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.

Spring 2016

  • JANUARY 7, 2016

    Mike Balter and David Appel
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: TBD

  • JANUARY 14, 2016

    Teri Sowder
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: An Inside Look into Public Accounting
    About the Speaker:

    Teri Sowder, CPA
    Tax Director

    Teri has over 16 years of experience in public accounting, 14 of which were with a Big Four firm. She has worked with a variety of private clients in the real estate, construction, private equity and alternative investment industries. Her client service experience includes providing tax compliance and consulting services to mid-sized to large entities, deep experience in specialty industries and assisting companies on overseeing the preparation of multi-state and international tax filings, debt forgiveness, and assisting partnerships in drafting complex partnership allocation provisions.

  • JANUARY 21, 2016

    Jim Knauss
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: "Top 10 things I wish I would have known"
    About the Speaker:

    Jim Knauss
    Global Vice Chair, Business Development

    Current profile

    Jim is the Global Vice Chair of Business Development. Prior to joining EYG, Jim was the Americas Client Service & Accounts Leader for the Advisory Services practice, a member of EY Americas Tax Advisory Board and the America’s Director of Markets – Tax, focusing on tax strategies, supply chain, information technology, sales management, and go-to-market strategies.

    Jim applies his enthusiasm and depth of experience to help our client service teams deliver Exceptional Client Service through the understanding of client strategies and issues and identifying the value EY teams and services that are relevant to the client organization to achieve their ambition and mitigate risk. He has facilitated over 500 sessions for clients and EY teams.


    In 1994, Jim joined the firm as the Southeast Business Development Leader and has held a variety of positions since then, including Director of Business Development for the firm. Jim was also Managing Director of Corporate Finance’s Center for Strategic Transactions® in the Southeast Area, an environment created for CEOs and members of their management teams to explore strategies that accelerate the execution of their business plans.

    Prior to joining EY, Jim worked for five years with an information technology consulting firm. He held a number of positions in sales and sales management before he was promoted to Director of Business Development for State and Local Government in Los Angeles. His role was to manage IT Business Solutions to align with a companies’ strategic vision.


    • B.S. in Education, University of Florida
    • EY Kellogg Program, Kellogg School of Business
    • EY Harvard Program, Harvard School of Business
  • JANUARY 28, 2016

    Michael Kohner
    Andersen Tax
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: What is Tax Consulting?
    About the Speaker:

    Michael Kohner

    Michael L. Kohner is a Tax Managing Director of Andersen Tax in West Palm Beach. Michael has over 28 years of experience in serving clients with complex tax issues. He has extensive expertise in serving high net worth families and their companies in the real estate, technology, aviation, media, distribution and venture capital industries. Michael consults with his clients with respect to issues such as federal and state income tax planning; preparation or review of income tax provisions, analysis, and determination of level of sustainability of uncertain tax positions; deal structuring; mergers and acquisitions; family wealth and charitable gift planning. He also serves as an Andersen Tax firm wide resource on technical advisory matters related to business entities.

    Before co-founding Andersen Tax, Michael was a Tax Partner at Arthur Andersen where he was in charge of the West Palm Beach tax department and the real estate tax group for Florida. In addition, he served as a member of the firm wide technical advisory groups for both corporations and pass-through entities.

    Michael has been a frequent lecturer at the University of Florida, the Florida Institute of CPAs, Palm Beach County Estate Planning Council, the Florida Bar Tax Division, as well as several different philanthropic organizations. He is also an author of many articles on various topics related to state residency, philanthropy and the tax ramifications of usage of corporate aircraft.

    Michael has both a Masters and Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Florida. He is very active with both his alma mater and in the local community. He also recently co-founded Advisors for Philanthropic Impact (API) which is hosting the inaugural Palm Beach Philanthropy Tank in March 2016.

  • FEBRUARY 4, 2016

    Dara Simon and Chris Rux
    Cherry Bekaert
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: The Great Debate: Audit vs. Tax
    About the Speakers:

    Dara Simon, Tax Partner

    Chris Rux, Audit Partner

  • MARCH 10, 2016

    Lou Zaltsberg
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: Exploring opportunities outside of the traditional Public Accounting/Investment Banking route
    About the Speaker:

    Lou Zaltsberg
    Director of Finance
    Power Generation Services
    Siemens Energy, Inc.

    Louis Zaltsberg is Finance Director for Power Generation Services of Siemens Energy, Inc. He is responsible for the finances of the largest Regional Segment of the Power and Gas Business Unit, headquartered in Orlando, FL.

    Mr. Zaltsberg has 40 years of Corporate and Operational Finance Experience. He has held assignments on three continents.

    Mr. Zaltsberg holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a Master’s Degree in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University.

  • March 17, 2016

    Sean Menendez and Alan Kirschenbaum
    Alvarez & Marsal Taxand and Alvarez & Marsal
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: Industry Insights and Unique Career Perspectives
    About the Speakers:

    Sean Menendez
    Managing Director
    Alvarez & Marsal Taxand

    Alan Kirschenbaum
    Managing Director
    Alvarez & Marsal, LLC

  • MARCH 31, 2016

    Andrew Paul & Michael Atkins
    6:15 - 8:15 PM, Gerson 126
    Topic: TBD


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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