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Kelli Vance

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Gibbons & Kawash A.C.
Charleston, 37

Kelli Vance isn't the typical accountant.

She has quite the artsy side, and she's been at Gibbons & Kawash A.C. since January 1999, when she graduated from Marshall Uni versity, which she says is unusual for her line of work.

"People tend to move around a little, but I initially started as an auditor in our audit department, and I transitioned to our tax area in the fall of '99, and I've progressed through the different levels of the firm since then," Vance said. "As of Jan. 1 this year, I was promoted to the director level … which is the highest level here."

Vance said when she was in college, she did not foresee accounting as her career path — in fact, she expected to do something with the arts. But then she started taking courses in business and realized there was a lot of variety to the accounting arena.

While she's still not a fan of the stressful deadlines, her favorite thing about her job is the variety in clients and the type of work she does.

Outside of work, Vance says she's very involved in her church — Spring Hill Baptist Church in South Charleston — and she lends her number crunching to the Montrose Elementary PTO, where two of her three children go to school. Vance also serves as treasurer of the Charleston Chapter of the West Virginia Society of CPAs.

"I definitely try to volunteer my time as I can and balance the busy work life as well as the needs of my children," Vance said. "So usually for downtime or relaxing, I enjoy just geting to be outside, whether it's doing some gardening, jogging for relaxation or various arts and crafts."

Vance said juggling her children's school work and extracurricular activities keeps her on her toes as well as her own studying to stay current in her field.

"I definitely don't want to grow stale, so to speak," she said. "I want to continue to be able to do more.

"We're always staying on top of the new changes in laws that come out, and keeping others trained as well is very important and something I enjoy."