports team: Dallas Cowboys
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    Doreen Pappas


    The value that Doreen brings to CFO by design is centered on the wide array of work experiences she has enjoyed while operating at all levels of accounting. From filling small but vital roles for large organizations within the banking, insurance, and construction industries where she made routine habit of improving existing accounting practices, to being the sole accounting resource for smaller religious and recreational-based entities where she was responsible for the development and creation of new processes, Doreen has a proven history of outstanding self-management and self-development. She constantly strives for one hundred percent accuracy in everything she does; her innate attention to detail and her outstanding work ethic are the reasons Doreen has always been such a valued asset for her employers to have. She can easily and effectively dive into the weeds as she can see the larger picture. To put it bluntly, she gets the job done!

    Doreen attended both Robert Morris College and DePaul University and has effectively worked with individuals and corporations located in a wide expanse of geographical environments, including: Texas, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky.

      More about Doreen:

      • Who are three people you’d love to have dinner with? My obvious first three choices would be my three adult children who I don't get to see often. Beyond that, my aunt, Robin Roberts, and Stevie Nicks.
      • Favorite Quote: "What we do not change we choose."
      • Most people don’t know that I - Am afraid to fly.
      • Favorite sports team: Born and raised in Chicago- Southside Cubbies fan!!
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      Sonia Tamez

      Senior Accountant

      Sonia is a professional who has gained valuable experience in various fields of work which have contributed to her success at CFO by design. After several years of banking and administrative work, Sonia went on to further her education and received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas State University. While in school she gained valuable bookkeeping experience and progressed to accounting work. With her work experience and accounting knowledge Sonia brings her professional attitude, passion for accuracy, and dedication to the clients of CFO by design.

      Sonia manages various tasks for her clients including accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger account reconciliations, financial statement preparation, audit preparation, and year-end tax preparation as a staff accountant for CFO by design. She understands the importance of accuracy and efficiency and takes pride in the work she provides for her clients.

      More about Sonia:

      • Who are three people you'd love to have dinner with? Abraham Lincoln, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Jane Austen.
      • Favorite quote: "If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room."
      • Most people don't know that I- love reading non-fiction history books and watching documentaries.
      • Favorite sports team: I graduated a proud Bobcat but I love the Longhorns!