45 Years and Growing

Karen Wolgast, Daryl L. Collier, Jackie Eastman, Kathi Jernigan and Jayme Zublick; photo by Maven Photo + Film

Founding his own accounting firm in 1978 was the realization of a longtime dream for Daryl Collier. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University then working four years at Price Waterhouse in Orlando, he moved to downtown Ocala and began to assist local businesses with their accounting and tax preparation needs. Forty-five years later, the firm now called Collier, Jernigan, Eastman & Zublick still has the same goal: to help local businesses grow and prosper.

“My heart was always to work with mom-and-pop and small businesses and be an advocate for them,” Collier recalls. “We are very supportive of the community. As Ocala has grown, the need for accounting services has grown and the firm has expanded to meet those needs.”

What started as a one-person company in a cottage behind Collier’s house on Fort King Street is now a full-service public accounting firm with 30 employees. The five partners offer more than 125 years of combined experience in accounting and tax services.

“As the firm grew, the types and number of businesses grew and the size of businesses grew,” Collier notes. “The firm has many clients we’ve worked with for 30 or 40 years and still work with on a recurring basis.”

Photo by Maven Photo + Film

Longtime partner Kathi Jernigan earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Montana State University and spent five years working for KPMG before moving to the private sector working in various industries. She first came to Ocala as a part-owner of a horse show management company. 

“We came here for the winter horse show circuit, bought a farm and stayed,” Jernigan remembers. “This area is really beneficial for all equine related businesses. In addition to numerous other industries, I now get to bring my unusual background to help veterinarians, farms and other equine-related businesses with their unique accounting and tax needs.”

Jackie Eastman became a partner three years ago and has been with the firm since 2008. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. Leo University and a master’s degree in accounting from Stetson University. In addition to tax return and financial statement preparation, Eastman specializes in Florida sales tax and works with clients to maintain compliance and mitigate issues in the event of an audit. As a certified Advanced QuickBooks Pro Advisor, she teaches QuickBooks seminars and enjoys helping small business owners develop and understand their accounting system to manage their business and make better business decisions.

“Helping the small businesses grow helps the entire Ocala community,” Eastman observes. “A strong business community makes a better community for everyone.”

Jayme Zublick also became a partner three years ago and has been with the firm since 2000. After graduating from Central Florida Community College, she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting administration from Langston University. She is an Advanced QuickBooks Pro Advisor and a member of the Intuit Speaker’s Bureau. Zublick serves as treasurer of the Marion County Building Industry Association and specializes in the construction and manufacturing industries.

“The firm has always had a family atmosphere and we look out for what’s best for our clients,” Zublick explains. 

Karen Wolgast

The firm’s newest partner, Karen Wolgast, grew up in Lakeland, moved to Ocala in 2006 and joined the company more than 10 years ago after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Florida. She specializes in tax preparation and consulting for individuals, businesses, nonprofits, estates and trusts.

“As a CPA, every day brings different challenges and learning opportunities, and I enjoy helping people solve their problems and achieve their goals,” Wolgast remarks. “We believe that we are partners with our clients as they grow their businesses and plan for their futures. It’s truly rewarding to be part of this team and to serve the community.”

The team at Collier, Jernigan, Eastman & Zublick is a tight-knit group, and they enjoy working collaboratively and make fun, team-building activities a priority.

“We work hard—especially during tax season—but we want to enjoy what we do. We think that’s very important,” Collier says. “We are blessed with the people we have and the firm that we have right now. We are very excited about moving forward and what the future is going to hold in Marion County.”

Collier, Jernigan, Eastman & Zublick, P.A.
Certified Public Accountants
550 NE 25th Ave.
(352) 732-5601
colliercpas.com

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