Deanna Salo

CPA | Managing Principal

If you ask Deanna Salo about her 35-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 how she assists in shareholder disputes and getting great agreements into every company’s infrastructure. But first, Deanna will reflect on the impact that she and her team members have with each engagement.

In her mind, every engagement 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. The firm’s people-centric approach has been instilled in every corner of the firm since its inception, which is one of the main reasons why Deanna has her career rooted in 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 instills best practices in budgeting, governance issues and audit compliance procedures. Using her technical and creative talents, Deanna also performs M&A engagements for the buyer and seller 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.

Local and Abroad: Executive Board Member, Empowering Women Network; various committees at the Entrepreneur & Family Business Counsel at DePaul, Global Board member of Russell Bedford International

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.