Protea Financial employees a team of more than 20 professionals. Its leadership team includes: 

Zane Stevens


Zane Stevens is a Director of Protea Financial.  Prior to joining Protea, he was Financial Manager at Syntell, and subsidiaries, in Cape Town, South Africa.  Syntell is a leading blue chip company with revenue in excess of $38m that provides cutting edge technology based services for Road Safety, Traffic Management and Revenue Collection.

Before joining Syntell, Zane was a supervisor at KPMG in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, South Africa, where he led audit and financial and information technology advisory engagements. 

Working with a broad host of clients, from owner managed entities to large listed multinational companies, Zane obtained extensive experience in various sectors including automotive; public sector; food, drink and consumer products; retail; healthcare and agriculture.

Zane is registered as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.  He received an Honors Degree in Accounting from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, where he also completed his undergraduate degree in Accounting.


Candice L. Stevens

Chief Financial Officer/Senior Account Manager

Candice Stevens is Chief Financial Officer at Protea Financial.  Her principal engagements entail establishing and overseeing financial systems and controls to support client on-boarding and  restructuring companies.  In addition to her work for Protea, she is the Chief Financial Officer of Third Leaf Partners.  Prior to joining Third Leaf and Protea, she was Financial Manager at Mulderbosch Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa, as well as two other South African winery investments of Terroir Capital.  Mulderbosch is one of South Africa’s leading producers and global exporters of wine.


Before joining Mulderbosch, Candice was a supervisor at BDO Incorporated in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where she led audit and assurance engagements in a variety of industries including hospitality, construction, farming, retail and transportation. She worked at Ernst & Young in Cape Town prior to this in the audit and assurance sector, as an assistant, progressing to a senior and supervisor. 

Candice is registered as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.  She received Post-Graduate Diplomas in Accounting and Management from the University of Cape Town, where she also completed her undergraduate degree in Business Science with a major in law.

Tammie Cunningham

Senior Account Manager

Tammie Cunningham is a Senior Account Manager at Protea Financial, focusing primarily on restaurants and hospitality.  Since 2014, she has provided accounting and financial guidance and support, as well as forecasting, for small, emerging restaurant concepts.  Prior to this, she served as the Vice President Operations Controller for eight years during her 16-year tenure at Ruby Tuesday.  She was responsible for all financial reporting and controls, forecasting, and financial analysis for a restaurant group with annual revenue exceeding $1.2 billion and over 700 restaurant locations.  By holding numerous positions and supervising various departments including Operations Finance, Franchise Finance, Fixed Assets, Restaurant Facilities, and Sales Analysis, she obtained extensive experience in the financial and accounting areas for the restaurant industry.


Before joining Ruby Tuesday, Tammie gained experience in the manufacturing industry at Rubbermaid Office Products where she served as a Cost Accountant at the manufacturing facility in Maryville, TN.  In addition, she gained experienced in the hospitality sector when she began her career as an Auditor and Accountant for a regional hotel chain, Family Inns of America.

Tammie received her Bachelors Degree in Accounting from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Ashley Kniffin

Account Manager









Ashley Kniffin is an Account Manager for Protea.  Prior to joining Protea, she was a Cost Accountant for the Hess Collection Winery, and previous to that, she was a Vineyard & Property Partnerships Accountant for Cakebread Cellars. Since 2014, she has obtained extensive experience in the financial and accounting areas for the wine industry. She has been responsible for financial reporting and analysis, fixed assets, vineyard accounting, inventory, standard costing, budgeting and system implementation.

Before gaining wine industry experience, Ashley was a Senior Associate at KPMG in Austin, Texas, where she led audit engagements. She primarily worked in the state & local government sector, but also gained experience on financial services, real estate, and technology clients.

Ashley is a Certified Public Accountant. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting and Master of Science Degree in Finance from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Sonja Myburgh

Senior Manager

Sonja Myburgh is a Senior Manager at Protea Financial. Prior to joining Protea, she was an Audit Manager at PKF in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Working with a broad host of clients - listed companies, family owned business of all sizes, non-profit organizations and government agencies - Sonja has deep experience in various sectors including: manufacturing, broadcasting, logistics, engineering, public sector, food and consumer products.


Sonja is registered as a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. She received an Honors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa, where she also completed an undergraduate degree in Accounting.