Management/Staff Bios

CEO Tom Watson

As CEO, Tom is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the firm’s personnel and partners. Tom is chair of BKD’s Governing Board, which sets firm policy and oversees strategic initiatives. In addition, he serves as a trustee of the BKD Foundation, the firm’s charitable arm that aims to enrich the communities BKD serves through financial donations and volunteerism.

COO Abe Cole

Abe oversees firmwide operations and acts as a liaison between the National Office and BKD’s four regions: North, South, East, and National Advisory Services. Before he was named chief operating officer (COO), Abe was BKD’s North Region managing partner and responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the firm’s Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin offices.

CRO Mike Wolfe

As BKD’s chief risk officer (CRO), Mike guides the firm’s risk management efforts, which include maintaining quality control, working with various stakeholders within and outside the firm, and providing important leadership to support our mission of “excellence in providing services to our clients.”

CPO Rob Pruitt

In his role as chief practice officer (CPO), Rob, who has more than 28 years of public accounting experience, provides executive leadership, sponsorship, coordination, and guidance to BKD’s national industry partners and practices, internal firm growth initiatives, BKD EDGE product development initiatives and management, and Marketing & Business Development Department and go-to-market strategies.

CHRO Julie Cummings

Julie serves as BKD’s chief human resources officer (CHRO) and is responsible for leading the firm’s PeopleFirst strategic initiatives. This includes the acquisition of top talent, performance management, engagement of firm members, total rewards, employee relations, compliance, and diversity. Julie is an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management where she holds the Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designation. She also holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources® (SPHR®) designation from the HR Certification Institute®.

CIO Greg Shoemaker

As BKD’s chief information officer (CIO), Greg leads the Information Technology (IT) team, which delivers critical services and systems to the firm and its clients. These services include information security and compliance, IT purchasing, licensing and contracts, IT operations and engineering, support services, custom solutions, and software development, IT project management, business, and systems analysis and system administration.

CMO Greg Cole

Greg oversees the Marketing & Business Development and Learning & Development departments as the firm’s chief marketing officer (CMO). Under Greg’s leadership, both departments have achieved national award-winning status, and he was named an Emerging Training Leader by Training magazine in 2014.

North RMP Jeff Ronsse

As regional managing partner (RMP) of BKD’s North Region, Jeff is responsible for the overall leadership and strategic direction of the Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin offices. He also serves on the firm’s Governing Board, which establishes firm policy and oversees strategic initiatives.

South RMP Kimberly McKay

As RMP of BKD’s South Region, Kimberly is responsible for the overall leadership and strategic direction of the Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas offices. She also serves as a member of the firm’s Management Committee and the Governing Board.

East RMP Troy Gilstorf

As RMP of BKD’s East Region, Troy is responsible for the overall leadership and strategic direction of the Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and New York offices. He also serves on the firm’s Governing Board.

NAS RMP Jerry Henderson

As RMP of BKD’s National Advisory Services (NAS), Jerry is responsible for the overall leadership and strategic direction of specialty consulting practices that are national in scale, including tax services, risk advisory services, performance advisory services, transaction advisory services, public sector advisory services, data analytics advisory services, and wealth advisory services. He also serves on BKD’s Management Committee, Recruiting Oversight Committee, and Governing Board.

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