Meet Our Staff
Mara T. Ballard, CMA, CFE
Certified Fraud Examiner & Forensic Accountant
I was born (at Ballard Hospital no less) and raised in various parts of the Pacific Northwest. I graduated from the University of Puget Sound in December, 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts Major in Business, emphasis in Accounting and a minor in Computer Science. I subsequently sat for and passed the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) exam and am a current member of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. I have spent my entire career in private industry having worked primarily in Insurance until I assisted Desa with the opening of her firm in July 1997. I worked nights and weekends for Desa until I began full time in March of 2000 as her Office Manager.
During my tenure with Desa, I have expanded my field of knowledge to include Forensic Accounting and have turned over my office management function to others. I currently oversee all office accounting functions and work as a consultant with new firms looking to establish accounting/trust management systems, provide trust management services to small and solo practitioners, and untangle any trust account issues which come to Desa’s attention through her representation of attorneys before the Commission on Lawyer Conduct.
My greatest passions are my daughter Marcy, reading and learning.
I absolutely love working in a smaller law firm. We are truly one little happy family! We believe in working hard, but having fun in the process. Some of our outings include bowling, a painting class, a Christmas Craft Fair in Charlotte, a WII party, a cooking class and a Halloween Party.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my soul mate, Robbie. We enjoy listening to music, just hanging out together, watching movies, playing games on our airsoft course (Robbie designed it) and spending time with our family and friends at our home we call “Paradise”.
My husband Andy and I have 3 children Payton, Sydney and John Ross. We enjoy camping, golf and the rivalry of college football as a house divided. Go Tigers!
My husband Matt and I have four children: Alec, David, Lily and Zach. We love to shoot pool, watch movies and just be together. We also love to go out to play airsoft and spend time with my mom and Robbie. When I am not spending time with my family, you will likely find me reading or singing along to my favorite songs.
Favorite movies: Shawshank Redemption, Deadpool
Favorite Books (fiction): Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings
Favorite Musicians: Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, Chicago
Favorite Quotes: “Karma is a gift that brings you lessons for your soul’s personal growth, and will continue to bring these lessons back around until you have learned them.” “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.”