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.

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 2021

DHG
6:15-7:30pm, Virtual
Speakers: Teri Sowder, Ed Salek, Liz Ohrablo, Laura Williams, and Jerry Avena
Topic: Emotional Intelligence

Teri Sowder

Teri Sowder

Teri Sowder is a Tax Partner at Dixon Hughes Goodman who heads up our Tax recruiting efforts for the Jacksonville FL Office.


Ed Salek

Ed Salek

Ed Salek is an Audit Partner at Dixon Hughes Goodman who heads up our Audit recruiting efforts for the Jacksonville FL Office.


Liz Ohrablo

Liz Ohrablo

Liz Ohrablo is a proud UF Alumni who is a Manager out of our Tysons VA Office.


Laura Williams

Laura Williams

Laura Williams is a proud UF Alumni who is a Tax Senior Associate serving our Birmingham AL Office.


No photo available

Jerry Avena

Jerry Avena is a proud UF Alumni who serves as an Audit Senior Associate in our Jacksonville FL Office.

James Moore & Co.
6:15-7:30pm, Virtual
Speaker: Kyle Paxton
Topic: Surviving Politics and COVID-19

Kyle Paxton

Kyle is a Tax Manager in James Moore’s Gainesville office and proud alumni of the Fisher School. Kyle manages and monitors tax projects for individuals and businesses and interacts closely with clients to provide innovative tax planning, consulting and compliance services. Meet Kyle

Alvarez & Marsal
6:15-7:30pm, Virtual
Speakers: Richard Sober, Timbes Riley and Lawrence Watkins
Topic: A&M Global Transaction Advisory Group – Introduction to Private Equity & Financial Due Diligence

Richard Sober

Richard Sober

Richard Sober is a Managing Director in Atlanta. He leads the Healthcare practice of A&M’s Transaction Advisory Group. He graduated from the UF’s Fisher School 3/2 Program in 1999. Prior to joining A&M, he spent over 8 years with Big Four firms.


Timbes Riley

Timbes Riley

Timbes Riley is a Director in Atlanta in A&M’s Transaction Advisory Group. He graduated from UF’s Fisher School 3/2 Program in 2011. Prior to joining A&M, he spent over 6 years with Big Four firms.


Lawrence Watkins

Lawrence Watkins

Lawrence Watkins in a Senior Associate in Atlanta in A&M’s Global Transaction Analytics Group. He graduated from Wake Forest University’s MAcc program. Prior to joining A&M, he spent 2 years with a Big Four firm.

Deloitte
6:15-7:30pm, Virtual
Speaker: Michael Safra
Topic: The Impacts of COVID-19 at Deloitte

Michael Safra

Michael Safra is a Tax Partner at Deloitte, based out of the Miami office. He is a fellow Gator and has been with the firm for over 17 years. In his free time he loves running, golf, CrossFit, traveling, and of course spending time with his family.

Disney Worldwide Shared Services (DWSS)
6:15-7:30pm, Virtual
Speakers:
Karilee Smith, Senior Accounting Analyst – Fixed Assets
Elizabeth Russo, Senior Accounting Analyst – Fixed Assets
Jenny Tresca, Senior Financial Accounting Analyst – Fixed Assets
Laila Kassem, Senior Accounting Analyst – Fixed Assets
Myself, Eddie Fernandez, Senior Manager – Fixed Assets

Topic: The impact of the pandemic with our day to day and Accounting

KPMG
6:15-7:30pm, Virtual
Speaker: Kelly Stephenson
Topic: Transformation Delivery @ KPMG: how we help our clients transform, and how we transform ourselves

Kelly Stephenson

Kelly Stephenson
Managing Director, Transformation Delivery

I partner with my clients in the Energy sector to develop and enable operations and technology strategies, and help them to lead complex transformation programs. I work with client executives and leaders to identify organizational, process, and technology solutions to address disruptive forces impacting companies across the energy value chain.

I am proud to be recognized as a leader, team builder, and problem solver by my clients and my KPMG colleagues. I am at my best when leading teams and people with diverse skill sets and capabilities to solve complex business challenges. I strive to bring lessons learned and insights from my experience to achieve business outcomes, reduce risk, and enact positive change for my client’s organizations.

In my 18+ years of advisory and industry experience, I have supported clients to define strategy and improve performance in key business line functions (such as customer experience, revenue cycle, energy retail operations, market settlement, transmission & distribution operations, and gas operations) as well as back-office functions (including ERP, finance & accounting, IT, HR, internal audit, and supply chain).

Crowe
6:15-7:30pm, Virtual
Speakers: TBA
Topic: TBA

Berkowitz Pollack Brant
6:15-7:30pm, Virtual
Speakers: Steve Messing, Ken Vitek, Richard Cabrera, Savannah Snow, Michael Hirsch
Topic: Becoming a Trusted Advisor – Building your Career and Client Relationships

Steve Messing

Steve Messing
Senior Tax Director, UF Accounting grad class of 1974


Ken Vitek

Ken Vitek
Director of Tax, UF Accounting grad


Richard Cabrera

Richard Cabrera
Associate Director of Tax, UF Accounting grad


Savannah Snow

Savannah Snow
Manager of Tax Services, UF Accounting grad


Michael Hirsch

Michael Hirsch (Tentative)
Senior Manager of Tax, UF grad (JD) / NYU grad (LLM Taxation)


Past Speakers