November 9, 2015 / Conference

7:15am - 8:15am Private Breakfast Roundtable

Finance’s Age of Enlightenment – A New Doctrine for Contemporary CFOs

Exclusive to Governing Body members and select CFO peers. 

Charlie Brown
Oldcastle Materials, Inc.
David Pipes
Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc.
Mike McCracken
Executive Chairman CFO Council
Georgia State University
Anthony Hilliard
Senior Vice President, Market Manager
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Richard D. Phillips
Dean, J. Mack Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University
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The modern CFO requires a versatile skillset to meet dynamic demands. The role of finance is evolving from providing strictly financial insights to one of greater involvement in supporting and developing strategy for key business initiatives. Between tumultuous markets and rapid technological advancement, CFOs require agility and foresight to play multiple roles as a leader within the organization. As finance becomes tasked with providing value cross-departmentally, what are the new requirements for CFOs to provide value across the organization? And how will the role continue to change in a period of constant evolution?

8:00am - 8:30am

Networking Break & General Registration

8:30am - 9:10am Opening Keynote

REIN and the Economic Outlook From the Atlanta Fed

Keynote  sponsored by: Workday

Christopher Oakley
Vice President and Regional Executive
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Michael Chriszt
Vice President and Public Affairs Officer
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
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Chris Oakley, VP and regional executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Regional Economic Information Network, shows how REIN generates economic intelligence from a variety of sources in the Southeast to support the bank’s formulation and implementation of sound monetary policy. Mike Chriszt, VP and public affairs officer, joins Oakley to describe the current environment and provide an overview of the bank’s narrative for where the economy is headed. They emphasize the role “main street” plays in policymaking and how members of the CFO community can engage with the Fed.

9:10am - 9:30am

Networking Break

9:30am - 10:20am Breakout Sessions

Against the Grain – Flattening Silos for Improved Communication

Featured Session 

Carol Dillon Kissal
VP, Finance & CFO
Emory University
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Organizations often create silos within their business. Whether geographically or by segment, it becomes difficult to manage structure from a financial perspective. In terms of talent development and succession planning, silos force the finance organization outside — levying additional cost on the business. Carol Dillon Kissal, CFO of Emory University, developed a unique flattened structure known as the Enterprise Financial Network. Kissal has brought the financial structure together to create a community of finance professionals that benefit from having a group peers to lean on for support. With the network, communication has improved and efficiencies have been created that work with, not against, the organization.

Being the Finance Partner Your CEO Can’t Lead Without

Featured Session  sponsored by: EY

Kim Cuyler
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Traditionally, finance leaders have a strong role in monitoring performance when it comes to setting KPIs. In a business-partnering relationship, CFOs go beyond this to help functional areas to truly drive performance. Kim Cuyler shares insights from EY’s Partnering for Performance study that addresses how the relationship between the CFO and CEO is changing and, in particular, being influenced by the rising importance of embedding finance into an organization’s knowledge process and being able to count on it when making strategic decisions.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – A Nimble Guide to Process Improvement

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Evan Levitt
HD Supply Inc.
Charles Nowlin
McWane, Inc.
Daniel Doran
Director; Global Business Solutions
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
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Finance leaders are continually under pressure to become more efficient, make better decisions and improve quality with limited resources. As businesses grow, the responsibility to standardize and align across all aspects of the organization and marshal improved performance often falls squarely on the shoulders of the CFO. Seeing the success stories from case studies is great — but how do CFOs get there? This discussion shares actionable takeaways for implementing business process improvement initiatives that deliver greater strategic value, more efficient use of resources and a stronger bottom line.

10:20am - 10:40am

Networking Break

10:40am - 11:30am Breakout Sessions

The World Is Flat, Divided and Risky – Securing Global Enterprise Amongst Geopolitical Forces

Featured Session 

Dale Buckner
President & CEO
Global Guardian
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As the enterprise expands into international markets, it encounters fundamental differences in education, religion, societal interaction, security threats and political instability — all of which impact business and investment decisions on a global scale. How do CFOs establish a strong and secure infrastructure internationally while minimizing financial risk to assets and personnel? Dale Buckner utilizes his global exposure and decorated military leadership experience to discuss how international organization must incorporate their security organization in every step of the investment. Buckner explores risk, security and trends correlated to enterprise operations with an international scope, specifically in emerging, sometimes hostile, markets and economies.

An Apple a Day Keeps Expenses Away

Featured Session  sponsored by: Towers Watson

Susan Ward
VP, Chief Accounting Officer
Justine Peddle
VP, Global Compensation and Benefits
Emory Todd
Managing Consultant, Southeast
Towers Watson
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In a competitive talent marketplace, one of the best ways to differentiate a job offer is to provide excellent benefits — with healthcare as the central feature. How do employers create a competitive healthcare package while keeping costs down? What sorts of initiatives are both inexpensive and effective for employees? This session details how CFOs can use healthcare as an attraction and retention tool, and discusses innovative practices, such as wellness initiatives, to influence spending behavior and drive down costs.

How to Win Friends and Influence Boards

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: EY

Michael Bell
DeKalb County School District
Gregory Thompson
Axiall Corporation
Jennifer Lee
Senior Manager, Center for Board Matters
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Global risks, shifts in regulatory pressure and increasing activism facing corporate boards uniquely position CFOs to take on director roles. Boards face increasing challenges in overseeing an organization’s risk mitigation and management, while also dealing with a variety of evolving and complex challenges such as cybersecurity, disruptive new technologies and demands for greater accountability from investors. Positioned to be one of the most influential roles in the company, this session explores how CFOs can work cohesively with boards, common challenges boards face when interacting with management and what it takes to be a valuable member of the board.

11:30am - 11:50am

Networking Break

11:50am - 1:00pm Luncheon Keynote

Purpose is the New Currency of Business

Keynote  sponsored by: Bitpay, Inc.

Joey Reiman
Author & Thought Leader
“The Story of Purpose: The Path to Creating a Brighter Brand, a Greater Company, and a Lasting Legacy”
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The new bottom line is that money goes hand in hand with meaning. Companies with purpose have 400 percent higher revenues, 700 percent greater job growth, and 1200 percent higher stock prices than companies without purpose, according to a study by Corporate Culture and Performance. Joey Reiman has emerged as the leading authority in helping companies build purpose-inspired organizations to positively impact employees, customers and profits. In this session, Reiman will illustrate the power of purpose and how companies can uncover the fundamental force that no competitor can replicate or replace.

1:00pm - 1:20pm

Networking Break

1:20pm - 2:10pm Breakout Sessions

The Moneyball Era in Professional Services

Emerging Provider  sponsored by: HourlyNerd

Pat Petitti
Co-CEO & Co-Founder
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Rigorous data and powerful analytics are changing the way companies access all types of external expertise, whether through consulting firms or freelance experts. Patrick Petitti shares how smart algorithms, outcome-based data, and access to the "global brain" (tens of thousands of unbundled expert resources) make it possible for business leaders to finally tie purchases to previous outcomes, driving substantially higher ROI and forcing accountability.

Ahead of the Curve – Attracting and Retaining Elusive Talent

Featured Session 

Susan O'Farrell
CFO & Treasurer
BlueLinx Corporation
Randy Patterson
BlueLinx Corporation
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Susan O’Farrell, CFO at BlueLinx Corporation, firmly believes talent is the bedrock of a successful organization — the best way to get things done is through people. O’Farrell and her CHRO partner, Randy Patterson, share tips on how they approach attraction, retention and talent development — including innovative concepts such as retaining employees before they’re even hired. Recognizing that millennials tend to move organizations more frequently than prior generations, they’ve developed a strategy to keep people engaged and quickly identify high potentials on their team. Join this interactive session to hear and share best practices on talent in a quickly changing marketplace.

Planting Seeds for Sustainable Growth

Featured Session  sponsored by: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

John Todd
Executive Vice President
Bank of America Business Capital
Alister Bazaz
SVP & Managing Director International Credit Services Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Meg Crowder
SVP, Learning and Leadership Development Executive
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
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As financial leaders re-evaluate capital allocation policies and reposition their organizations for growth, many are exploring alternative growth strategies. Mergers and acquisitions can be advantageous in increasing assets, income and market presence, but M&A can pose challenges if the transition is not properly managed. Key issues CFOs should consider include setting up the proper infrastructure for organic and M&A opportunities, recognizing potential productivity improvements, acquiring new technologies, spanning multiple markets while not being spread too thin, and being mindful of activist investor involvement. Alister Bazaz, Meg Crowder and John Todd share exclusive case studies on the current challenges surrounding growth opportunities and how CFOs can effectively drive growth.

Prepare, Mitigate and Manage the Storm of a Cyber Breach

Executive Boardroom 

Harry Volande
SVP, Finance
Siemens Industry Inc., Process Industries & Drives and Digital Factory
Betsy Higgins
Oglethorpe Power Corporation
Robert Shannon
Major General, Special Assistant to the Director Air National Guard and Headquarters Air Force A2
United States Air Force
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Today’s headlines are filled with reports of cyberattacks, privacy breaches and data loss at our nation’s top organizations, making it a boardroom issue. CFOs are increasingly asked to frame the financial risk of a breach, from the immediate cost to the long-term effects of a loss in consumer confidence, market share and a decline in company value. Data is an organization’s most valuable asset, and protecting it begins with the CFO. This discussion centers around what is expected of a CFO after a breach, and the importance of establishing a strategic incident response in the event of a cyber crisis.

2:10pm - 2:20pm

Networking Break

2:20pm - 3:20pm Closing Keynote

Sparking a Culture, Igniting a Brand


Paul Brown
Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc.
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Fostering a respected and revered brand culture is the only way a service company like Arby’s can continue to provide excellence. When they went to the drawing board to reimagine the company and instill innovation, they started with finding a purpose. Arby’s has defined and ensured commitment to a clear purpose for their brand, embedding innovation into the business culture for organic, systematic growth. Arby’s has collaborated closely with franchisees to engender a culture that re-energizes itself through people. The result — 20 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth in an otherwise lagging industry.

3:20pm - 4:00pm

Closing Reception