John Kasperek Co., Inc., a local Certified Public Accounting firm out of Calumet City, Illinois, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year. Led by founder and managing partner, John Kasperek, Jr., the company has developed a niche primarily in the Chicago Southland area for providing customized accounting consulting and audit services to local units of government including schools and municipalities, in addition to its accounting and tax practice for nonprofits, corporations and individuals.
Kasperek and his partner, Stephanie Blanco, CPA, don’t shy away from embracing the challenge of all that comes with building a company from the ground up – a truly American-made story rooted in hard work and long hours, responsive service, word of mouth referrals and valued relationships.
“Our clients mean everything to the company,” says Kasperek. “No matter how big or small our clients know they are getting Cadillac service and the very best effort from myself and my team. I think that kind of commitment is still appreciated today and is probably the main reason we have been successful going on 30 years.”
A Leap of Faith
It didn’t take long for Kasperek to realize what he needed to do. After earning his CPA Certificate in 1982 while working for a public accounting firm, he set his sights on becoming a partner initially. Kasperek loved the challenge of public accounting and providing helpful services to governments in a variety of settings. As he had successes, established some critical relationships and developed his expertise over the next several years, his thoughts shifted to starting his own firm.
“I realized I knew just as much or more than many of the partners I was working for – or at least I thought I did,” says Kasperek with a smile. “One day I came home and said [to his wife] ‘Bev that’s it, I’m starting my own firm.’ What I didn’t know was just how much of a commitment it would be in blood, sweat and tears of not only myself, but for my entire family.”
Beverly Kasperek would help manage the office responsibilities while juggling the needs of three boys – Kyle, Kevin and Kory. First, out of their home and then from the Calumet City office on Ring Road (the firm still utilizes the original office as the headquarters for staff now often working remotely or on site at the client). All of the boys would pitch in taking care of the office, the grounds or helping out during tax season wherever possible. Kyle would join the firm in a significant role later on, most recently being named Manager during this 30th Anniversary year. He has now worked for the firm for more than 15 years, beginning with his Internship while attending Marist High School and serving as a full-time associate since earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Northern Illinois University.
“The best part of this journey has been being able to share it with my family,” said Kasperek.
Kasperek reflects on two key components critical to the development of the company’s unique governmental expertise: his firm’s role as the Finance Director of the City of Calumet City and the ascension of his now partner—Stephanie Blanco.
After the firm performed the 1989 audit for the Calumet City Fire Pension Fund, then Mayor Bob Stefaniak and the City Council elected Kasperek and his firm to the position of Finance Director as a general contractor, a role he has retained ever since.
“Calumet City allowed my firm to grow our expertise exponentially, as we were called upon to provide services in a variety of areas and from a perspective that many auditors never engage in such as collective bargaining, economic incentive agreements, and tax increment financing to name a few,” said Kasperek. ”Understanding public accounting from both sides of the aisle allowed us to grow our consulting business and bring added value to our clients.”
As the company’s client base grew, so did the need for additional talent. Enter Blanco in 1998, Kasperek’s longest tenured employee.
“Stephanie is a true expert in all areas of auditing, accounting and consulting,” said Kasperek. "I realize how lucky I am that one of our first CPAs was Stephanie. She allowed our firm to grow significantly. She’s responsible for our quality control, peer review process, scheduling and staff training among everything else. She’s been my right hand for the past 20 years and counting.”
Blanco, who became a partner in 2018, is a licensed CPA in both Illinois and Indiana. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from Davenport University and passed the CPA exam in 1999. She is also a member of the Government Report Review Committee of the Illinois CPA Society, where she was previously elected chairperson for consecutive terms by her peers.
Celebrating 30 Years and Beyond
Kasperek said the company has no plans to slow down. The firm engaged in a strategic planning process in 2016 that has already led to new clients, new employees, Blanco’s partnership, office renovations, new company branding and much more.
“We want to be as responsive to the needs of our staff as we are to our clients,” said Kasperek, who cites client and staff engagement as critical focal points of the firm’s vision for the future.
As John Kasperek Co., Inc. makes plans to recognize its 30th Anniversary with a year-end client celebration, new logo and video production, and much more, Kasperek shakes his head at the growth since that January day when he came home and started his own business. More than 500 clients later, including over 50 schools, municipalities and nonprofit organizations, with now 12 employees and plans for a southwest suburban office, it’s all about the community. Born in Hammond, IN, and raised in Lansing and Calumet City, Kasperek has set an example his firm has followed investing in the community and making a difference for the clients they serve.
“At the end of the day, we are blessed to have wonderful clients and a team of people who treat their organizations as if they are our own. We are proud to live, serve and volunteer in the communities in which we work.”
John Kasperek, Jr. pictured hard at work at his firm's Calumet City office in 2000.
CALUMET CITY, IL – John Kasperek Co., Inc., a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm in Calumet City, Illinois, announces the addition of Salomon A. Cazares to the team. Cazares, a Frankfort resident, will serve as an Associate performing detailed accounting functions while providing support on audit and consulting engagements.
Cazares previously served the firm as an Intern in 2017 before earning his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Southern Illinois University.
“I am excited to be rejoining such a talented group of people and getting to work on behalf of our clients,” said Cazares. “It is an honor to be a part of a firm that is so invested in its community and that operates as a team.”
Cazares, a native Spanish speaker, comes to John Kasperek Co., Inc. from MIFAB, Inc. in Chicago, where he served as an Account Specialist preparing month-end and year-end financial reports and reconciling financial statements, among other duties.
“We are so pleased to welcome Sal back to the firm and look forward to what he brings to the table to support our staff and our clients,” said Managing Partner John Kasperek, Jr. “Sal complements our team well with his skill set and his attitude and professionalism.”
John Kasperek Co., Inc. was founded in 1989 to serve the financial needs of the Chicago Southland and Northwest Indiana area. Led by accomplished governmental consulting expert - founder and managing partner John Kasperek, Jr., CPA – the firm is dedicated to providing customized services to local units of government, nonprofit organizations, corporations and individuals at an affordable rate. The staff’s unique expertise is rooted in extensive experience through its municipal and educational auditing and consulting engagements.
John Kasperek Co., Inc. partners and staff pictured with Calumet Memorial Park District staff (at left and right) on the CMPD grounds during CPA Day of Service.
CALUMET CITY, IL – John Kasperek Co., Inc., a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm in Calumet City, Illinois, volunteered at Calumet Memorial Park District (CMPD) during the Illinois CPA Society’s (ILCPAS) annual CPA Day of Service on Sept. 28, 2018. The ILCPAS coins the “good day for a good deed” as a flexible opportunity for Illinois CPAs and CPA firms to help their communities by participating in a volunteer activity.
Company staff spent the afternoon at the Memorial Park Fieldhouse campus at 612 Wentworth Ave. in Calumet City beautifying the expansive grounds around the fieldhouse, ballpark and miniature golf course. Managing Partner John Kasperek, Jr. said the service was part of their “ongoing outreach to give back to the community in which we work and live.” He said his company has provided accounting assistance and other support to CMPD in the past and is a sponsor for their Miniature Golf Outing Fundraiser this Friday, October 5th.
“As a lifelong Calumet City resident, the Calumet Memorial Park District holds a special place in my heart for their special programs that make a community whole,” said Kasperek. “They are good people providing passionate services to all residents from kids to seniors.”
The Calumet Memorial Park District was created in 1922 as a special unit of local government when a group of citizens envisioned the establishment of a park and recreation system to serve area residents. It was named in honor of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in World War I. Today, CMPD remains committed to providing quality programs and facilities with a wide variety of year-round recreation programs, facilities, parks, open space and natural areas that respond to the articulated needs and desires of its residents. Visit CMPD online at www.mycmpd.com.
Pictured: South Suburban College student Alison Dolbeer (middle), of Midlothian, accepts the John Kasperek Co., Inc. Scholarship award last week from SSC’s president elect Dr. Lynette Stokes (Vice President of Academic Services), and current president Don Manning at the college’s 2018 Academic Achievement Reception last week. A part-time student nearing her Associate Degree in Accounting, Dolbeer also began working as a full-time employee at JJKCPA on May 15th.
CALUMET CITY, IL – John Kasperek Co., Inc., a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm in Calumet City, Illinois, announced the addition of Alison Dolbeer, of Midlothian, as Accounting Assistant on May 15th. Dolbeer had received the John Kasperek Co., Inc. Scholarship for consecutive years through the South Suburban College Foundation.
In her role as Accounting Assistant, Dolbeer will primarily support the professional staff in tax and auditing services, along with assisting in the administrative functions of the firm. She previously spent six years in administrative and financial services roles, most recently as a National Appraisal Account Manager, and Dolbeer is also currently serving her second term on the Midlothian School District 143 Board of Education. A part-time student nearing her Associate Degree in Accounting at SSC, Dolbeer has remained on the Dean’s list since 2016 and has experience with QuickBooks and other accounting software.
“We are so happy to see Alison grow from our firm’s first scholarship recipient two years ago into a full-time role with us that she is very well equipped for,” said John Kasperek, Jr., Managing Partner. “We have been a partner of South Suburban College for many years and it’s a pleasure to hire one of their best and brightest. This is also another example of the continued growth that John Kasperek Co., Inc. is experiencing in the Chicago Southland region.”
John Kasperek Co., Inc. was founded in 1989 to serve the financial needs of the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Led by founder and company president John Kasperek, Jr., CPA – the firm’s talented team of Certified Public Accountants and professional staff is dedicated to providing customized services to local units of government, nonprofit organizations, corporations and individuals at an affordable rate.