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.

Fall 2021

Disney Worldwide Shared Services (DWSS)
6:15-7:30pm, Virtual; Zoom Meeting ID: 920 4123 2682, Passcode 573769

Speakers: Anil M. Ramesh, Eddie Fernandez, Karla Surguine, Katie Faughnan, Thomas Garvey
Topic: Shared Services and Possible Intern Opportunities

Anil Ramesh

Anil M. Ramesh is a Senior Payroll Analyst for Disney Worldwide Shared Services. Anil joined the Global Payroll Internal Control Team in October 2018. His is responsible for performing various payroll audits (internal and external), writing payroll controls for different regions (Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East, & Africa) and Risk Assessments within the payroll environment. Anil has over 15 years of experience in the financial and payroll profession. He holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from SUNY Old Westbury and a MBA from Marist College.

Eddie Fernandez

Eduardo (Eddie) Fernandez is a Fixed Assets Senior Manager for The Walt Disney Company (TWDC). Eddie leads the capitalization, fixed asset sub-ledger maintenance and tax depreciation reporting & analysis enterprise wide, globally. He has over 25 years of experience as a financial professional. Prior to Disney, Eddie held various management positions within entertainment, technology, commercial real estate & manufacturing industries. He is a CPA, holds an Economics BA and Business Administration minor from UC Berkeley and currently in the EMBA program at University of Florida.

Karla Burgos Surguine

Karla Burgos Surguine is a Sr. Financial Systems Analyst for Disney Financial Services (DFS). She started her career with Disney in 2012 in Travel and Expense Management. She currently serves the Global Credit and Collections organization by supporting the main collections system as well as the data extraction, and providing month-end and ad-hoc reporting. Amongst her Disney experiences, she held a temporary assignment in the Asia Service Center in Shanghai, China, participated in the deployment of SAP Concur, and has most recently automated the Collections Month-End business reporting. She holds a Masters in Business Administration, an Economics BA, and a minor in Political Science from the University of Central Florida. She enjoys visiting the Disney parks after work with her husband and daughter.

Katie Faughnan

Katie Faughnan graduated from The University of Florida with degrees in Business Economics and Political Science in 2015 and has been with The Walt Disney Company since. She has held various finance role supporting theme parks, lodging, and timeshare and now leads the business development team for Disney Vacation Club. She is an MBA candidate at the University of Florida and will graduate December 2021.

Thomas Garvey

Thomas Garvey is a Senior Accounting Analyst for The Walt Disney Company (TWDC). Thomas works in the General Accounting area for Disney Worldwide Shared Services. This centralized department serves the business needs of all of the enterprise’s segments. Thomas is particularly involved in payroll and accounts payable functions. He performs tasks such as journal entries, reconciliations, and invoicing. Prior to Disney, Thomas worked for an accounting firm specializing in tax and small business. He is actively pursuing CPA certification, and an MS in Accounting at Purdue University, through Disney’s Aspire program. Thomas recently graduated from Rutgers University, with a BS in Accounting.

6:15-7:30pm, Virtual; Zoom Meeting ID: 994 5356 4441, Passcode: 135234
Speakers: Candy Poels, FFL; Marli Overgard, FFL; Jordan Harn
Topic: What It’s Like to Work in Corporate Finance

Candy Poels

Candy Poels is Program Leader for the U.S. Future Finance Leader’s Program at Honeywell. Candy is responsible for all aspects of recruiting, the internship program, and participant career development throughout the program.

Honeywell is a Fortune 100 software-industrial company that delivers industry specific solutions that include aerospace and automotive products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help everything from aircraft, cars, homes and buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable.

Prior to this role, Candy was Bombardier Sr. Finance Manager responsible for planning, accounting, financial analysis and strategic goal alignment. Prior to that she was the Airbus Sr. Finance Manager, Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis, Manager for the OEM, Aftermarket, & Engineering Cost Accounting group, and held various other roles in accounting and finance.

Candy holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration from W. P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Grant Thornton
6:15-7:30pm, In-Person, GER 126
Speakers: Flo Ostrum, Audit Partner & Destinee Disher, Audit Director
Topic: Change Management

Flo Ostrum

Flo Ostrum, Audit Partner: UF Alum, Flo Ostrum, has worked on a variety of client engagements that has provided her with a broad knowledge based over the past 20 years. Currently, Flo’s focus is in the Not-for-Profit and Government space. Flo continue to work on SEC registrants focusing on internal controls over financial reporting. As the National Professional Practice Director – Government/Not-for-Profit, Flo provides technical accounting and auditing advice to both engagement teams and clients. The collaborative resolution of any issues is one of her main focuses.

Destinee Disher

Destinee Disher, Audit Director: For almost 11 years, UF Alum, Destinee Disher has been serving clients and providing exemplary audit services for both privately held, Not-for-Profit and public companies, including integrated audits that require Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance. Destinee’s experience has taken her on international secondment to London where she specialized in complex US GAAP or GAAS accounting matters for international engagements.

NextEra Energy
6:15-7:30pm, In-Person, GER 126
Speakers: Glenn Vincent, Director of Project Finance
Topic: The Role of Accountants in Decarbonizing the U.S. Electric Grid

Glenn Vincent

Glenn Vincent is the Director of Project Finance at NextEra Energy, Inc. (NextEra) headquartered in Juno Beach, Florida. Glenn has been with NextEra since 2010, has held various finance roles, and is now responsible for overseeing the reporting and compliance activities related to the project financings and tax equity arrangements for NextEra’s renewable energy portfolio.

Glenn is a CPA in the state of Florida and received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Florida and a Master of Taxation from Florida Atlantic University. He resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida with his wife and three children.

6:15-7:30pm, In-Person, GER 126
Speakers: Paul Augello, Ed Salek, Teri Sowder, Adam Thomas, Jerry Avena
Topic: Emotional Intelligence

Paul Augello

Paul Augello

Campus Recruiter for Tampa, Jacksonville and DHG Advisory. Paul has been with the firm since July 2021.

Ed Salek

Ed Salek

Partner, Assurance Services, Jacksonville. Ed has been with the firm for over 10 years.

Teri Sowder

Teri Sowder

Partner, Tax-Core, Jacksonville. Teri has been with the firm since November 2013.

Adam Thomas

Adam Thomas

Partner, Assurance Services, Tampa. Adam has been with the firm for over 5 years.

Jerry Avena

Jerry Avena

Senior Associate, Assurance Services, Jacksonville. Jerry has been with the firm since October 2018.

6:15-7:30pm, Virtual; Zoom Meeting ID: 988 3350 0387 Passcode: 986922
Speakers: Scott Cerutti
Topic: Deloitte and the SPAC/IPO Market

Scott Cerutti

Scott brings more than 20 years’ experience in public accounting serving a diverse portfolio of companies. This diversity in experience enables him to bring a broad knowledge and unique perspective to his clients.

Scott has led engagement teams serving a wide range of companies from complex, global Fortune 500 public companies to mid-size private enterprises. Most recently he has focused on manufacturing and the financial services industry, including mortgage lenders and mortgage servicers, real estate entities including homebuilders and public REITS. This diversity has provided an opportunity to deal first-hand with a wide range of difficult and intricate topics and circumstances and provides the experience to advise his clients on their most complex accounting issues, SEC filings, and accounting processes and internal controls.

Scott previously worked in Deloitte’s national office advising clients on challenging accounting issues including consolidation, joint ventures, acquisitions and SEC reporting. Additionally, he led Deloitte’s response to the FASB’s proposed leasing standard and advised clients on its potential impact.

In addition to his client service roles he is currently the Group Partner-in-charge of the Florida audit practice.

Purvis Gray
6:15-7:30pm, In-Person, GER 126
Speakers: Rachel A. Clements, CPA, Partner at Purvis Gray
Topic: Choices

Rachel Clements

Rachel Clements is a Partner and serves as a member of the Quality Control Team at Purvis Gray. She works in the Gainesville office and has worked in tax and accounting since 2000.

Most of Rachel’s experience is in the areas of tax and accounting. She provides tax preparation and advisory services as well as financial statement compilation and review services to a wide variety of clients, including individuals, small to medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations, trusts, and estates.

Born and raised in Alachua County, Rachel attended the University of Florida’s Fisher School of Accounting where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2001. She is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Florida and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA).

Rachel has served as an instructor for multiple continuing professional education courses and has had several opportunities to speak to community organizations on a variety of tax and accounting topics. She enjoys opportunities to be involved in her local community. She is a regular volunteer in her children’s schools and is a member of Grace United Methodist Church. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities with her family.

6:15-7:30pm, In-Person, GER 126
Speakers: Jefferson Johnson
Topic: TBA

Jefferson headshot

Jefferson Johnson serves as EY’s Diversity & Inclusiveness Campus Lead and has been with the firm for 11 years. He formerly served as the Campus Recruiter for the University of Florida and is a proud Gator fan. Adjacent to his passion for promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Jefferson loves coaching baseball and spending time with his family at their home in Clearwater beach.

Past Speakers