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Technology for Finance Leaders


Agenda topics, timing and speakers subject to change.


Monday, June 17

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Welcome Reception
Sponsored by  
American Express

Kick off your Financial Technology Conference experience at the Welcome Reception. Enjoy some food and drinks, network with your peers, and get access to some of the exhibitors you’ve been waiting to meet.


Tuesday, June 18

7:45 am - 8:15 am

Registration and Breakfast


8:15 am – 8:30 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Bridgette Link | General Manager, Finance Business Intelligence | Microsoft Corporation
Andrej Suskavcevic | President & CEO | Financial Executives International (FEI)


8:30 am – 9:20 am

Achieving Your Strategic Goals: Leveraging your IT Department
Execution is the key to any strategy, and the best team to execute anything will always leverage their strongest and most experienced players to their advantage over the competition. A properly leveraged CIO and IT department helps you achieve your strategic goals. When a great CIO is leveraged properly, it is like having LeBron James on your team. Unfortunately, far too many organizations have essentially benched their CIOs by not fully engaging them in the strategy. Learn how to transform your organization through alignment -- transforming your IT department to play well with finance.

Heather Cole | Executives Coach/Business Analytics Advisor | Lodestar Solutions and Heatherized, Inc.


9:20 am – 10:10 am

Finance Transformation and Transforming People
Transformation seems to be everywhere and finance organizations are challenged to provide high quality, transparent, decision useful information faster and with increasing accuracy. Finance employees are learning about and developing new skills that crossover into IT, including scrum and agile methodologies. This panel of financial leaders will discuss what “people skills” CFOs, controllers and finance directors should seek as they embark on their transformation project.

Margaret Merritt | Partner, Financial Accounting Advisory Services | Ernst & Young, LLP

Chris Deery | Global Process Owner, Finance | Cargill
Steve Howarth | Vice President Global Finance Operations | Medtronic Enterprise
Kevin McBride | Vice President of Finance, Principal Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller | Intel Corporation
Sam Peterson | Principal, Americas Digital Leader, FAAS | Ernst & Young LLP


10:10 am – 10:40 am

Networking Break


10:40 am – 11:30 am

Preparing for the Inevitable Cyber Security Attack
Each new data breach highlights the challenge a company faces in securing personal information and confidential information. In our age of information, data is often one of the most valuable assets of a company. This session will address steps companies are taking regarding cyber security, with a focus on real-life scenarios. The panel of subject matter experts, including a member of the US Secret Service, will take questions and comments from the audience, and offer practical perspectives from information security, compliance and law (US, Canada and EU), risk and insurance and law enforcement perspectives.

Mary Frantz | Founder and Managing Partner | Enterprise Knowledge Partners
Melissa Krasnow | Partner | VLP Law Group LLP
Bridget Sakach | Network Security & Privacy Specialist - Midwest Region | AIG
Joe Scargill | U.S. Secret Special Agent in Charge | U.S. Secret Service, Minneapolis Field Office


11:30 am – 12:20 pm

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – It’s not a Destination; It’s a Journey
As companies begin their own Robotic Process Automation (RPA) journey, the focus at first should be on defining their vision and then determining the right tools to help get them there. And while RPA technology can speed up organizational processes, the bots cannot fix broken processes; at least not yet. This session will review some tips for a seamless RPA implementation process for more immediate tangible results.

Scott Szalony | Partner, Audit & Assurance | Deloitte & Touche LLP


12:20 pm – 1:20 pm

Networking Luncheon
Sponsored by  
American Express


1:20 pm – 2:10 pm

Data Privacy Beyond GDPR
Companies scrambled last year to incorporate the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into their data privacy processes. Now those same data privacy concerns are finding their way into U.S. state and federal regulations. Today as cyber breaches become more prevalent and result in ever-increasing loss, financial executives need to go beyond the regulations to discover best practices that will protect corporate data along with their customer’s valuable information.

Mary Frantz | Founder and Managing Partner | Enterprise Knowledge Partners
Melissa Krasnow | Partner | VLP Law Group LLP
Bridget Sakach | Network Security & Privacy Specialist - Midwest Region | AIG


2:10 pm – 3:00 pm

Transforming the Finance Organization
Finance organizations are faced with a number of a challenges such as cost-reduction, improving efficiency, increased complexity of internal & external reporting requirements - to name a few. This has prompted companies to take a closer look at their Finance Organization’s existing operating model in order to identify ways to streamline and standardize processes with a specific focus on managed services and leveraging technology and automation. During this session, gain insight into best practices that are being followed by today’s Finance Organizations as they embark upon their transformation journey.

Jill Niland
| Partner | PwC
Edward Ponagai | Partner/Principal, Finance Consulting Practice | PwC


3:00 pm – 3:20 pm

Networking Break


3:20 pm – 4:10 pm

Vulnerability to the Inside Threat: Corporate Landscapes Vs. Control Processes
The Inside Threat can be devastating. According to a recent Ponemon Institute study, the total average cost of an inside breach is $8.76 million. Worse yet, the inside threat continues to grow with various reports showing the insider is responsible for anywhere between 60% and 80% of breaches. Part of the problem is that as your corporate landscape shifts to a mix of on-premise and cloud applications, your control processes do not. This session breaks down the recent technology trends that have compliance considerations while show you how to achieve consistent, efficient and effective internal controls across the enterprise.

James Rice
| Vice President, Customer Solutions | Greenlight Technologies


4:10 pm – 5:00 pm

The Art of the Possible – How democratization of technology is key to economic growth & productivity
Technology innovation has historically been key to sustained improvement in productivity and wealth creation. Today we are seeing unprecedented levels of technology innovation (e.g. cloud, AI, IoT), yet productivity growth has been below 1% for the last decade. This talk will explore this paradox and offer insight into the importance of tech intensity and the mechanisms by which technology can drive sustained productivity improvement in your business through data feedback loops.

Ravi Atreya
| Director, Corporate Strategy Cloud and AI | Microsoft Corporation


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