Get to Know Violeta Zdravkovic


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Violeta Zdravkovic was born in North Macedonia; when she was five, her family immigrated to the United States. She grew up in Warren and graduated from Warren Woods Tower High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Oakland University, the first college graduate in her family.

In her first job for an accounting and consulting firm in Birmingham, Zdravkovic learned skills specializing in litigation support and the quantification of damages in business disputes.

She has over 25 years of experience providing services to lawyers and clients in various industries. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

In 2018, Zdravkovic joined O’Keefe as a managing director in the litigation support department. O’Keefe is a financial advisory firm providing corporate finance, litigation support, strategic advisory services, and turnaround and restructuring. As a litigation support expert, Zdravkovic quantifies economic damages resulting from breach of contract, business interruption, mergers and acquisitions, professional malpractice, business valuations and bankruptcy proceedings. She also coordinates discovery efforts, develops case strategies, and evaluates settlement options. Zdravkovic also has extensive experience in fraud related issues including detection, investigation and quantification.

What would surprise people about your job? When people think of CPAs, they are not aware I do not do the traditional accounting work but provide a wide range of consulting services to assist lawyers with cases requiring financial expertise.

Why did you become a consultant to attorneys? I enjoy how each case is unique and requires different problem-solving techniques. I am also a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified in Financial Forensics and Accredited in Business Valuation. These credentials provide me with the skill set necessary to solve problems and help lawyers.

What is your proudest moment as a consultant? I worked on the litigation between the City of Pontiac and the Detroit Lions. It was a very high-profile litigation case that received a lot of attention. I was able to contribute to a favorable outcome for my client.

Who are your role models? I’ve been fortunate to work with many wonderful and knowledgeable attorneys who have been very gracious with their time and expertise.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? There are a lot of different opportunities in the legal profession they may not be aware of. Take the time to explore all of them. I met a young bankruptcy attorney that was not aware of that area when she first studied law. She was placed in that department when she started practicing and loves it.

What other career path might you have chosen?
I would have been a corporate attorney. I was interested in law and accounting. Since I put myself through school by working full-time during the day and going to school full-time at night, I chose accounting because I could finish and enter the workforce sooner. Coincidentally, I am able to use my accounting background in the legal field.

What is your favorite law-related TV show?
Law and Order-SVU and NCIS. I like how Law and Order -SVU starts with the crime being committed and takes the case all the way to trial for resolution. As a forensic accountant, I enjoy the forensic criminal investigation on NCIS.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Keep an open mind about all of the opportunities out there and enjoy life. Do not rush and things will fall into place.

Favorite local hangouts: Somerset Mall, Partridge Creek when the weather is nice, Olive Garden and hanging with family at home.

Favorite websites: New York Times and Crain’s Detroit Business.

Favorite app: Weather, Facebook and LinkedIn apps.

Favorite music: I pretty much love most of the music from the 80s and 90s.

What is your happiest childhood memory? Getting a bicycle for my 10th birthday. It was the first time I had a bicycle and my father taught me how to ride it.

What is your most treasured material possession? My engagement ring.

What do you wish someone would invent? Time travel. It would be great to go back and see relatives and friends that are no longer around.

What has been your favorite year? 1997. That was the year I got married and was the start of the life I am enjoying now.

What is the most awe-inspiring place you have been? Hawaii. The scenery is so beautiful. I especially wanted to visit Oahu so I could see the USS Arizona. Unfortunately, when we were on the island, it was extremely windy, and all the ferries were closed. It was very disappointing, but we did get to see everything else at Pearl Harbor.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Super strength or mind reading.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do? Ski.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m very passionate about animal welfare and rescue. I foster pets and socialize them so they can be adopted into loving homes. I’ve fostered puppies, stray dogs, pregnant cats, newborn kittens that needed bottle-feeding, etc. I’m the bridge to their forever home. Fostering saves lives. And playing with the animals is very relaxing.

If you could have dinner with three famous people who would they be? Warren Buffet for his financial intelligence, Bill Gates for his humanitarian and philanthropic efforts and Sandra Bullock who seems down-to-earth but also fun to be around.

What is the best advice you received? My mother advised me to seek higher education, which was unheard of at that time in my culture for women of my generation.

Favorite place to spend money: Any place that has shoes and purses.

What is your motto? Do no harm.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? My family.

What is the most unusual thing you have done? Swim with dolphins.

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