Grant Thornton names new Partnership Board members


Mike Desmond and Kelli Knoble elected to board; Doreen Griffith and Enzo Santilli re-elected


CHICAGO — Grant Thornton LLP’s partners and principals have elected two new members to the firm’s Partnership Board, which helps govern the partnership and helps determine the firm’s direction. The new members include:

  • Mike Desmond, national client experience leader for Audit and office managing partner for Charlotte, North Carolina — where he is based.
  • Kelli Knoble, national business lines leader for the firm’s Tax practice (based in Charlotte, North Carolina).


In addition, two current board members have been re-elected to new three-year terms:

  • Enzo Santilli, Transformation Advisory business line leader and office managing partner for Pittsburgh — where he is based.
  • Doreen Griffith, office managing partner for Dallas — where she is based.


“Grant Thornton has combined flexibility, innovation and quality to thrive in today’s unprecedented and uncertain times, posting record high earnings in our last fiscal year,” said Brad Preber, CEO of Grant Thornton. “Our elected and renewed board members will be critical to our ongoing success — using their exceptional skills to help steer the growth and strategic direction of the firm.”


Continuing Partnership Board members who are currently serving terms include:

  • Brad Preber, CEO (based in Phoenix).
  • Muhammad Bhayat, Audit partner (based in Iselin, New Jersey).
  • Bert Fox, national managing partner of Professional Standards (based in Chicago).
  • Catherine Hyodo, office managing partner for Los Angeles — where she is based.
  • Chris Smith, national Strategy Solution leader for Advisory Services (based in Charlotte, North Carolina).
  • Mark Sullivan, office managing principal for Chicago — where he is based.
  • Jim Wittmer, national market growth leader for Tax (based in Philadelphia).


Finally, the Partnership Board has named current member Muhammad Bhayat as its chairman.



About the new board members


Mike Desmond joins Grant Thornton’s Partnership Board with more than three decades of public accounting and corporate industry experience focused primarily within the manufacturing and technology sectors. He currently serves as the national client experience leader for Audit as well as the office managing partner of the firm’s Charlotte, North Carolina office. Desmond joined Grant Thornton as a partner in 2007 and previously served as the firm’s national Audit Industry and Growth leader. Prior to that, he led the firm’s Carolinas Consumer and Industrial Products industry team. Desmond received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a CPA in North Carolina and a member of the AICPA.


Kelli Knoble joins the Partnership Board with more than 25 years of experience providing state and local tax services. She currently serves as the firm’s national Tax business lines leader and has held a range of other leadership positions, including Tax Services practice leader for the Carolinas. She focuses on income and franchise tax reviews and planning opportunities, with a specialty in helping clients manage the tax impacts resulting from business expansions and contractions. She received a master’s degree in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a CPA in North Carolina and a member of the AICPA.



About Grant Thornton

“Grant Thornton” is the brand for two professional-services entities: Grant Thornton LLP, a licensed, certified public accounting (CPA) firm that provides audit and assurance services ― and Grant Thornton Advisors LLC (not a licensed CPA firm), which exclusively provides non-attest offerings, including tax and advisory services. With revenues of $2.4 billion for the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2023, and dozens of offices nationwide, Grant Thornton represents a community of more than 9,000 problem solvers, relationship builders, and industry specialists who know that how we serve matters as much as what we do.


Grant Thornton LLP, Grant Thornton Advisors LLC and their respective subsidiaries operate as an alternative practice structure (APS). The APS conforms with applicable laws, regulations and professional standards, including those from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.


Grant Thornton LLP and Grant Thornton Advisors LLC serve as the U.S. member firms of the Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL) network. GTIL and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership and all member firms are separate legal entities. Member firms deliver all services; GTIL does not provide services to clients.



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