2018 Financial Leadership Summit


Agenda topics, timing and speakers subject to change.

Sunday, May 20

6:00 Pm – 10:30 pm

Denim & Diamonds Opening Reception and Financial Executive of the Year Awards Ceremony
Throw on your Denim and don’t leave those diamonds at home, because FEI’s Texas Chapters guarantee a night of fun while honoring the 2018 Financial Executives of the Year award winners.

6:00 – 7:15 PM     
Networking, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres

7:30 – 8:15 PM
Financial Executive of the Year Awards/Dessert

8:15 – 10:30 PM
Denim & Diamonds Grand Opening Celebration
Hosted by FEI's Texas Chapters
Grab your cowboy hat and boots for a fun filled event! For generations, the State Fair of Texas has been the destination to bring everyone together. Join your peers for an event featuring fair essentials including country music, line dancing, games, and of course, amazing food to sample and share!


Monday, May 21

7:00 am – 5:00 pm



7:30 am - 8:20 am

4 Breakfast Sessions available – 1 CPE credit each

What’s Better Than Excel for Budgeting
Sponsored by Calumo Group
If you have pushed budgeting to the limit with Excel, this session is for you.  Warwick will share how much easier budgeting is for people who have taken Excel to the next level. You’ll learn how your peers are shaving months off their planning processes, increased accuracy, and aligned the whole organization for tremendous success. This session will include case studies, example technology, and most importantly, share the mindset change required to improve budgeting. This session will have you on the way to budgeting nirvana with steps to get you moving on your budgeting upgrade journey.

Warwick Leitch | VP North Americas | Calumo Group

Myths and Misconceptions of Employer Healthcare Plans
Sponsored by Hays Companies
Many popular medical cost containment strategies are actually creating inaccurate forecasts, unsustainable renewals, and avoidable volatility for employers. These unintended consequences are typically the result of an oversimplification of complex issues or the misinterpretation of data analysis. Join us if you are seeking a proven strategy to bring stability to your organization’s health insurance costs without traditional cost shifting and plan degradation.

  • 82% of employers offer High Deductible Health Plans -- the other 18% are right
  • Why your spouses don’t cost what you think and why spousal programs don’t work
  • Why your medical plan is managing the wrong population’s health
  • How your broker’s best intentions actually cost you money

David Ross | Executive Vice President & Director of Underwriting Services | Hays Companies

Extreme Finance: Tomorrow’s Analytics For Finance is Here Today
Sponsored by Oracle
Making sense of business data is critical to your organization’s success. Using visual analytics can provide a deeper understanding of your data for better insight. When you combine the benefits of cloud and machine learning together, you can work SMARTER by leveraging embedded machine learning to create trustworthy predictions, work FASTER to complete more analysis and scenarios in the same amount of time, and achieve RICHER insight when you have all the information available without help from IT. Tomorrow’s analytics for finance professionals is here today, and we call it EXTREME FINANCE.

John Hagerty | Vice President, Product Strategy | Oracle

Modernizing the Office of Finance
Sponsored by Wolter’s Kluwer CCH Tagetik
The Office of Finance is expected to assume a more strategic role in their company yet are still faced with continuing challenges with ever increasing regulations, demands for greater transparency, better and more frequent forward looking forecasts and of course greater efficiency.  In order to meet these demands and maintain excellence, the Office of Finance must transform, by modernizing technology and automating more functions.  Today’s technology goes beyond the basic Corporate Performance Management of Consolidation, Planning & Forecasting. It includes regulatory solutions for the new Revenue Recognition & Leases, and allows for a deep dive in Finance Analytics to perform the in-depth operational planning analysis required.

Leslie Cant | Product Marketing Director | Tagetik North America


8:30 am – 9:00 am

Welcome & Opening Remarks
Andrej Suskavcevic | President and CEO | Financial Executives International
Ann Kaesermann | Vice President - Controller | Hilcorp Energy Company


9:00 am – 10:00 am

Opening Keynote Address
The 5 Second Rule: Achieve Breakthrough Performance in Your Career & Life

Mel Robbins | Award-Winning CNN Contributor and Life Coach

Imagine if you had a secret weapon that instantly turned you into your most powerful and productive self. What if you could spot opportunity and have the courage and the discipline to trust your instincts, take action and share your ideas with conviction? You’d be unstoppable. In her globally praised TEDx talk, best-selling author and entrepreneur Mel Robbins introduced the world to the science-backed secret to change, The 5 Second Rule.

With riveting videos, case studies, compelling research, and hilarious personal stories, Robbins will recount the deeply relatable and remarkable story of The 5 Second Rule and the power of five second decisions. She will demonstrate how this rule has helped people, teams, and businesses around the world change for the better. And, through audience interaction, she’ll show you how to use the Rule so you can also achieve your goals.

Kick off Summit with this life-altering presentation filled with groundbreaking insights and a tool for action that is critical for selling, leadership development, innovation, and success. Robbins will present the secret to HOW we change behavior, HOW to take smart risks, HOW you bring out the best in your team, and HOW to create the results that we covet at work and in life. You’ll walk out of this experience with tools you can bring to back to your team, your family, and your life-and you’ll leave feeling inspired, empowered, and ready to take action.

You'll leave feeling inspired, empowered and ready to take action.


10:00 am - 10:30 am

Networking Break in Exhibit Hall


10:30 am – 11:20 am

Innovation Tracks

4 tracks available - please choose 1 during registration:
Finance Skills, How Texas Does It, Technology, & Tomorrow's CFO

New Accounting Changes - Are You Ready?
Finance Skills

This session will address many new accounting standards such as leases, revenue recognition, derivatives and hedging and classification and measurement. Hear directly from industry leaders on hot topics that can better prepare you for this changing environment, gain a deeper insight to what is on the FASB’s agenda, and be prepared for what is ahead.

Derek Bradfield | Partner | Deloitte

How to Survive a Market Downturn: Houston Leaders Tell Their Story
How Texas Does It

No industry is immune to dramatic market changes. Hear how company executives from engineering and construction, information technology, oil and gas, and the restaurant industry made strategic and tactical decisions to survive and thrive when their business was impacted by dramatic market changes.

Robert Schmitz | President Elect | FEI Houston Chapter

Janet Clark | EVP & CFO | Marathon Oil Corporation
Jeffrey Curtiss | Board Member, KBR | FEI Houston Chapter Member
K. Scott Gray | CFO | Luby’s Inc.
Marie Myers | Global Corporate Controller | HP Inc.

Achieving a Continuous Improvement Mindset

The financial suite is currently going through its own form of industrial revolution, with new technologies upending decades of process and production methods. And just like the industrial revolution of 19th Century, the financial technology revolution of today will disrupt how people work, forever change careers and determine which companies succeed or fail. Financial leaders can no longer be reactive to change, but must be proactive and strategic about the wave of new technologies impacting the financial suite by embracing new ways to continuously improve their systems into small, effective changes instead of multi-year and multi-million-dollar world changing projects.

Chris Stephenson | Principal, Advisory Services | Grant Thornton

CFO of the Future: The Finance Labor Model in the Digital Age
Tomorrow's CFO

Future CFOs will be significantly different from the past, as will the staffing needs and demands they face. The future labor model will include multiple sources for skills and experience. How will these and factors such as robotics, automation and the human cloud impact management’s ability to create and maintain a competitive, agile workforce? How will they impact business models and labor pools? How might they impact your company? This presentation will answer these questions and examine staffing models companies are adopting, evolving skill sets and how to hire for and develop them, and ways financial leaders can stay on top of – and ahead of – emerging trends.

Tim Hird | Executive Director | Robert Half Management Resources
Jay Thompson | Managing Director | Protiviti


11:30 am – 12:20 pm

4 tracks available - please choose 1 during registration:
Finance Skills, How Texas Does It, Technology, & Tomorrow's CFO

Fraud From Within
Finance Skills

Fraud. This ever-evolving intentional act of deception is a threat to the stability of our capital markets. Every company must have a deliberate plan to prevent and detect fraud, and must never underestimate the potential of an attack from within. Gain best practices, implementing solid controls and processes, and cutting-edge technologies that can help combat this rising problem.

Bernie Brown | CFO | Coppermine Bakery Holdings

How to Build an Economy: San Antonio’s Resurgence
How Texas Does It

San Antonio has built itself into a powerful regional manufacturing hub, bringing in jobs and economic growth. Private company financial executives were key to that transformation, helping build new businesses and reviving legacy companies. Find out how leaders turned the economy around and the success strategies for leveraging a growing economy.

Lisa Friel | Partner, Assurance Services | Ernst & Young LLP
Paul Hensley | Sr. Vice President, Finance & CFO | HOLT CAT
Dr. Gabriele Niederauer | CEO & President
Bluegrass Vascular Technologies, Inc. (BVT)
Bret Piatt | President, CEO and Chairman of the Board | Jungle Disk
Jenna Saucedo-Herrera | President & CEO | San Antonio Economic Development Foundation

Garbage In Garbage Out: Why Data Quality Matters

Research shows inaccurate data has a direct impact on the bottom line of 88% of companies, with the average company losing 12% of its revenue as a result. And even though a company may have spent millions on a top-of-the-line ERP system, it’s meaningless if the data that feeds it is false. During this session, learn what financial data is critical to enterprise success and how to root out the bad numbers.

Brian Foster | Audit Partner | KPMG

Analytics 4.0 for Financial Executives
Tomorrow's CFO

Digitization/digital transformation and industry 4.0 are being implemented in forward-thinking companies as well as companies who are seriously affected by new entrants/competitors that are ahead in digital business.  What if CFOs can benefit from very advanced analytics? Analytics 4.0 will. change the way financial professionals advise businesses and the way they attain financial and operational improvements. Gain insight from this panel as they share their journey through digital transformation and what it means for finance.

James Rice | VP, Customer Solutions | Greenlight Technologies Inc.


12:20 pm – 1:20 pm

Networking Luncheon in Exhibit Hall


1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

General Session | The C-Suite of the Future
Political uncertainty, digital disruption, increasing regulatory complexity, and a rapidly changing business climate is changing the role of C-level financial executives.  They are expected to become a more strategic business partner, leading the development of new business models and contributing to performance and growth. Are you up to the challenge?  Join fellow attendees as our expert panel share some of the strategies they have developed to ready themselves and their organizations in response to changing conditions.

Linda Zukauckas | EVP, Deputy CFO | American Express

Janet Clark | EVP and CFO | Marathon Oil Corporation
Jeffrey Curtiss | Board Member, KBR | FEI Houston Chapter Member
Leslie Seidman | Director | Moody's Corporation


2:40 pm – 3:30 pm

4 tracks available - please choose 1 during registration:
Finance Skills, How Texas Does It, Technology, & Tomorrow's CFO

Implementing the New Lease Accounting Standard: Practical Tips on Technology, Data Gathering and Operationalizing the Change
Finance Skills

The new lease accounting standard adoption date is getting closer every day, and the effort is proving significant for many companies. This is a true finance transformation project affecting nearly every department across an enterprise. Join RGP as they share lessons learned and best practices to help you select the right software for your business, efficiently gather your data, implement new processes and controls, and even secure an ROI out of this compliance project.
Michael Allen | Partner, National Transaction Advisory Services | RGP
Shauna Watson | Vice President, Head of Global Technical Accounting Services | RGP

It’s a Big Deal: How to Effectively Manage Costs in Texas M&A
How Texas Does It

In Texas it’s all about the deal – it has to be a win-win for both parties. M&A transactions are complicated and often costly. Proper planning is critical to managing costs and creating a positive outcome. Whether you are the acquiring company or the target in an M&A transaction, there are many issues that should be addressed.

John Willding | Corporate and Securities Partner | Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

Technology Lab - Hands On Experience

Learn from some of the vendors that have presented to FEI’s CFIT Committee. This “Speed Dating” type of format will feature short presentations, interactive dialogue from various technology vendors and solution providers.  Attendees will have the opportunity to move around the room and learn about new technologies. What better way to understand solutions to your problems than to have an expert show you how to solve complex issues and give you the opportunity to try it for yourself.

Dennis Cail | VP Sales Enablement | Trintech
Carolyn Newman | President | Audimation Services, Inc. (Caseware)
Joe Oringel | Managing Director | Visual Risk IQ (Tableau)
Patrick Taylor | President and CEO | Oversight Systems

Hunting for Black Swans: The Financial Risks No One is Watching
Tomorrow's CFO

Whether it’s financial, political or environmental, there are myriad risks that senior-level financial executives need to consider and plan for when managing a balance sheet. What are the black and grey swan events that risk experts consider the most disruptive and how can you prepare for them.

Andrew Blau | Managing Director, Risk & Financial Advisory | Deloitte
Patricia Buckley | Managing Director for Economic Policy and Analysis | Deloitte


3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Networking Break in Exhibit Hall


4:10 pm – 5:05 pm

General Session | Houston Strong 
Last August, Houston was hit by catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Highways were flooded with as much of 10 feet of water and in some downtown areas the water was knee-deep. The breadth and intensity of Hurricane Harvey was beyond anything Houston had ever experienced. More than 30,000 people were forced from their homes and at least 16,000 rescues were performed.

Knowing that so many people were being displaced from their homes, local mattress store owner, Jim McIngvale, known locally as "Mattress Mack," opened his company's two showrooms as makeshift shelters. As the flooding began, McIngvale invited those in need to seek shelter with him and sent out delivery trucks to help rescue people who were stranded.

Just as Hurricane Harvey destroyed homes, separated people from their pets and spiraled into the largest natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina, Best Friends Animal Society mobilized to join the relief efforts. The Best Friends team rescued stranded animals, delivered supplies to hard-hit shelters, drove displaced pets to safety and supported emergency sheltering efforts.

Join us as Andrej Suskavcevic, CAE, CEO and President of Financial Executives International shares his insight into the qualities that define personal excellence, and honor two hometown Houston heroes who emerged during Hurricane Harvey, businessman and philanthropist James McIngvale, and Gregory Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society. Both will share their excellence in leadership lessons regarding their efforts during the storm.

Andrej Suskavcevic | President and CEO | Financial Executives International
Gregory Castle | CEO Emeritus | Best Friends Animal Society
Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale | Owner | Gallery Furniture


5:05 pm - 6:30 pm

Evening Networking Reception in Exhibit Hall


Tuesday, May 22

7:00 am – 2:00 pm



7:30 am - 8:20 am 

4 Breakfast Sessions available – 1 CPE credit each

On the Edge of Chaos: 2018 Currency Market Outlook
Sponsored by Cambridge Global Payments
In the space between order and disorder lies an area that scientists often call the "edge of chaos" – a region in which the smallest change can have large and unpredictable consequences. In this presentation, explore the financial, technological and social changes that are triggering the most tumultuous changes in the economic and political order since the end of the Cold War – while pushing currency markets toward the tipping point.

Karl Schamotta | Director, Global Product and Market Strategy, Hedging Solution | Cambridge Global Payments

“Hitting Refresh” – A revelation of finding new energy, new ideas and transforming ourselves to be relevant in the world of technology
Sponsored by Microsoft
Have you struggled to find new energy, new ideas in this ever changing environment? As technology changes and we have the challenge of doing more with less: how do we stay afloat without feeling left behind…we must “Hit Refresh”. What exactly does hitting refresh mean when we are expect to keep moving at 100mph? Hitting refresh means that we must learn to lead in a changing environment; rediscover our mission and gain new momentum. We have to inspire others to be better and help them imagine that we can build a better future together. Inspired by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella “Hit Refresh” .

LaRonnda Berry | Senior Finance Manager, Compliance | Microsoft

How Private Company Financial Reporting Teams Accomplish More with Less
Sponsored by Workiva
The most successful financial reporting teams are able to gather data from multiple systems to deliver accurate reports. By leveraging smarter reporting tools, they enable boards, investors and executives to make decisions faster and with greater confidence.

Join this session to learn how to improve your reporting processes and:

  • reduce the time and energy required to collect and aggregate data from multiple source systems;
  • automate and streamline reporting to mitigate the risks of manual spreadsheet-based processes, such as errors, broken links and outdated information;
  • reduce the time needed to create quality presentations and financial reports for investors, auditors and board; and
  • hear how other organizations implemented technology to modernize their internal controls and financial reporting processes.

Joseph Howell | Co-founder and EVP, Strategic Initiatives | Workiva, Inc.

Evolving the Office of Finance. Why?
Sponsored by Prophix
A frequent hot topic in finance is how and why the Office of Finance needs to evolve, but, what does this mean? This presentation outlines why CFOs need to build and lead a high-performing finance teams to drive growth across all functions/areas of the business.

Ken Lavoie | Senior Vice President, Sales and Channels | Prophix


8:30 am - 8:40 am

Opening Remarks


8:40 am – 9:45 am

Morning Keynote Address
Leadership Under Adversity

Scott Parazynski
U.S. Astronaut | NASA

Retired NASA Astronaut and 7-time space walker, Dr. Parazynski has spoken all over the world about the rigors, risks and rewards of exploration in extreme environments, deriving important lessons in teamwork, risk management and leadership under the most demanding circumstances, on or off the planet.  Taking lessons from the transformation happening in finance, Dr. Parazynski will demonstrate the power of challenging environments as a catalyst for disruptive innovation.  He will relate his experience as a Tech CEO and entrepreneur-innovator working with highly multidisciplinary teams, discussing the importance of culture of innovation for long terms gains.


9:50 am – 10:20 am

Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall


10:30 am – 11:20 am

4 tracks available - please choose 1 during registration:
Finance Skills, How Texas Does It, Technology, & Tomorrow's CFO

Tax Reform for Private Companies
Finance Skills

The recent tax reform bill is commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017. This session will help attendees understand the implications, challenges and opportunities for private companies.

Mark Borden | Private Company Services Tax Leader | PwC
Mark Nash | Partner, Personal Financial Services | PwC

How to Disrupt Without Being Disruptive: Competing in the Austin Technology Boom
How Texas Does It

Touted as the next Silicon Valley, Austin has seen enormous economic growth as new technology firms create the next great platform. Gain insight into how these companies were not only able to disrupt a local economy, but fend off global disruption.

Dave Perry | COO | XOR Inc.

Cybersecurity is Not Cyber Resilience

While cybersecurity focuses on near-term threats and operational responses, a business’s ability to identify, prevent, detect and respond while minimizing customer harm, reputational damage and financial loss is the realm of cyber resilience. Learn from leading industry experts on how to build a robust cyber resilience program.

Mark Simos | Lead Architect, Enterprise Cybersecurity Group | Microsoft

Critical Thinking in Critical Conditions: How Finance is Changing Forever
Tomorrow's CFO

Critical thinking – the ability to analyze, reason and evaluate information – is a key trait of leadership and core competency in the accounting and finance profession. But these skills are not easy to come by and even harder to learn. In this session, you will hear from industry experts about how to hone your critical thinking skills and apply them to your job each day.

Srikant Nagaraj | Partner, Assurance Services | Ernst & Young LLP



11:20 am – 12:20 Pm

Closing Keynote Address
Future Forces: Insights for Navigating Uncertainty in the Connected Age

Seth Mattison | Co-Founder and Chief Movement Officer | Luminate Labs

We are entering the greatest period of global transformation the world has ever known. These tectonic changes are enabled by rapidly evolving technology and destabilizing demographic changes. The rigid business models and long-standing rules we’ve come to count upon for centuries are no longer reliable and are proving inefficient or ineffective against many of today’s most pressing challenges. This constant state of disruption mandates a new level of professional courage and influence in order to effectively impact our organizations and those around us.

How has leadership, strategy, curating and shaping culture changed in the Connected Age? How can we use knowledge and connectivity to manage vast amounts of information, maximize organizational relationships, and optimize talent utilization creating competitive advantages in an increasingly uncertain global economy?

Our closing session will challenge conventional leadership thinking while introducing the super trends shaping the Future of Work. Supported with cutting edge research and category leading case studies Seth will prepare audience participants to be able to compete and thrive in the new world of work.


12:20 pm – 1:30 pm

Networking Luncheon in Exhibit Hall


1:35 pm – 4:30 pm

Post-Conference Workshops
Additional registration and fees required.


IPsP Integral Psychological Profile Assessment Leadership Workshop
3.5 CPE credits | Additional $275 registration fee required
Dennis Rebelo, Ph.D. | Chief Learning Officer | Financial Executives International

The IPsP™ is on line assessment which measures eight core competencies: leadership, creativity, adaptability, organization, receptivity, exploration, discrimination and communication. It can help you define and/or refine your career objectives, select a course of study, develop a personal strategy for self-development and understand your specific problem-solving style. It can also be used for analyzing a team’s strengths and weaknesses as part of a group study, as a placement tool for better job satisfaction, as a training tool for enhancing competencies and as a recruitment tool across all management levels and functions.

IPsP™ has been used by people in all walks and stages of life to better understand their competencies, motivation and degree of psychological trait balance. It has also been employed successfully within corporations for human resource development and recruiting, as well as within educational institutions for more effective curriculum development.

Attend this interactive workshop to gain insight into your core competencies. Prior to the workshop, attendees will receive a link to the IPsP™ delivered to your email inbox. The web-based assessment can be completed in about 30 minutes in the privacy of your home or office. A profile report will be emailed directly to you, which you may share with your IPsP™ instructor, or, interpret during the workshop. Your assessment is unique to you. You’ll be able to bring your IPSP™ report to the workshop providing you an opportunity to ask any questions, quietly reflect upon it in the workshop community of leaders or even share parts of your report with others. During the workshop, your IPsP™ instructor will work with you to help you understand your competencies so you can develop a plan to develop and enhance your competencies to help you attain your full potential. Register for this eye-opening experience and understand what makes you tick, what’s holding you back, and how to unlock tools to move you self forward.

Solidifying Your Role as a CFO Using Data Analytics
3.5 CPE credits | Additional $99 registration fee required
Dale Tuttle | Partner | Withum Digital
John Tate | Data Scientist and Power BI | Withum

Technology is constantly changing…becoming more powerful, cost effective, and pervasive. There is a major focus on data-driven decision making and creating the modern, data-driven enterprise. Every industry is being impacted; finance is not immune; data technologies are transforming how financial executives work and fundamentally changing how businesses operate.

In order to stay ahead of these changes, financial executives need to understand the current trends and capabilities of modern data technologies. This session will cover (and demonstrate) current trends and capabilities of modern, cloud-based data analytics tools and offer practical guidance on how to take advantage of these capabilities. This course will also investigate how cloud-based technologies are influencing current trends and what to consider when evaluating cloud-based tools. Finally, we will investigate how Artificial Intelligence, often called Machine Learning, can transform the finance industry.

Gain knowledge on current trends and capabilities in the world of data analytics, including potential issues to consider in terms of data security and storage with modern cloud-based technologies. Understanding current trends as well as the practical concepts associated with analytics will help you leverage these technologies to improve business performance. Participants will see actual demonstrations of these capabilities and see how their organizations can quickly use data to make better decisions.


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