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Our People

We combine the experience of a large firm with the personal attention that only a small firm can provide. Our clients come back to us year after year because they know they are in good hands. We work to develop long-term relationships; whether your needs are simple or complex, we can help.

Please take a moment and read more about our people, our history, our credentials, our areas of specialization. If you have any questions or would like more detailed information about how we can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to serve you.

Our People

diane-krueger-pirnatDiane D. Krueger-Pirnat, CPA, Shareholder, President
Diane holds a B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration and has been a licensed CPA since 2001. Diane has a diverse employment history that helps in her specialty areas of small business development, QuickBooks setup, and bookkeeping. She is also instrumental in the nonprofit and governmental accounting and auditing area and conducting audits and tax return preparation for a variety of business entities, as well as individuals. Diane is a member of the Aurora, Chisholm, Hibbing, and Hoyt Lakes Chambers of Commerce, serves as treasurer for the City of Biwabik, and is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. Away from the office, she enjoys golfing, reading, four-wheeling, and spending time with family and horses.

connor_smConnor B. Michels, EA, Shareholder, Vice President/Treasurer
Connor holds a B.S in Accounting with a minor in Business Administration, as well as, a “Certificate of Enrollment” to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. His primary duties include payroll; monthly bookkeeping; individual, estate, fiduciary, and business income tax return preparation and planning; computer applications support; and audit support staff. Connor is a board member of the Hoyt Lakes Water Carnival and MCC Youth Golf Association, as well as, Supervisory Committee chairman of Northridge Community Credit Union.  In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and watching sports.

Christine A. Towner, CPA, Shareholder, Secretary
Christine holds a B.S. in Accounting with a minor in Finance and has been a licensed CPA since 2009. She works closely with small businesses to assist them with various areas of accounting, including bookkeeping, payroll, taxation, and tax planning. Christine also provides individual income tax preparation and planning, QuickBooks consulting, and nonprofit and governmental auditing. Christine is an active member and secretary of the Chisholm Kiwanis Club and participates in the usher team at Open Door Church of Hibbing. In her free time, she enjoys spending time at the lake with family, fishing for crappies and bass, and playing cards. She is also a dedicated Vikings fan.

Victoria C. Arnoldy, CPA
Torie holds a B.S. degree in Accounting and a minor in Information Technology Management, an A.S. in Business Administration, and has been a licensed CPA since 2011. She is experienced in many areas of accounting including payroll; bookkeeping; business, individual, and fiduciary income tax preparation; and governmental and nonprofit auditing. She also maintains the website and social media accounts of the firm. Torie serves on the board of directors of Project Care Free Clinic and is actively involved in their fundraising events. When she is out of the office, she can be found rooting for the Twins, rocking out to Queen, or playing with her children.

Laura A. Rusich, CPA
Laura has a B.S. in Accounting, is a CPA, and has practiced public accounting for over 20 years. Laura is an audit manager who has a wide range of experience with private industries, financial services, governments, and nonprofits. She also provides consultative guidance on internal controls and process development. Laura enjoys spending time with her two children that are actively involved in basketball and dance. When she gets free time, she enjoys cross-country skiing.

Morgan L. Anderson
Morgan obtained a B.S. in Accounting with a minor in Mathematics. She provides multiple services including payroll, monthly bookkeeping, individual and business income tax preparation, and audit support for nonprofits and governments. Morgan serves on the board of directors of Project Care Free Clinic. In her spare time, Morgan enjoys spending time at local sporting events. She also loves spending time with her nieces, baking Christmas cookies, and discussing ‘90s sitcoms and English muffins.

Kim A. Jarvis
Kim holds an A.A. with an emphasis in Accounting. On a day-to-day basis, she works on monthly accounting for small to medium sized businesses, all phases of payroll, gambling audits, individual and business tax projections and tax preparation, and QuickBooks consulting. Kim volunteers her time to various nonprofit organizations to help with bookkeeping issues and fundraisers. When she is not in the office, Kim enjoys spending time outdoors four-wheeling and camping with her husband, friends, and family. She also has an extensive collection of wolf pictures and figurines, but managed to pick a Beagle as her choice of pets.

tracy-2009_smTracy A. Oksanen
Tracy received a B.S. in Mathematics Education with a minor in Computer Science. Her primary duties include payroll, monthly bookkeeping, and individual income tax preparation. In her spare time, Tracy prefers to read, knit, and spend time with her family and grandchildren.

john-fort_smJohn W. Fort, CPA – Inactive, Retired
John holds a B.S degree in Accounting and has been licensed as a CPA since 1978. He has over 30 years of experience in public accounting, auditing, all areas of tax and financial consulting. Since 1989, John managed the operations of Fort and Company and, in 2013, sold his share of the firm to his partners. He is a Vietnam Combat Veteran, active in the community, and has served on many local boards.

Stacie Loe
Stacie is the office manager in the Hibbing office and is a certified bookkeeper. She provides a multitude of services for the office including being the firm’s bookkeeper, managing accounts receivable and accounts payable, controlling the electronic filing of tax returns, and providing administrative support. On the weekends, Stacie loves to spend time outdoors with her dogs. She also likes spending time with her great niece and reading anything she can get her hands on.

Kim Stirewalt
As the office manager at the Chisholm office, Kim brings many years’ experience in all phases of public accounting support and customer service. Her primary duties include general administrative support, all phases of payroll, and monthly bookkeeping. Kim is very active in the Chisholm Kiwanis Club, volunteering her time and overseeing several of their fundraising events. Outside the office, Kim spends her time kayaking, fishing, bike riding, and walking her dog. In addition, she travels and spends time with her two daughters, family, and friends.

sandy_smSandy Hautala
Sandy serves as the secretary and receptionist in the Hibbing office. She holds a certificate in Accounting and has many years of experience in payroll, accounts payable, and general accounting. Her primary duties include scheduling appointments, assembly of tax returns, file retention, and administrative support. On the weekends, Sandy likes to read, bake, and spend time with family and friends.

Our History

Fort & Company was incorporated in April of 1989 by John Fort, CPA, who already had over 15 years of experience in public accounting. In 2003, the firm welcomed Diane Krueger-Pirnat, CPA as a partner and expanded the practice by adding an office in Biwabik. In 2006, the firm purchased an existing practice in Chisholm as well as welcoming Connor Michels, EA as a partner to Fort & Company. In January 2013, Diane and Connor purchased the firm from John; and, in 2015, Christine Towner was added as a partner. The firm has always focused on client service and has continued to grow throughout the years, increasing the services provided and the number of full-time employees.

Our Credentials

The firm is a member of the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Our Areas of Specialization

Fort & Company, PA offers services to clients in five main areas:

  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxes
  • Management advisory services
  • Specialized accounting services

None of these areas are unique to public accounting; what makes Fort & Company, PA unique is the personal attention and service that we bring to each client.