GHJ Leaders Recognized for DEIA Work by LABJ

LOS ANGELES, CA (March 24, 2022) – GHJ, a leading accounting and advisory firm, is proud to announce that two of its leaders were recognized at the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Awards. GHJ Chief Strategy Officer Mari-Anne Kehler was named a finalist for DE&I Executive of the Year, and GHJ Search and Staffing Leader Derrick Coleman was nominated for the Community Impact Award.

“Congratulations to Mari-Anne and Derrick for their exceptional work in the DEIA space,” said GHJ Managing Partner Tom Barry. “We are proud to have leaders like them who are making a difference in the community and in the lives of our employees and clients.”

Mari-Anne and Derrick are renowned for their thought leadership in the diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) space, both at GHJ and in the community, and in 2021, they were named DEIA Visionaries by the Los Angeles Times’s B2B Publishing Division.


With more than 30 years of experience as a high-impact leader, Mari-Anne leads GHJ’s strategic direction and growth strategy. In this role, she has been the driving force behind the GHJ’s DEIA strategy. Additionally, Mari-Anne is a driving force in the community around DEIA through her volunteerism, writing and speaking opportunities.

  • As Chief Strategy Officer and a member of GHJ’s Executive Committee, Mari-Anne has championed key initiatives and policies around DEIA, culture and growth. Her work includes establishing ongoing DEIA audits and annual unconscious bias training.
  • Mari-Anne created the framework for GHJ’s employee resource groups, aiding in the creation of GHJ’s first cohorts for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and Women’s Empowerment.
  • A longtime voice in the disability community, Mari-Anne has been a proponent for disabled self-advocates for more than 20 years. She sits on the Board of the Autism Society of Los Angeles.
  • Mari-Anne has taught trainings, led conferences and written thoughtware on the topic of DEIA.
  • In acknowledgement of the ever-evolving DEIA space, Mari-Anne continues to learn and adapt. In 2020, she was credentialed by the National Diversity Council through Emory University as a Certified Diversity Professional.


Derrick is a GHJ managing director and practice leader for Search and Staffing, GHJ’s accounting and finance recruiting division. With more than 20 years of business experience, Derrick has written and spoken extensively about how he incorporates DEIA into his recruiting strategies and how companies can follow his lead.

  • As practice leader of GHJ’s recruiting division, Derrick has used his influence to implement diverse and equitable hiring practices. He is continuously promoting and utilizing these practices for clients and encouraging his team to do the same.
  • Derrick founded and now leads GHJ’s BIPOC Cohort, an employee resource group focused on advancing the careers of professionals who are Black, Indigenous and other people of color.
  • He has written and spoken extensively about diverse hiring practices for business and HR publications as well as ABC7 News in Los Angeles.
  • Derrick sits on the board of the Downtown Women’s Center and Godiss Love.
  • He was certified by the African American Board Leadership Institute, and he has spoken to media about his experience as a Black board member and as someone hired to recruit Black board members.

About GHJ

GHJ is an accounting and advisory firm that specializes in nonprofit, food and beverage, entertainment and media and health and wellness companies. Previous recipient of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce “Employee Champion For Life Work Harmony Award” and named a “Best Place to Work” by the Los Angeles Business Journal eight times since 2008, GHJ is passionate about helping clients and its people #BeMore by focusing on building thriving businesses and creating a better future.

GHJ works as a business advocate for its clients — providing personalized service and building long-term relationships to help position our clients for growth. Through its affiliation with HLB International, a global network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisers, GHJ is able to partner with other top firms across major cities throughout the U.S. and the world. GHJ’s audit, tax and advisory teams leverage the HLB network to partner with its clients and give clients access to member firms in over 157 countries across the globe.

Ranked as a top-20 largest accounting firm on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Book of Lists, GHJ has 21 partners and approximately 200 staff members that serve thousands of clients. GHJ is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC), the California Society of CPAs and the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofit).