Jacqueline Souza – President
Jacqueline has been in the accounting field for almost 30 years. Early on, she was very fortunate to have a great mentor who nurtured her and helped her through the beginning of her career. She worked for a public accounting firm for 13 years, specializing in divorce litigation, bookkeeping, and tax preparation, starting off as a Staff Accountant and later advancing to an Account Manager position. In addition, she also assisted other accountants doing books by hand, which was an eye opening experience.
Through her career journey above, she realized that being in the accounting arena was her calling in life. Jacqueline had a dream to reintroduce excellent customer service. She realized that while people want someone who knows their stuff, they also want someone who takes the time to listen, has integrity, utmost professionalism, and the ability to be flexible.
Jacqueline started as a bookkeeping consultant in 2001 and quickly built a small practice. In 2005, Souza & Associates was started with her husband, Michael Souza. The first year was amazing and another Associate was added in 2006. The same year, Jacqueline joined BNI (Business Networking International), which gave her the opportunity to assume several leadership roles, including Visitor Host (2008/2009), Membership Committee (2009/2010), Secretary/Treasurer (2010/2011), and Vice President (2011/2012). She also assisted in founding the BNI Calabasas Chapter called Premier Alliance in 2007. Jacqueline was in the Woodland Hills Chapter called Synergy through October 2012. In November 2011, she was honored as “Member of the Month” from the San Fernando Valley BNI.
In 2008, Souza & Associates incorporated. The firm now has five employees and continues to grow.
In 2009, Souza & Associates, Inc. joined the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce. This was a decision that has proven to be very rewarding for Jacqueline both personally and professionally. In 2010, she was accepted as a Deputy with the Chamber of Calabasas and in January 2012, she was honored to be elected to serve on the Board of Directors and as Sheriff. Jacqueline was elected as the First Vice Chair of the Chamber of Calabasas in 2013 and 2014. In November 2014, Jacqueline assumed the position of Acting Chairman. She was elected to the position of Chairman in January 2015 and served proudly for the businesses within the Chamber for one year.
In 2013, Jacqueline became one of the founding board members of Calabasas High School Coyote Football, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. She served as the Treasurer from 2013 through 2016.
With the love of her community and staying true to her beliefs, she wanted to stay involved locally. In 2015, Jacqueline joined the board as Treasurer of Spotlight the Arts Foundation, another 501(c)3 in Calabasas. In 2016, she was appointed as a Commissioner to the Public Safety Commission for the City of Calabasas. In addition, she is very proud to announce the completion of all the requirements and achieved the designation of Certified Public Bookkeeper.
In her free time, Jacqueline loves being with her family and friends. She is committed to supporting various charitable organizations that assist children and animals in need, including Muscular Dystrophy Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Cancer Society, and The Los Angeles Zoo. She also enjoys completing a challenging puzzle and playing thinking games with her husband and children.
Jacqueline’s journey continues…
Michael Souza – Vice President
Michael is an integral part of Souza & Associates! He and Jacqueline established the sole proprietorship in 2005. He became Vice President when Souza & Associates was incorporated in 2008. His responsibilities are varied. He handles the nitty, gritty of Operations, including Tech Support and Document Procurement. He manages Accounts Receivable and assists with clients’ on-line payments to IRS, EDD, etc. In addition, Michael coordinates the Marketing of Souza & Associates and has been instrumental in its growth. Michael is hands on and always willing to assist staff and clients as needed.
Michael has a degree in Music from Pierce College. For over 11 years, he held Information Technology (IT) positions with various companies, including CompUSA, TuneUp Masters, and other computer/electronics businesses. He is the owner of Cool Wonders, which supplies margarita and frozen beverage machines for parties. Besides spending time with his family, he enjoys golf and playing guitar in a classic rock band.
Deanna Sue White – Account Manager
Deanna has been with Souza & Associates, Inc. since April 2006. Prior to that, she worked in the private accounting sector for 25 years, handling all aspects of Accounts Receivable, Collections, and Payroll.
Deanna has significant experience interfacing with clients. Whether training on QuickBooks, handling difficult issues, designing and documenting procedures, or working with programmers to code and debug complex invoicing programs, Deanna handles it all. Her knowledge and attention to detail have made her an incredible asset to Souza & Associates, Inc. and especially to the clients that she works with on a day-to-day basis. In her free time, Deanna enjoys reading, camping, gardening, and Sudoku puzzles.
Michelle Grohowski-Ray – Staff Bookkeeper
Michelle has been a part of Souza & Associates, Inc. since March 2011. As Staff Bookkeeper, she enjoys using her organizational skills to keep the Administrative Department running smoothly and efficiently. Her responsibilities are varied – assisting the President and Vice-President, preparing correspondence, streamlining office procedures, and handling the complete bookkeeping for various clients.
Michelle has a degree in Food Science from Michigan State University and has been a Test Kitchen Home Economist and Product Development Consultant. She has created food products in the US and Australia and has coordinated trade shows, product presentations, and market research tests. In addition, she provides office support for two family-owned businesses and acts as a Special Education Advocate. She loves quilting, knitting, and camping.