Cray, Kaiser Ltd.

Founded in 1972, Cray Kaiser is a certified public accounting firm with three full-service locations in the Chicago metropolitan area. We act as accountants and business consultants to a variety of family-owned businesses in the Midwest. Our aim is to give clients not just a service, but a competitive advantage. Our focus on family-owned and closely held businesses requires a more intimate knowledge of a client’s unique business attributes and environments. Typically, this requires a more hands-on approach to evaluating the issues and determining effective solutions for these clients. Whether you need a certified audit, help filling out a government form or a critical viewpoint on your business finances, Cray Kaiser can give you an edge.

Deanna L. Salo
CPA | CK Principal

If you ask Deanna Salo about her 25-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 AABE award, has instilled a people-centric approach in every corner of the firm.

A CK Principal since 2001, 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 Chicago Family Business Council at DePaul University, Deanna is a past chair to the Strategic Partner Committee and presently serves on its Finance 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; Director, Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County; Executive Board Member, Empowering Women Network.

Roger L. Reitz
CPA, CVA | CK Principal

Roger Reitz has worked in public accounting all but two years of his career. Having joined Cray Kaiser in 1985, he served as the firm’s Managing Principal for 17 years. Over that time and into the present, he has played an instrumental role in developing the firm’s commitment to high-touch service, as well as its niche expertise in closely held and family-owned businesses.

Of late, he focuses on audit and attest services and is one of three Cray Kaiser principals with accreditation as a Certified Valuation Analyst. Extending his expertise in closely held and family-owned businesses to the community at large, he also leads educational sessions for members of the Chicago Family Business Council at DePaul University.

Given his years of service as a CPA, Roger knows talent when he sees it. Among his proudest achievements: He hired two of the firm’s current Principals at the dawn of their careers. With a belief that talent rises to the top, he actively encourages Cray Kaiser’s current group of budding leaders to reach the height of their potential.

He has been involved with numerous professional organizations over the course of his career but is most passionate about his work with the Accounting Principles Committee of the Illinois CPA Society. As a senior technical committee within the society, the group reviews and comments on proposed changes to standards. He derives a great deal of satisfaction from the opportunity to affect all practice units in the profession he loves.

Roger holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Community: Past Memberships: Rotary Club, Community Library Board, Catholic High School Board. Past Presidency: River Forest Tennis Club.

Karen Snodgrass
CPA, MBA | CK Principal

Karen Snodgrass oversees Cray Kaiser’s tax division, with niche expertise in closely held and family-owned businesses. In her tax planning work, she minimizes liability at the entity and individual level by helping clients think through the tax implications of their decisions throughout the year.

The leaders of family-owned businesses, whose personal lives mingle with their business lives, share more with Karen than their 1099s. They share their financial heart and soul. For Karen, that’s an honor. So she aims to do more than meet tax goals. Before asking clients to sign a single dotted line, she picks up the phone to inform and educate them.

That’s the common thread that runs through her diverse specialties: a commitment to sharing knowledge. Having successfully navigated evolving tax codes for 15-plus years—more than a decade of which she spent at Cray Kaiser—Karen leads seminars on tax law updates at the firm. Based on her ongoing analysis of the effects of new laws, the firm’s reputation for excellence in tax services is unmatched.

With Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, Karen also gives presentations on tax and business finance topics to groups like the Chicago Family Business Council at DePaul University.

Community: Memberships: AICPA, Illinois CPA Society, Notre Dame Clubs, KLTR Group