Women Who Move West Michigan – 2021 – Special Section
BDO WEST MICHIGAN
Katie Ferris, Tax Office Managing Partner
Sara Hendrix, Tax Partner
Carlye Klimek, Tax Partner
Luanne MacNicol, Partner, ERISA Assurance Services
Kelli Olson, Tax Partner
200 Ottawa Ave. NW, Ste. 300 | Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | (616) 774-7000
BDO USA, LLP is a leading national professional services and accounting firm providing assurance, tax, and advisory services to privately held and publicly traded businesses, as well as to family offices and high-net-worth individuals. BDO’s West Michigan practice is one of more than 60 across the United States and has been established in the local community for more than 100 years. Exciting changes have emerged more recently, and while the firm has always placed an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, within the last decade they have welcomed several female partners.
The West Michigan practice is proud to celebrate five women partners who work hard and lead every day.
Katie Ferris started her accounting career at BDO, joining the company in 2004. She was promoted to tax partner in 2015, and to her current role as tax office managing partner in 2019. She manages approximately 100 tax professionals and leads the tax practice in all areas.
Ferris serves clients in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, technology, telecommunications, and construction, with a primary focus on federal, state, and international tax planning, consulting, and compliance. She also assists clients with estate and succession planning, accounting, mergers and acquisitions, and IRS tax examination.
She has been recognized by Grand Rapids Business Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan, one of Grand Rapids’ 200 Most Powerful Business Leaders in West Michigan, and as a 40 Under 40 Business Leader.
Luanne MacNicol has been a partner since 2019 and is a leader in BDO’s ERISA Services Group. She joined BDO in 2004 and has more than 20 years of public accounting experience, specializing in the area of employee benefit plan audit services. She serves as lead partner for several publicly traded and privately held plan sponsors and leads a dedicated team focused on providing plan audits. She is a regional practice leader and serves as a technical resource for audit teams and clients in BDO’s Central region. She is also involved in BDO’s National Assurance initiatives including development of auditing tools and training programs.
MacNicol is actively involved in BDO’s ERISA Center of Excellence and is a frequent contributor to the center’s thought leadership publications covering emerging trends impacting plan sponsors.
Carlye Klimek, came to BDO in 2009 and served as tax managing director before becoming a tax partner in 2017. She works with large corporate businesses, both public and private, including implementing tax strategies, assisting with complex mergers and acquisition, and working closely with BDO’s Specialized Tax Services group in the areas of international taxation and multi-state planning. Internally, she leads the sales effort for the West Michigan Tax Practice.
Sara Hendrix, became tax partner at BDO in 2018. She is known for her versatility and breadth of capabilities. Hendrix works with both public and private clients, and with insurance companies all over the country, with a primary focus on and passion for client services.
Kelli Olson, is BDO’s newest tax partner, having been promoted in January. Like Ferris, she began her accounting career with BDO, starting in 2007. She leads BDO’s local private client services group, working closely with Ferris to manage and support the group that serves high-net-worth individuals, complex multi-generational families, family offices, trusts, and estates. Olson has extensive experience with federal, state, and international income tax planning as well as estate and charitable planning. She works closely with her clients and their team of advisors to provide strategic tax vision.
In addition to her private client focus, Olson also serves closely held businesses in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and distribution, government contracting, and technology, and also has experience with multi-national corporate tax and complex partnership taxation, including both private equity-owned companies and fund side consulting.
While inclusion has been a key goal for BDO, more importantly, these new partner roles have been filled organically, with the right individuals, each having earned the positions they hold and having established themselves as respected professionals.
What’s also worth noting is the longevity of service for many in the company. Ferris, who has been with BDO for nearly 20 years, says, “For me, it’s about opportunities, both locally and nationally. I’m also passionate about our West Michigan offices and our people.”
BDO’s core purpose is helping people thrive, every day. For Ferris and her colleagues, who collaborate regularly, it’s a driving force that applies as much to their clients as it does to themselves and their other peers. “We all get excited to help our clients, our employees, and our community succeed,” Ferris says. “Helping people thrive is what motivates us and keeps us going every day; that’s a big part of what gets us up every morning.”