Tara Fenner


Tara Fenner is an audit partner at Blackburn, Childers & Steagall, PLC and works primarily out of the Boone, NC office.  She has been with the firm since 2006 and worked in the Johnson City, TN office until relocating to Boone in 2020.  Tara graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration in May 2007 and obtained a Master of Accountancy in December 2008.  Tara is a licensed CPA in both TN and NC and has been a Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO) in TN since 2014.  Tara’s experience includes employee benefit plans, governmental entities, Medicare cost report preparation, nonprofit accounting, consulting services, and financial institutions. 


Kevin Peters

peters.pngKevin Peters, CPA, joined Blackburn, Childers, & Steagall in June 1998 and has been a partner with the group for more than 10 years. He serves as the firm’s director of Quality Control and specializes in audit services for governmental entities, school systems, nonprofits, manufacturing and healthcare entities. 

Mr. Peters' areas of concentration are in auditing, particularly with nonprofit and governmental entities. He also teaches and trains on various topics regarding accounting and auditing, fraud, and grant compliance auditing. A member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tennessee Society of CPAs., Mr. Peter's has past service experience on a variety of nonprofit organizations including roles as Board President and Treasurer.  

Kevin holds an Advanced Certification in Single Audits from the AICPA and received his Master of Accountancy degree and his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from East Tennessee State University. 

Tammy Kowalczyk

NAVdG1VbpwvGs_YZhzCS2vzCvrUXST5C6F-mr-5tLzkmdPqcWCwa1q2N3tw84kIgglsTexwJZrekqbWE_DvLPjwDqmrA4xhqgwUK-YXZKIZwL1e2_MNu0n3wgwQ27VNQkI2pMKhXPy5onNUb9fvFy_uA4W5K8bXynIpUTxIX_oxdVOv6bH21vy3iOQDr. Tammy Kowalczyk is a Professor of Accounting and Sustainable Business at Appalachian State University. She teaches in sustainability accounting, ESG reporting, and sustainable business. Her research interests are in sustainability accounting, carbon accounting, forest carbon and conservation management, and decision behavior.  Her research has been published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology and the Journal of Environmental Management, and prior accounting related research has appeared in Behavioral Research in Accounting, Advances in Management Accounting, Issues in Accounting Education, Journal of Business and Psychology, and the CPA Journal.  Prior to academia, worked in public accounting, and for an environmental consulting firm.  She enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends.

Jake Hutchison

Jake Hutchinson

Jake Hutchison, CPA is a native of Kingsport, Tennessee. He began full time employment with Blackburn, Childers and Steagall, CPAs in June 2009 and is now the senior manager of the BCS tax department in Boone, North Carolina. He has over 16 years of public accounting experience with concentrations to include individual and business taxation and a background in taxation of trusts and estates.

Jake is past president of Kingsport Downtown Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He is a graduate of Kingsport Leadership 2018 “Best Class Ever” and was recognized as one of Northeast Tennessee’s 40 under 40 top young business professionals. He served as the treasurer for Keystone Dental Clinic, a non-profit organization with the mission of providing basic dental care to the northeast Tennessee region. He is now an active member of the Boone Sunrise Rotary Club and looks forward to other opportunities for community involvement.

Jake and his wife, Kim, relocated to the High Country in the summer of 2021. They attend Boone United Methodist Church.  He enjoys getting to know the area they now call home, spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and cheering on an impressive list of sports teams. Kim is Campus Visit Coordinator for GEAR UP at Appalachian State University, a federally funded grant program promoting college access and postsecondary preparation for students throughout western North Carolina. They enjoy travel, especially to the National Parks, and are hopeful to reach the goal to see all 50 states together.

He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from ETSU in 2007. After graduating from Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, he served four years in the United States Air Force. 

Shawn Bergman

Shawn Bergman

Shawn Bergman, Ph.D., is the co-founder and Research Director at the Vela Institute, a non-profit organization that employs analytics to increase educational outcomes. He is also the Kulynych/Cline Distinguished Professor of Psychology and HR Science Research Team co-director at Appalachian State University.  Shawn’s work reflects his dedication to using science, psychology, data, and technology to solve organizational problems, help individuals make positive changes, and improve peoples’ lives. He has published 44 academic articles, co-authored over 120 professional and technical reports, and given over 100 keynote addresses, invited talks, workshops, and conference presentations.  Shawn is a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers and Academy of Outstanding Graduate Mentors, has received multiple Psi Chi Excellence in Teaching Awards, and earned the Appalachian’s Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching and Distinguished Graduate Faculty awards.  


Wade Farmer


Wade Farmer is a CPA for Blackburn, Childers & Steagall. He specializes in Tax Services, Individual Income Tax, Estate & Trust Services, Family Entities and Personal Financial Planning. Farmer has been recognized as a Top 40 Business People Under 40 by the Business Journal. Farmer holds a Bachelor of Science in Management with Concentration in Accounting, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and a Master of Accountancy. He is the director of the Mountain Commerce Bank Board and a member of the TSCPA and the AICPA. Farmer also attends Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church and is past president of the Tri-Cities Estate Planning Council and past chair for the Board of Directors of the Dawn of Hope. 

David Greene


David A. Greene, JD, CPA/PFS is the Senior Trust Officer at First Covenant Trust & Advisors, LLC, an independent trust company. Much of his work is aimed at relieving the anxiety found at the intersection of death and taxes. This involves educating families about estate planning and administration as well as cooperating with families, their attorneys, CPAs and other advisors to help them develop and implement plans for the future.

Mr. Greene graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Finance collateral and then earned a Law Degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law, concentrating course work in tax law, corporate law and estate planning. Mr. Greene is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Virginia and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Mr. Greene's professional experience is multifaceted. He has experience in legal practice as an estate planning attorney, as well as in the tax department of a public accounting firm. In these roles he advised clients of all wealth levels on tax efficient wealth transfers, business succession strategies, asset protection devices, and appropriate beneficiary designations, among other things, and prepared income tax returns for individuals, estates and trusts, as well as estate and gift tax returns. On the personal side, when David’s father died unexpectedly, he faced the legal, financial, and emotional turmoil that death brings while guiding his family members through the impact of that loss. His exposure to the estate planning field from so many different angles gives him unique perspective to help him meet people where they are, help them identify their concerns and their goals, and ensure those concerns are addressed so that their desires are carried out when the time comes.

Mr. Greene is a member of the Land of the Sky Estate Planning Council in western North Carolina, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Tennessee Bar Association, Kingsport Bar Association, Washington County Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. He previously coached an award-winning high-school mock trial team. In 2015, Mr. Greene was recognized by the Business Journal as one of 40 under Forty emerging stars of the business community, and in 2021 he received the AICPA’s P. Thomas Austin Personal Financial Planning Scholarship. David is married with three children and spends much of his time away from work enjoying their company, as well as watching his children perform in dance, music and sports. He and his family are active members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Kingsport. David is an amateur photographer and likes travel, hiking and playing ultimate frisbee and volleyball. 

David Babb

gJtXlsQobAxfNSjRConZ6rdfxXyoZMoFSahpYsv_NfrCu0D8UDNsQBcKek02HpcrR36XG7GSTBgpJO75hIuS3F2cWapM6jJqpTJ3dIbUfaFXITn6Dzo9VMA4OIQm51TJQADnW3lBDDMylkjmjJbGa-jQZjWHhSLH3B1NpP0snxNYiP8UgfHCVHy8PQDavid Babb began working at Blackburn, Childers & Steagall in 2012. He graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Accounting. He is an Accounting & Assurance manager in the firm's Johnson City office and works with privately held manufacturing entities, governments, hospitality/food service, staffing entities, and employee benefit plans. Before joining BCS, he worked for a large regional firm in their Knoxville, TN office, working mostly with employee benefit plan audits, for-profit entity audits, and internal controls testing and consulting, among other things. David is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the AICPA and TSCPA.