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 2018

Speakers: Ed Salek, Liz Ohrablo & Hiep Nguyen
6:15-8:15pm, Gerson 126


Ed Salek

Ed Salek

Ed Salek is a UF alum with more than 20 years’ public accounting experience with DHG and Jacksonville legacy firm serving large and mid-sized, privately-owned business, many with international operations. He is the lead of DHG’s Jacksonville Accounting and Audit Practice. In addition, he is committed to leadership and service – he serves on Jacksonville Community Council and the First Coast Manufacturers Association Boards of Directors and it the mentor for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s Women Business Center Financial Matter$ Program.

Liz Ohrablo

Liz Ohrablo

Liz Ohrablo, CPA, graduated from the Fisher School of Accounting’s 3/2 program with both her Master of Accounting and Bachelor of Science in Accounting degrees in May 2015. Liz began her career in August 2015 in Dixon Hughes Goodman’s Jacksonville office, where she is currently a Senior Tax Associate. Through the firm, Liz has been heavily involved with the campus recruiting team, the social committee, and the Jacksonville branch of DHG’s Women Forward Initiative.

Hiep Nguyen

Hiep Nguyen

Hiep Nguyen has done three busy season internships with DHG and is now an Audit Associate. He is an alumnus of University of North Florida, where he also obtained his Masters in Business Administration. He recently obtained his CPA license and serves on the FICPA’s Accounting and Education Committee.

Jim White

Jim White
6:15-8:15pm, Gerson 126

Executive Summary

Jim White joined BDO from The LBA Group through an expansion in Florida and has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting. He joined LBA in 1991 after his start with a regional firm in St. Petersburg, Florida, and was named a partner in 2002. He served as the Director of LBA’s Healthcare practice and oversaw the firm’s Business Accounting Solutions department. Jim provides his diverse client base with proactive, strategic tax and management consulting services. His primary focuses primarily on clients in the healthcare industry, but also serves clients in distribution, construction and retail.

Jim is a member of numerous local professional and community organizations and has held leadership positions with several of them.

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Florida Institute of CPAs (FICPA)
National CPA Health Care Advisors Association (HCAA), President


Post-Bac., Accounting, University of South Florida
B.A., Accounting, University of Florida

Community Involvement

Jacksonville Quarterback Club, Past Captain
Kappa Alpha Alumni Association of Jacksonville, Past President, Member
Kappa Alpha Housing Association of Florida, Inc., Past President, Treasurer
Mandarin Presbyterian Church, High School Youth Leader
Rotary Club of Mandarin, Past President, Member
Rotary District 6970, Treasurer

Willy Alvarado

Willy Alvarado
6:15-8:15pm, Gerson 126

Topic: GRC and how it ties into key business applications / ERP solutions, such as Oracle, SAP, etc.

Speaker Bio: I am a Director in the Orlando office. I have over nineteen years of IT consulting, security, and audit experience. At Protiviti, I lead and manage engagements in Identity& Access Management, Payment Processing, PCI, and IT Audit and am a subject matter expert for our Real Estate / REIT and Retail / Hospitality / Timeshare industries. I graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering and a Master of Business Administration. I served on the Board of the local ISACA chapter from 2003 – 2007, including one year as VP and two years as President.

I currently live in Kissimmee, Florida with my wife, Toni, son, Alex, and daughter, Gianna. I enjoy playing golf, basketball, and volleyball as well as watching college and pro sports. I am actively involved in the Catholic Family Life Ministry at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church and in the Knights of Columbus and currently serve as Soccer and Track coach at Holy Redeemer Catholic School.

Speakers: Gary Jenkins and Bob Feldmann
6:15-8:15pm, Gerson 126

Topic: Business Ethics



Todd Piacentine, Audit Partner – Orlando
Matt Welding, Audit Manager – Fort Lauderdale
Laura Cacioppo, Tax Senior Manager – Tampa
Kelley Iaquinta, University Recruiter – Tampa

Grant Thornton
6:15-8:15pm, Gerson 126


Laura Gallagher

Laura Gallagher
Campus Recruiting Leader– Southeast Region
6:15-8:15pm, Gerson 126

Topic: Future Talent Needs

Speaker Bio: Laura Gallagher serves as the Campus Recruiting Leader for the Southeast geography of EY. In this role, Laura oversees the hiring of all interns and campus hires annually across the Assurance, Tax, and Advisory service lines in the Southeast. Laura manages a team of Campus Recruiters and Recruiting Coordinators, as well as EY professionals who contribute to campus recruiting throughout the geography. Laura focuses on implementing and executing campus recruiting strategy at 30 southeast schools and across 14 southeast offices.

Laura started with Ernst & Young in 2000, and has focused her career on all aspects of Campus Recruiting. She has served as a Recruiting Coordinator, national Event Planner, Campus Recruiter, and assumed the role of Campus Recruiting Leader in 2006. Laura’s significant accomplishments at EY have been leading a critical component of the firm’s International Intern Leadership Conference, planning and leading the firm’s first nationally-held Emerging Leader’s Summit, developing the firm’s minority internship program (Launch), developing a recognition program for Recruiters and Recruiting Coordinators across the firm, and leading the US Sourcing Advisor network. One of Laura’s favorite aspects of her role is teaching – whether leading orientation for campus new hires, or leading recruiting training programs for firm executives. Laura has been recognized as one of the firm’s top instructors since 2009.

Laura graduated with honors from Auburn University where she majored in International Business and Spanish. Laura lives in Dunwoody, Georgia with her husband, David, and son, David III. Outside of work, Laura enjoys running, golfing, and entertaining family and friends in her home.


Brian Zophin, Audit Partner
Jeff Palgon
, Senior Manager, IT Assurance
6:15-8:15pm, Gerson 126


William Thompson


William “Bill” W. Thompson, CPA, RPLU
CPA Mutual
6:15-8:15pm, Gerson 126

Topic: Practical Guide to CPA Risk Management: 2018 Update

Speaker Bio: Bill joined CPA Mutual Management in 1993 after gaining experience in both the public and private accounting arena. He is responsible for the daily operations of CPA Mutual RRG, including but not limited to underwriting, policy issuance, marketing, accounting and reinsurance issues.

Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Florida. After graduating he joined the staff of a large regional CPA firm located in Tampa, FL. He is a member of the Florida Institute of CPAs, American Institute CPAs and the Professional Liability Underwriting Society.

Exit Survey:
6:15-7:00pm, Gerson 126


Past Speakers