CEO & President
Kari Apel is the president and CEO of Apel Associates, which she founded in 2008. Her professional experience includes working as an accountant for an ag-based financial organization, in addition to holding accountant positions at several larger CPA firms. Kari attended UW-Platteville and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance, with an economics minor. She is also a licensed CPA.
Kari will be the first to tell you that growing up on a farm played a profound role in shaping who she is—both personally and professionally: “Children today don't usually see their parents literally ‘at work’ every day the way I did. It was such a great model. I can actually remember sitting in my playpen and watching my mom do chores. As I got older I joined in that work. I also sat at the kitchen table and listened to the talk that revolved around running a farm effectively. Before I even finished high school, I already knew a lot about business. I also learned that if you want anything in life, you have to earn it. That’s my motto to this day.”
Kari's husband and three daughters share her love of all things outdoors, from camping to a variety of sports. If you can't find Kari at the office, you’ll most likely find her coaching her daughters’ teams. Finally, here’s a little known fact about Kari: If she had motorcycle, you'd probably find her on the open road. She has the license, just not the cycle!
Corporate Financial Administrator
Lori Nelson is the corporate financial administrator at Apel. Her diverse background makes Lori a great asset to the Apel team. Prior to Apel, Lori worked as an office manager for a Wisconsin-based therapeutic CD business. She also worked in banking and for a time put her bachelor’s degree in elementary education to use as a substitute teacher.
Lori is a stickler for keeping things in good order. As a child she even started a library using her own books. She enforced strict rules for her sisters, such as requiring a library card and demanding books be returned in good condition and on time!
Lori lives with her husband, Scott, near the family farm in Leeds. They share a love of the outdoors and enjoy a variety of activities, from walking and hiking to biking and kayaking. The call of the wild—or at least the partially wild—has led to them setting a monumental goal: visit every national park in the U.S.
Beginning in 2018, Lori and her husband recommitted themselves to daily physical activity and have even added a home gym. The two have realized that a well-lived life involves taking care of yourself both fiscally and physically.
Senior Tax & Accounting Manager
Nicole Broyles brings more than 25 years of accounting experience to Apel Associates, with expertise in financial statement compilations, reviews, audits, tax preparation and planning (for individuals, corporations, partnerships, and LLC’s,) employee benefit plans, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, general bookkeeping, and business strategy. She attended the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana, and is a licensed CPA and Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor.
Born and raised in Central Indiana, Nicole and her husband Steve now reside in Middeton. They have a son, a houseful of fun with three cats – Credit, Andy, and Annie – and a Corgi puppy named Eggo. When she’s not in the office, Nicole enjoys getting outdoors for a walk or hike, gardening, reading a good book, and playing the piano. Among her favorites are the music of Elton John and Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. Otherwise, you may find her watching Four Weddings and a Funeral in her downtime. Nicole also volunteers on the Board of Directors for the Middleton Endowment. Her “to do” list includes someday strapping on a parachute, jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, and experiencing what is like to skydive.
Nicole believes her success has come from hard work, not giving up, and being willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Accounting & Payroll Manager
Anzy Maerz attended Madison College, where she earned an associate degree in accounting. Prior to Apel, she held various accounting positions for a local convenience store chain. She loves mathematics, problem-solving, and learning as much as possible about the fascinating and ever-changing world of taxes (really, she does).
Anzy resides in Arena with her husband and two sons. They all love to spend time with their pug, Babe, and like to explore museums and interesting places off the beaten path. When she has downtime, Anzy enjoys reading and scrap-booking, and you might find her going fishing now and then as well.
Accountant & Tax Specialist
Pam Sulima is an accountant at Apel. Before Apel, she worked for many years at other CPA firms, focusing on taxes, accounting, and training interns. Pam received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lewis University in Illinois and is a licensed CPA. She also has a master’s degree in social work and worked for a few years in child and family counseling. Her time outside of the accounting world wasn’t all a waste. According to Pam, “The psychology comes in handy when working with people from all walks of life.”
Pam has two grown children and three grandchildren, two of whom live close to her in Middleton and one who lives too far away in Portland, Oregon. “It’s wonderful to see life through the eyes of a child again—and so much fun,” Pam says.
Pam had a foster child from Nicaragua here in the U.S. for medical care. The teen knew no English and Pam relied on her two years of high school Spanish. Pam also had an exchange student from Poland who thankfully did know English. Pam enjoys ballroom dancing, attending plays and the symphony, and dabbling in photography. She’s also an artist and would like to spend more time sketching and painting. “Some day…,” says Pam.
Director of Tax & Business Consulting
Steve Broyles joined forces with Apel Associates in September of 2019 and brings an abundance of experience, including 26+ years in the accounting field, a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, an MBA, CPA, and is a Certified Forensic Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and QuickBooks ProAdvisor. He has also served as adjunct faculty for several Indiana and Wisconsin Universities since 2004. While earning his undergraduate degree, Steve worked on a water well drilling rig and installed septic systems. Later, while completing his MBA, he was the Controller for a wholesale distribution company. Steve then went on to start a couple CPA practices since 1999, including Broyles & Company CPA’s, LLC, which he operated for 20+ years.
Born and raised in Indiana, Steve is happy to now call Wisconsin home and is transitioning his IU Hoosier Red to UW Badger Red. He and his wife Nicole have a son and number of pets, including 3 cats and a new puppy. If you have stopped by the Middleton office in the past you may have met one of those felines, the appropriately named 14-year-old “Credit.” Eggo, the Corgi puppy, has given Steve a newfound appreciation for Doggy Daycare.
When he’s not crunching numbers, Steve enjoys organizing, cleaning, outdoor activities, family, animals, spending time with friends, teaching, cars, and writing with his favorite pens & pencils. He believes in being a positive steward in the community by speaking at non-profit organizations, helping to educate others on subjects including taxation, financial lifestyle decisions, fraud prevention, and additonal self-help topics that can be impactful on their personal lives. Steve and his wife serve on a number of local non-profit boards, offering their expertise. Ultimately, he would like to someday retire on a lakefront property.
Steve’s basic philosophy is success is earned, not granted. Many have tried to take the elevator to achieve quick fortune, but the most successful people he has worked with over the past 20 years are those who took the stairs. Steve is motivated by his client’s success and the fulfillment of their goals and objectives, and while he believes it is important to reflect on past achievements and check the rearview mirror once in a while, the focus should remain looking forward through the windshield.
Barbara Fuszard from our Middleton office brings a unique portfolio of experience to Apel Associates. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UW-Madison, worked as an RN, and was a fitness instructor & coordinator for the YMCA. Barbara moved over to the accounting world in 2015 when she joined the Broyles team in Client Services, and now helps our clients achieve financial wellness.
She has always called Madison home, a home she shares with her husband and Murray The Mutt. Barbara has one son and two grandkids. In the past she enjoyed riding a Harley-Davidson, but now spends her free time reading historical fiction, slamming through 2 – 3 crossword puzzles a day, and has chalked up visits to 23 national parks, so far. She lives by the motto “time’s a wasting,” and number one on her bucket list is to finish her bucket list.
You won’t find Barbara on Twitter, but it’s very likely you will catch her listening to Imagine Dragons. Ever a student of history, she recommends The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George and Saving Private Ryan is her favorite movie.
Jill Wendt is the office manager in Apel’s Johnson Creek location. She attended Madison College-Watertown, where she earned a diploma in the Accounting Assistant program. Prior to joining Apel, Jill worked as the head teller at a community bank in Watertown. A true team player, Jill is patient and takes delight in unraveling mysteries and fitting the pieces of a complex puzzle together.
That’s probably why she also loves genealogy. Listening to stories from the past and learning more about her family history is a true passion. She recently discovered a bit of Irish lineage, which has deepened her desire to travel to Ireland someday.
A lifelong resident of the Jefferson County/Johnson Creek area, Jill grew up on her family's dairy farm. It was there that she developed a love of the outdoors, enjoying swimming, biking, and the kind of adventures that only a country kid can have.
Most days you’ll find Jill and her husband spending plenty of quality time with their Lab mix, Buster, at the local dog park. When at home, Jill can usually be found curled up with a good book, most likely by Nora Roberts or Sandra Brown. An avid reader, Jill says, “The Kindle is the best invention ever!”
Accountant & Tax Specialist
Trayven Weller is an accountant and tax specialist with Apel. He earned an associate degree in accounting from Madison College and is finishing a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UW-Whitewater. He completed an internship with Apel over the course of two tax seasons, which led to his current position in our Johnson Creek office.
Trayven lives in Johnson Creek with his girlfriend of over 15 years and his eight-year-old daughter. One of his true passions is just hanging out with his two favorite girls and listening to his favorite music (by Drake). He also has an interest in cars, which explains his best-loved movie, Fast and Furious.
Trayven is always willing to lend a hand when it comes to helping friends with construction projects. He’ll also tell you he’s just a text or phone call away, which is why it’s no surprise he considers the smartphone the best invention of all time.
Trayven is highly motivated to find the right answers and isn’t afraid to learning something new; his daughter challenges him to do this every day. He would love to confront his fear of heights by skydiving. Now if only he could conquer his other fear—spiders!
Accountant & Tax Preparer
Audrey Bork joined Apel Associates in 2019 as an accountant, where she deftly handles bookkeeping, payroll, and pretty much anything else that is asked of her. Along with the opportunity to figuratively wear many hats, when asked what she likes about working at Apel Associates, she replied “the freedom and never-ending learning experiences working for a firm that is moving, grooving, and growing with a boss that genuinely cares.
Audrey brings a fresh perspective to Sauk Prairie. She grew up in Bend, OR, and Ennis, MT, before moving to the Dairy State, which she points out is ironic since she is allergic to dairy products.
Before packing up and moving to Wisconsin, she earned an Associate of Science Degree in General Math and Science from Central Oregon Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Oregon State University. During her last year at OSU she joined the professional world, working as a receptionist and in accounts payable for a general contractor. She also lived in Germany for two years while working as a civilian ski instructor for the US military.
Thorough planning is her key to success, and she prefers to keep an open mind and not limit herself to a single idea or favorite anything.
When she’s not dazzling her co-workers with her accounting acumen, Audrey enjoys fishing, hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and hanging out with her two dogs Maggy and Hunter. Audrey dreams of someday owning a ranch in Montana, away from the hustle and bustle, or spending a year in Argentina / South America fishing for trophies. She currently resides in Roxbury, and like her entire family, is secretly (don’t tell anyone) a birder.