Firm News

Cherry Bekaert Announces Firm Leadership Changes

May 1, 2018

Nationally recognized public accounting and advisory firm Cherry Bekaert LLP (“the Firm”) is pleased to announce several leadership changes effective May 1, 2018.

Michelle L. Thompson, CPA, has assumed the role of Firm Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer. Previously Managing Partner of Cherry Bekaert’s Assurance Services practice, Thompson was voted in as Firm Managing Partner at Cherry Bekaert’s annual Partners’ Meeting last October. She succeeds Howard J. Kies, CPA, who served in the role for 27 years.

As Firm Managing Partner, Thompson will drive the overall strategic planning and direction of the Firm while overseeing its operations and financial performance. Thompson’s vision for the future of the Firm focuses on sustaining the success of the Firm’s 70-year history through transformation, innovation and anticipation. A primary focus of her vision is on the opportunities that technology presents for our clients, our profession, our Firm and our people. In addition, Thompson will serve as Chairman of Cherry Bekaert’s Executive Board.

“I look forward to extending the success our Firm has achieved in its 70-year history, as well as continuing to provide leadership that is aligned with Cherry Bekaert’s mission of making a difference for our people and our clients,” remarked Thompson. “Building on existing relationships will be essential to carrying out this mission, along with promoting innovation and helping the Firm and clients adapt to the ever-changing world of technology.”

Based in the Firm’s Virginia Beach office, Kurt W. Taves, CPA, will assume the new role of Cherry Bekaert’s Chief Operating Officer. A member of the Firm’s Executive Management Team, he has over 30 years of experience. Taves previously served as the Managing Partner of both Cherry Bekaert’s Hampton Roads practice and the Firm’s Tax Services practice. In this role, Taves will oversee the Firm’s three service lines: Tax, Assurance and Advisory.

Tax Partner Christine W. Pierce, CPA, will replace Kurt Taves as Managing Partner of Tax Services. In this capacity, Pierce will leverage her 30 years of specialized knowledge to direct and manage the client service delivery process for the Firm’s Tax Service Line. Pierce will continue to be based in the Firm’s Atlanta office.

Taking over Michelle Thompson’s former role as Managing Partner of Cherry Bekaert’s Assurance Services practice is Collin G. Hill, CPA, CFE, an Audit Partner and North Carolina Regional Service Line Leader with the Firm’s Assurance & Accounting Services Group. As Managing Partner of Assurance Services, he will manage the resource utilization and client experience associated with the delivery of Assurance services to the Firm’s clients. Hill will carry out these responsibilities from Cherry Bekaert’s Raleigh office.

Regarding the Firm’s leadership changes, Thompson said, “I’m excited to work alongside these talented professionals in helping shape our Firm’s future vision. Each one of these individuals is committed to making a difference to our people and our clients. Their exceptional leadership is essential to the future success of the Firm.”