Our Team

Emerge Financial Group

Emerge Financial Group’s over 20 years of accounting and tax preparation experience makes it possible to offer a variety of professional services to each client. Its size allows partners, accountants and staff to work closely, cooperating to provide you with precisely the tools you require to balance your business and financial needs. We’ve learned a great deal from our clients over the years and consider you our most important resource. We are here for you – prepared to offer you the benefit of our hard work and expertise.


Keith T. Towns

Keith T. Towns has nearly 30 years of financial accounting experience. He has specialized in small business consulting, including month-end close, establishment of accounting policies and accounting system assessment.

Towns’ experience includes individuals in the sports & entertainment industry and real estate development industry as well as other diverse sectors of the business community. Mr. Towns holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.


James Lane, CPA

James W. Lane has also served the accounting profession for 19 years. He worked his way from Administrative Staff Accountant turned Senior Tax Accountant with Laclede Gas Company in St. Louis, Missouri to Senior Associate and then Accounting Manager with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP.

Lane’s experience includes everything from non-profit organizations to public utilities. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.


H. Eugene Hilliard, Jr.

Gene Hilliard has over 15 years of experience working in the financial services industry with companies including Bank of America, Charles Scwab and AssetMark Investment Services Inc.

As a member of the Emerge Financial Group Team, Gene serves our clients by analyzing their specific financial needs, designing a personalized program to fit those needs, and offering the added security that comes from his careful monitoring of each phase of their process.

Hilliard holds a Bachelor of Art’s degree and is pursuing the CFP designation.


Sonya Ruffin, APR

Sonya Ruffin has over 19 years of experience in marketing and public relations. She comes to Emerge Financial Group to round out services offered to our clients. Sonya specializes in communications initiatives that strengthen your presence in the global marketplace – including branding, graphic design, web development, social media, and media relations.

Sonya has earned the distinction of Accredited in Public Relations (APR). APR is a mark of distinction bestowed by the Universal Accreditation Board for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice, and who are selected based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective, and sound professional judgement.

Ruffin has served in the transportation infrastructure, state government, entertainment, and non-profit industries.


Penny Navarez   Accounting Assistant

Penny brings over thirty years of banking experience to Emerge Financial Group. She started as a teller and worked her way to a supervisory role. She has also served as a supervisor in the Insurance, Research and Asset Recovery and Consumer Products areas of banking.  She has worked for banking institutions such as Bank of the West, Bank of America and Napa Valley Bank.  Penny is a proud mother of two and a grandmother of five whose favorite activities are those she shares with family and friends.


Linda Morgan Taylor   Executive Assistant

Linda Morgan Taylor has over 30 years of business experience in Telecommunications: Starting as an Operator for Pacific Telephone Company and working through the ranks to a Supervisory position and later to a Management Position with AT&T: Background includes managing in Switched Services, Engineering and Operations Departments.  Also, provided support to the Accounting Department with Budgets and Payroll Services within AT&T Company…Worked with a Law Firm assisted Probate, Medical Malpractice and Criminal Attorneys.


Emerge Financial Group Associates

Emerge Financial Group is privileged to work with some of the best professionals across multiple disciplines in order to bring the best targeted services to bear for every client. We have established collaborative relationships with high-performing experts in real estate, medicine, marketing, human resources, and more.