CFO DeKalb County School District
Michael J. Bell, presently the chief financial officer for the DeKalb County School District, has previously been the CFO for both a large county and a large city. Bell, who retired from the CFO position in DeKalb County, Georgia, has previously also been in the private sector as a governmental /investment banker, during which time his involvement was mostly in the area of exempt facility private activity debt, specifically involving airports.
Prior to his many years at DeKalb County, Bell had been the CFO of the city of Atlanta, and the financial administrator of the city’s aviation department during the airport’s midfield project expansion. As a banker, Bell represented one of the senior underwriters on the first $1B of airport revenue bond debt issued for the Denver International Airport.
While Bell was serving as CFO for DeKalb County, the county was upgraded by Moody’s (2001) and Standard & Poor’s (2006) to AAA status; one of only three counties in Georgia to carry such a rating. During his time as a county/city CFO, Bell served on numerous special purpose authorities and pension fund boards. Three years ago, Bell was appointed by the Fulton County Commission to the Board of the Development Authority of Fulton County.
CFO Oldcastle Materials, Inc.
Charlie Brown joined Oldcastle Materials in 2003 as vice president of finance. In 2008, he was promoted to CFO, leading the finance, risk management and IT functions. His current responsibilities also include oversight of energy and procurement.
Prior to joining Oldcastle, Brown held various finance-based leadership roles in the mining and manufacturing industries. Charlie earned his B.A. in economics from The George Washington University and his MBA from Northwestern’s J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Partner, Financial Accounting Advisory Services EY
Neri Bukspan is a partner in EY’s financial accounting advisory services practice. His direct focus is on addressing the impact of accounting, financial reporting, corporate disclosures and regulatory changes. He advises EY clients on implementation requirements and assists them in building efficient, sustainable and effective corporate reporting processes and investor communications. Previously, Bukspan was an executive managing director at Standard and Poor’s, where he served as the firm’s chief quality officer, acting chief risk officer and chief accountant. He was a member of S&P’s executive committee and its analytical policy board and chaired its policy governance committee.
As chief accountant, Bukspan managed the global accounting and the corporate governance research groups supporting the firm’s analysts. He joined S&P in 2002 after serving in EY’s professional accounting practice as a technical resource for the firm’s professionals worldwide. He has served as a member of FASB’s Advisory Council, the PCAOB’s Standing Advisory Group, the Accounting Standards Executive Committee of the AICPA, the International Accounting Standards Board’s Advisory Committee and the IASB’s Capital Markets Advisory Committee, and as a chair of the FASB’s Investors Advisory Committee. He also serves on the joint IASB/FASB Lease Accounting and the FASB’s Disclosure Framework Advisory Groups and has authored numerous publications on the analytical implications of financial reporting.
Finance Lead for Enterprise Services Microsoft Corporation
Maria Buttler is Microsoft’s finance lead for the enterprise services business across the U.S., Canada and Latin America. The organization of more than 4,000 IT consulting and technical support professionals provides innovative solutions for Microsoft’s enterprise customers across their IT ecosystem. In her 10 years with the company, Buttler has worked in both consumer and enterprise customer segments and was formerly the CFO of Microsoft Singapore.
Head of Middle Market Leveraged Finance Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Britt Canady is a managing director and the group head of ABL syndicated finance/middle market leveraged finance with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.A. and honors in religious studies and a minor in business in 1992; and graduated from University of North Carolina School of Law with J.D. honors and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School with an MBA in 1996.
Upon completing graduate school, Canady practiced finance law with the firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge and Rice until 2000. He joined the debt capital markets team of Banc of America Securities, now Merrill Lynch, in 2000, and has been with the bank performing syndicated, leveraged finance work since then. He became a group head in 2007.
EVP & CFO Ingram Industries, Inc.
Mary Cavarra was named executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2002. She had served as vice president and controller since 1996. Previously, Cavarra had served as a director in the auditing group at Price Waterhouse, L.L.P. She joined Price Waterhouse in Denver in 1982, held various positions, and transferred to Nashville in 1992.
Cavarra is active in civic and professional organizations in Nashville. She served as board chair for Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee. She previously served as treasurer and as a member of the finance committee for more than 12 years. She also serves on the board of Nashville Sports Council and Alignment Nashville.
Cavarra is a native of Colorado and a graduate of the University of San Diego, where she received a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
CFO Cox Automotive
Dallas Clement is EVP & CFO for Cox Automotive, the largest automotive marketplace and leading provider of software solutions to auto dealers throughout the U.S. Clement leads all of its finance functions, including accounting, financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, procurement and billing. In addition, he oversees the company’s business development, strategic planning, legal and investor relations activities.
Previously, Clement served in several leadership positions spanning 20 years at Cox Communications. Most recently, he led Cox’s strategy and product management organizations. In the strategy role, he led strategic change and developed the company’s long-term planning process. His team assessed competitive, technical, consumer and regulatory trends impacting the company’s core businesses and the industry. In this role, he also identified new value-creating growth and steered Cox to new industries and businesses.
In 2004, he received the National Cable Television Association Vanguard Award for Young Leadership. Additionally, he is a graduate of the 2006 class of Leadership Atlanta, a prestigious community leadership program. Clement received a B.A. in applied mathematics and economics from Harvard College and holds a master’s of science in engineering-economic systems from Stanford University.
Head of Strategy & Business Planning Invesco
John Coleman is head of strategy and business planning for Invesco. His second book, “Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders”, has been featured in The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fast Company and Stanford Social Innovation Review. He is a regular online contributor to Harvard Business Review, where he focuses on personal development and leadership issues.
Coleman’s professional experience includes positions in energy arbitrage, consulting, asset management and housing and community development with McKinsey & Company, Bridgewater Associates and the Housing Partnership Network. In 2013, he was appointed by Gov. Deal to the DeKalb County Board of Education, providing oversight for a school system with more than 100,000 students and 15,000 employees. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Coleman graduated summa cum laude from Berry College. He holds a MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Zuckerman Fellow and a George Leadership Fellow with the Center for Public Leadership. He holds a MBA with high distinction from the Harvard Business School, where he received the Dean’s Award for leadership and service and was the HBS Class Day speaker.
VP, Senior Economist & Regional Executive Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Tom Cunningham is vice president, senior economist and regional executive for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Prior to his appointment as regional executive, he was associate director of research. He has served as a vice president in the research department, where he has been responsible for the regional and Latin American research teams.
He has served on the bank’s personnel, information technology, and risk management committees and as a member of the Federal Reserve System’s Information Security Group and Technology Services Council. He also was the acting director of the bank’s center for real estate analytics and the interim head of the finance group. Cunningham joined the bank as an economist with the macropolicy group in 1985, specializing in macroeconomics and monetary theory. He previously worked as an economics instructor at Barnard College at Columbia University.
He is a member of the American Economic Association, the Western Economic Association and the Southern Economic Association. Cunningham has published numerous professional articles. He received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in economics from California State University, Fresno. He earned a master’s degree, a master of philosophy, and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.
Senior Partner A.T. Kearney, Inc.
Michael Hales is senior partner based in Chicago with more than 35 years of industry and consulting experience working extensively in North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. He lived three years in London and four years in Sydney, where he co-led the startup of the firm’s Australian offices. His global cross-industry experience covers all aspects of operations, support services, sales channel, customer experience and merger integration. He has led more than 35 large-scale operations improvement programs and has contributed to more than 25 articles on procurement, innovation, customer experience and channel strategy. He recently co-authored a book, “Supplier Relationship Management: How to Maximize Supplier Value and Opportunity.”
Hales is co-author of the global city index, which periodically ranks more than 80 cities, and is complemented by the recent emerging city outlook. Together, they are recognized as a leading perspective on the role of cities. He has been on the board of trustees for the Institute of Supply Management’s Center for Strategic Supply Leadership since 2004. He has been actively involved with The Chicago Council on Global Affairs since 2004 and was named to the board in 2013.
SVP & CFO Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.
Scott Hill is CFO of Intercontinental Exchange. Hill joined ICE in 2007 from IBM and is responsible for all aspects of ICE's finance and accounting functions, treasury, tax, audit and controls, mergers and acquisitions, business development, human resources, and investor relations. He also has responsibility for the company’s global clearing operations, including its credit default swap clearing houses, which have cleared more than $16T in gross notional value since ICE launched CDS clearing in 2009.
Hill was named CFO of the Year by the CFO Roundtable Atlanta Advisory Board in 2010 and by The Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2009.
Hill earned a BBA from The University of Texas and completed an MBA at the Stern School of Business at New York University.
EVP & CFO Delta Air Lines, Inc.
Paul Jacobson is EVP and CFO responsible for Delta’s global finance organization. Throughout his career, he has been a key contributor to Delta’s strategies and has been instrumental in a number of initiatives, including the purchase of the Trainer refinery from ConocoPhillips; the balance sheet initiatives that have resulted in nearly $7B in debt reduction; the structuring of $1.8B in revolving credit facilities, the expansion of the T-4 facility at JFK, and the recently announced capital allocation strategy. Combined, these initiatives are expected to contribute more than $1B in annual benefits to Delta.
Since joining Delta as a financial analyst in 1997, Jacobson has held several positions, including serving as SVP and treasurer for Delta from 2005. In 2012, he became CFO. He currently serves on the board of visitors at the Owen Graduate School of Management, as well as the Aviation Management advisory board in Auburn.
Jacobson graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in aviation management and later received an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
EVP & CFO Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
John E. Kampfe is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. In this capacity, he oversees all domestic and international financial operations of the company related to its news, entertainment, animation, sports, advertising sales and distribution units, as well as managing the operations of its properties unit. Kampfe serves on the TBS, Inc. executive committee and works closely with Turner Broadcasting parent company Time Warner Inc. on financial forecasting and reporting. He is based in Atlanta and reports to Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of TBS, Inc.
Formerly senior vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer for TBS, Inc., Kampfe was responsible for all consolidated financial reporting, budgeting and long-range financial planning, as well as TBS, Inc.’s treasury functions, shared services and financial systems. Previously, he was senior vice president and group controller for Turner Entertainment Group, Inc. from 1994 until he was promoted in 2000.
Kampfe earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the Fisher School of Accounting at the University of Florida. He serves on the board of directors of Broadcast Cable Financial Management (BCFM), a non-profit educational association serving the television, radio and cable industries.
SVP & CFO HD Supply Inc.
Evan Levitt is SVP and CFO for HD Supply. He joined the company in 2007 as controller. As controller, Levitt was responsible for all accounting and financial reporting functions, including the establishment of and compliance with accounting and financial reporting policies and procedures. He ensured timely, accurate and transparent reporting of HD Supply’s results and transactions. Levitt and his team lead the company’s 2009 SEC registration process for senior and senior subordinated notes and were also instrumental in HD Supply going public in 2013.
Prior to joining HD Supply, he was assistant controller and director of financial reporting for The Home Depot from 2004—2007. He also served in various management roles at Payless ShoeSource from 1999—2004, most recently as VP of accounting and reporting. Prior to Payless ShoeSource, he held the role of audit manager with Arthur Andersen. He holds a B.S. in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis and is a CPA.
Head of the Strategic Risk Management Solutions Group Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Hector Lugo is a director and head of the strategic risk management solutions group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Lugo focuses on assisting corporations in quantifying risk, performing best practices reviews, designing hedging programs and advising on derivatives accounting.
Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lugo spent six years at Citigroup in its corporate solutions group advising companies on all aspects related to financial risk management. Previously, he spent four years at PwC in its treasury specialist service group providing advisory and accounting advise corporate treasuries. He started his career at British American Tobacco Mexico as head of cash flow planning.
Lugo holds a B.A. in economics from Monterey Institute of Technology in Mexico and an MBA in finance from Carnegie Mellon University.
Director of Legal Affairs and Tax Policy Georgia Department of Revenue
Frank O’Connell heads up the office of legal affairs and tax policy for the Georgia Department of Revenue. He is responsible for handling administrative hearings for tax protests, drafting letter rulings, promulgating tax regulations, drafting the yearly legislative tax package for the department, and providing taxpayer and internal education seminars.
Prior to joining the department in 2003, O’Connell consulted in state and local taxation for 10 years in two Big Four accounting firms. He has spoken at seminars put on by the Tax Executives Institute, the States’ Association of Bankruptcy Attorneys, the Multistate Tax Commission, the IPT Georgia Tax Conference, and at SEATA conferences. A member of the tax section of the Georgia Bar, O’Connell received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame and his LL.M. in taxation from New York University.
Senior Consultant, Retirement Risk Management Towers Watson
Jason Richards is one of the leaders of Towers Watson’s retirement risk management group, which helps pension plan sponsors identify, assess and manage pension risk. He works with plan sponsors to address the key financial implications of options related to plan design, investment strategy and full or partial plan settlement. Richards has guided clients of all industries and sizes, though he specializes in helping large, complex organizations address the goals and challenges of their pension plan management strategy.
Richards is a fellow in the Society of Actuaries, an enrolled actuary and a CFA charterholder.
Director, Leveraged Finance Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Nina Sprinkle is a director in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s leveraged finance group. She focuses on syndicated debt transactions covering a broad range of industries including technology, general industrial, business services and healthcare.
Sprinkle graduated from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce with a B.S. in commerce and concentrations in finance and marketing, and later obtained her MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Sprinkle worked in the Atlanta office of Houlihan Lokey, a financial advisory firm.
Superintendent DeKalb County School District
Michael L. Thurmond is the superintendent of the DeKalb County School District, the third-largest district in the state of Georgia, with 13,000 employees serving more than 100,000 students. He is currently on leave from the Butler, Wooten & Fryhofer law firm. Thurmond was the Democratic Party’s nominee for U.S. Senate in 2010.
In 1986, he became the first African-American elected to the Georgia General Assembly from Clarke County since reconstruction. During his legislative tenure, Thurmond authored major legislation that has provided more than $250M in tax relief to Georgia’s senior citizens and working families. He also served as chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus.
Following his legislative service, Thurmond was called upon to lead the state Division of Family and Children’s Services and direct Georgia’s historic transition from welfare to work. He created the innovative Work First program, which helped more than 90,000 welfare-dependent Georgia families move from dependence into the workforce.
He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in philosophy and religion from Paine College and later earned a J.D. degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He also completed the political executives program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Principal, Financial Services Office EY
Chip Tsantes is a principal in the financial services office of EY where he leads the cyber security practice. He is responsible for helping financial services companies assess, transform and sustain their information security programs and infrastructure. Specific areas of focus include security program management, threat and vulnerability management, privacy and data protection, and identity and access management. These services improve an organization’s ability to manage risk, leading to enhanced business performance and sustainable cost-effective compliance with rapidly changing regulations.
In addition, this practice helps clients deal with the emerging and ever increasing security issues with mobile computing and cloud computing, as well as the challenges of protecting organizations, employees and customers from the threats of an ever-connected world. Tsantes assists clients improving their security awareness, detection and protection from a wide range of threat actors ranging from careless employees to organized crime to nation states.
He advises many of the FSO’s key clients across a wide range of cyber topics and projects to improve their ability to prevent, detect quickly and remediate cyber security events.
Prior to EY, Tsantes was EVP and CTO of Intersections, Inc., the leading provider of identity and credit management solutions for consumers and small businesses in North America.
Chief Procurement Officer Campbell Soup Company
Thomas Weill is chief procurement officer of Campbell Soup Co., a global manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals including soup, baked snacks and healthy beverages. He was appointed in 2007. He is responsible for all of Campbell’s global purchasing activities. Weill believes that strong key strategic supplier relationships are critical to ensure a high quality, reliable supply network that can drive breakthrough innovation.
His team leverages Campbell’s worldwide resources to maximize the value and efficiency of the supply base while driving a higher level of innovation and minimizing economic risk and ensuring supply continuity. His global team’s responsibility stretches beyond the traditional categories of procurement to include indirect categories, including marketing, IT, HR, and research and development.
Weill has more than 28 years of food manufacturing experience. He first joined Campbell in 2001 as VP of global contract manufacturing. He held the role of VP of North American manufacturing in 2003 and was named VP of North American supply chain in 2004. Previously, he worked at Nabisco in various engineering and manufacturing roles, including director of contract manufacturing and senior director of operations.