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Maria Karalis

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In 1994, Maria Karalis joined BDO, a global accounting, tax, and audit firm—and she calls that the best decision she’s ever made. Karalis, who began as a senior accountant at the firm’s Long Island office, found great mentors who believed in her and helped her rise through the ranks. Last July, she became managing partner of BDO’s Stamford practice. “Every day has been an adventure,” she says. Being available for her clients—an impressive group that includes public and private domestic and multinational firms in manufacturing and distribution, tech and life sciences, retail, and consumer products—throughout Westchester and beyond is a full-time job, but Karalis is also a leader at her company. She is the firm’s country coordinator for Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. She also helms BDO’s Women’s Initiative, and she serves as a mentor to many women on staff. Karalis is also on various teams that oversee alumni relations, core values, philanthropy, and internal inspections for BDO. At the firm, she is known as the connector: She brings mentees, colleagues, and clients together at any opportunity, whether it is for networking or a social event.Given all that, it’s no shock that Karalis’ biggest challenge is work/life balance. “If you have a corporate job you love, which I do, it’s easy to pour your heart, soul, and every waking hour into it,” she says, adding that finding balance is “something I work at every day.”

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