Agenda

Nov
07
01:00 PM — 02:00 PM
Opening Remarks
Gary Shamis
CEO, Winding River Consulting
Gary Shamis
CEO, Winding River Consulting

Gary Shamis is a highly experienced and accomplished business advisor, entrepreneur, and Certified Public Accountant with over 40 years of experience in the accounting and consulting industries. As the Managing Director of Winding River Consulting, Gary provides strategic guidance and support to accounting firms, helping them navigate the complex challenges of the modern business landscape.

Throughout his career, Gary has worked with hundreds of accounting firms across the United States, ranging from small local practices to large international organizations. He has a deep understanding of the challenges facing the industry, and has helped countless firms overcome those challenges and achieve long-term success.

Gary is a recognized thought leader in the industry and a frequent speaker at industry events. He has authored numerous articles and publications on topics related to accounting firm management, leadership, and growth. He is passionate about helping accounting firms achieve their full potential and has dedicated his career to this mission.

Prior to founding Winding River Consulting, Gary was a co-founder of SS&G, a top 50 accounting and consulting firm, where he served as Managing Partner for over 30 years. Under his leadership, the firm grew from a small local practice to a regional powerhouse with multiple offices and a diverse portfolio of clients.

Gary is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Akron.

With his extensive knowledge, experience, and passion for the industry, Gary has earned a reputation as a trusted advisor and mentor to accounting firm leaders across the country. He works closely with his clients to develop customized strategies that drive growth and profitability, and he is committed to helping accounting firms thrive in the face of the challenges and opportunities of the modern business world.

Allan Koltin
CEO, Koltin Consulting
Allan Koltin
CEO, Koltin Consulting

Allan Koltin is a seasoned business advisor and consultant with over 30 years of experience in the accounting and consulting industries. As CEO of the Koltin Consulting Group, he leads a team of professionals who provide strategic guidance and support to accounting firms and their leaders.

Throughout his career, Allan has worked with hundreds of accounting firms, ranging from small local firms to large international organizations. He has helped these firms navigate complex business challenges, develop growth strategies, and improve operational efficiency.

An esteemed thought leader in the industry, Allan is a frequent speaker at industry events and has authored numerous articles and publications on topics related to accounting firm management and leadership. He is passionate about helping firms grow and succeed, and his insights and expertise have proven invaluable to countless clients throughout his career.

Prior to founding the Koltin Consulting Group, Allan was the CEO of PDI Global, a leading provider of consulting and training services to accounting firms. He also spent several years as a Partner with Deloitte, providing strategic consulting services to clients in a variety of industries.

Allan holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society.

With his extensive knowledge and experience, Allan has earned a reputation as a trusted advisor and mentor to accounting firm leaders across the country. He works closely with his clients to understand their unique challenges and goals, and develops customized solutions that drive growth and success.

10:30 AM — 11:15 AM
Pre-Conference Session 1
11:15 AM — 12:00 PM
Pre-Conference Session 2
02:00 PM — 03:00 PM
Keynote
03:15 PM — 04:15 PM
Managing Partner Panel
Larry Autrey
Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, Whitley Penn
Larry Autrey
Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, Whitley Penn

Larry Autrey, CPA, ABV and Managing Partner of Whitley Penn, has more than 30 years of tax, advisory and business valuation experience focused on public and private clients. His areas of practice include mergers and acquisitions, manufacturing, distribution, profit enhancement, professional services, business valuations and estate planning.

Larry Autrey Square
 

Professional Affiliations

Board Member, Texas Land Conservancy

Former Chairman, Cook Children’s Hospital

Former Board Member, Community Enrichment Center

Former Board Member, Community Foundation of North Texas

Former Chairman, ACH Child & Family Services Foundation – Board of Directors

Former Vice Chairman, ACH Child & Family Services – Board of Directors

Former National Advisory Board Member, BBVA Compass

Former Chairman, Tarrant County United Way – Alexis de Tocqueville Society

Former Chairman, Fort Worth Chapter Young Presidents Organization

Former Chairman, The Bridge Youth Shelter

Former Board Member & Assistant Treasurer, Child Study Center of Fort Worth

 

Professional Certifications

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)
 

Education

  • B.B.A. in Accounting – Texas Tech University
  • B.B.A. in Finance – Texas Tech University
  • M.B.A. in Data Analytics – Abilene Christian University
04:15 PM — 05:15 PM
Generations Panel
Lucia Venezuela
Chief Innovation Officer, James Moore
Lucia Venezuela
Chief Innovation Officer, James Moore

Lucia is the driving force behind the adoption of new technologies at our firm. She stays up to date on advancements and works with firm leadership to develop and implement strategic plans that align with our goal of enhancing the client and employee experience.

Lucia comes to James Moore with nearly a decade of experience and forward-thinking leadership in technology, public accounting and tax law matters. Her notable achievements included the market launch of revolutionary tax software and building a large specialty tax practice at a top 50 accounting firm. Lucia’s knowledge of technology, strategic partnerships, teambuilding, public accounting and tax law provides our firm with a new and unique perspective on client service and operations.

Outside of James Moore, Lucia is active in local bar associations and their respective boards. She also volunteers with Project Youth, Step-Up and other organizations focused on mentoring and empowering underprivileged youth in their journeys toward college.

Brandon Hall
Managing Partner, Hall CPA
Brandon Hall
Managing Partner, Hall CPA
I am a certified public accountant with more than eight years of experience in helping real estate investors and business owners build tax smart portfolios. I founded Hall CPA, a boutique accounting and consulting firm that specializes in serving the needs of the real estate industry. We have worked with more than 1,000 clients to provide candid, intelligent counsel and add value to their bottom line.
Drew Hendrickson
Shareholder and Cybersecurity Practice Leader, LBMC
Drew Hendrickson
Shareholder and Cybersecurity Practice Leader, LBMC
Drew Hendrickson, CPA, is Shareholder and Practice Leader of LBMC’s Cybersecurity practice. Hendrickson has more than 19 years of experience as a security professional helping clients manage risks in today’s ever evolving security landscape and building resiliency in their security programs to respond and get their business back up and running in the event of an incident.​ LBMC’s Cybersecurity practice offers security services in compliance, consulting and technical testing among others and focuses on Fortune 500 to mid-size enterprises in the healthcare, technology, retail, and manufacturing industries as well as the federal, state and local government space. Hendrickson has worked with the AICPA to lead and educate other CPA firms on best practices for SOC reporting and he has assisted in the development and delivery of training materials for cybersecurity courses. Hendrickson serves on several boards and committees with a focus on security and accounting education.
Nov
08
08:00 AM — 09:00 AM
Keynote
09:00 AM — 10:00 AM
CPO Panel
Danielle McCormick
CEO, Spiirall
Danielle McCormick
CEO, Spiirall

As the founder and CEO of Spiirall, Danielle’s role is to lift employees and leaders from where they are professionally to where they want to go. Using a proven approach developed through working with accounting firms throughout the country, she and her team are action-oriented client partners. The Spiirall team works together to identify and solve leadership underperformance, morale and turnover problems, lack of clarity in direction and goals, and constructive feedback needs. Managing these elements of the employer/employee puzzle leads to huge peace of mind and opens the door to explore exciting new ways to encourage and develop talent.

Danielle brings more than twenty years of experience in leadership training, culture development, and human resources consulting to her role, which she combines with a no-nonsense, yet infectious passion for developing talent.

After a few years of college, Danielle made the difficult decision to press pause on pursuing her degree to focus on raising her children. Danielle attributes much of her professional success to the training opportunities provided by her previous employers. She has personally been the beneficiary of exceptional training programs and is deeply committed to creating boundless opportunities for others through Spiirall’s learning experiences.

When not working with clients to change the employee experience in public accounting, Danielle can be found hiking, paddleboarding or playing outside in the Colorado sunshine with her husband Jordan and daughters Haley and Lauren.

Danielle lives in Loveland, Colorado where she shares an office with her dog Charley D. and cat Charlie C.

Erin Stahmer
Co-Founder & Chief People Officer, Ascend
Erin Stahmer
Co-Founder & Chief People Officer, Ascend

As a dancer turned “product person” turned “people person,” I firmly believe that each of us is on a personal journey to marry our passion, purpose, and highest potential. I’ve dedicated my career to helping individuals, teams, and organizations see new possibilities, clarify their vision, and realize their dreams. This personal passion is reflected in Ascend’s mission to honor and maintain the independence of the firms we partner with, while reimagining what’s possible and helping each other succeed through shared community and support.

My favorite Ascend value is “Bring the Sunshine.” While none of us can show up with 100% positivity every day, this value emphasizes our effort to explore creative solutions and to enjoy the journey with our colleagues just as much as we enjoy celebratory milestone moments.

I am grateful for the educational and professional experience that has led me to Ascend. In addition to studies at Columbia University (BA, Sustainable Development and Dance) and Stanford (MBA), I have built and scaled culture and strategy programs at Alpine Investors and have advised top C-suite leaders across private equity, hedge funds, and F500 companies on talent strategy, talent selection and the development of high performers as an executive at ghSMART.

I am a “West coaster” (from California) living out East (in Boston) with my husband and 14-pound cavapoo pup. On the weekends you can find me out on a run, catching up with a good friend on the phone, or dancing to music as I try a new healthy recipe in the kitchen.

10:15 AM — 11:15 AM
Embracing Your Leadership Style
11:15 AM — 12:00 PM
Key Takeaways