Professional Speaker Series

Offered Fall and Spring semesters, the Professional Speaker Series (ACG3802) is designed to expose students to technical topics and emerging issues in accounting, business, and in related professions such as law. Guest speakers will provide a practicing professional's insights regarding technical issues and concerns affecting the accounting profession. Some sessions will relate to professional career planning, and the speakers will discuss various specialty areas, unusual occupations, unique firm practice structures, or non-traditional career opportunities. Presentations are followed by a reception during which time students can interact one-on-one with the speaker and his or her associates.

Attendance is limited to those students who have registered for the course or have advanced approval from the course coordinator. The course may not be repeated.

Fall 2015

  • August 27, 2015

    Speaker Panel
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: Debunking Accounting Myths
    About the Speakers:

    • Jason Natt, Miami, CMAAS Partner
    • Lourdes Campo, Miami, Audit Associate
    • Nick Pinto, Atlanta, Audit Associate
    • Rhemila Barcia, New York, Tax Senior Associate
    • Sarah Anderson, Atlanta, Tax Partner
  • September 3, 2015

    Wade Weeks
    Grant Thornton
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: Professionalism

  • September 10, 2015

    Wendi Christensen and Robert Tache
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: Exploring Tax and the Service Lines Within
    About the Speakers:

    Wendi Christensen

    Wendi Christensen, CPA, is a tax partner in the Florida Business Tax Services Group of Deloitte Tax LLP ("Deloitte") and has 19 years of experience in public accounting. Wendi specializes in providing a variety of corporate tax consulting services to publicly and privately-held companies in many industries including energy, waste/environmental services, retail, travel, hospitality and leisure, and health care. Wendi has been actively involved in Deloitte's Women's Initiative ("WIN"), serving as a tax WIN leader for the Florida practice for the past ten years. Deloitte's WIN was founded in 1993 with the focus of the development and advancement of women. Currently, Wendi is the Tax Talent Leader for the East Region and has served in this role for the past two years. In this role, Wendi is responsible for setting strategy for recruiting, performance management, learning and development and well being, among other responsibilities involving attracting, advancement and retention of Deloitte's most valuable resource; its people.

    Robert Tache

    Robert is the Florida/San Juan Tax Managing Partner and an international tax partner in our Miami office with over twenty-five years of experience. Robert has deep experience delivering tax consulting, compliance and attest services to large, multinational public and private companies.

    Robert's extensive experience includes overseeing the delivery of international and domestic tax services related to a broad range of tax consulting and reporting issues, including assistance with mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, assistance with ASC 740 calculations, assistance with IRS audit issues, implementation of comprehensive tax strategies, and the implementation of various international tax planning strategies, including U.S. foreign tax credit, local country tax reduction, intellectual property strategies, cost sharing planning, repatriation planning and check-the-box planning, for U.S. and foreign-based multinational activities.

  • September 17, 2015

    Bob Feldmann and Gary Jenkins
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: Successful Communication in the Workplace
    "The Solo Cup Challenge: How do you stack up?"
    About the Speakers:

    Bob Feldmann
    National Public Sector Assurance Leader
    Miami, Florida

    Gary Jenkins
    Partner, Tax Service
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • September 24, 2015

    Joseph Canella, Kent Berry, Courtney Enright, and Brian Drum
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: TBA

  • October 1, 2015

    Brian Zophin
    Crowe Horwath
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: Opportunities in Public Accounting
    About the Speaker:

    Brian Zophin

    Brian has more than 16 years of audit experience and currently serves as the area lead for the general audit practice in the Tampa Bay region. His audit experience includes providing services to both public companies and private businesses ranging from start-ups to entities with $1 billion in revenues in the healthcare, technology, manufacturing, distribution, real estate, construction, hospitality, and restaurant industries. His experience includes assisting clients with public and private offerings, registration statements, employee benefit plan audits, agreed-upon procedures and internal controls projects.

    Prior to joining Crowe Horwath in 2014, Brian spent 7 years serving as an audit partner and audit regional service line leader for a large regional accounting firm where he had overall responsibility for the South Florida audit practice. From 1998 to 2007, Brian served as a senior manager with a "Big 4" accounting firm where he worked primarily on audit and attestation engagements in various industries including healthcare, manufacturing, distribution and hospitality.

  • October 29, 2015

    Phil Fretwell
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: Controlling the Risks of International Expansion
    About the Speaker:

    Phil Fretwell

    Phil Fretwell is a Managing Director with Protiviti and is responsible for Protiviti’s operations in Florida and Latin America. He has over 30 years of accounting, auditing and consulting experience, including 19 years in public accounting and 8 years as an audit partner. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Florida.

  • November 5, 2015

    Stephen Sonenshine
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: TBA
    About the Speaker:

    Stephen Sonenshine
    Transaction Advisory Services Partner

    Stephen is a partner in BDO's Transaction Advisory Services practice with more than 10 years of experience working with domestic and multinational clients advising on tax issues associated with mergers and acquisitions. He has worked with public and private companies, private equity sponsors and investors in preparing for and executing transactions ranging in value between $5 million and $5.5 billion.

    Stephen has extensive experience in providing buy-side and sell-side due diligence and structuring advice related to acquisitions and dispositions, while also advising on distressed company restructurings, entity rationalization, capital structure realignment and strategies to preserve tax attributes.

    His experience in advising on these transactions spans a variety of industries including: consumer products, home building, energy, real estate, finance / banking, health and life science and transportation/logistics.

    Prior to joining BDO, Stephen was a director in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Mergers and Acquisitions tax practice.

    Stephen is deeply involved in the community, lending his time and knowledge to professional and philanthropic organizations.

    American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants
    Association for Corporate Growth

    Masters in Accountancy, University of Georgia
    Bachelor of Science – Accounting, University of Florida


College Info

Warrington College of Business
BRY 100
PO Box 117150
Gainesville, FL 32611-7150
Phone: 352.392.2397
Fax: 352.392.2086

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