Denise French is a partner and testifying expert at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson, and creator of Divorce Strategies Group. Ms. French is an expert in financial forensics, business valuation, pension valuations, executive level compensation plans and complex estate valuation. Ms. French has over twenty-six years of experience in the financial industry with specialties in brokerage and retirement valuation, tracing, characterization, complex issues with executive level compensation plans and mediation consulting. Ms. French has worked on hundreds of cases throughout Texas and has provided expert testimony in Montgomery, Fort Bend, Harris, and McLennan counties.
Mrs. French holds the Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF) designation as well as the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) designation through the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysis (NACVA). She is also the peer elected Chairman of the Valuation Credentialing Board at NACVA. She is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and a peer elected board member of the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts. She is also a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) through the College for Financial Planning. In addition, Ms. French is a fiduciary level, Series 66 licensed Investment Advisor Representative, a Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent under Engrave Wealth Partners, LLC. She has formerly received the SIE Securities Industry Essential representative, Series 7 General Securities representative, and Series 6 Variable Contracts representative designations. She is also a licensed Insurance and Annuity agent in the State of Texas. Lastly, Ms. French is a credentialed advanced mediator through the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association. Mrs. French’s speaking engagements include topics such as pension valuation, complex estate valuation and division, insurance and annuities in divorce, tax issues relevant to divorce, executive level qualified and non-qualified benefits, tracing, and valuation of businesses.
Shelli R. Dodson is a partner and testifying expert at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson and Director of the Litigation Division. Ms. Dodson has over twenty-five years of experience in accounting, tax and forensic work. As practicing owner of Dodson & Pope, Certified Public Accountants, she works with individual and small business clients providing them valuable tax and financial advice as they navigate the stages of their lives. As a tax professional she is tasked with the duty of ensuring her clients adhere to tax laws which require her investigative skills to stay sharp. In her years of experience, she has worked with clients and businesses from a variety of backgrounds and industries. She brings a working knowledge of tax laws and their underlying financial transactions to divorce litigants and their attorneys. Her practical experience as an accountant and tax professional mixed with her forensic, valuation and financial expert experience is extremely valuable in divorce litigation cases. Ms. Dodson has worked on hundreds of cases throughout Texas and has provided expert testimony.
Ms. Dodson is an active Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Texas, a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor, a member of the AICPA and a member of the Texas Society of CPAs. Shelli has also received her Certified Tax Resolution Specialist certificate issued by the American Society of Tax Resolution Specialists.
Bill Stewart is a testifying expert forensic accountant in the areas of family law, commercial litigation, labor law, and probate. With over forty-five years of experience as a CPA in both industry and public practice, he provides expert testimony, mediation consulting and business advisory services. From working in numerous family law cases, he has vast experience in tracing assets that spouses have secreted from marital estates.
Mr. Stewart is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), with designations of Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). Bill is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) as designated by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He was on the AICPA’s Family Law Task Force, a member of the board of AICPA’s Forensic and Business Valuation Service, and a member of the Texas Society’s Forensic and Valuation Services Committee. He is the co-author of the Family Law Services Handbook and the Lost Profits Damages: Principles, Methods and Applications technical book. Mr. Stewart has been a faculty member of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Family Law Advocacy Conference and is a frequent lecturer and guest speaker to various legal and accounting organizations.
Beth Hurst is a testifying expert in financial forensics, business valuation, separate property tracing, partnership disputes, business interruption, lost earnings, estate and trust finance, reasonable compensation, cross border equity returns, and normalizations of earnings. Ms. Hurst has over thirty years of experience in the financial industry with specialties in mergers and acquisition, venture capital, multinational corporate banking, bank compliance, and capital markets, over numerous economic cycles and across companies of all sizes and industries.
Ms. Hurst testifies as an expert witness for all types of dispute resolution. She is an Accredited Senior Appraiser by the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She has been President of the Houston Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers. Her speaking engagements include topics such as valuation of businesses, discounts for lack of control and marketability as well as personal/enterprise goodwill. She has traveled and worked extensively in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. She excels in dynamic, challenging, and fast-paced environments where a sense of urgency is critical.
Lisa Hutchings is a Senior Financial Forensic Analyst at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson. Ms. Hutchings has over 30 years of forensic analysis experience. She works on civil and family law litigation matters, providing asset tracing, inventory preparation, document management and review services. In addition, she provides support services to our Business Valuation department. Mrs. Hutchings holds a BBA in Marketing and has worked for Bill Stewart or Stewart/Hurst for the past 20 years.
Shawn Hyde is a Senior Business Valuator at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson. He began his career in business valuation earning his first certification in 2003. Since then he has gained a variety of valuation and appraisal experience, including the appraisal of undivided interests in real property, non-controlling ownership interests in stacked entities, as well as the valuation of both profitable and not-profitable operating businesses. He earned his Certified Business Appraiser (CBA) designation from the Institute of Business Appraisers, the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) from the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, and the Business Certified Appraiser (BCA) from the International Society of Business Appraisers. He has written and taught courses for the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA), the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), and the International Society of Business Appraisers (ISBA). He has served on the IBA’s Education Board, and the IBA’s Board of Governors, and is a past Editor in Chief of the IBA’s professional journal, Business Appraisal Practice. He served as the executive director of the International Society of Business Appraisers (ISBA) from July 2018 through June 2022. In January of 2020, Business Valuation Resources (BVR) published his book Building the Essential BV Templates in Excel. He has also obtained certifications in machinery and equipment appraisal.
Vicki Lynn is a Senior Business Valuator at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson. Ms. Lynn has over 15 years of forensic analysis experience and has worked for three of the Houston leaders in Family Law litigation support during this time. Ms. Lynn holds a BS in Business Accounting, the CVA designation from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), the CDFA designation from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (inactive) and has completed the Collaborative Law Course curriculum offered by the State Bar of Texas. She has performed duties as a financial professional in collaborative family law settings. Ms. Lynn completes business valuation reports, characterization reports, assists with asset tracings – writing the subsequent reports, and provides inventory preparation and document management and review services.
Lydia Rezie is a Financial Forensic Analyst at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson. She joined our team in 2020 and is involved in civil and family law litigation matters, where she provides separate property tracing and characterization, inventory preparation, and review services. Mrs. Rezie holds a Master of Accountancy and is a Certified Public Accountant, CPA. She started her career in investment banking in 2000, where she primarily worked with companies in the energy sector, including utilities, oil and gas companies, and master limited partnerships. Her transaction experience included mergers and acquisitions, public debt and equity offerings, and bank debt structuring; she gained extensive experience in company and asset valuations as well as capital structure analysis. In 2008, Mrs. Rezie became a supervisory analyst in equity research, where she reviewed and approved research analysts’ investment recommendations to ensure financial accuracy and adherence to securities industry standards and regulations.
Susan Fonteno, CFP® is a Financial Forensic Analyst at Stewart, Hurst, French & Dodson. She has over thirty-five years of experience in the areas of accounting, finance, and investments. Since 2021, she has worked with Stewart & Hurst using her experience to provide Business Valuations for clients. Ms. Fonteno holds the Certified Financial Planner TM (CFP®) designation, as well as Advanced Mediator and Advanced Arbitrator Certificates. Previously, she held the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), and Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL) designations, as well as the Series 7, and 63 securities licenses. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
Ashley Skinner is our Operations Manager. Mrs. Skinner provides the day-to-day management of our operations group including answering the phones, sending engagement letters, handling billing, emails and data intake. Her organizational skills help keep each case flowing as it should communicating with the litigation staff and attorneys as needed to keep up with the flow of data, deadlines, and other necessary information with each case.