Career ladder: Paquette, 44, spent four years in the U.S. Air Force as a computer operator on NATO bases in Italy, England and elsewhere. She joined KPMG in college, working in the St. Louis and Chicago offices. She was named partner in 2004 and managing partner of Michigan offices in January 2012.
Power metrics: Audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG has 373 employees in Grand Rapids and Detroit. U.S. revenue last year reached $7.9 billion. Paquette led local integration work following KPMG's buyout of Southfield-based advisory firm BBK Ltd. in 2014.
Surprising fact: She's a member of the Detroit Derby Girls home team, playing for two years despite the occasional black eye or bruise she wears to the office. "You focus and don't worry about everything else" during games, she said.
Super power: Observation. She also calls herself a tremendous planner in family life and business.
Big win: Becoming managing partner of the Detroit office, and working with Beth Chappell of the Detroit Economic Club to launch United Way for Southeastern Michigan's Women United effort to address early childhood learning.
Community connections: Board member, Detroit Economic Club, Detroit Regional Chamber, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Inforum Center for Leadership, Downtown Detroit Partnership, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, St. John Providence Health System; co-chairwoman, Women United.
How she helps women in her organization and beyond: Paquette says she mentors and supports women at all levels. "I wake up most days thinking about how I can be a better leader to my teams, the community and my family. ... I also try to be authentic and sincere in my actions, aligning that with a moral compass to help the community and our business be better."
Advice for women on success: "Be authentic. Do what you say you're going to. Be a visible leader in thought and in action. Help others accomplish their goals."
Next big goal: Working with KPMG partners and families to donate more than 10,000 books to Detroit children as part of the office's 100th-anniversary celebration. Paquette's three sons have experienced reading challenges, and she believes in the power of literacy.Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story misstated the year in which Paquette was named partner at KPMG. The correct year is 2004.
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