Cray Kaiser Employee Spotlight: Karen Hoban

In Cray Kaiser’s Employee Spotlight series, we highlight a member of the CK team. We couldn’t be more proud of the team we’ve grown and we’re excited for you to get to know them. This month we’re shining our spotlight on Karen Hoban.


Karen is an Accountant in the Accounting Services division at Cray Kaiser. Activities in this department vary depending on the client’s needs, but can include monthly, quarterly and yearly accounting and bookkeeping (often done within QuickBooks). Karen also works on compilations and reviews as well as sales tax, payroll, and assisting the tax department with returns.

Karen has a BA in Economics from Denison University and an MBA in Accounting from LaSalle University in Philadelphia. Prior to joining the CK team, Karen worked for a few small family-owned public accounting firms.


In 2019 Karen excitedly joined the CK team. She was eager to work in the Accounting Services role of a mid-sized firm because from her past experiences, she enjoyed the close nature of a small firm and the frequency of client contact. Today, Karen continues to enjoy having access to a broader client base, more variety in work, and more resources available for education and training. She continues to feel challenged and that there is plenty more learning and growing to be done at CK.

When asked about her favorite CK core value, Karen chose both “People” and “Integrity”. She explained, “even in this world of technology, and now with COVID-19, the relationships we build with clients and coworkers is the most important and rewarding part of my job. And without integrity as a backbone of what we do, no other value could carry its weight.”


  • Tell us about your family.
    I have been married to my husband, Michael, for 25 years. We have three kids, Matthew (21), Katherine (19), and David (17). Matt plays water polo at Villanova, Katherine was a gymnast and is currently a rower at Wisconsin Madison, and David plays golf and hockey. We are a sports family and have a lot of teams to cheer for as my husband is a Notre Dame alum, we are both Chicago transplants and cheer for our hometown teams and the kids are all Chicago sports fans.

  • What was your favorite vacation?
    Our family generally takes active vacations. There have been lots of Colorado ski trips and beach vacations as well. Our favorite was probably a trip a few years ago to Costa Rica filled with ATV and bike touring, zip lines, snorkeling, water sports, and horseback riding.

  • What’s on your music playlist?
    Lots of variety depending on the mood or activity. Right now, I am listening to the Halt and Catch Fire soundtrack. It brings me right back to the 70s and 80s!

  • What’s the last book you read?
    I am in a book club that has been intact for over 15 years! We just finished “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett.

  • What was your favorite CK group outing from the last year?
    I enjoyed the Pinstripes bowling pre-tax season outing earlier this year. It was nice to meet some spouses and guests of coworkers and it was the first opportunity I had to meet several people in the office. The evening was fun with a little competition and great food and drinks. Looking back, it was one of the highlights before a busy tax season and COVID-19 hit!