Crunching Numbers and Swinging Rackets: Kim Zavislak, ’98

Written by Monica VanDerWeide, ’95

A self-proclaimed “numbers person,” Kimberly Roeser Zavislak graduated from Hillsdale College with an accounting degree and began her career as an audit associate at KPMG’s Columbus, Ohio, office. Twenty-three years later, she is still doing what she loves, now as managing partner at KPMG, and she has returned to the sport that played a big part of her Hillsdale experience.

A native of Sturgis, Michigan, Kim began playing tennis at age 8 and continued honing her skills as a varsity player at Sturgis High School. When she accompanied a friend to visit Hillsdale College, she fell in love with the school. “I didn’t visit any other colleges,” she says.

Having developed an interest in accounting after taking a class in the subject in high school, Kim decided to major in accounting at Hillsdale. She thrived in her classes and enjoyed the small class sizes and the personal attention from professors. She also loved the experience of playing collegiate tennis. “We were very competitive in the GLIAC,” she recalls. “I loved the team camaraderie; you get to know different personalities and understand team dynamics. Those experiences have helped me in my professional life as well.”

Even with the demanding schedule of a student-athlete, Kim still found time to get involved in other areas of campus, including serving as president of Pi Beta Phi sorority. “You learn to make the most of every day when you’re a student-athlete,” she says.

In her current role as managing partner at KPMG, Kim oversees an office of 280 people and also serves as lead audit engagement partner to clients in the asset management industry. Prior to COVID-19, she frequently traveled, serving clients in Chicago and also speaking at investment management forums. Since March 2020, however, she has worked mostly from home.

“I miss the office camaraderie,” she says. “I’m very involved in our office, and it’s much harder to mentor younger professionals when we are remote. But we’ve made it work as best as we can and have found new ways of working.”

One upside of working at home? More time with her family, which includes husband Jon, ’98, and their children: Maryn, age 16, and Griffin, age 14. With both children active in sports, Kim stays busy attending their games. She also recently joined a career women’s tennis team. “People say that tennis is a lifetime sport,” she says. “I see now that that’s really true!”

A firm believer in getting involved in her community, Kim also serves on several boards, including Junior Achievement of Central Ohio and Rev1 Ventures. She also co-chairs the Ohio chapter of Women Corporate Directors, and participates in two events for cancer research—Pelotonia and the American Cancer Society C2C Relay Run. It’s a lesson she carries with her from Hillsdale. “Being involved, whether on campus, in the workplace, or in the community, opens up your perspective and helps you relate to others in a meaningful way,” she says.

Monica VanDerWeide is Director of Marketing Content for Hillsdale College. She graduated from Hillsdale in 1995 with a degree in English and German.

Published in October 2021