With over 30 years of our team's experience, and over $1.2 billion 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 the Founder and Managing Partner of State Tax Incentives. With over 13 years of experience in the film and entertainment business, Chrissie is recognized as an expert in the field of film tax credits and production incentives.

Prior to State Tax Incentives, Chrissie was the Director of Film Finance for Monarch Private Capital. She launched State Tax Incentives in 2020, quickly becoming the largest broker of Georgia film credits.

Merrill has placed more than $1.2 billion in film tax credits in the U.S., resulting in over 200 films and thousands of jobs. She is a frequent panelist for industry finance programs and a film tax credit consultant to studio executives.

Chrissie has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Real Estate from the University of West Georgia. She serves as the Industry Chair on the Board of the Atlanta Film Society, as a member on the Steering Committee for the Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition and as a member of the Georgia Film and Television Professional Alliance. Chrissie is involved in numerous community projects, including the Georgia Food Bank Association and Giving Grace.

John Carson

Managing Director of Sales

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

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, Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Georgia Society of CPAs and the AICPA. 

Dana Bellevue

Director of Operations

Dana Bellevue is directly involved in the origination and closing of film tax credit transactions. Dana communicates with the production companies and facilitates the transfer of tax credits from the state, while also providing State Tax Incentives’ clients with the highest-quality customer service.

With over 7 years of experience in the film tax credit business, Dana was the former Film Finance Analyst at Monarch Private Capital where she oversaw the tax credit documentation and supported Chrissie Merrill.

Dana has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from Kennesaw State University. She is passionate about planning events, including the “Choose GA” event each year at the Sundance Film Festival. Born and raised in Georgia, Dana resides in Cumming, Georgia, with her two kids, Alicia and Christopher.

Danielle Lahanas

Director of 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.

Courtney Colmenares

Vice President of Finance and Controller

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 State Tax Incentives, 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 State Tax Incentives' Managing Partner, and manages the back office by performing administrative duties for the 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 Chrissie's needs make her an invaluable asset.

Prior to joining State Tax Incentives, Jenna performed similar duties at a Methodist Church. Jenna earned a Bachelor's degree in History from Kennesaw State University.

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


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