Women Worth Watching 2015

Tammy Hunter

KPMG Tax Partner Makes a Powerful Impact—at Work and in Life


web KPMG_HunterA KPMG tax partner and co-leader of KPMG’s Compliance Management Services, Tammy Hunter specializes in assisting clients with state and local tax issues. She has written articles appearing in the Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives and the Interstate Tax Report, and is a frequent speaker at seminars, including the Council on State Taxation, Georgetown University Law Center’s State and Local Tax Institute, and the Paul J. Hartman State Tax Forum. In 2011, Tammy was named an IMPACT Leader by Business to Business Magazine, in honor of her contribution to the improvement of the greater Atlanta business and civic communities.

In addition to her national tax role, Tammy serves as co-chair of KPMG’s Women’s Advisory Board (WAB) and is the executive sponsor of KPMG’s Network of Women (KNOW) in Atlanta, where she works with women from the firm and the Atlanta community to cultivate the next generation of women leaders. Tammy serves as a role model, sponsor, mentor, and advocate for the women in her office and practice, and for women across the firm. She also serves on the board of trustees for the KPMG Foundation.

“…we all have to make decisions…”

Tammy lives by the adage “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” “In business, we all have to make decisions to accomplish tasks, so you either lead or follow,” she said. “However, if you don’t want to lead and you don’t want to follow either, you need to move on and make room for someone else who does so the group can be productive.”

In 2008, Tammy’s daughter Hayley was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. While the news was devastating, the mother of three quickly channeled her energy in a positive direction as an advocate for pediatric cancer research. She founded CURE Childhood Cancer and became an advocate for cancer patients and pediatric cancer research. Following Haley’s recovery, Tammy remains active with CURE, currently serving as board vice president. She also founded the Hayley Hunter Research Fund to raise money for neuroblastoma research and a cure for pediatric cancer. In 2013, Tammy was named KPMG’s Working Mother of the Year.

Education: BBA in Accounting from the University of Georgia, Masters in Taxation from Georgia State University

First Job: Tax Accountant for First Financial Management

What I’m Reading: “Everybody’s Got Something: by Robin Roberts

The most important quality a woman leader should have is…


The career advice I’d give my former self:

Focus first on the job at hand instead of your next career opportunity.

Words I live by:

Lead, follow, or get out of the way. In business, we all have to make decisions to accomplish tasks, so you either lead or follow. However, if you don’t want to lead and you don’t want to follow either, you need to move on and make room for someone else who does so the group can be productive.

The one thing I’d do differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…

At various points along my career, I’ve changed roles because I was frustrated or didn’t think I could do something. Looking back, I would definitely be more patient and work through the challenges of a project before leaving too soon.

When I really need to focus on a project, I…

I need to start blocking time off on my calendar to focus on the project at hand, so I don’t get distracted by conference calls and responding to emails.

My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…

…leaving one practice at KPMG and joining another practice within Tax. While I was originally apprehensive about fitting in and leading a new team, I realized that I had plenty of people around me to draw upon for guidance, and that I really did know more than I was giving myself credit for.

Being a woman in my profession has been…

…sometimes a challenge but more often than not, it has been very rewarding because I get the opportunity to work with, and mentor, other women.

I’ve learned that failure is…

…sometimes the best thing that can happen to you. Failure can reenergize and refocus your efforts on where they should have been in the first place.

I maintain a healthy personal life by…

…spending time with my husband and children at our cabin. We go hiking and kayaking.

I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…

…I was able to take all of the aspects I liked about my current job and make a career built around those I enjoyed most, focusing on my strengths.