With over 20 years of our team's experience, and over $975 million in transactions in the entertainment tax credit marketplace State Tax Incentives has created deep relationships with production companies ranging from major studios to independent producers.

L. Chrissie Merrill

Managing Partner, Director of Film Finance

Chrissie Merrill is a recognized expert in the field of film tax credits and film production incentives. As the firm’s managing partner, she is responsible for overall planning, investment strategy and acquisition of film, television and digital entertainment tax credits. Over the past several years, Merrill has earned a reputation as a savvy negotiator, establishing her role in the Georgia film industry as an influential partner.

Merrill has placed more than $975 million in film tax credits in the U.S., resulting in over 100 films and thousands of jobs. She is a frequent panelist for industry finance programs and a film tax credit consultant to studio executives.

Merrill earned a Business degree in marketing and real estate from University of West Georgia and serves as the Industry Chair on the Board of the Atlanta Film Society. She also is on the Steering Committee for the Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition and a member of the Georgia Film and Television Professionals Alliance.

John Carson

Managing Director of Sales, Chief Financial Officer

John Carson serves as our Managing Director of Sales and as CFO.  John is responsible for the firm’s overall business development, meeting the needs of CPAs, CFPs, small business owners, corporations and insurance companies, as well as the firm’s Finance functions.

Carson has more than 25 years of experience in tax, accounting/finance, tax, and underwriting.  Prior to joining State Tax Incentives, he was a Director with Monarch Private Capital, responsible for Public Policy & Business Development.  He has also held management roles at several large firms including SunTrust Bank (senior finance manager, commercial banker) and GE Capital Real Estate (acquisitions finance manager).He has held management roles at large firms including SunTrust Bank, GE Capital and KPMG, where he worked for in the firm’s Atlanta, London and New York City offices. Carson also serves as a state representative in the Georgia General Assembly, first elected in a 2011 Special Election by a nearly two-to-one margin.

John Carson holds a BBA in accounting from Georgia State University and a MBA from Kennesaw State University. He is an active CPA licensed in Georgia and a member of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Society of CPAs and serves on the Board for the Anna Crawford Children’s Center.

Dana Bellevue

Director of Operations and Client Relations

Dana Bellevue oversees the operations of State Tax Incentives, heading into her 5th year in the film tax credit business. Dana has vast experience in facilitating the transfer of the tax credits per each state’s different filing regulations. She communicates with the clients to ensure a smooth buying process.

Before State Tax Incentives Dana worked supporting Chrissie Merrill as the Film Finance Analyst at Monarch Private Capital for 4 years. Dana plans and co-hosts the “Choose GA” event each year at Sundance Film Festival in Park City Utah.

Bellevue earned her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communications from Kennesaw State University. She has a background in office management, investor relations, supporting executives and plans events regularly as an Event Planner. Mrs. Bellevue was born and raised here in Georgia, originally from Monroe, GA. She now resides in Cumming GA with her two kids, Alicia and Christopher.

Danielle Lahanas

Manager, Client Relations

Danielle Lahanas is the Client Relations Manager for State Tax Incentives (STI). Her responsibilities include managing corporate office operations and contract representatives. She supports the tax credit sales team and investors by facilitating the process of transferring the tax credits to the clients.

Danielle is experienced in business development and operations within the financial industry, including  investment firms, financial institutions, CPAs and education. She was the Director of the Master of Accounting program at Kennesaw State University. Her university experience teaching Business and Professional Communications provides world class support to our STI clients and staff.

Danielle has a BA degree in Communications from The University of Tennessee and a MA degree in Communications from The University of Alabama. She is active in her church, community, and professional organizations. Danielle is an avid Atlanta Braves fan and enjoys cooking, kickball and The Beltline.

Nimra Khan

Finance Manager

As Finance Manager, Nimra Khan oversee all the areas of Finance at State Tax Incentives including accounts payable, receivables, cash management, GL, inventory, banking, treasury management and reconciliation. Nimra manages the overall health of the company by analyzing and maintaining financial reports.

In the past couple of years, Nimra has handled finances for small businesses and forecasted the growth levels for companies. She has also demonstrated hands on management skills in the development and implementation of strategic plans to ensure the company’s growth. Along with her accounting career, Nimra also loves to organize weddings and parties where she analyzes expenses and coordinate with vendors to review the contracts.

Nimra holds a BBA in Accounting and MBA in finance from a prestigious foreign university. She resides in Cumming with her husband and son.

Courtney Colmenares

Vice President of Finance and Controller

At STI, Courtney Colmenares is responsible for developing and managing the company’s financial management strategy, directing all aspects of finance operations, analyzing the Company’s financial results and providing strategic guidance to the executive team.

Courtney has ten years of experience in accounting, finance, treasury management and process improvement. Prior to joining STI, Courtney served in management roles for two ultra-high net worth family offices in Atlanta. Most recently, Courtney worked on a team that built out a single-family office for an ultra-high net worth individual within her privately-owned corporation. Prior to her time spent in family offices, Courtney was the Controller at Monarch Private Capital. It was there that she created and enforced policies around accounting, finance and treasury management, monitored loan covenants and led the Company through their first GAAP audit.

Courtney earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband and three children.

Jenna Colmenares

Office Manager and Executive Assistant to Chrissie Merrill

Jenna Colmenares is the Executive Assistant to STI’s Managing Partner and also manages STI’s back office by performing administrative duties for the STI team. Jenna stays in close communication with the team to ensure that the Company has the administrative support they need to be successful.  Her
attention to detail and anticipation of STI’s Managing Partner’s needs make her an invaluable asset.

Prior to joining STI, Jenna performed similar duties at a Methodist Church.
Jenna earned a BA in History from Kennesaw State University.

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6 Concourse Parkway NE., Suite 720,
Atlanta, GA. 30328


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