Women Who Move West Michigan – 2021 – Special Section
CPA, MBA – Shareholder
CPA, Senior Manager
Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors
2910 Lucerne Dr. SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | 616-949-3200 | hungerfordnichols.com
Founded in 1941, Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors is a full-service accounting and advisory firm that works with businesses, non-profits, families, and individuals to provide professional services including accounting, tax, auditing, fraud and litigation services, business advisory services and trust, estate and technology services.
A Grand Rapids institution for 80 years, the firm named Peggy Murphy its first female shareholder in 1995, and Carla Grant in 2001. Murphy and Grant were pioneers in the accounting industry and paved the way for future generations within the firm.
In 1999, Adriane Schrauben, CPA, MBA, a Grand Valley State University junior, interned at the firm and in 2014, she became one of its eight current shareholders.
“I’m proud to be a female shareholder in a profession that has 23 percent on average of females in this position. Males and females enter the profession at equal rates, but women aren’t reaching the highest leadership roles,” says Schrauben, who directs the firm’s governmental auditing and estate and trust practice teams.
A leader in her organization, Schrauben strives to support and develop future female leaders that will continue to make Grand Rapids a great place to live and work. “The Grand Rapids business community is unique because of how much businesses support each other. I think there is a sense of camaraderie and a feeling of ‘being in it together,’ ” says Schrauben, who is also the board treasurer for North Kent Connect, an organization that provides access to basic needs and promotes economic independence for area residents.
One team member who credits a great deal of her success to the leadership that came before her is Tessa Keena, CPA, senior manager. Keena leads the firm’s accounting solutions team, and in July will celebrate 10 years with Hungerford Nichols.
“This firm has encouraged me to have a voice, has contributed to my learning and growth, and has given me a platform to help others through my leadership position within the firm and volunteer and board positions outside of the firm,” says Keena, who was appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Michigan State Board of Accountancy in 2019, and was also a member of the 40 Under 40 Business Leaders in 2020.
A Grand Rapids native, Keena was a single mother out of high school and had a career in cosmetology before transitioning into public accounting. For a period of 10 years, she worked on her education while balancing working and being a mother. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and went on to earn her Michigan CPA license.
“There were many times of doubt and discouragement, but I did not let myself succumb to those feelings,” says Keena, who is married with a daughter now in college. “What I have learned through each opportunity and challenge is that we all have the ability to push past adversity, defying the limits to our success. Many times, it takes the support and encouragement of others every time we have to make the choice.”
Schrauben agrees. “Women often have a different perspective and their own set of challenges,” she says. “Sometimes just being an example, being able to collaborate, and having an open door policy makes an impact.”
Schrauben, who married her high school sweetheart and is the mother of two teenage daughters, sees it as a privilege and responsibility to mentor a new generation of leaders. In addition to the company’s women’s initiative, Hungerford Nichols has a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team with scholarship opportunities and an expanded internship program.
“One of our firm values is support. A lot of my clients are in support fields like education and nonprofits. Helping them run their organization and providing solutions to their problems allows them to continue to provide support to the community,” Schrauben says.
In service to her community, Keena is on the board of directors for several nonprofits including The Brains Foundation, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, and the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where she is creating opportunities to promote financial and accounting literacy.
For Schrauben and Keena, it is clear that their commitment to their clients and community is matched by their company’s commitment to its people.
“Our people are our most valuable asset, and our leadership is committed to growing leader and community representatives, not just accountants,” Keena says. “It is evident through the financial investment our firm places in our continuing education and leadership training as well as our community involvement opportunities.”