Kruggel Lawton is pleased to announce that Partner Kate Leichty, CPA, has been selected as one of the Michiana Forty Under 40 for 2023 by the South Bend Regional Chamber. The program shines a spotlight on 40 of the area's most talented and dedicated young executives, professionals, and leaders who demonstrate career success and community engagement before the age of 40.
Leichty, who was named a partner at Kruggel Lawton on January 1, 2023, serves as a go-to resource for the firm and its clients on tax law changes, specifically as it relates to passthrough entities and partnership taxation as well as international tax and multi-state tax areas. She has been an absolute game-changer for the firm when it comes to mergers and acquisitions and related consulting. Leichty has been involved in nearly every client transaction in some way or another since joining KL. Her extremely valuable knowledge base has been instrumental in assisting clients in multiple facets of both buying and selling a business. With this expertise, she has prepared and presented at a number of KL events, including several tax webinars and the firm’s annual CFO Summit. Additionally, Leichty helped to spearhead KL’s internal tax team with new international reporting requirements, including K-2 and K-3 reporting.
“Kate joining our partner group has had such a positive impact on the firm,” said Managing Partner Barry Hall, CPA, CGMA. “As the first female partner in the firm’s Goshen office, and the third woman to be promoted to the partnership level, Kate’s accomplishments bring greater visibility to potential career paths for our younger women.”
Outside of Leichty’s tax-focused responsibilities, she serves as a mentor for several of the firm’s younger staff and is an active member of KLWIN (Kruggel Lawton Women’s Initiative Network). The guidance and support she provides plays a crucial role in the development of our staff not only as accountants but as business professionals. She also has a strong interest in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and continues to educate herself on emerging issues to act as an advocate and ally for her coworkers. This is where Leichty’s passion and experience truly shine. She is deeply invested in the firm’s future and takes great pride in helping our team grow.
“Not only is Kate an incredibly smart and talented accountant, she’s also a leader, a mentor, an advocate, a wife, a mother and so much more,” said Partner Mike Varner, CPA, CGMA. “Kruggel Lawton is fortunate to work alongside Kate and see her passion inspire so many of our younger staff.”
An Elkhart County native, Leichty and her husband Will moved to Sacramento, CA after her previous employer bought a firm on the west coast. Leichty’s background in mergers and acquisitions made her a key leader during the transition period. After six years out west, she and Will made the conscious decision to move back to Michiana, specifically Goshen, to raise their family and invest in the local community. Though Leichty, Will and their three daughters love to travel, she makes time to serve her community by volunteering on two boards. For the past several years, she has served on the Board of Directors for Everence Financial. In 2021, she took on additional responsibilities becoming the chair of the Governance committee. Everence is a national organization but has its headquarters in Elkhart County where they have a large impact on the local community. Leichty also serves on the board for Goshen Theater. Goshen Theater went through a large capital campaign and renovation over the last five years and Leichty is looking forward to helping the theater transition to a full-time operating venue. In 2022, Leichty increased her role on the board by becoming the Treasurer for the organization.
Leichty received her B.A. in Accounting with a minor in Business from Goshen College, Goshen, Ind. Her professional memberships include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Indiana CPA Society, and the California Society of CPAs.
The 2023 Class of Michiana Forty Under 40 will be treated to a photo shoot with their families, friends, colleagues and/or nominators. In addition, a Recognition Video is being produced by the Chamber and will launch on Friday June 23. The South Bend Tribune will have a special Michiana Forty under 40 issue in their June 25 print and digital editions. An alumni bash celebrating the 2023 class and the previous 16 years of the program, is slated for August 30 at Four Winds South Bend's Ribbon Town Conference & Event Center.
The complete list of this year's honorees can be found on the South Bend Regional Chamber’s website.