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CPA | CK Manager
Natalie McHugh brings over 25 years of experience to her role as Principal at Cray Kaiser. Working directly with CK’s diverse client roster on full-service tax planning, compliance, and consulting, Natalie enjoys nothing more than assisting with business and flow-through taxes to personal and estate, gift and trust taxes.
Natalie found accounting a bit by accident when needing to declare a major prior to her freshman year at DePaul University. She soon found accounting to be her passion during her first internship when her love of numbers and people meshed in those very first assignments. Realizing accounting is not about figures but about individuals is something Natalie carries with her to this day and can be felt in every interaction she has with a colleague or client.
Ask Natalie about her best days at Cray Kaiser and a common trend emerges: Education. Whether she is tackling a new tax legislation and challenging herself in the process, or she is explaining complex tax options to a client, Natalie excels as both student and teacher. She’d better–as a mother of two, learning is as important at home as it is at work.
Natalie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy from DePaul University where she graduated with honors.
Community: Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Illinois CPA Society; DuPage Estate Planning Council; Volunteer at Two Holy Martyrs Parish
Favorite exercise: I love group exercise classes. During tax season I gather a group of colleagues and we work out together in the building gym.
Tax season survival strategy: See above! A great Spotify list and banter with the tax team keeps me sane.
Travel style: Plane! I always have to have a trip planned post tax season to keep me motivated. I also am a faux travel agent – I love to help friends, family and colleagues find great deals on vacations.
Hobbies: Reading and listening to audiobooks on my commute, baseball games (Go Cubs!) and attending my daughter’s softball games, marathon shopping trips with my daughters, and game nights with family and friends!
Favorite getaway: I love the Riviera Maya in Mexico. We take an annual extended family trip to the area near Thanksgiving, which I plan. I love the sun, the music, the ocean and the people.
Favorite sports team: The Cubs! My grandma was a lifelong fan, and we are fans because of her. Our family, including grandma who is 97, was featured on WGN and on national television during the Cubs 2016 World Series run. We watched every post-season game together in her Cubs decorated apartment.