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Beth Kieffer Leonard

Building connections, creating new leaders

February 1, 2023

Beth Kieffer Leonard There are many adages and much advice about how to be a good leader, but few walk the walk quite like Beth Kieffer Leonard. 
She is partner in charge of EisnerAmper’s Minnesota office, and prior to that she served as managing partner at Lurie for 15 years before the firms merged in September 2022.
Title aside, Beth espouses the traits of a great leader. She’s focused on driving the firm’s strategy, serving clients, supporting the community and mentoring others.
“With a public accounting firm, it’s important to identify talent and develop programs that enhance their opportunities,” Beth said. In addition to her role in managing the Minnesota office and staff development, she has expertise in assurance services, mergers and acquisitions as well as all areas of taxation.
While it can be easy to get caught up in the details of the day-to-day minutia of a job, for Beth, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind, and her favorite part of the work is looking ahead to what could be.
“I actually love looking at the future,” she said. “I like seeing what the opportunities are, identifying ways that we can serve our clients, the community and our people, being able to lead innovation, lead client service, and add service lines.”
Another aspect of both work and life that motivates and inspires Beth is to build networks and relationships.
“I would say the thing that fulfills my own personal raison d'etre is really the connections,” she said. “It’s connecting people and connecting people to opportunities. For anyone who has been in the industry a long time, it’s really those connections that are the most meaningful and provide the most value.”
Key to building connections has been Beth’s involvement in several civic organizations, including the MNCPA; AICPA Board of Directors; University of Minnesota Foundation Board of Trustees; U.S. Bank-Twin Cities Board of Advisors and the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governors. She was also instrumental in bringing two national professional associations to Minnesota — the Women’s Business Development Center and the Women Presidents’ Organization.
Beth’s extraordinary contributions to these organizations have earned her numerous national and regional association awards and recognitions, including being named one of the 2017 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor and being inducted into the NAWBO Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame in 2018. She was also recognized by The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as a 2021 Most Admired CEO.
A commitment to giving back springs from her upbringing — her parents were also committed to helping others — and it aligns with her firm’s philanthropic goals. It’s also an outlet for Beth to delve into her passions and interests.
“Whether it’s my work in supporting minority business owners, or women-owned businesses, or the University of Minnesota, they are all organizations that I am passionate about,” she said.
Working within these groups has been mutually beneficial, Beth said. They have exposed her to new people, perspectives and opportunities that she wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.
“That has been a way for me to continue to learn and have greater experiences and bring the knowledge back to what I do every day,” she said. “I would tell you that in almost every circumstance, I have gained more than I’ve given and while that seems like a trite kind of comment, there is no question, it’s opened my eyes.”
Her suggestion for those who may be looking to get out there and try their hand at volunteer work or extracurricular involvement is to choose a group or activity that resonates with or interests them.
“It’s really important to understand that you don’t have to be passionate about every opportunity,” she said, “but you should at least have an interest or connection so you’re truly invested and energized to help, and not just going through the motions.”

Topics: Member Profiles