The partner you need to catalyze your growth
Most call her a subject matter expert. You can call her your partner in potential. As our head accountant and founder, Erica is the driving force behind Paragon. Building on her wealth of experience, she turns every legacy-building interaction into a future-focused financial strategy that supports your continued growth. As a founder herself, Erica knows how to navigate the complexities that come with every “what if” and help you turn them into a plan of action.
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As your external CFO, I’m a strategist integrated into your business — not just a tax preparer you meet with once a year. I lay out the truth of your numbers in a non-judgmental way and give you the confidence to say yes or no to any business decision. Together, we’ll make sure the financial decisions you make align with what you want for yourself, your business, and your family.
Founder & CEO
Erica Martinez is the founder and CEO of Paragon Accountants, established in 2003. A wife and mother of twins, Erica knows what it’s like to juggle personal and professional obligations as a busy business owner. Her goal is to help individuals conquer their finances, scale their businesses, and have more abundance of time and money in their lives.
Erica began her undergraduate education at the University of California – Irvine, where she studied international relations with a minor in conflict resolution. She then pursued a master’s degree in accounting, emphasizing taxation from San Diego State University, and an MBA in finance from National University.
Farid’s strong analytical skills have helped him become an expert tax and accounting consultant for over 10 years. His previous experience at a boutique accounting firm concentrating in the medical industry, serving high net worth individuals, and small to medium size businesses makes him a perfect fit for Paragon. His past experience at one of the big four accounting firms brings vast knowledge in international and complex tax issues as well as communication and organizational strategies. Farid became a licensed CPA in 2015 and continues to value education to better serve our client’s complex tax needs.
Outside of work, Farid likes to play chess, read about new technology and business innovations, study history and languages, and go on long hikes. His diverse interest in science and culture makes a great communicator and leader at our firm.
Tax & CFO Manager
Cristina has over ten years of experience in Individual & Business Taxes working for the private and the government sector.
Cristina enjoys using acquired knowledge and skills to help our clients with their tax issues. She graduated from the University of Baja California in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from San Diego Mesa College in 2018. She is currently studying to obtain her Enroll Agent (EA) certification to represent clients in tax court.
In Cristina’s spare time, she loves to travel and visit the family, garden, and a enjoy a good TV drama show.
Lauren was born and raised in San Diego. Lauren is currently a full-time student at San Diego State University studying Accounting and Information Systems. She will be graduating with her Bachelor’s in May 2022. She has done past summer internships with Northrop Grumman and PWC and plans on getting her CPA in early 2023 to further her career in taxation. She enjoys playing volleyball on the SDSU club volleyball team, hanging out with friends, cooking, and trying new foods.
Jessica was born and raised in San Diego and recently moved to Austin, Texas. She has worked as the Operations Manager for Paragon for the last 2 and a half years, however started working remotely in January 2022. Through work with Paragon she has gained an abundance of experience and knowledge in taxes and accounting.
Jessica has over 15 years of customer service, administration, light bookkeeping, and billing experience. She has certifications in Business Administration, Pastoral Care, and general college credits. Jessica’s goal is to further develop her skills in accounting and continue to assist our clients with the utmost service. In her free time, Jessica enjoys karaoke, family time, and serving in her church.
Client & Operations Support
Connie Valdez will be entering her second tax season with Paragon in 2023. She currently works in operations and assisting all Paragon members. Connie does reconciliations, invoicing A/R, and connecting with our clients. She hopes to work towards growing Paragon and expanding it to further areas of San Diego County. She has 60 credits in academics. In her spare time she enjoys reading, working out, and traveling.
Kiley Phillips was born and raised in San Diego. She is a full-time student at Texas Tech University studying Journalism and Political Science. Kiley currently works with Paragon doing light bookkeeping, writing for the blog, and in social media. She previously worked in Client Relations and as an Administrative Assistant for KidWonder LLC. She had an internship with One America News Network where she worked as a full-time news writer. She has a passion for politics and the media and hopes to pursue a full-time career in politics. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, learning about politics, and working out.
The Paragon difference
Delivering value every day involves proactive, big-picture thinking. No matter what stage you’re at in your legacy, our team of dedicated accountants and strategists build relationships that prioritize year-round support and ensure that every decision you make financially is aligned with what you want for your future.
It’s how we help take you from where you are to where you want to be — whatever that looks like for you.
Get the support you need to build the business of your dreams with an ally who’s as invested in your success as you are.
Take the guesswork out of every code, form, and acronym with a dedicated strategist who knows your numbers for you.