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Veterans’ Impact: The Inspiring Journey of Baker Tilly’s Military Veterans


Veterans’ Impact: The Inspiring Journey of Baker Tilly’s Military Veterans
On Saturday, November 11th, we honor those who have served in the U.S. military, a day known as Veterans Day. Baker Tilly commemorates this day on Friday, November 10th, by giving its U.S. team members a day off.

Veterans Team Member Network at Baker Tilly
Baker Tilly has established an internal network for its team members who have served in the military. This network offers a platform for connection, resource sharing, and discussion. Let’s introduce two veterans from the firm whose careers and lives have been profoundly influenced by their military service.

Chiemi Perry, a manager in Consulting, served as a Senior Airman in Financial Management Services. While studying at a university in Tokyo, she met her future husband, a U.S. Navy serviceman stationed in Japan. After earning her business administration degree, she moved to the U.S. with her husband, who had completed a decade of active military service. Inspired by her interactions with U.S. military personnel in Japan, Chiemi decided to join the U.S. Air Force shortly after moving to the U.S.

Chiemi’s military service was a catalyst for her career in the U.S. She was already on the path to becoming a U.S. Certified Public Accountant before joining the Air Force and managed to pass the CPA exam while serving. Chiemi credits her military service for shaping her career, stating, "The accounting experience I gained during the Air Force and passing the CPA exam helped me begin my career working as in the Texas State Auditor’s Office.”

Michelle Winkleman, a managing director in Assurance, served as a Senior Airman and a Cryptologic Chinese Linguist in the Air Force from 2000-2003. She underwent joint-service language training at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey, California. For 18 months, Michelle studied Chinese in a class taught by native speakers alongside classmates from the Army, Navy, and Marines.

“Day-to-day was a lot like school with military activities on top of it,” she explained. “After class and other Air Force-specific obligations were over, we spent most evenings with classmates studying and trying to order Chinese food in Chinese from the very polite restauranteurs.”

After Michelle’s language training was complete, she was stationed at Hickman Air Force Base, Hawaii, next to Pearl Harbor. 

After her time in the Air Force, Michelle earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

Thank you to all veterans for your courage and unwavering dedication. 

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