November 2, 2016 / Conference

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

Beyond Finance – Strategy Building and the Business-Focused CFO

Exclusive to Governing Body members and select CFO peers. 

Dennis Laraway
Memorial Hermann
Anthony Tripodo
Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc.
Gaylen Paulson
Associate Dean & Director
McCombs School of Business, the University of Texas at Austin
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The enduring enterprise of the future sits at the confluence of dynamic talent, next-generation technology and forward-thinking leadership. As Houston organizations step away from the pall of downturn and look toward recovery and growth, CFOs must align more closely with the business than ever before. Whether driving greater efficiency to lower costs, identifying critical areas for investment or building teams equipped to meet complex challenges, finance officers must focus on crafting and executing strategy beyond merely the bottom line. In this roundtable discussion, you and your peers will build a toolset for better business alignment through human capital management, innovation, and strategic leadership.

8:00am - 8:30am

Networking Break & General Registration

8:30am - 9:20am Opening Keynote

Looking Ahead – Surveying the Economic Landscape

Keynote  sponsored by: American Express

Peter L. Rodriguez
Dean, Jones Graduate School of Business at
Rice University
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In this important keynote, Dr. Peter Rodriguez, economist and dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University, shares his outlook on the global economic forces impacting enterprise organizations in Houston and around the world.

9:20am - 9:40am

Networking Break

9:40am - 10:30am Breakout Sessions

Fresh Approaches and Enhanced Alignment – A Case Study

Featured Session 

Philipp Mueller
GE Oil & Gas
Kelly Youngblood
Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.
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The O&G industry is experiencing an unprecedented downturn. Inefficiencies and a lack of aligning long-term incentives between players in the industry have exacerbated the impact of the global oil supply glut. These challenging conditions demand creative responses and novel business approaches. In this dynamic session, Kelly Youngblood and Phil Mueller discuss innovative solutions that align incentives and drive greater outcome productivity, and they share a real-life case study of a new commercial arrangement that was driven as much by operational aspects as by financials.

Once Again, Undo the Breach – Building a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Program

Featured Session 

Kelvin Collard
EVP & Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.
Keith Turpin
CISO & Head of Global Network Ops.
Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.
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In the age of the highly publicized breach, and with vast amounts of sensitive customer data at the lifeblood of business, cybersecurity is on the forefront of the CFO agenda. At Universal Weather and Aviation, Kelvin Collard and the executive management team recognized that the reputational risk of an attack was too grave and the complexity of the evolving threat landscape too complex to undergo alone. Over three years, Collard and the executive team, working with new CISO Keith Turpin, rebuilt their security strategy, collaborating with partners across the business to fortify their people, processes and systems. In this case study, Collard and Turpin outline their security journey, from assessing vulnerabilities to executing a holistic strategy in a dangerous time.

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

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mark Ashby
Patrick McCullough
Just Energy Group 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.

10:30am - 10:50am

Networking Break

10:50am - 11:40am Breakout Sessions

The Future of Capital Markets – Preparing to Ride the Waves

Featured Session  sponsored by: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Joe Hedberg
Director, Strategic Risk Management Solutions
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Gordon Morrison
Managing Director
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
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Many indicators suggest that 2020’s capital markets will look very different than today’s, and CFOs have become increasingly wary of dipping their toes in the volatile waters. The current regulatory environment is forcing lower leverage as regulations have real implications on both access and cost in capital markets. Join Gordon Morrison and Joe Hedberg for a look at the current state of the markets, insight into future trends and guidance for CFOs looking to explore how their peers are managing through market uncertainty.

Growing Pains – The Path to Maturity in the Analytics-Driven Enterprise

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: EY

Mehmet Muftuoglu
VP & Treasurer
Cheryl Sadro
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Craig Sanders
Principal, National Advisory Practice
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With resources and talent at a premium, in an environment beset by fierce competition and razor-thin margins for growth (and for error), the sophisticated leveraging of data is a clear differentiator between success and failure. But while most leaders recognize this necessity, few are able to truly bridge the gap between their big data ambitions and insight-fueled execution. Value-creation through data requires the right governance, communication, tools and commitment — starting with the CFO. In this interactive session, CFOs will navigate toward better understanding their customers, empowering their business partners, and enhancing efficiency through data on the road to a robust analytics program.

11:40am - 12:00pm

Networking Break

12:00pm - 1:10pm Luncheon Keynote

Get Big Things Done - The Power of Connectional Intelligence


Erica Dhawan
Author & Thought Leader
"Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence"
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Emotional intelligence was a game-changing concept in the ‘90s, and now connectional intelligence — the human ability to combine knowledge, ambition and people, amplified by new technologies — is transforming our hyperconnected world. It is changing corporate America by quickly, efficiently and creatively helping leaders enlist supporters, drive innovation, develop new strategies and implement diverse solutions to big problems. Learn how to leverage connectional intelligence to maximize the impact of your efforts across the enterprise, improve the probability of creating business value, and unleash the full capacity of your entire employee base.

1:10pm - 1:30pm

Networking Break

1:30pm - 2:20pm Breakout Sessions

Exponential IT – Self-Management in an Era of Disruption

Featured Session 

Natty Gur
Friedkin Companies, Inc.
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Whether you view it as viable threat or insidious buzzword, disruption will impact your business. Agile competition, technological innovation and a diverse, multi-generational workforce converge to create an atmosphere of constant evolution. At the heart of successful change are people, and Friedkin chief information officer Natty Gur has a passion for engaging people to drive better outcomes. Gur’s controversial approach to engagement is Exponential IT, a self-management program designed to empower his teams and capture the spirit of technological innovation that will help Friedkin remain a leader in their industry. In this engaging session, Gur shares the key tenets of his self-management model and the ways in which it has enhanced performance, sharpened Friedkin’s technological capabilities and equipped their top talent to deal with uncertainty.

And So It Grows – Paving the M&A Road

Executive Boardroom  sponsored by: Houlihan Lokey

Robert Lane
Spark Energy
Jon McCarter
Managing Director
Houlihan Lokey
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In a persistently slow-growth economic environment, M&A activity still represents a viable course to improved market position for many organizations. But with such a narrow path to growth, these transactions must be undertaken with greater precision than ever before. CFOs embarking on the M&A journey must navigate myriad transactional pitfalls and copious post-merger challenges in order to extract maximum value and drive sustained growth. Led by Houlihan Lokey’s Jon McCarter, this candid conversation examines the essential elements of successful M&A and the strategies necessary to cement its impact long after the deal is done.

2:20pm - 2:40pm

Networking Break

2:40pm - 3:20pm Closing Keynote

Change at the Top – Leading through Transformation

Keynote  sponsored by: Workday

Frank Demaille
President & CEO
ENGIE North America Inc.
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ENGIE North America CEO Frank Demaille and his team understood that weathering the vagaries of a volatile global economic climate required fresh approaches. But change can’t be willed into existence; building a strategy of transformation required a clear plan and organization-wide support to succeed. With an emphasis on diversity, fresh leadership perspectives, and a customer-first approach, ENGIE placed a premium on culture to fuel their ongoing evolution. In this keynote address, Demaille examines the forces that drove transformation, the challenges overcome in executing his vision, and the role a culture of leadership plays in lasting, impactful change.