← Back to CK Team

John Kaiser, Jr.

CPA, MBA | Founder/Principal

In 1972, John Kaiser co-founded Cray Kaiser with Jim Cray, whom he met while the tax manager of a large Chicago CPA firm. As entrepreneurs and practitioners, they set out to distinguish their firm from the pack by fostering authentic, long-term relationships with customers. A testament to their conviction, Cray Kaiser’s client roster today includes some of the same companies and people who engaged the firm on day one.

For John, public accounting is more than a professional discipline. It’s a vocation—a means to help people turn personal and professional goals into realities. Under his stewardship, Cray Kaiser earned a long-standing reputation for the highest standards of integrity, service and professionalism.

As the founding tax Principal, John has helped innumerable clients make critically important financial decisions to improve their business and tax practices alike. In more recent years, he has directed his attention to giving back to the industry to which he’s devoted his career. Fostering the next generation of professionals, he cultivates new talent at Cray Kaiser and delivers seminars on tax and business finance topics at varied organizations.

A lifelong Chicagoan, John attended DePaul University and earned a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University. His community involvement has included membership on the Joliet Diocese School Board, for which he served as President, and membership with the DuPage County Estate Planning Council.

John also sits on the board of Sharing Connections, having served a six-year term as its President. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit provides furniture, clothing and household goods to low-income families.

The Lighter Side

Hobbies: On the course, golf with sons. On the lake, watersports with grandchildren.
History buff: Recently devoured “Killing Lincoln,” by Bill O’Reilly.
You didn’t know: Young John planned to be an engineer, but DePaul didn’t offer that major. A CPA was born.
Best vacation: Cruising the Panama Canal. “We didn’t want it to end.”
Guilty pleasure: Chips and beer.
Favorite city: Prague—for the people, food (goulash and beer!) and history.
Near & dear: Wife and best friend Paulette.