Conference Topics and Program Descriptions

Read below for the full program descriptions and topics covered at the 2024 Meonske Professional Development Conference. 

View the 2024 Conference Schedule


G-1: Change Resilience (TH)

The current business environment is fraught with high borrowing costs, talent shortages, disruptive technologies, regulatory change, and international conflicts. Resilience and adaptability are key success necessities in this complex climate. Gain a deep understanding of the financial resilience strategies employed by companies. Gain confidence to confront these economic uncertainties and rapid market shifts. Ensure you’re equipped to make informed and timely decisions.

G-2: Workforce Development (TH)

The shortage of skilled professionals poses an increasing challenge to every Accounting and Finance department and an existential crisis to the profession. The panel discussion unpacks this crisis and explores the diverse approaches we can deploy to address the shortage of accounting staff at all levels.

G-3: Increasing Meeting Productivity – a systemic approach (TH)

Meetings occupy a large portion of our workdays and generate much of our frustrations. Are you tired of investing time in unproductive and lengthy meetings that seem to go nowhere and repeat every week? Drew Sellers, from Kent State University, will lead a discussion on strategies to make your meetings more engaging, efficient and results-driven.`

G-4: Executive Perspective: Sanjay Singh, Chairman, Mace Security International, Inc. (F)


AEE-1: Chief Audit Executives Roundtable (TH)

The Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors (NEO IIA) is partnering with KPMG and local Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) to bring you the 6th Annual CAE Roundtable. Five local CAEs will hold an interactive session where they discuss current issues impacting the internal audit profession. The panel discussion will be moderated by Lisa Stiffler from KPMG, and attendees will be able to ask questions to the panel.

AEE-2: Fraud & Cybersecurity Threat Landscape (TH)

Today’s technologies provide incredible benefits but can also expose individuals and businesses to significant risks. Join us as FBI forensic accountant Alexandra Madonia discusses emerging threats, cyber-enabled frauds, and the impact of technology in criminal acts.

AEE-3: ESG Regulatory Reporting Update (TH)

Luke Wilson, KPMG, will review the latest updates on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) regulation and share insights from the field on meeting the expanding ESG reporting goals.

AEE-4: The Ohio Ethics Law: Can I Do That? (TH)

What are the latest trends, investigations, and highlights in governmental ethics? Don’t miss this engaging and interactive discussion that analyzes the hot issues under the Ohio Ethics Law. Susan Willeke from the Ohio Ethics Commission will share examples from key areas that often present issues, including conflicts of interest, gift restrictions, public contract issues, nepotism, and much more.

AEE-5: Professional Ethics: Avoiding the Slippery Slope: Establishing Ethical Guardrails (F)

Ethical issues are not exclusive to large-scale organizations and do not become prominent only when scandals are exposed. Ethical issues arise daily in all types of business conditions and wherever decisions are being made. Within an organizational culture, ethical awareness should lead to ethical judgment that drives ethical action. In this ethics course, Tiffany Crosby, Chief Learning Officer, OSCPA, will guide us as we explore the risks of moral disengagement and ethical failure. We’ll discuss warning signs and how you can integrate ethical awareness into your culture. (The program provides 3-CPE hours of professional ethics).


FI-1: Financial Reporting Panel (F)

The conference continues its 48-year popular tradition of providing a distinguished panel of top regulators. Joining us this year are leaders from the SEC, FASB, and a representative of public accounting to discuss the latest regulations and their practical application to the world of financial reporting. Please come with questions for our Friday panel, featuring:

  • Dr. Joyce T. Joseph, Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB),
  • Patrick Gilmore, Partner, Deloitte,
  • Gaurav Hiranandani, Senior Associate Chief Accountant, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • Kyle Moffatt, PwC, will moderate the discussion, and attendees are encouraged to ask questions of the panel.

FI-2: Finance Transformation (F)

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, organizations face transformative pressures fueled by macroeconomic shifts, changing workforce demographics, and the rise of a broad range of technologies, including cloud ERP, purpose-built platforms, general-purpose automation, and even A.I. The imperative to adapt is especially evident in finance and accounting operations. Join Mark Marmon, VP of RGP’s global Finance Transformation Practice, to explore the intersection of these influential factors and discover how leading organizations are ensuring the success of their finance transformation efforts.

FI-3: Leading the “Accounting Factory” of the Future (F)

Revolutionize your approach to accounting and finance as the panel bridges the gap between manufacturing principles and financial operations, unlocking the potential to optimize your “Accounting Factory.”

FI-4: Optimizing Accounting and Finance Operations (TH)

Join a conversation between experienced professionals and finance transformation experts discussing real world strategies for optimizing the finance and accounting function. Finance and accounting leaders today face a challenging environment navigating emerging technologies, evolving reporting requirements, staffing shortages and turnover. This conversation will help prepare you for success in your finance and business initiatives.


GN-1: Government & Nonprofit CFO Alignment (TH)

Many governmental entities are supported in part by nonprofit organizations or foundations. We will explore challenges and approaches employed by CFOs to align the organizations for optimal results.

GN-2: GASB Updates (TH)

Scott Reeser, senior project manager at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, will discuss recently issued GASB pronouncements. In addition, he will share important insights into tentative decisions the GASB has made regarding projects on its current technical agenda. The discussion will be moderated by Reggie Novak from Ciuni & Panichi, Inc.

GN-3: Navigating Financial and Economic Headwinds in the Nonprofit Environment (TH)

Three area CFOs will hold an interactive session discussing current issues impacting the nonprofit environment. Join Neal McNally, CFO of Youngstown State University, Mark Polatajko, CFO of Kent State University, and Mary Taylor, CFO of NeoMed, for a lively discussion of the CFO’s role in today’s challenging times.


TL-1: Tax Policy Updates (F)

Leading tax professionals from Crowe LLP will discuss the current state of tax policy and the potential impacts of the upcoming election. They will address recent changes and current hot topics for both businesses and individuals. And they will explore what the election outcome may mean for you and your business.

TL-2: State and Local Tax Update (F)

State and local taxes are a significant burden on taxpayers.  This session will focus on important multistate tax updates that will impact taxpayers in the current year and beyond.  Attention will also be given to the growing number of “local” taxes that often surprise taxpayers.  

TL-3: Legislative Update (TH)

Barbara Benton from the OSCPA will provide a legislative update. Learn how the OSCPA is engaged with regulatory and government officials on issues impacting the future of the profession. Gain perspective on topics such as the talent pipeline, possible licensing changes, and what’s happening with the Ohio Accountancy Board, AICPA, NASBA, and other states. She will also discuss the potential impacts of the 2024 elections on the profession and the broader Ohio economy.


TCH-1: A.I. – Catching the Wave of Tomorrow (F)

Ashley B. Gibson, CFO and Managing Director of Eikon-X LLC, will provide us a glimpse of the future of finance and accounting as we dive into the cutting-edge realms of artificial intelligence (A.I.).

TCH-2: Data Analysis using Subtotals, Filtering, and Pivot Tables (TH)            

Elevate your data analysis and decision-making skills using Microsoft Excel. Steve Kraynak, from SumProduct, will delve into the powerful features of Subtotals, Filtering, and Pivot Tables. Discover how to slice and dice your data with precision, uncovering hidden trends and outliers that can significantly impact your decision-making process. Learn time-saving techniques to enhance your daily workflow.

TCH-3: Cleaning Excel Data with Power Query (TH)

Learn how to leverage Power Query to automate the data cleaning process, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. Uncover advanced techniques for transforming data with ease. From removing duplicates to handling missing values, you’ll leave with a toolkit of skills to make your critical data spotless.

TCH-4: Excel Mastery Unleashed: “Ask the Experts” (TH)

Embark on a unique learning journey with our exclusive “Ask the Experts” discussion. Join us for an open discussion session where you can seek guidance on tackling tough data cleansing, analysis, and visualization challenges using Excel. And where you can share your own tips and tricks with the group.