Meet the Team

Krista M. Piwonka, CPA

Founder & CEO

Krista M. Piwonka, CPA is the founder and owner of Piwonka, CPA, Inc. She graduated from Siena College, New York, with a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in accounting with a concentration in marketing. She was honored with elite membership in the 21st Century Business Leaders Society.

After graduation, Krista joined a medium-sized firm in New Jersey; namely, Amper Politziner & Mattia, CPA, PC, as a staff accountant assisting small business clients. Later, she joined the large Chicago-based firm, Altschuler, Melvoin & Glassier, LLP, as a senior accountant in their Real Estate Due Diligence Department before transferring to a McHenry-based firm, Fleming & Co., PC. Here she spent her time servicing small-business clients once again. In 2008, Krista started Piwonka, CPA, Inc.

Krista is active in a number of professional organizations including:

Krista has been a volunteer with several non-profit organizations:

  • American Heritage Girls Troop #0925 – Treasurer
  • 4 Strings Attached – Treasurer
  • St. Thomas the Apostle School and Church
  • Family Readiness Group leader of the US 1st Army, 181st Brigade, 3-335th Battalion – Krista has had the honor of receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2008, 2009 and in 2010.
  • In 2013, she was one of two recipients of the “Time and Talent – Public Service Volunteerism Award” issued by the Illinois CPA Society for her work in their Military Service Tax Preparation Project.
  • Civil Air Patrol

Check out Krista’s profile on Linkedin.

Laura Cicero


Laura grew up in Johnsburg, IL and graduated from Johnsburg High School in 1997.  She went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in December 2000. It was during her Individual Income Tax class that she developed an interest in pursuing public accounting. After volunteering with the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program, she knew the tax world was for her.  She started working at Miller, Cooper & Co, Ltd. in Deerfield, IL right after graduation in January 2001.  Her experience includes preparing and reviewing partnership, corporate, individual, trust, multi-state, and not-for-profit tax returns.  However, her emphasis has been on real estate partnerships, family partnerships, and individual tax returns.  She passed the CPA exam in November 2001, and is licensed in both Illinois and Wisconsin.  She took her education one step further and obtained a Master of Science in Taxation degree from Northern Illinois University in August 2007.  After 15 years with Miller, Cooper, Laura decided it was time for a change and started working at Piwonka, CPA, Inc. in January 2016.

Sara Zelek


Sara has worked for Piwonka, CPA, Inc. since Dec 2011. Sara handles bookkeeping, payroll and assists with tax returns. Sara grew up using tools in her Dad’s workshop that included everything from hand-tools, machining equipment to woodworking tools. She brings an understanding of these trades and businesses to the office.

After completing two years of college, Sara worked for several different municipalities in water and sewer billing. During this same time period, Sara obtained her certifications as a Paramedic and Fire Fighter II and served as a volunteer/paid on-call paramedic and firefighter on the Bonnie Brook Fire Department in Beach Park, Illinois, as well as McHenry Township Fire Protection District in McHenry, Illinois. Sara also served on the dive team as a dive boat operator for Bonnie Brook as well as getting certified in High Angle and Confined Space Rescue and served and trained on the Zion nuclear power plant rescue team.

Sara was later employed by Follett Software Company, first as a customer service representative and then as an account manager with responsibility for large school district accounts. She oversaw the purchase, data conversion and onsite installation of library automation software for these school districts.

After starting a family, Sara left Follett as well as the fire service and became the business manager for The Lawbre Company. The Lawbre Company designed, created and built one-inch scale houses for the collector’s market. This gave Sara experience in manufacturing, wood shop operations, resin casting and freight shipping as well as supply management. The business was then sold and moved out of state at which time Sara became a stay-at-home mom. She met Krista Piwonka, and after developing a good friendship joined Krista at her accounting firm as an associate doing bookkeeping and assisting with tax returns.