Deanna Salo

CPA | Managing Principal

If you ask Deanna Salo about her 30-plus-year career with Cray Kaiser, she will eventually share stories of the mergers and acquisitions she has overseen. In due time, she will tell you about the succession plans, audits and internal control reviews. But first, Deanna will reflect on the lives that she and her firm have touched.

In her mind, every financial report is linked to a person or family. So while it is true that Deanna grew up professionally at Cray Kaiser—joining in 1986, fresh from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s in Accountancy—Cray Kaiser has also grown with her. Deanna, a recipient of the prestigious Annual Awards of Business Excellence award, has instilled a people-centric approach in every corner of the firm.

A CK Principal since 2001 and Managing Principal since 2021, Deanna executes assurance, strategic and tax planning services across the client portfolio. For closely held and family-owned businesses, she focuses on the value she can bring to the family and owners. For nonprofit clients, she manages internal control procedures, budgeting, governance issues and audit compliance procedures. Deanna has also handled special M&A engagements on the buy and sell sides.

Leading Cray Kaiser’s relationship with the Entrepreneur and Family Business Council at DePaul University, Deanna is a past chair to the Strategic Partner Committee and presently serves on its Finance Committee and Curriculum Committee. Given her investment in the success of family-owned businesses, it should come as no surprise that members of the organization practically have Deanna on speed dial.

Community: Executive Board Member, DuPage Area Education to Careers/Technical Preparation; Chairperson, DuPage Student Leadership Academy; Executive Board Member, Empowering Women Network; past Director, Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

The Lighter Side

Favorite exercise: Trying to keep her ball on the fairway while laughing with friends.
Tax season survival strategy: A good dose of post-season retail therapy.
Travel style: Go big or go home! (One vacation included 22 family members).
You didn’t know: In high school, Deanna said she’d cut off her hair if she was chosen to give the commencement speech. Guess who wore a bob with her gown?
Near & dear: Husband Gary, daughters Natalie and Taylor.
Guardian angel: Late father Joseph.