November 3, 2015 / Conference

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

Opportunities for Leadership During Inopportune Times

Exclusive to Governing Body members and select CFO peers. 

Denise Castillo-Rhodes, CPA MBA
EVP, CFO Finance & Administration
Texas Medical Center
Michael A. Denham
Quantum Energy Partners
Dennis L. Laraway
Memorial Hermann Health System
David D. Powell
BHP Billiton Petroleum
Anthony Tripodo
Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc.
Mark Vise
Former VP & CFO, Americas
William Glick
Rice Jones Graduate School of Business
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Houston is feeling the effects of the current oil price volatility, and CFOs from every industry are talking. With so many external factors out of a financial leader’s control, how can CFOs lead internally to increase agility given the unpredictable nature of the global economic landscape? When and how do CFOs need to change organizational strategy? This private session is an opportunity for CFOs to candidly share what strategies they use for managing through changes, discuss communication strategies within and outside of their enterprises, and look to prepare for the future.

8:30am - 9:10am Opening Keynote

An Introspective Look at Cybersecurity


Michael Theis
Assistant Director for Insider Threat Research CERT© Insider Threat Center Software Engineering Institute (an FFRDC)
Carnegie Mellon University
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Insider threat comes in many different varieties, from a calculated, disgruntled employee to an unassuming one. Any way you slice it, one wrong click and the organization ends up with a costly situation. CFOs are tasked with ensuring security procedures are in place to monitor for inklings of fraud, intellectual property theft, and worse. As boards become more involved in cybersecurity issues, what strategies can CFOs use to safeguard internal security? Michael Theis will outline the current insider threat landscape, trends in cybersecurity and share strategies to mitigate the ever-present risk of internal threats.

9:30am - 10:20am Breakout Sessions

Passport to Success – Multinational Structuring

Featured Session 

Patrick McCullough
Just Energy Group Inc.
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Whether an organization is multinational or not, restructuring is a process. Many corporate structuring efforts are often one-time, reactionary measures, however they should be more strategic. Patrick McCullough, CFO at Just Energy, will outline best practices surrounding corporate structuring using interactive case studies that will leave finance leaders ready to tackle timely and proactive adjustments. What implications such as legal and tax exist surrounding this journey? What stakeholders are affected? McCullough will discuss how CFOs are best equipped to lead and evaluate the risks and benefits when restructuring, and some key approaches to ushering in long-term change.

Engaging Employees Pays Off

Featured Session 

Ralph Vasami
Universal Weather and Aviation
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Having an engaged workforce drives overall bottom-line business results according to numerous studies and surveys. CFOs, as business drivers within their organizations, can find ways to partner with CEOs and engage employees to increase performance and efficiency. Ralph Vasami, CEO at Universal Weather and Aviation, will lead an interactive session outlining the development of Roadmap to Winning, a program that Vasami and his CFO use to train employees on the core values and mission of the organization, how their role fits in and how they interact with the global community to ultimately differentiate from the competition and win in the market.

Organic Growth vs. M&A –Strategies for an Ever-Changing Economy

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bernardo Goarmon
EVP Finance & CFO
EDP Renewables North America LLC
Faisal Naseem
Sooner Inc.
Oscar Brown
Co-Head of Americas Energy Investment Banking
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
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2015 has seen record M&A growth, but a downturn in the energy sector has tempered enthusiasm. What does the future of M&A look like as the economy buoys up and down? What are the latest trends in M&A strategies? Is it simply survival M&A in some cases? Is organic growth still a viable route? Come ready to share best practices and growth strategies in this candid boardroom discussion led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Hear how peers are pursuing growth to beat the odds and achieve an upward trajectory in their top and bottom lines.

Better, Stronger, Faster – Uniting Finance and Operations

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: Tidemark

William Gordon
Associate General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer
Hercules Offshore, Inc.
David D. Powell
BHP Billiton Petroleum
Colby Moosman
Principal Financial Officer & VP of Operations
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These days success in business is entirely relative to a company’s ability to translate data into action rapidly. Organizations that act faster than competitors, win. But in in many cases, operational business activity is not connected with the finance team’s view of the business. Learn how to equip your finance organization to play a more active role in improving performance and driving growth with a deeper, richer set of tools that provide better insight sooner. Join this discussion with Colby Moosman for strategies to enable a continuous finance process that delivers real-time, up-to-date information to drive effective business decisions.

10:40am - 11:30am Breakout Sessions

Propelling Shareholder Value to New Heights

Featured Session  sponsored by: Fortuna-Shareholder Advisors LLC

Jonathan Baliff
President & CEO
Bristow Group Inc.
Greg Milano
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Fortuna-Shareholder Advisors LLC
Don Miller
Bristow Group Inc.
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Is it possible to increase shareholder value while improving safety and corporate culture? Certainly. Bristow Group, a helicopter transportation company, underwent an aerodynamic transformation starting in 2010 when senior management implemented a capital allocation strategy focused on reinvesting in the business for long-term growth. This resulted in operational, financial and strategic planning improvements. Jonathan Baliff, president and CEO, and Don Miller, SVP and CFO at Bristow Group, join Greg Milano, co-founder and CEO of Fortuna Advisors, to share how value-based management simultaneously improved the company’s planning, budgeting and investing, and led them to outperform every company in the industry.

A View From The Hill

Featured Session  sponsored by: EY

Timothy Urban
Principal, Washington Council
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Congress will soon be distracted by the politics of an election year, but its short-term focus delivers lasting impact. Will there be more gridlock or a new era of compromise? U.S. tax code reform seems unlikely as legislative cliffs such as the national debt limit are addressed. Yet, new leaders on the tax writing House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee are setting a foundation for future action on tax reform. Join EY’s Timothy Urban as he provides an update on these significant efforts and offers insight on the implications of international trade agreements, changes in tax rates and the regulation landscape as they move to the forefront of Congress’ agenda.

Cloudy With a Chance of Security and Cost Efficiency

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: Tribridge

Kelvin R. Collard
EVP & Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
Universal Weather and Aviation
Sean Kelleher
VP & CFO – Major Projects & Improve
WorleyParsons Corporation
Rob Griffin
Director, Strategy and Business Consulting Practice
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As companies increasingly migrate to using cloud technologies, securing customer data should always be the first priority for an organization. When CFOs consider all options for data management though, security and ease-of-use shouldn’t come at the expense of driving up IT costs. Cloud solutions have the ability to address critical compliance and regulatory needs while offering a predictable cost model that scales with the business. Join Chief Cloud Officer Greg Pierce to discuss what innovative opportunities and risks exist with cloud services, and learn from peers who have adopted cloud as a part of their IT strategy.

11:50am - 1:00pm Luncheon Keynote

The Near-Term Outlook for the Economy and Financial Markets

Keynote  sponsored by: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Joseph Quinlan
Managing Director & Chief Market Strategist
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
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Joseph Quinlan provides his outlook on the U.S. and global economies and perspectives on market investment strategy, sector overview and key risks.

1:20pm - 2:10pm Breakout Sessions

Megabytes Without Megabucks

Featured Session  sponsored by: Workday

Dulce Borjas
ENGIE North America
Patrick Gaussent
ENGIE North America
John Hugo
VP, Financials Products & Go To Market
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No matter the industry, organizations across America are examining how their IT departments can align with the strategic outlook of the business. Ensuring a smooth partnership is never easy, but establishing a collaborative approach to strategic projects between finance and IT can make the most of technology investments. What steps are necessary to cultivate a successful partnership between finance and IT? What procedures must be in place to ensure success for the enterprise? This panel will focus on fruitful solutions IT and finance leaders can take to integrate information technology and business strategy and produce insights into the organization.

Don’t Be a Lone Star, Build a Dream Team

Featured Session 

Marc Carroll
Black Stone Minerals, L.P.
James Harris
Forum Energy Technologies
Andrew Sunderman
Direct Energy
Jonathan Harvey
Executive Director
Rice Executive Education
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Houston CFOs are currently faced with the task of managing employees through the effects of the dip in oil prices. Using this time to look inwardly at the organization, finance leaders are developing teams that build morale and engage their workforce. Connecting people to the core values of an organization directly impacts the business, however the multigenerational work environment poses challenges in finding strategies that motivate millennials, baby boomers and everyone in between. This panel will share successes from CFOs who have constructed strong teams that invigorate and challenge talent, allowing finance leaders to shift their focus from day-to-day operations to larger strategic planning.

How to Win Friends and Influence Boards

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: EY

Eric Anyah
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Ellis Moseley
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.

2:20pm - 3:20pm Closing Keynote

Dip or Dive – An Energy Update

Keynote  sponsored by: PwC

Curt Karges
Managing Director
PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance LLC
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This year has put Houston organizations on alert for how the oil downturn will progress, and for how much longer. The existing energy transition landscape — with low primary prices and the trend toward renewables and regulations — is impacting the energy world. Curt Karges, head of the Houston office and sector leader for energy at PwC, will provide an energy update and forecast, including what the current conditions mean for Houston companies.