Renaissance Schaumburg, Chicago, Illinois
October 15-17th, 2017

This event is co-located with

Renaissance Schaumburg, Chicago IL
October 15-17th, 2017

Educational Program

Our compelling educational program is led by a steering committee of experienced CFOs. The steering committee provides us with their first hand insights and we build a program that reflects these experiences, challenges and opportunities.

If you’re interested in joining the Connect CFO Leadership Summit Steering Committee or speaking at the summit please email jennyholman@quartzb2b.com

CPE Credit is available for this program, see link for more details.

Please note that the educational program will be updated regularly

Keynote Presentations

Solve these 5 Team Challenges and Transform your Business

SPEAKERS

Lyle Wells
National Director of Leadership Processes, Flippen Group

Details

Solve these 5 Team Challenges and Transform your Business

We are all in the people business, and we know that in every industry people are our business. We also know that when people work together there is an exponential impact on the mission and production of the organization. Identifying talent is often the easiest part of our job, connecting and maximizing that talent is the key. In this session we will look at the 5 most significant team challenges and share ways to engage these issues and solve them to create dynamic teams and extraordinary outcomes.

 
Key Takeaways:
  • Dealing with Contentious Teams / Teammates
  • Navigating Change Initiatives
  •  Accelerating the Effectiveness of New Teams / New Leaders
  • High Potentials Development
  • Optimizing High Functioning Teams
 
*CPE Credit-Participants will be able to identify the 5 most significant team challenges and share ways to engage these issues and solve them to create dynamic teams and extraordinary outcomes.. Field of Study: Personnel/HR

 

Keynote Panel: Organizational Culture as a Competitive Advantage

SPEAKERS

Moderator: Tamara Heimonen
Associate Director, HR Research & Advisory Services, McLean & Company

Details

Judy Edge
Corporate Vice President, Human Resources, FedEx Corporation

Details

Shawn Bryant
Vice President, Finance - North American and EMEA Payroll Operations at American Express, American Express

Details

Keynote Panel: Organizational Culture as a Competitive Advantage

This panel of top level executives will come together to address and discuss how to develop and foster a company culture by using recognition, reward, transparency and compensation versus replicating the hot culture of the moment. The attendees will hear a dynamic discussion coming from the point of views of both an HR executive and VP of Finance.

Breakout Presentations

What is Going on with Healthcare Costs?

SPEAKERS

David Jones
CFO, AMITA Health

Details

What is Going on with Healthcare Costs?

Healthcare benefits costs are a significant portion of any company's expense base, and controlling these costs needs to be part of any financial strategy. Understanding the mechanisms that drive healthcare costs is vital when establishing a strategy to control costs.

 

Key Takeaways:
• How the healthcare finances really work from the perspective of the provider
• The current environment and how it is influencing insurance companies
• How existing and proposed legislation will impact healthcare benefit costs
• Actions available to maintain control over rising healthcare benefit costs

 

*CPE Credit-Participants will be able to describe the current state of business related healthcare and key strategies to make sure your organization is running optimally with it. Field of Study: Economics

The Softer Side of Finance - Improving the Soft Skills of Your Team

SPEAKERS

S. Cash Nickerson
President and CFO, PDS Tech, Inc.

Details

The Softer Side of Finance - Improving the Soft Skills of Your Team

Finance, accounting, systems and risk management are technical skills. Superior service to other company constituents and positive internal results require mastery of soft skills. This presentation will help you boost your skills as a leader and promote an environment that improves the ability of your team to work with others.

 
Key Takeaways:
  • What are soft skills and why do they matter?
  • Soft skills in technical environments can be especially challengin
  • Soft skills like listening are trainable
  • How you lead around these skills defines the cultures respect for these skills
  • Practical periodic exercises with your team can boost value perception of other organization constituents
  • Use of and respect for information produced by your team will be boosted by enhancing soft skill performance
  • Those with better soft skills lead organizations

 

*CPE Credit-Participants will be able to describe three reasons why soft skills can benefit your business performance. Field of Study: Social Env of Business

Beyond the Financials: Mining Your Internal Data to Make Better Decisions

SPEAKERS

C. Brett Burford
Chief Financial Officer, Eyemart Express, LLC

Details

Beyond the Financials: Mining Your Internal Data to Make Better Decisions

Top Finance organizations now support a wide range of critical decision making, beyond budgeting and forecasting. The best Finance functions are providing true business analysis, supporting such decisions as pricing, promotions, media mix, and site selection. I’ll discuss how Eyemart Express mined its internal data to move from "gut" based choices to analytically rigorous decision making, guided by Finance, and share some specific examples of the resulting analyses.

 
Key Takeaways:
  • Finance should be seen as the analytical thought leader in your organization
  • Most companies have a LOT of internal data (beyond just financial) buried in their systems, to support this kind of decision making; partnering with your IT team is essential in trying to locate, manipulate and analyze this data
  • Develop your internal team capabilities, but don't be afraid to leverage outside subject matter experts
  • We're not all statisticians or database gurus.
  • Look for areas that are ripe for more structured, analytical decision making, and work for small wins before trying to completely overhaul the decision making process.
  • You will probably find that your organization is hungry for this kind of support, and your business partners will start beating a path to your door.

 

*CPE Credit-Participants will be able to list three different types of non-financial internal data and how it can be used to leverage better results. Field of Study: Business Mgmt and Org

Looking for Fraud

SPEAKERS

Paul Feltman
Chief Financial Officer, Casino Del Sol

Details

Looking for Fraud

All businesses are susceptible to fraud and fraud can come in many forms. Whether it is skimming from a register or stealing inventory, companies need to be aware of the frauds that can occur in their organization and how to detect and prevent them from happening.
 
Key Takeaways:
  • What is fraud?
  • Why people commit fraud? What is the fraud triangle?
  • What are the various controls that should be put in place (preventative, detective, corrective)?
  • Why should I care about fraud?

 

*CPE Credit-Participants will be prepared for cases of fraud by being able to identity at least three controls to prevent it. Field of Study: Management Adv Services

Working Capital Management: How to Become a Cash Machine

SPEAKERS

Tom Stewart
Executive Director, National Center for the Middle Market

Details

Working Capital Management: How to Become a Cash Machine

The vast majority of middle market companies are very satisfied by their management of working capital--and are wrong. Data show huge opportunities to do better to release hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash now tied up in receivables and inventories, or paid out too quickly. The sums are eye-openingly large--as we'll demonstrate--and the path to improvement is not as rocky as people think.


Key Takeaways:
• Most companies "satisfice" with a low level of working capital management
• Benchmarking against public company data can easily reveal how big it is for your company
• Even a few days' improvement in AP, AP, and inventory can free up hundreds of thousands--or more--of cash
• Changes in incentives and processes can have an impact quickly



*CPE Credit-Participants will identify how changes in incentives and processes can impact your cash flow. Field of Study: Accounting

 

The CFO's role in ERP System Projects

SPEAKERS

Glen Elias
CFO, RK Mechanical

Details

The CFO's role in ERP System Projects

ERP Systems (Enterprise Resource Planning) projects can impact the strategic plans of companies for years to come. What is the role CFO's must play in ensuring these projects achieve the goals of the organization? Glen Elias will speak about his experiences on several large ERP conversions.

Key Takeaways:
What Role should the CFO play in:
• Selection of software
• Development
• Implementation
• Other considerations



*CPE Credit-Participants will describe how a finance leader should lead an ERP installation for optimal results. Field of Study: Specialized Knw and Apps
 

Leading Financial Transformation Success

SPEAKERS

Jeffrey L. Bissell, CPA
Chief Financial Officer and Treasure, NMG Areospace

Details

Leading Financial Transformation Success

Taking the finance function from basic reporting to value creation requires a strategy of constant improvement, feedback and involvement in all operations of the business. Rapidly evolving market demands, constant technological advancements, and changes in operations have created a challenging environment for organizations of all types and sizes. Financial and accounting departments are particularly hard hit by these changes, making successful transformations more challenging.

 
Key Takeaways:
  • Accountability -- clear lines to achieve the goals that lead to success
  • Communications -- creating a common language and framework
  • System conversions -- sweating the details
  • Develop an automation mindset to drive improvement
  • Feedback - no substitute for another perspective

 

*CPE Credit-Participants will identify three ways how a finance leader can lead the organization in more than just finances in the ever-evolving market. Field of Study: Personal Development

Visualizing Existing Data

SPEAKERS

Mark Pritchard
Chief Financial Officer, Data-Mail inc

Details

Visualizing Existing Data

Our organization has a wealth of useful data, badly structured & held in disparate clunky systems. Using modern software, connected to existing data presented through MS Power BI we have been able to provide managers with useful insights into their areas, improving performance & profit.
 
Key Takeaways: 
  • Information already exists  
  • Restructuring the data unlocks its potential
  • Modern software tools are robust & efficient
  • Publishing views of the data using Power BI is easy
  • CFOs ability to draw insights from the data is where we fit in

 

*CPE Credit-Participants will describe how to restructure existing data using modern tools to unlock its potential within the organization. Field of Study: Finance

 

Making Your Company

SPEAKERS

Jim Sorboro
CFO, Phillips & Temro Industries

Details

Making Your Company

Much like being "Audit Ready" (being operationally prepared for a quality audit at any time), "Sale Ready" means being in a perpetual state of readiness to put your company through the sales process. This means identifying key components of that process early, and building an internal structure that sustains these components.

Key Takeaways:
  • Start early (ideally years before a sales process)
  • Build basic financial reporting that is clear and consistent
  • Identify key documents and organize on-going retention
  • Develop/Understand the strategic "story" and build supporting metrics and analytics

 

*CPE Credit-Participants will be able to list at least three ways to organize your finances to always be ready to sell. Field of Study: Business Mgmnt and Org

Going Beyond Financial Borders to Drive Growth

SPEAKERS

Madhav Srinivasan
Chief Financial Officer, Hunton and Williams LLP

Details

Going Beyond Financial Borders to Drive Growth

Financial executives typically focus on internal financial processes, operations and analysis. But Finance understands both high level strategy and operational details, so can actively increase revenue and profit growth in the organization. Using a live case study, we’ll discuss how to extend the traditional borders of Finance; and the benefit of such efforts.
 
Key Takeaways:
  • A framework for Finance's central role
  • Navigating change-resistance in an evolving industry
  • How to spot and leverage trigger points
  • Do's and don'ts of engaging outside the perimeter
 
R&D Credits and Employment Incentives: Cash Savings in 2017

SPEAKERS

Stephanie Banuelos
WOTC Practice Leader, Corporate Tax Incentives

Details

Mark Echols
R&D Practice Leaders, Corporate Tax Incentives

Details

R&D Credits and Employment Incentives: Cash Savings in 2017

Many companies are aware of tax credits, but unaware of recent changes and new methodologies that increase benefit and simplify implementation. For example, R&D credits can now offset payroll tax and hiring tax credits can be screened over the phone - no paperwork. CTI will share a pragmatic overview of credits available and our process and technology. 

 
Key Takeaways:
  • What qualifies for the R&D tax credit and net benefit
  • What qualifies for WOTC – the credit for hiring employees – and net benefit
  • Recent changes to the credits: include more taxpayers, increase benefit, simplify implementation
  • Process to successfully capture, document, and sustain the credits

 

*CPE Credit-Participants will describe how the recent changes and new methodologies in the tax credit world can be leveraged to simplify the whole process. Field of Study: Taxes

Doing Business in the New China -- Risk or Reward?

SPEAKERS

Matt Jiang
Chief Financial Officer, Creata

Details

Doing Business in the New China -- Risk or Reward?

How to adapt to the new business environment in peoples' Republic of China? What is the risk versus reward?

 

Key Takeaway:

  • Pros vs. Cons of doing business in China
  • Legal ramification of international firms in China
  • How to avoid risk in China
  • Why we still have much to gain from China
Cultural Shift - The Evolution of the Role of CFO

SPEAKERS

Chris Brophy
CFO, VP, MGM Resorts International

Details

Cultural Shift - The Evolution of the Role of CFO

Over the past several years, the role of the Business unit CFO at MGM Resorts has changed dramatically.  As many companies are seeing, moving from the traditional, detailed technical accounting transaction focused role, to a Strategic Partner that can support and drive Innovation and Continuous Improvement at MGM Resorts; the CFO has had to adapt and evolve to help fully enable the company's cultural shift.  But done successfully, this shift can have dramatic positive impacts on the bottom line. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The Role of the CFO in Change Initiatives
  • Accelerating Innovation and Change by Leveraging the Finance Organization
  • Balancing the need for financial control with financial leadership
  • Supporting cultural change through adaptation
Executive Session Planning: Taking the Perspective of the CEO and Board of Directors

SPEAKERS

Terri Hartwell Easter
Principal, T.H. Easter Consulting, LLC

Details

Executive Session Planning: Taking the Perspective of the CEO and Board of Directors

Terri Hartwell Easter, Principal of T.H. Easter Consulting management consultancy, will discuss executive succession planning through a corporate risk management lens highlighting the role the senior leader responsible for talent management.

According to a recent American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) Survey, only 14% of participants feel that their organizations have competent leaders in the pipeline. Given this pervasive leadership deficit, Easter will examine how star performers can be identified and developed into senior leaders and how quickly that development can happen.

The session will also touch upon:

·         how to assess and articulate current and future organizational capabilities and requirements, including how to set or reset key organizational leadership competencies.  

·         diverse approaches for assessing current leaders with an eye to aligning business strategy (current and future) and organizational capabilities with talent requirements;

·          how to effectively communicate an executive succession plan internally and externally; and

·          a review of new tools for succession planning management, including assessment protocols.

How to Maximize your ERP Selection and Negotiation

SPEAKERS

Mehdi Aftahi
CTO, Technology Evaluation Centers

Details

How to Maximize your ERP Selection and Negotiation

Selecting the right ERP solution is key to improve business productivity and make the growth plans viable. TEC is a trusted Global Consulting and Advisory firm with your best interests as the top priority. We'll share our insight and resources to show you a structured and easy to follow roadmap for a successful software selection project, clarifying your Total Cost of Ownership and leverage the details for negotiations.
 

Key Takeaways:
• Use TEC's structured easy to follow approach to Software Selection
• Get hands-on expert advice to lead, coach and support your evaluation from our delivery and analyst team
• Use TEC databases of product and vendor capabilities to compare vendors
• Find out how to score the deciding factors in your evaluation
• Build consensus among the stakeholders
• Create an audit trail, leveraging the details for your due diligence selection and negotiation
• Build clarity and protection into the contracts


*CPE Credit-Participants will be able describe how ERP selection is crucial to business productivity and action steps toward selecting the right one for your organization. Field of Study: Specialized Knw and Apps

Robotic Process Automation for the Financial Close

SPEAKERS

Susan Parcells
Senior Director of Finance Transformation, Blackline.

Details

Robotic Process Automation for the Financial Close

By standardizing and automating global processes, RPA is changing the way business is done. In context of the Financial Close, the emergence of “smart” robots enables the automation and handling of rote, transactional, and time-consuming tasks. Now, skilled employees are free to refocus on innovation and analysis, and to be more strategic. RPA embedded within your processes can provide a simplified, standardized, and intelligently automated financial close, and improve balance sheet integrity.

 

*CPE Credit-Participants will be able to describe how "smart" robots can enable employees to refocus on innovation and analysis. Field of Study: Computer Science