A native of Louisville, KY, Kena Samuels Stith is deeply rooted in her community. Kena obtained her accounting degree from the University of Louisville. In November 1999, with an accounting degree from the University of Louisville in hand, she opened SKS Accounting & Consulting Firm, Inc. Kena’s corporate office offers comprehensive accounting and consulting services, including loan packaging, payroll, management, bookkeeping, and tax services. She also has added several tax-focused locations in Louisville and in 2004 expanded with a payroll division called Payroll Network. The Pre-Loan Business Packaging Preparation Division has been expanded as well.
Kena’s vision was to offer more than the usual accounting business, especially in the form of service, including to underserved communities of Louisville. For example, while SKS was installing a POS terminal at a local restaurant, Kena realized the owner was short on help during a lunch rush. She helped wait on those hungry customers. While most accountants would not go to such lengths for their clients, Kena Samuels Stith’s business philosophy is based on going above and beyond. That is why she opened offices in underserved African-American and Low-to-Moderate income neighborhoods in Louisville. She also believes strongly in the team concept and supporting her employees.
SKS obtained a U. S. Small Business Administration loan through an SBA microlender. Kena now works with the SBA microlender in the region, volunteering her time and sharing her business knowledge with aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.
The SKS team has grown to 28 full and part time employees during tax season. Throughout this growth, the SBA has played an integral role. SKS expansions have been financed through four SBA guaranteed loans, and SKS has built a strong relationship with SBA and her bank, both of which continue to support SKS in its growth.
SKS has established itself as a company of excellence. A certified minority business enterprise (MBE), SKS was the recipient of the Kentucky Minority Business Council’s MBE Supplier of the Year Award, Class 1 for years 2005 and 2007. In June 2006, SKS Tax Service received the Preferred Tax Professional Award for the effort to provide the highest level of tax preparation along with e-filing and has ranked number 2 in the metro area’s top largest tax preparers in Business First for the past five years. In 2008, SKS was awarded an Inc.Credible Inc. Award by Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI), the Louisville Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Kena has a solid commitment to the development and success of small, minority businesses. In October 2005, she was appointed as a member of the Gas System Restoration Project Review Board for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and holds dual positions: secretary and minority group consumer. Several years ago, she was a recipient of the Louisville Defender Newspaper’s Minority Business Achievement Award for outstanding commitment and excellence. Currently, she holds a position on the finance committee of GLI and is on the board of directors of the Tri-State Minority Supplier Development Council, which serves Kentucky, Southern Indiana and West Virginia.
Being a visionary and having tremendous generosity, Kena is the founder of the Youth, Ethics and Skills Center, Inc. This non-profit organization is dedicated in helping disadvantaged youth recognize their potential as future leaders of Louisville.
She states “few people are given the opportunity to plant a seed and watch it grow.” Encouraging others to overcome business obstacles has proven to be extremely gratifying for her. Learn more about SKS on the web.