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Baker and McNiff, P.C.

Meet our Team

Schedule a Free Consultation (757) 499-1122

Lawton H. Baker, CPA

A Certified Public Accountant with over 40 years of audit, tax and business planning experience, Lawton enjoys working with clients to make smart decisions about their businesses so they can establish a lasting financial future and plan for business succession.  He provides wealth planning and management services as a Principal in FOCUS Asset Management Company, a Registered Investment Advisor.    

As President and Treasurer of Baker & McNiff, P.C., Lawton provides leadership for the Firm’s planning, operations and finances. 

Lawton graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration - majoring in Accounting.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and served as President of the Tidewater Chapter of Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (TCVSCPA). 

He is a Board Member of Towne Bank Financial Services Board and former Founding Board Member, Audit Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Monarch Bank. He was a Chairman of the Board  of Directors of Stonebridge School for 10 years.

A life-long resident of Portsmouth, Lawton is a Sunday School teacher at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Portsmouth, and is a member and Past President of the Churchland Kiwanis Club.

Sailing, reading, exercise, travel and ODU sports add relaxation and enjoyment to Lawton’s life with his wife and two adult sons.


Eugene F. McNiff, CPA

A Certified Public Accountant with over 30 years of accounting, tax and audit experience, Gene also services the Firm’s clients by providing proactive tax consulting and business planning including estate planning.  In addition, Gene serves clients as a wealth investment advisor for 401(k) plans, individuals, businesses and trusts as President of Focus Asset Management Company, A Registered Investment Advisor.  He also assists clients with personnel recruitment, employee evaluations, financing arrangements and general business matters.  Gene supervises and reviews compilation, review and audit services to clients in a variety of industries.

As the Firm’s Quality Control Partner, Gene manages the tax and accounting service processes and procedures.  He also manages the Firm’s Peer Review quality control policies and internal inspection program.

Gene graduated from Old Dominion University.  His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA).  Gene has been a contributor to the National Uniform CPA Examination with his questions published in various exams.  He has been a guest speaker at various service clubs and professional conferences on topics related to tax, accounting and wealth planning.

A Virginia Beach resident Gene is dedicated to the local community and currently serves as a missionary partnership group coordinator for the Virginia Beach Community Chapel.  He is also a past member of the Board of Trustees for the National Institute of Learning Development and Discovery Program Inc.  Gene has also served as treasurer of the Virginia Beach Community Chapel and as a member of the Capital Campaign Building Committee for Norfolk Christian Schools. 

Gene is married with two children.  He enjoys attending ODU and UVA football games and shooting an occasional round of skeet with his friends.


Carole A. Howland, CPA

https://cp7.cpasitesolutions.com/~gmcniff7/images/Carole.jpgCarole Howland is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in Virginia, with over 15 years of accounting, tax and audit experience.   She joined Baker & McNiff, P.C. in 2001 bringing a variety of experience from both public and private accounting.  Carole currently supervises audits, reviews and compilations for businesses and nonprofits as well as preparing business, individual, nonprofit and trust tax returns.  Carole is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor and is proficient in training and troubleshooting QuickBooks accounting software systems.  She is responsible for the Firm’s technology area and the interface with software and hardware vendors.  Carole helped implement a paperless office for Baker & McNiff in 2004.  Carole also supervises the Firm’s Peer Review internal inspection process.

Carole graduated from Saint Leo University with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Information Systems.  She has professional memberships in the American Society of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA). 

Carole is a Virginia Beach resident and volunteers and is active at Great Bridge Baptist Church and has volunteered with Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  Carole enjoys bicycling, sewing, photography, digital scrapbooking and visiting with her children and grandchildren.  She is married with three grown children. 


Channing Allen – Staff Accountant

Channing joined the Baker & McNiff team in October of 2018 after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Randolph Macon College.  Channing is currently working towards his CPA certification.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA).

Channing is a Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor allowing him to consult with clients using related software.  As a staff accountant, Channing also provides various accounting, compilation, review, and auditing services to nonprofits and business clients. He also prepares business, individual, trust, estate and nonprofit tax returns. Channing provides tax planning services to business, trust and individual clients. Channing is also part of the Firm’s Peer Review internal inspection process that ensures quality control over engagement processes and documents.

Channing played collegiate level golf at Randolph Macon College and now enjoys playing in his free time.  He is also an avid car enthusiast devoting time to the restoration and repair of vehicles. 


Maryon Norton – Staff Accountant

Maryon joined our team at Baker & McNiff in August of 2018. Maryon is a CPA exam candidate affiliated member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA). Maryon provides various accounting, compilation, review, and auditing services to nonprofits and business clients. She also prepares business, individual, trust, estate and nonprofit tax returns as well as provide tax planning services to clients. Maryon provides tax planning services to business, trust and individual clients. Maryon is a QuickBooks Pro Certified Advisor.

Maryon earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting at the University of Southern Mississippi. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University. She is currently working towards her CPA certification.

The wife of a Navy sailor, Maryon has embraced the military lifestyle, traveling to several states across the country before settling down in Chesapeake, Virginia. She has four children and actively enjoys supporting the family’s athletic and community endeavors, which include soccer, baseball, wrestling, gymnastics, scouts and PTA.


David Brownfield – Staff Accountant

David graduated from Fairmont State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. David is currently working towards his CPA certification. He is a member of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

David joined the Baker & McNiff team in June of 2019. As a Staff Accountant for the firm David provides various accounting, compilation and auditing services to business clients. He also prepares individual, business, trust, and estate tax returns. David provides tax planning services to business, trust and individual clients. He is also a Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor.

David enjoys playing musical instruments, reading, exercising, and spending time at the beach. He is married and resides in Virginia Beach.


Mark Nelson – Staff Accountant

Mark graduated from Marshall University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. Mark is currently working toward his CPA certification.

Mark joined the team in January of 2020 as a staff accountant of the firm. Mark prepares individual, business, trust, and estate tax returns. Mark also provides tax planning services to business, trust and individual clients.

Mark, originally from Charleston, WV, is married to a sailor in the US Navy and they have made Virginia Beach their home. In his free time, Mark enjoys hiking, fishing, woodworking and competitive shooting.



Nikki Luginbill – Firm Administrator

Nikki provides support to all of the office staff and partners as well as keeping the office running like a well-oiled machine. She joined the firm in October of 2019 after relocating to the Hampton Roads area from Olathe Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, MO. Previously, Nikki was employed at Garmin International as a Cooperative Advertising Coordinator. Nikki has an Associates of Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Accounting from Johnson County Community College.

Nikki is married with 3 children. In her free time Nikki enjoys watching her daughter play travel and high school softball, spending time at the beach, playing with her dogs, and reading.