Meet Our Team
Discover the backgrounds, experiences and skills of our staff.
William Bradley Ogden,
Owner and CPA
Background and Education
Brad was born in Carbondale, Illinois, then grew up in Southern California after his family moved to the West Coast when he was very young. He was valedictorian of his class at Huntington Beach High School and a graduate in 1981 from the University of Southern California, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and was President of the USC Accounting Society, one of the largest student organizations on campus. At USC, he also was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting fraternity, and a member of The Accounting Circle, a prestigious organization of accounting professionals, faculty and invited students.
Brad began his accounting career in 1981 as a member of the audit staff for the Los Angeles office of Deloitte Haskins & Sells, now Deloitte & Touche, a "Big 4" international accounting firm. There, he sat for and passed the CPA exam and earned his license as a Certified Public Accountant, which he has maintained to this day. In 1984, he moved back to Orange County and accepted a position as Senior Accountant at Ernst & Young, another Big 4 firm. In 1986, he was promoted to Audit Manager. During his 6 years with these accounting firms, Brad worked with many clients, large and small, and achieved a tremendous level of experience in real estate, aerospace, government, and many more different industries.
In 1987, Brad was hired by billionaire Jack Kent Cooke, owner of the Washington Redskins and the Chrysler Building in New York City, and former owner of the LA Lakers and LA Kings. He was hired for the position of CFO for Cooke Media Group Inc. Brad helped create and run the company's finance, accounting, personnel and IT departments. He also was responsible for the budgeting process and all internal and external financial reporting, including filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as securing the initial financing or refinancing of the company's various bank loans, lines of credit, and investment bond issues. He played a key role in numerous acquisitions and divestitures that ranged from $1 million to $1.5 billion.
Brad moved on in 1994 to become CFO of Variflex, Inc, a family-owned company that sold in-line skates, skateboards and other sporting goods. The owners dreamed of someday going public. During his first year, Brad led Variflex through a successful initial public stock offering, traveling with the company's leading members to make presentations to brokers and investor groups all over the United States. Once the company became public, he was responsible for SEC filings, investor relations, press releases, earnings releases, writing and issuing annual reports and proxy statements, and conducting quarterly conference calls and meetings. He was responsible for daily oversight of the company's finance and accounting operations, banking, legal matters, and financial reporting. During Brad's tenure, Variflex grew from $40 million to over $100 million in annual revenues.
In 1998, Brad became VP of Finance for Specialized Bicycles, one of the top high-end bicycle companies in the world. In just 2 years: he refinanced the company's bank loans to repair strained relationships, loosen restrictive covenants and reporting requirements, reduce interest costs, and generate additional capital; he helped launch Specialized Dealers Direct, establishing an enormous limited liability company that paved the way to internet sales and promoted the Specialized brand by bringing dealers into ownership; he helped improve the financing and payment terms with international manufacturers and suppliers; and he developed internal policies and communication, leading to more efficient and effective budgeting procedures, accounting and reporting.
Finally, in April 2000, after 19 years climbing the corporate ladder, Brad and his family moved back to their roots in Southern Illinois to have a try at a slower-paced life. He acquired an established private CPA practice based in Carbondale from William (Bill) Springer, who was looking to retire. Brad relaunched the practice as Wm. Bradley Ogden, CPA.
Brad lives in Carbondale and is engaged to be married in August 2017 to his beautiful fiance, Andrea. He has three adult children - Melissa, Nicholas, and Olivia - who grew up in nearby Carterville, and he often says the most fulfilling part of coming back to Illinois is that it enabled his children to learn the core values of growing up in a small town. Brad enjoys training for and running in 5K races, tennis, softball, basketball and golf. Other hobbies include trivia, crosswords, fantasy football, Cardinals baseball, coin collecting and reading - especially Presidential history. He is an active member of The View Church in Carbondale. He loves to travel, or just listen to clients talk about their favorite vacations. And he will reluctantly admit he is addicted to numbers - he has loved math since his mother had him add up numbers in the telephone book at 3 years old and memorized pi to 800 digits. Despite all that, he says the best part of having an accounting practice is the personal aspect, getting to know clients on a personal basis and growing professional relationships into long-term friendships.
Melody Chamness, Staff Accountant
Melody Chamness is the staff accountant and office manager for Wm. Bradley Ogden, CPA. She graduated from John A. Logan College with her Associates degree in Business Administration and Accounting and received the award of Outstanding Business and Administration Student. She received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting, graduating with the Business and Professional Women's Organization of Carbondale Scholarship.
For the last 7 years, Melody has been the friendly face greeting all visiting customers. Currently, she is pursuing her Master's degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and plans to sit for her CPA exam next year. After her day in the office, Melody enjoys spending time with her husband and adorable dog in their home in Carterville.
Olivia Ogden, Office Assistant
Olivia Ogden is the office assistant at Wm. Bradley Ogden, CPA. She is responsible for assembling tax returns, planning customer deliveries, mailing firm announcements, completing administrative tasks, and managing marketing tools, such as the company's social media accounts and website.
Olivia graduated from John A. Logan College with her Associates of Arts with a focus in Accounting and Marketing, and she received the academic award of the Hill Scholarship and Tri-C Memorial Scholarship. At Southern Illinois University, Olivia pursued her Bachelor of Science in Marketing. In May 2017, she graduated Cum Laude with her degree, which she utilizes for daily assignments in the office. After work, Olivia finds creative outlets in graphite and charcoal art.