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Charley Kanieski

Our Team

Charley Kanieski, CPA/PFS, CVA, CEPA
President & Founder

In 1991, Charley founded a CPA practice in Port Townsend focusing on small businesses and business owners. Today it has grown into The Business Guides. Assisting clients with business profitability, consulting, financial forecasting, budgeting and strategic planning, Charley works with businesses of all sizes, from startups to large companies.

As a certified Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) Charley helps business owners synchronize life plans with business plans, using both tax expertise and a comprehensive knowledge of financial planning. As a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), he is one of the few business valuation specialists on the Olympic Peninsula. Combining this expertise with his Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) credential, Charley helps business owners navigate selling their business, and ultimately retire.

Charley learned bookkeeping from his mother, as she did the books for the Kanieski family hardware business. He graduated from the University of Dayton with a B.S. in Accounting in 1975 and became a CPA in 1977, going to work for a large “Big Eight” firm in Cleveland and a few regional firms. In 1979, he purchased the family hardware business, which allowed his father and uncle to retire. He had 21 employees and during his tenure, significantly increased profitability. His retail background gives Charley rich insight into small business operations.

Eventually, he sold the hardware business and stretched his legs a bit by going sailing for five years. Charley sailed solo from Tahiti to Port Townsend, arriving during a "krazy" Kinetic Skulpture contest. He fell in love with the town instantly, so swallowed the anchor and stayed.

He has worked his behind-the-scenes magic as a pro-bono adviser for many local organizations, including the Northwest Maritime Center, Peninsula Trails Association, and Jefferson Community School---where he currently serves as treasurer of the board.

In addition to working on his own practice, Kanieski is the CFO of Skookum, a non-profit organization that employs over 1,000 people with severe disabilities.

Charley is devoted to health, fitness, and wellness. He competes as an open water rower in his single racing shell. When not helping business owners, you can usually find Charley exploring local waterways and trails with his wife Liz and step-son Aaron.

Charley can be reached at 360-385-6961 (Ext. 2) or charley@thebusinessguides.com.