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2016 Spring Spectrum

Published by communications, 2016-07-27 15:13:35

Description: 2016 Spring Spectrum

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SPECTRUMSPRING2016 BRIDGING THE OPPORTUNITY GAP FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THE ACCOUNTING, FINANCE, AND BUSINESS PROFESSIONS8 Certifications and You: KNOW THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOUR CAREER14 KENNETH E. COOKE, CPA: 18 MEET NABA’S 23 MAXIMIZE YOUR 25 YEARS OF SERVICE INCOMING CHAIR: CONVENTION TO NABA STEVEN L. HARRIS EXPERIENCE


AuthenticityexpectedKPMG LLP believes our people must be as diverse asthe clients and communities we serve, and that theirunique backgrounds, experiences, and talents areessential to our success. We’re proud that, at everylevel of our firm, our professionals take ownershipfor creating a diverse and inclusive culture.We appreciate our alliance with NABA, and valueour shared commitment to develop current andemerging business leaders.Senior Manager,AuditVisit us at KPMG Careerskpmg.com© 2016 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent memberfirms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.The KPMG name and logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International. NDPPS 530253


CONTENTS5 NABA National Board of Directors7 Message from the Chairman and President and CEO8 Certifications: Pick One That’s Right For You14 Kenneth E. Cooke, CPA: 25 Years of Service to NABA 18 Meet NABA’s Incoming Chair: Steven L. Harris20 NABA Prepares Leaders to Survive in a VUCA Business World 23 Maximize Your Convention Experience to Accelerate Your Growth and Advancement 24 Focus on the Future23 Give the Recruiters What They Want26 Be The Accountant Employers Want to Hire Immediately 30 Diversity v. Inclusion: Three Essential Questions33 21st Century Unconscious Bias: The Power that Lies Underneath 34 NABA Lifetime Members


7474 Greenway Center Drive Suite 1120 • Greenbelt, MD 20770 Phone: 301.474.NABA • Fax: 301.474.3114 • www.nabainc.orgMission NABA Staff Editorial ServicesTo address the professional Jina Etienne, CPA, CGMA Publisherneeds of its members and buildleaders who shape the future President & CEO Jina Etienne, CPA, CGMAof the accounting and financeprofessions, with unfaltering Lauren Yost, SPHR Editor in Chiefcommitment to inspire thesame in their successors. Chief Operating Officer Lauren Burke STAY CONNECTED! Kim R. Wilson Managing Editors Join NABA’s Social Networks: Vice President, Programs and Resources Elaine W. Smith Darell Scott Lauren Burke Writers Director, Business Development Maya Francis Rhonda Johnson Adams Natalie Holder Kimberly S. Reed Director, Membership Charlene Rhinehart, CPA, CFE Elaine W. Smith Stephen Schultz Miriam Tarver Director, Conferences Copy Editor Shon McGhee Lindsay N. Smith Controller Graphics Monique Fofana Yondee Designs, LLC Meeting Planner Crystal Briscoe Executive Assistant to the President & CEO Lynette Perry Senior Manager, Membership Operations Darell Scott Manager, Marketing and Communications Tracey Posey Operations Manager Lisa McCullum Member Relations Coordinator4 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


BOARD OF DIRECTORSKenneth E. Cooke, CPA Steven L. Harris, CPA Jina Etienne, CPA, CGMA Chairman of the Board Vice Chairman of the Board President & CEO REGIONAL PRESIDENTSJeannine K. Brown, MBA Herschel Frierson Johnny Jefferson Daniel Worrell, MPA, CFE, CRMA Southern Region President Central Region President Western Region President Eastern Region President NATIONAL DIRECTORSEarl Fagan, CPA Dr. Mark Kiel, CPA, PhD Veda S. Stanley, CFE National Director National Treasurer National SecretaryRonald E. Taylor, CPA Joy Jacobs Roberta Y. Wright, Esq. National Director National Director National Parliamentarian SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 5


© 2016 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved. | 1511-1742972 MW NABA | ED None. What legacy will you create? At EY, inclusiveness is the way we leverage our differences to achieve better business results, creating an environment where all of our people know they are valued. We believe that when differences are celebrated, talented people from all backgrounds have the chance to develop, advance and make more meaningful contributions to our culture and our clients. We are proud to work with the innovators and game- changers of today to create new legacies for the world. Through a career at EY, you will become the builders of legacy — for our clients, our communities and yourselves. Join our talent community: tinyurl.com/EYNABA16 or contact Tonika Hammonds at tonika.hammonds@ey.com or Tina Thompkins at tina.thompkins@ey.com. 6 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN AND PRESIDENT & CEODear Friends:A cursory review of opinions about the top challenges facing the accounting profession produced some common themes:the rapid pace of change in the profession, attracting and retaining high-performing employees, operating in a morecomplex and dynamic business environment, finding the next generation of leaders, a “talent gap” and “competency crisis,”globalization, and yes, diversity and inclusion. All of these themes are addressed in this issue of Spectrum and at NABA’s2016 National Convention, the theme of which is “Accelerating Your Growth and Advancement.”The rapid pace of change will be addressed at the convention by at least two individuals. Nat Irvin, a futurist and theStrickler executive in residence and professor of management at the University of Louisville’s College of Business will takeus 25 years into the future and challenge participants to think differently about the business of accounting, when it’s areal possibility that some people may be replaced with artificial intelligence. Dr. Robert Beis, who will lead the ExecutiveLeadership Development Institute, will focus on how leaders in the accounting profession can survive in what is beingtermed a “VUCA” world – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Dr. Beis says the world of accounting is changing sofast that leaders need to anticipate the changes and adapt to them.With respect to the so-called talent gap and competency crisis, NABA members have always been among the most high-performing professionals and are increasingly obtaining accounting and other certifications to compete in the job market.Employers are either preferring or requiring certifications. In our lead article, we asked eight members about their decisionsto acquire certification(s). The bottom line is that certifications can be differentiators in the job market.When we think about diversity and inclusion, NABA was established 45 years ago because of the lack of diversity and inclusion,yet in 2016, this is still a very important issue for the profession and for NABA. Not only is the profession grappling to fill thepipeline with the most talented minorities, but corporate America, government and other employers want to retain them.Today, NABA is at a pivotal point in its existence and as such is implementing a strategic plan that focuses on ensuringtechnical excellence among its members, developing standards for workplace equity to help employers with talent retentionchallenges, establishing a platform for education equality to help solve diversity issues, and developing competent leaders,among other things.So as we implement what we are calling Vision2020, we are creating and renewing strong partnerships and continuingto be the best source of information and training for African Americans and other minorities in the accounting professionwho are seeking to build their networks and skills to not only advance their careers, but to help others along the way –“Lifting As We Climb.” Kenneth E. Cooke, CPA Jina Etienne, CPA, CGMA Chairman of the Board President & CEOLifetime Member – Richmond Metro Chapter SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 7


CERTIFICATIONS AND YOU:Choosing the best fit to drive your careerMercedes Forrest, CMA, PMP, Manager Naomi Gordon-Fulse, CPA, CIA, By Elaine W. Smith in the Management Consulting CISA, Risk Assurance Manager, Practice at KPMG LLP T oday, winning the competition for PricewaterhouseCoopers a desired professional, managerial or executive position requires Ryan Galloway, CPA, CGFM, CGMA, Lebone Moses, MBA, CISA, CIPP, more than a degree. According toManagement Analyst/Special Assistant Principal, LCM Consulting Robert Half’s Guide to Certificationsto the Office of the Director, Center for for Accounting, Finance and OperationsMedicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Management, the demand for certifications is high. “Corporate governance reforms, an Department of Human Services increasingly global business environment, and rapidly changing technologies have heightened the demand for accounting and finance professionals who possess advanced skills and have demonstrated their expertise and commitment to ongoing education by earning professional designations.” The guide further states that certifications can be a differentiator in the job market. “Not only can certifications help individuals differentiate themselves in the marketplace, but they also serve as an indicator to employers that a potential hire has the requisite skills to perform a specific job or service.”Charlene Rhinehart, CPA, CFE, Veda Stanley, CFE, Business Unit Risk & NABA members are not only pursuing the Principal, CEO Unlimited Control Manager, Client Service Group, CPA designation, but they are pursuing certifications such as the Certified Internal TIAA-CREF Auditor, Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Fraud Examiner, and more.Michael Wade, CPA, CGMA, Owner, Daniel Worrell, CFE, CRMA, Director Michael F. Wade, CPA; Adjunct of Internal Controls, New York State Spectrum interviewed eight NABA members Metropolitan Transportation Authority; who hold one or more certifications to Professor, University of Louisville internal controls officer, MTA Capital determine why they pursued a career in accounting, why they chose the certifications Construction that they hold, how the certifications have made a difference in their careers, and for career advice for differentiating oneself in the accounting field.8 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


SPECTRUM >> Why did you decide to pursue an accounting career? CPA Certified PublicFORREST >>: During high school, I was a member of the Future Business Leaders of AccountantAmerica (FBLA) and was exposed to the world of finance and accounting. We had guestspeakers from the accounting world and also took field trips such as visiting the NYSE. The CGMAexposure that I received in this high school organization piqued my interest in accounting. Chartered GlobalAfter taking a few courses in college, I knew accounting was a career that I would pursue. Management AccountantGALLOWAY >>: I pursued a career in accounting because it would provide me with atangible set of tools that I could apply in all phases of the field of business. Understanding CIAaccounting bolsters your financial acumen, which is critical to becoming a good business Certified Internalleader. AuditorGORDON-FULSE >>: I took my first accounting class in high school and was immediately CMAdrawn to the core concepts and the dance of debits and credits. At the time I didn’t Certifiedunderstand what being a CPA or auditor meant but I knew I had a knack for something Managementthat most avoided. AccountantMOSES >>: I was initially an international studies major, and enjoyed understanding CRMAand assessing businesses and developing solutions for business problems. As a result, Certification ineach year I entered NABA Boston’s Bentley Business Bowl, a business case competition. Risk ManagementWhen my team placed third in my sophomore year, I was approached by a PwC recruiter, Assurancewho offered me an opportunity to interview, and invited me to attend summer eventsto meet people in accounting. After getting a real-life glimpse of the diversity in the CFEaccounting field, I decided to change my major to accounting and information systems. I Certified Fraudalso obtained an internship with PwC’s System Process Assurance Group, which entailed Examinerintense training and client experiences performing IT audits and assessing businessprocesses. This exciting experience captured my interest, and from there I decided that CISAan accounting career made sense for me. Certified Information Systems AuditorRHINEHART >>:My mother was influential in my decision to study accounting. Sheworked as a part-time bookkeeper and knew the career opportunities were wide and CIPPsteep. I enrolled in my first accounting course in my junior year of high school. Although Certified Informationthe accounting work and logic was initially challenging, I enjoyed the course because PwC Privacy Professionalprofessionals came into the classroom to provide accounting education and motivation.The job shadow opportunities and real-life experiences heightened my interest to further CGFMexplore accounting, and as a result, I pursued an undergraduate degree in accounting. Certified Government Financial ManagerSTANLEY >>:As a child, when I read the Sunday newspaper with my mom, I noticedthere were always pages of jobs for accountants. I didn’t want to grow up to be a NYYellow Cab driver with a college degree, so I picked a major that was always hiring.WADE >>: In college, I was a sociology major and enrolled in Accounting 201 as anelective. Sociology analyzes the relationships among people, while accounting analyzesbusiness information. Before I knew it, I was in Accounting 202, and changed my majorto accounting. I often tell people accounting chose me.WORRELL >>: When I was discharged from the military, I was in search of an occupationthat would prepare me for a successful business career and allow me to take advantageof my strengths in math. A good friend advised me that an accounting career wouldprovide that for me in addition to a progressive and rewarding livelihood. To my surprise,from my very first accounting course, I knew that I chose the right profession. SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 9


SPECTRUM >> Why did you choose and pursue STANLEY >>:As a recovering accountant, I rebranded mythe certification(s) that you have? skills and experiences into compliance and risk. My [CFE] certification adds depth to my experience.FORREST >>: My first job out of college was doingaccounting at IBM. I never wanted to follow the traditional WADE >>: Itwasanaturalprogressionandmycommitmentaccounting path of doing audit or tax at a Big 4 accounting to the profession that I love. Obtaining the CPA and thefirm and so a CPA license was never of interest to me. I Certified Global Management Accountant (CGMA) affordedwas more interested in understanding and learning how me the opportunity to stand out to potential employersaccounting could drive business decisions, thus becoming a and be a mentor to others pursing the certifications.Certified Management Accountant (CMA) was more of a fitfor my long-term goals. I obtained an MBA after working at WORRELL >>: As an undergraduate student at MedgarIBM for a few years and now am a management consultant. Evers College, I was introduced to NABA and countlessI decided to pursue a Project Management Professional professionals who ingrained in us the need to pursueCertification (PMP) because project management is a core professional certifications and graduate degrees. Theyskill set as a consultant and my clients value the PMP. made it very clear that the additional credentials were a must-have in the profession in order to be consideredGALLOWAY >>: I obtained the CPA designation because credible in your field and that they would differentiate usit is the vanguard certification in accounting and from our peers. I chose the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)confirms expertise and technical prowess. I obtained the credential because solving or mitigating internal controlCGFM certification when I transitioned into the federal weaknesses has been something that I have enjoyed doingbudgetary world as it not only allowed me to learn more from my very first role out of school.about finance and accounting in the public sector, butalso certified my understanding and insight. SPECTRUM >> How has your particular certification benefited you in your career?GORDON-FULSE >>:I believe that in order to besuccessful, you have become a master of your craft. I’ve FORREST >>: Clients view my certifications as additionalspent my career honing my skills and challenging myself. credentials. Some clients specifically want a consultantI believe obtaining additional designations shows my with a CMA and/or PMP and so my credentials have madecommitment to the profession, a firm understanding of me more marketable.key concepts, and allows me to stay relevant with my peersand clients. GALLOWAY >>: The CPA, CGFM, CGMA have helped my career as they signal technical competency, and my abilityMOSES >>: I pursued my Certified Information Systems to serve as a trusted business advisor.Auditor (CISA) certification after three years of workingin public accounting because my primary focus was GORDON-FULSE >>:As I’ve moved from publicIT audits and business process assessments. The CISA accounting to internal audit, the CIA and CISA have beenprovided me with credibility to back up that experience. invaluable. I believe my leadership team, stakeholders,As a senior manager in a Big 4 firm leading financial clients, peers, and staff can see my passion through myservices consulting engagements that focused on data designations. Additionally, promotion opportunities haveprivacy, the Certified Information Privacy Professional been more obtainable as these designations are often(CIPP) certification enhanced my knowledge of privacy required.regulations and added credibility for me as I worked withclients on privacy issues. MOSES >>: It has been critical as a professional to ensure that my experience and on-the-job knowledge is backedRHINEHART >>:I have three industry certifications: by certifications to protect my professional integrity,Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, credibility and relevance in the marketplace. Certificationand Project Management Professional. I knew that becoming has helped to distinguish me amongst my peers anda CPA would enhance my credibility, increase my earnings my certifications ensure that I constantly remain up-to-potential, and contribute to the diversity of business date on the latest standards, regulations, guidance andprofessionals that impact major decisions in the boardroom. interpretations, and can apply them appropriately.Obtaining different certifications has allowed me to expandmy skill sets, add more value in my profession, and connect RHINEHART >>:My CPA helped me to take full ownershipwith organizations that have a mission of leaving a legacy in of my career and advance in my desired role at an acceleratedthe profession and providing opportunities for the next rate. I started my career in the two-year Financial Analystgeneration of talent. Leadership Development program, which consisted of four10 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


different rotational assignments at a major financial services invested in themselves and have made their commitmentfirm. Since I was a CPA, I wanted to gain more exposure to to the profession, including the continuing education thataccounting, and reached out to the Controllers Group, comes with maintaining any designation, a priority.which created a new external reporting internship for mebecause of my recent CPA accomplishments. The need for MOSES >>: Knowledge will allow you to perform the jobmore transparency in reporting during my time as an intern well, but the way you apply the knowledge will distinguishcreated the need for a full-time professional in regulatory you in the accounting profession. Over the past 15 years,reporting. I was instantly promoted to an associate position my career journey has taken me from IT audit to consultingand was the first individual in the Financial Analyst program to risk management to cyber security. I have utilizedwho was promoted due to my CPA credential. The CPA has transferable skills and knowledge of how businessesalso provided some unexpected benefits: I competed in the function to excel in each area and transition my career.Ms. Corporate America pageant in order . . . promote the CPA The manner in which I applied the knowledge I gaineddesignation. On March 7, 2015, I was crowned Ms. Corporate throughout the years facilitated the evolution of my career.America, the first CPA to ever win this title. This gave me theopportunity to . . . speak at different universities about the RHINEHART >>:There is no one-size-fits-all formula forCPA exam [and] travel to different conferences to deliver success as an accountant, but there are steps that you caninspiring messages. In May 2015, I received the Illinois CPA take in order to position yourself as a credible accountantSociety Young Professional Leader of the Year Award. in your industry:STANLEY >>:It helped me change my perspective on • Never stop learning and growing. Accountinghow I approach problem solving. requires you to remain relevant and informed aboutWADE >>: It is not just a slogan, “Three letters, a million new accounting pronouncements or industrypossibilities.” Obtaining this certification brings a level innovations that can impact business decisions. Ifof competence that does not show up in a personnel you find ways to solve industry challenges and addfile or on a resume. This level of competence is based value, you will always be in demand.on the difficulty of the CPA exam and the storehouse ofknowledge needed to successfully become a CPA. • Be a magnet for attracting successful mentorsWORRELL >>: With the ease and speed that scams and sponsors. Surround yourself with people whoare committed on businesses, the CFE credential challenge any self-limiting beliefs that you may havehas painted me as knowledgeable in the anti-fraud and inspire you to explore the boundaries of yourindustry. It has helped establish me as someone who comfort zone.you could call on to give an unbiased perspective withprofessional credibility on internal controls, fraud, • Take advantage of professional and leadershipcompliance, ethics and integrity matters affecting anorganization. I employ my knowledge in these areas daily. development opportunities that provide you with the skills you need to be a stellar contributor in theSPECTRUM >> What advice would you give to workplace.others about differentiating themselves in theaccounting profession? STANLEY >>:Figure out the space in which you wish to play and make sure you have the credentials that are theFORREST >>: The profession is constantly evolving, so I baseline expectations for that space.encourage others to continue studying the profession andto keep abreast of the latest trends and innovations in the WADE >>: First, you have to be a life-long learner. A careermarket. in accounting involves constantly learning new techniques and improving those skills you already possess. Second,GALLOWAY >>: I highly suggest individuals in the thrive for consistency because consistency in the methodsaccounting profession consider obtaining professional and techniques we use to record, plan and report financialcertifications as this provides a competitive advantage information is [essential]. Last, but not least, become aprofessionally and a great sense of accomplishment CPA!personally. WORRELL >>: Get your certifications early in your careerGORDON-FULSE >>:As firms and companies focus on because it gives immediate recognition as an expert in thediversity and inclusion initiatives, having designations arena. Continue broadening your knowledge base withsuch as the CPA, CIA, CISA, and PMP make you a very viable continuing professional education to ensure your relevanceprospect. Companies are willing to invest in those who have in the evolving industry. Leverage professional organizations like NABA to network and learn more about the field. Professional organizations provide their members with a platform for developing essential skills and they can provide diverse perspectives on current trends in the industry and can connect individuals with potential mentors. ▲ SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 11


THE CMABringing Great Value to Organizations Marc Palker, CMA, vice chair of do or may be asked to do in the future is a tremendous the Institute of Management value to your employer.”But make sure that you are going Accountants (IMA), believes that for the certification that will advance your career. “If you of all the accounting certifica- start your career as a CPA working for a CPA firm, then tions, the CMA (certified manage- you’re going to get your CPA,” Palker said. “But then you ment accounting) credential is the move into corporate accounting. So now you’re keeping “gold standard in management up your CPE alignment with a certification that is not accounting.” designed for management accounting. The challengePalker explained that the CMA, which has been in Don’t let yourself become professionallyexistence for a little over 40 years, is different because ofits field of study and knowledge base and the fact that obsolete. As long as you’re working in thenobody has been grandfathered in the exam. “Everysingle CMA has passed the rigorous exam to achieve profession, you need to seek out educationthat certification so that’s what makes it so special.” Inaddition, Palker said that there are CMAs in 120 different every single day. There is so much to know.countries and that the CMA is transferable from countryto country. “For example if you’re in China, and you pass is to understand where you are in an organization andthe CMA exam, you pass the same CMA as someone in the skill set you need, but also understanding the skill setTennessee. And then if your company transfers you to its that you are going to need to advance your career.”U.S. parent or affiliate, you come to the U.S., and you havestudied and passed and get continuing education in the With respect to whether to pursue your CPA or CMA,same knowledge base of any other person who is a CMA Palker says it depends on your career path. “If you’velocated here in the United States. So it’s very consistent, chosen out of college public accounting, then you shouldit’s very rigorous and it’s recognized worldwide.” pursue the CPA. But the moment you get the CPA you should think about the CMA because if you think of it asOne of the most pressing issues facing the accounting a car ride, the CPA gets you started on the road and givesprofession, Palker believes, is the talent gap and the you knowledge and training, but now you have to lookcompetency crisis. “You have people in industry who at your destination. And for most people who go intohave not kept up on their skill set during their tenure public accounting, their ultimate destination is insidein the accounting profession,” he said. “So, what we an organization or inside a business [management] andneed to do is to continue our differentiators. The first that’s where the CMA becomes the most valuable.”differentiator is going to be that college degree. Thesecond differentiator is going to be the certification that Palker’s final words of advice: “Don’t let yourself becomeapplies to the career that you’ve chosen.” professionally obsolete. As long as you’re working in the profession, you need to seek out education every singlePalker stresses that certifications are extremely important day. There is so much to know.” ▲“because showing that you have the skill set and theability to pass a rigorous exam, and then continuing youreducation in line with the job functions that you currently12 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


+=Our commitment to excellence +our commitment to our talent =achieving excellence togetherWe are committed to providing career opportunities forcollege graduates and experienced professionals enriched withcollaboration, diversity of thought and experience, andsupported by career coaching and guidance. Now is the time tojoin Mitchell Titus – an organization that has uniquely impactedthe professional services arena for over 40 years. Join theMitchell Titus family for an experience that will last a lifetime.Visit our Careers section at mitchelltitus.com to learn more. SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 13


PROFILE By Maya FrancisKENNETH E. COOKE Reflects on NABA ServiceBefore entering his role as chairman of the National With a personal dedication to mentorship and NABA’sAssociation of Black Accountants, Inc., Kenneth E. Cooke, motto, “Lifting As We Climb,” Cooke notes NABA’sCPA, served in many roles as a NABA member, including importance to “make sure [blacks] have a relevant voiceleadership roles at the chapter, regional and national and that we don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s still alevels. Kenneth is a proud Lifetime Member of the lot of work to do.”Richmond Metro Chapter and credits his “home” chapterfor many of the baseline opportunities to develop and Cooke believes that “there are opportunities abound formove up within NABA. He sends a huge shout-out to blacks and other minorities” but credits mentors as keythe Richmond Chapter and its great leaders! Kenneth resources to help young professionals of color to advancebelieves his varied experience since joining NABA in 1992 their careers.has informed his purview as the organization’s leader andenabled him to guide the Board of Directors to a more For his part, Cooke says “most of my mentors have beenstrategic governance oversight as well as to programming successful women,” and that the addition of a successfuland financial success. black male mentor (past board chairman Walter J. Smith, CPA) who works in the field also was invaluable for his“All the things I’ve done in NABA have given a professional development. “I’ve been very blessed withperspective of what it takes to run a chapter and region the support of my family and the lifetime relationshipsand a perspective of business and what we’re trying to developed within NABA,”he noted. Kenneth further states,accomplish,” Cooke says. “Everything I’ve done is always “Through the opportunities afforded through NABA andfrom a question of whether we are making a difference, some of my own success, I’ve been able to help otherand making it easier for more blacks to get into business, young people.”He said he is especially proud of Hope Footespecifically accounting and finance.” and Wendy Lewis, both of whom he met as students and14 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


“All the things I’ve done in NABA have we’re not ashamed of that. If we don’t do it for ourselves, given a perspective of what it takes to who will? [This is] a rewarding profession [with] lots of opportunity for those who are technically sound. If we run a chapter and region and a have the technical expertise paired with mentorship and perspective of business and what we’re leadership NABA offers, we can rise to the highest levels, just like anyone else.” trying to accomplish” For those getting started in their careers in accounting,who are now experienced assurance partners with Ernst Cooke advises, “Never lose yourself. Remember where& Young and KPMG, respectively. As well, he and Wayne E. you came from. Be focused, and know your technical skills.Lee, past national board member and CFO of NABA, take Reach out and develop mentors that will help you learngreat pride in the many other young professionals that and navigate corporate America.they both have been able to mentor and be a support forthroughout the years. For his part as chairman, Cooke says, “I’ve been able to liftCooke says that NABA’s strategic plan, Vision 2020, NABA to a place where it will be relevant, and where it willshares that focus and centers on NABA’s commitment to be the premiere organization for black CPAs and businessuplifting black professionals and is designed to ensure the professionals.” And with that, he feels his three years asorganization’s relevancy in the marketplace for another NABA’s 25th chairman of the Board has been a success! ▲45 years and beyond. Cooke says that NABA is poisedfor a tremendous future under Chairman-Elect Steven L. NABA ACTIVITIES: National 2013 – presentHarris, CPA and NABA President & CEO Jina Etienne, CPA, Chairman of the Board National 2011 – 2013CGMA. However, he wants to ensure he gives appropriate National Director National 2011 – 2013recognition to Angela L. Avant, CPA, past NABA president Audit Committee Chair National 2002 – 2011& CEO and Board chairman; Kim Griffin-Hunter, CPA past Finance Committee National 2006 – 2010NABA Board chairman and current partner with Deloitte; Treasurer National 2008 – 2010and Shariah-Dixon-Turner, past national board member. Personnel Committee National 2002 – 2008“Deloitte funded the strategic study with leadership from Bylaws Committee National 2002 – 2005Angela and Shariah who guided the Board to one of its Personnel Committee National 2000 – 2005best strategic plans ever developed,” Cooke said. Chapter Reporting Chair National 2002 – 2003 National Parliamentarian“One of the focuses that Chairman-Elect Steven Harris Investment Committee National 2000 – 2002is committed to is the strengthening of value-added Chairprogramming for those at a senior level. We are solid in what Audit Committee Chair National 1998 – 2000we offer younger professionals and an area to enhance Audit Committeeis our program offerings for seasoned professionals,” Member National 1997 – 2005Cooke explained. For those who question the need fororganizations like NABA, Kenneth says unabashedly, “Let’s Regional Webmaster Eastern Region 2002 – presentbe clear: we are focused on lifting black professionals, and Student Conference Interview Chair Eastern Region 2003 – 2008 Regional Representative Region Vice-President Eastern Region 2003 – 2005 Eastern Region 2001 – 2003 Professional Richmond Chapter 2000 – 2001 Development Co-Chair Web Page Chair Richmond Chapter 1999 – 2002 By-Laws Chair Richmond Chapter 1997 – 1998 Vice-President Richmond Chapter 1995 – 1996 Membership Co-Chair Richmond Chapter 1994 – 1995 Treasurer Richmond Chapter 1993 – 2002 SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 15


ARE YOU LOOKING FORYOUR NEXT OPPORTUNITY?Log into the NABA Career Center at CAREER CENTERhttp:// nabacareercenter.nabainc.org andfind your next opportunity in three easy steps:1. Create an account2. Upload your resume3. Review the latest job postings and applyDON’T FORGETAlready registered for the 2016 NABA National Convention & Expo?Submit your resume to the convention resume database throughthe online convention Attendee Center today!16 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


PRUDENTIAL IS A PROUD SPONSOR OF NABA INC.’S 2016 NATIONAL CONVENTION AND EXPO. OUR ZIG NEEDS YOUR ZAG. Visit jobs.prudential.com or email us at prudiversityrecruiting@ prudential.com and find out how a Prudential career can help you be a big part of something bigger.© 2016. Prudential, the Prudential logo, the Rock symbol and Bring Your Challenges are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its relatedentities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Prudential is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive considerationfor employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteranstatus, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW. Prudential Financial, Inc., Newark, NJ. Prudential is an Employer thatparticipates in E-Verify.0260258-00004-00 SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 17


PROFILE By Miriam W. TarverSTEVEN L. HARRIS NABA’s Incoming ChairIt is fitting that as a national director and vice chair of offices in three cities. That’s where he’s climbed — so far.NABA, Steven L. Harris, CPA, is the very embodiment of theassociation’s motto: “Lifting As We Climb.” Then there’s the lifting. As an accomplished professional, he makes sure to bring others along. In addition to hisBut he is the first to concede that his climb did not service to NABA, he chairs a St. Louis-area network thatcome without being lifted by others. He credits some promotes the personal and business development of“phenomenal people” he’s encountered. “When I look at more than 3,000 ethnically diverse professionals under 45.who I am today, I’ve taken the best of all the people whohave taken the time to mentor and work with me.” Harris’s interest in accounting stemmed from his interest in business -- his father was an entrepreneur. “As a youngWho he is today is an accountant with a long list of kid, I had the opportunity to work with him and see theaccomplishments and awards in his 16-plus years in the day-to-day operations,” he says.profession. He was one of the first minority partners atRubinBrown LLP, one of the nation’s top accounting and But when he entered the University of Missouri-St. Louis,professional consulting firms. As the partner-in-charge his plan was to be an engineer. What put him on a differentof its Entrepreneurial Services Group, he is responsible track? Business classes. And one professor in particular,for, among other things, leading the firm’s strategy for Dave Ganz, Intro to Accounting. “He did a phenomenalmaximizing performance the group’s performance across job of just really making accounting come to life,” Harris says.“So I was able to link that back to what my dad would18 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


“The more you give to this profession, the NABA’s role, he says, “is making sure we identify talent and more it will give back to you.” help prepare that talent to move forward.”do with his business, and I knew I wanted to be in this For him, it’s an unselfish commitment. He says heprofession.” mentors to “replace myself,” and NABA is important to theInternships provided a sharper focus: Public Accounting.“I outreach that he does. Participating in the association’swanted the variety,” he says. annual student conferences and the Accounting Career Awareness Program (ACAP) truly “energizes me,” heHarris, who is married to fellow NABA member Arica Harris, says. “Exposing high school and college students to theCISA (“We met at NABA. She’s the backbone of everything profession through NABA are the highlights of my year.”that I do.”) attained the CPA designation about two yearsinto his tenure at RubinBrown. “I wasn’t a student member of NABA; I joined as aAt the helm of NABA, Harris will be looking more at professional. But watching students get on that journey, onopportunities rather than challenges. “Right now, when that path to start their careers, and having an opportunityyou look at the accounting profession, there’s such a to interact and impact, that is so valuable.”heavy emphasis on talent. And so having the opportunityto navigate that” is important, he says. And it’s not just His advice to those entering the profession:“The more youabout finding a job; it’s also critical “to get engaged in the give to this profession, the more it will give back to you. Weprocess of helping individuals advance in their careers and have to be prepared to serve, whether it’s working within aprepare people for new roles in the organizations. I think firm or working with a company.”NABA does a great job ... But there’s so much we can dogoing forward.” NABA, Harris says, provides a perfect opportunity forMaking change happen, he says, will be a“collective effort,” that. ▲one that means “looking at our members, looking at ourcorporate partners, and then looking at the accounting NATIONAL BOARD SERVICE FY 2015 – FY 2016profession overall and seeing how we all work together to NABA Vice Chairman FY 2015, FY 2016move the needle forward.” Chair, National ConventionThere are a couple of ways he sees that happening. Co-Chair, ACAP Task Force FY 2016“Providing more opportunities to get more African NABA National Director FY 2011 – FY 2014Americans interested in the profession of accounting, Chair, Strategic Planning FY 2012 - FY 2014that’s number one.” For those already in the profession, Co-Chair , Finance Committee FY 2012 - FY 2014“making sure they move toward certification” is key, Member, Personnel Committee FY 2012 – FY 2013he says. Chair, Technology & Innovation Committee FY 2011 - FY 2013 LOCAL BOARD SERVICE St. Louis: Chapter President FY 2008 through 2010 St. Louis: Executive Vice President of FY 2006 Internal Affairs St. Louis: Executive Vice President of FY 2007 External Affairs Creator of Corporate Involvement Breakfast: St. Louis Chapter Co-Creator of Corporate Involvement Program: St. Louis Chapter SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 19


Accelerate Your Growth and Advancement:NABA PREPARES EXECUTIVES FORLEADERSHIP IN A VUCA WORLD If you have at least 12 years of Beis believes that another challenge of accounting experience in accounting, with in a VUCA world is that the profession has been under five of those years in senior greater scrutiny ever since the banks failed. “It’s because management and the goal to move [accountants] are the backbone of the economic system. into executive leadership, then I view what accountants, auditors, and controllers do you need to be at the Executive really as part of economic security. For me, they play an Leadership Development Institute incredible part in trust and creating that sense of public (ELDI) at NABA’s 2016 National trust in institutions. What they do matters. What theyConvention and Expo in Hollywood Florida. This two-day assess matters.”event will focus on the mindset and skill set for adaptiveleadership in a VUCA world – a business environment So, what’s in store for those attending ELDI? Beis says,that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. “We’ll focus in on creativity and innovation. How do you keep people engaged and motivated? How do you keepOf the world of accounting, Robert Beis, Ph.D., professor people inspired and motivated to keep on working harderof management at Georgetown University, who will lead and faster and better than they did in the past, becausethis year’s ELDI, says, “It’s changing so quickly. The world the reality is you have to stay ahead of the change.” Beisof accounting today is not what it was 20 years ago. And continues, “How do you keep people motivated? How doI can’t imagine what it’s going to look like 10 years from you keep people resilient, because people for who worknow. So the ability to both anticipate possible changes in accounting and professional services firms – it’s a lotas well as adapt to those changes is going to be really of demanding work. How do you find the meaning andimportant.” Beis says that part of the uncertainty and purpose of what you do? You really are playing a criticalvolatility is how you attract and retain the millennials. role. So we’ll focus on the role of leadership to encourage“This will be very fascinating. Young people going into innovation and creativity and how to build trust.”the accounting field have short attention spans. You getthem 18 months or two years. They’ll stay in the samefield, but they’ll plug and go play somewhere else.”20 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


Beis also says he’ll also delve into leaders as signal senders. “How do you sendsignals, directions, priorities? We’ll focus on fundamental leadership questionsthat senior leaders need to deal with in order to move an organization in acertain direction.”Each ELDI session will be highly interactive and include multiple movie clips,will draw on Dr. Bies’s current work with executives on adaptive leadership andchange, and will integrate small-group exercises with sharing back to the largergroup. The ELDI participants will go home inspired and highly motivated toaccelerate their success and achieve further greatness. The following is an outlineof the 2016 ELDI:Adaptive Leadership: Keeping People Engaged and Enlisting People in theMotivated in a VUCA World Mission: The Power of Storytelling • Inspiration and motivation: Mastering the language• An exercise in adaptive leadership: The Young Chickens in Space Project of leadership • The art of storytelling: Persona, vision, and• (a small group, interactive exercise) communication techniques• From this exercise, we will identify the core skills and • Small group exercise to apply these tools and strategies for adaptive leadership: techniques of storytelling to the business and o Creating a sense of purpose and direction change initiatives they face as leaders o Building commitment/accountability and The Fundamental Currency of Leadership: Building Three Kinds of Trust o Collaborating and connecting to innovate • Identifying the enemies of trust • Building three kinds of trust: Personal, o The importance of aligning strategy with execution organizational, strategic • Small group exercise to apply the trust strategies o Highlighting the importance of determination and humility as keys to to leadership challenges they currently face (e.g., adaptive leadership dealing with other managers, new/key stakeholders)• I will facilitate a discussion to apply these lessons to The Resilient Leader: Building a Culture for “Grit” their leadership roles • Identifying strategies for building personal resilience • Identifying strategies for building an organizationalIn the Hot Seat: Strategic Decision Makingand Action culture for grit • Small group exercise for sharing “best practices” for• Thinking Strategically: Barriers and Gateways to Effective Decision Making building resilience and grit o Identify common mental traps and mistakes All ELDI participants will receive over 13 CPE credits over the in decision making two days and a certificate of completion from Georgetown University. Participants must be present and attend both o Analyze how the work environment impacts days in their entirety to receive the certificate. ▲ decision making SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 21• Acting Strategically: Dealing with Risk and Uncertainty in Decision Making o Making the right call: A small group decision making exercise o Identifying leadership strategies for managing risk and uncertainty in decision making


My brand: A first-rate “Team Builder” and a first-generation Haitian American Stephen Nesi, Partner. Long before I started here, I was impressed that the PwC professionals who came to recruit at my college were so diverse. It made me comfortable early on. And it continues at PwC today—black professionals like me are getting involved with groups created just for us. It’s given me opportunities to network with peers and connect with partners who mentored me. The way I see it, people from different backgrounds bring different perspectives to our clients. To learn more about my personal brand and how strongly we feel about diversity, go to pwc.com/diversity © 2016 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. We are proud to be an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer.22 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


MAXIMIZE YOUR CONVENTION EXPERIENCEFOCUS ON THE FUTURE By Elaine W. Smith Forty-five years ago, futurist Alvin He holds a doctorate in musical arts from North Texas Toffler described the “shattering stress State University and a master of media arts and bachelor’s and disorientation that we induce in degree in philosophy from the University of South Carolina. individuals by subjecting them to too He also is a graduate of the Institute for Educational much change in too short a time” as Management at Harvard University’s Graduate School of “future shock.” Fast forward to 2016, Education. and much of the phenomena the Irvin says he hopes to bring NABA convention attendees author of Future Shock predicted have “new information that maybe you had not thought about inbecome reality in the form of the Internet, YouTube, the terms of technology” including, perhaps, “the implicationsreplacement of blue-collar “second-wave” manufacturing for the way artificial intelligence is impactingwith a “third wave” of knowledge workers, “You’re going to reach the accounting profession.” He explainedand“information overload.” that he will explore different ways people are creating new forms of work and provideAt the 2016 NABA convention, futurist Nat some different good examples of how new organizationsIrvin, who will be the keynote speaker, will conclusions abouttake participants to the year 2035 or 2040 the future and about are coming into the accounting profession“to examine the social, political, economic, uncertainty. Everyone and using artificial intelligence to do some oftechnological and environmental forces should bring the work that perhaps you have traditionallythat are going to impact the future” and done.“challenge what you think is going to happen their best minds.”and help you see what might happen.” Irvin, who started making predictionsNat Irvin, II, is the Strickler executive in residence and professor about a black U.S. president in the 1990sof management at the University of Louisville College of based on demographics, asks: “Would you have predictedBusiness. His groundbreaking demographic research has that a company like AirBNB would be the largest providercreated new paradigms for the future of African Americans of accommodations, but actually owns no hotels? Wouldin business and has made traditional stereotypes of black you have thought that a company like Uber as being theconsumers obsolete. largest provider of transportation, but actually owns no cars? Or a company like Netflix being the largest distributorAmong the profiles of emerging archetypes he has of entertainment, but doesn’t produce any of its own. Oridentified are “thrivals,” a new breed of forward-thinking, Facebook, the largest media producer, but produces noglobally tuned African Americans who bring a “no-limits” content of its own?”approach to doing business. Advertisers and other media He said that what you’ll find as he takes you into the future,use Irvin’s findings to identify new demographic groups and that we’ve made a lot of assumptions about the size oftarget them with customized messages and opportunities. a company. “We are in a whole different way of creatingAt the College of Business, Irvin teaches change management, businesses. We can have businesses worth $2 or $3 billionleadership and future studies. In 1996, he founded Future with only five employees.”Focus 2020, a non-profit think tank dedicated to examining Irvin says that the NABA convention experience will be anthe impact of upcoming, permanent changes in business, interactive, participatory experience that is data driven,social and economic cultures. Prior to joining the College educational, fun and enlightening.“You’re going to reach someof Business in 2007, he was assistant dean for MBA student different conclusions about the future and about uncertainty.development and executive professor of future studies at Everyone should bring their best minds,” he says. ▲the Babcock Graduate School of Management at WakeForest University. SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 23


MAXIMIZE YOUR CONVENTION EXPERIENCEGIVE THE RECRUITERS WHAT THEY WANTIt’s no secret. The number one reason that members (and nonmembers) attend their associationconventions is to network. And one of the reasons they network is to find a job in their field or forcareer advancement. The NABA convention is known for bringing together professionals, industryleaders, and recruiters who can help you Accelerate Your Growth and Advancement in accounting andfinance.But to advance your career in accounting, you must be aware that recruiters have moved from simplyhiring an applicant who has the pre-requisite skills to focusing on an applicant who better fits theculture of the organization. Recruiters are looking for individuals who can bring more to the table witha broad range of technical skills as well as solid interpersonal skills.So if advancing your career is why you’re attending this year’s convention, heed what these threerecruiters have to say.24 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


Bliss Burton is a member of the • KNOW THE ORGANIZATION THAT YOU ARE Talent Outreach/Diversity Initiatives at Walmart. In this function, she is SPEAKING TO. Do your research prior to the serving as a consultative partner by supporting the recruitment function convention. You should have a pretty good sense of of Walmart while addressing what organization you would like to work for and uniquely diverse talent gaps, and why. Knowing this up front makes the conversation finding resolution through strategic simpler and more substantive, as the recruiter canrelationships. While serving on the Talent Outreach team, speak specifically to your interests, rather thanBliss has placed thoughtful emphasis on intentional providing a broad overview on the company/external partnerships, as well as post-hire engagement agency’s reason for existence.for hires resulting in those partnerships. Bliss reached outto members of her team, who offer the following: • ASK SUBSTANTIVE QUESTIONS TO• SEPARATE YOURSELF. When you are networking RECRUITERS. This help you get the best at a national convention for career opportunities, information possible on what might be attractive competition can be high! Make sure you are to you as a job seeker. If you are interested in a standing out from the crowd by approaching particular organization, you should be prepared companies with a customized professional approach to ask questions relevant to your interests to help that will resonate in their memory. Be professional, decide if both of your needs align. but make sure you are personal at the same time. By making a personal connection, you will force them • FOLLOW UP. Touch on key points from your to remember you! conversation and reinforce your desire for continued• DO YOUR RESEARCH. You likely have an idea conversation. Connect with the organizations’ social media platforms and reach out to the recruiter you which companies are of interest to you, so there’s met with specific questions when you have them. no excuse not to approach each conversation as prepared as possible. “Wow” the company Carly Williams, the U.S. diversity representatives with your knowledge of their recruiting leader at PwC, is responsible industry, and you will be sure to have a competitive for the overall diverse recruitment edge to your credibility in early conversations! strategy. She leads PwC’s efforts to attract, engage and hire diverse full-• BE SPECIFIC. Many future candidates struggle time professionals and interns from nearly 200 universities where PwC with translating their experience in a marketable actively recruits. She drives the strategy way. Work on being specific when discussing your behind PwC’s diverse student programs, such as the Start professional or educational background, your Internship Experience and the Diverse Stipend Program and current work, and also be prepared to review leads PwC efforts at all diverse recruiting conferences such your career aspirations. The more targeted you as NABA, ALPFA, Ascend. Carly advises you to: are in sharing your background, the more specific recruiters and company representatives will • BE SINCERE IN YOUR CONVERSATIONS. be in speaking to you about your fit in to their organization. The best way to be memorable to someone is by showing a sincere interest in the people you meet Michael Rivera is a talent acquisition with and truly listening to what they are sharing specialist, Office of Human Capital, with you. You can make it evident that you are truly Consumer Financial Protection Bureau interested in what they have to share by asking (CFPB). Michael oversees the continued questions around the subject matter. design, development and refinement of passive and active engagement • LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA. LinkedIn is a great strategies tailored to the CFPB’s need to recruit the best. From his perspective, way to connect with individuals you meet as part ofhere’s what you need to do: your follow-up to conversations you have. You never know what the connection may lead to. • PLAN TO BE DRESSED FOR ANYTHING. Plan to dress more professionally during the day (have a blazer, coat, etc.), but be more casual later in the day at a happy hour or networking event. ▲ SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 25


MAXIMIZE YOUR CONVENTION EXPERIENCEBE THE ACCOUNTANTEMPLOYERS WANT TOIMMEDIATELY HIRE!By Charlene Rhinehart, CPA, CFE, PMP Are you an accountant on the move? Seeking to increase your opportunities in the marketplace? Follow these tips to enhance your professional profile so your dream career opportunity will be highly seeking YOU.26 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


1 Provide “Bait” for the Recruiter. 4 Avoid Negative Associations. If your written presence doesn’t mesmerize the employer Avoid the temptation of focusing on your misfortune or within six seconds, your chances of receiving an interview how others have negatively impacted you. You become date are slim. Make sure that your online profile exudes what you focus on the most. Attract the opportunities professionalism and portrays a meaningful taste of that you DO want by appearing to be a professional, personality. Identify valuable buzzwords by examining knowledgeable, and reliable person. Companies want a organizations’ websites, reviewing LinkedIn profiles problem solver who is committed to identifying solutions that share your targeted job title, and scheduling that drive organizational growth and effectiveness. At informational meetings with prospective colleagues. the end of the day, the most impactful companies are When an employer sees items of interest on your resume, attracted to positivity and productivity, not individuals you have successfully lured them in and will have a who come across as disgruntled and jaded. Employers chance to influence their hiring decision. quickly hire people that are self-confident, optimistic, energetic, passionate, and engaging people because2 Do Not Become a Walking Cliché. they will have a positive impact on the organization. Let me guess. You have excellent communication skills. 5 Flip the Script. You are a team player. Your weakness is that you are a perfectionist. You think ABC is a great company to work You are not the only one being interviewed. It is your for because their earnings potential is high and the job to interview the employer too! Approach the opportunity for growth is available. Welcome to the, “I’m conversation as if there is a valuable exchange taking the same as every other job seeker in the resume pile” place. Be curious. You have the right to get to know the club. company beyond what’s presented on its website. The website is just a resume for the employer that is used If you want to stand out from the crowd, reveal your to lure you in. You must come prepared with thoughtful personality in a unique way. Need help? What are three questions that convey your interest in the company. It is words that you use to describe you or what are three your job to make sure that the company is a good fit for strengths that allows you to positively contribute to you and the culture provides an environment in which organizational goals? Your accomplishments should you can thrive in. Demonstrating a strong desire to learn highlight instances in which you have been successful more about an organization will take you far. in exhibiting the traits that you want to be known for. Identify your unique value proposition and you will stand Tap into your power. An accountant on a mission never out from the crowd! stops learning, growing, and building meaningful relationships. This is what creates high demand! This3 Use Language that Displays Confidence. accountant is not only technically proficient but has learned how to use available resources in order to Some opportunity seekers unintentionally use language solve the most complex problems. This accountant that displays uncertainty. When verbal and non-verbal continuously invests in professional education and cues convey doubt or fear, you diminish your credibility understands the importance of certifications in order to in the workplace. For example, writing or saying that protect the integrity of the profession. These are traits you “hope” implies that you are chasing an opportunity that never go out of style. And as long as accountants and “hoping” things will work out in your favor. It maintain this growth mentality, the phone calls from subconsciously creates the image of a person who is prospective employers will keep coming! ▲ begging for an opportunity versus being the creator of opportunities. Projecting confidence starts with the Charlene Rhinehart, CPA, CFE, PMP resume. When writing your resume accomplishments, don’t be modest. There is no need to downplay your Managing Director, CEO Unlimited LLC impact. The interviewer wants to know your success Ms. Corporate America Ambassador 2016 stories. Share your accomplishments in a way that shows Ms. Corporate America 2015 how you can support the organization with their current challenges. Seek to understand the pain points of the “When you are exposed to the CEO that is hiding inside of organization in order to confidently articulate how you you, your heart won’t be satisfied with anything less than can add value. your full potential” Charlene@charlenerhinehart.com www.thecareergoddess.com SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 27


Responsive designs A4 internal poster templates 05 February 2016Tap into youHow far do you want to go? Tap Into YOU!As individuals we all have passion, power and purposewithin. These help to drive our talents, ideas, and abilities.Tapping into these skills will bring a unique perspective tothe work that you do but first you must Tap into You.Copyright © 2016 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved. 28 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


Want to create a TOP WORKPLACE WHO is eligible?culture to attract and retain diverseindustry leaders? Get in Line! Any company with at least 500 full-time employeesThe competitive landscape for talent is fierce. For companies and at least 50 employees infocusing on the inclusiveness of their workplace culture to improve accounting or finance relatedthe retention of their diverse workforce, it can feel like an uphill battle. positions can participate in one of the Blue RibbonArmed with the right information, however, companies can be better positioned to win the Benchmarking Studies.diversity and inclusion battle in that talent war. ONLY companies that wereCompanies Need Help nominated by an employeeThere is a noticeable gap in current diversity and inclusion practices to meet an employer’s talent during the open nominationmanagement needs. Recognizing the lack of quantifiable data to drive the development of the period are eligible to be namedright tools to address that gap, NABA launched a national research initiative in 2015 designed to a TOP WORKPLACE for Blackidentify the hidden opportunities and data points that may be key to knowing what it takes to be Accountants.an employer of choice for black professionals – what it takes to be a TOP WORKPLACE for BlackAccountants. WHAT do companiesBridging the Information Gap have to do to get involved?The celebration of the companies designated as a TOP WORKPLACE for Black Accountants will begreat, but the long-term vision for the Blue Ribbon Initiative is to synthesize the data from the Nominated companies haveparticipating companies to create whitepapers, toolkits, educational content, turn-key programs already been contactedand customized materials that can be immediately useful in the workplace. As an extension of our and have begun the bench-motto, “Lifting As We Climb,” these tools and resources, while developed to benefit our members, marking process. Companieswill ultimately benefit all people by helping to create a sustainable model of workplace inclusion. interested in participating as a contributor to the Blue Ribbon Benchmarking studies (versus a TOP WORKPLACE candidate) should email topworkplace@ nabainc.org for more info. WHERE can more information be found? Details about the Blue Ribbon initiative and TOP WORKPLACE for Black Accountants can be found at nabainc.org/top_workplace. WHEN should companies get involved? The nomination window for the 2016 TOP WORKPLACE candidates has already closed. Companies interested in contributing to the benchmarking studies, however, can still sign up today. Completed surveys must be submitted no later than July 25, 2016, so it is recommended that companies sign up by the end of June to give their teams enough time to complete it. www.nabainc.org/top_workplace SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 29


Diversity v. Inclusion:THREE CRUCIAL QUESTIONSBy Natalie HolderDiversity and inclusion have definitely grown up over the past 20 years. Studies have shown that diversitymanagement tops the list of priorities that businesses will have in the coming years. And, within thelast 10 years, there has been an explosion of senior-level diversity officer roles in corporations, highereducation, and law firms. With all of these resources being put toward increasing diversity, why havemost organizations not achieved the change they seek?You might not have an answer because despite much societal advancement, there are reminders thatpeople are treated unfairly because of their faith, how they look or how they sound.Our silence might also be acknowledging that we do not know how to achieve the diversity we seek.In the workplace, part of the issue is not knowing the Do you remember what your high school cafeteria lookeddifference between diversity and inclusion. Think of the like, sounded like, and what it smelled like? You probablyhigh school lunch table as a metaphor for experiencing had a group of friends that you ate lunch with every day.the distinction between the two. Imagine that one day, you asked a different group if you30 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


could sit with them and they enthusiastically made room So how and why does exclusion still take place whenfor you. However, after a few minutes at this new table, there are direct benefits to inclusion? Often, withoutyou noticed that you were not a part of the conversation. even realizing it, people engage in micro-inequities thatPeople were making plans for the weekend without are driven by their unconscious biases. Micro-inequitiesasking if you would like to join them. When you tried to are the subtle gestures, comments, and interactions thattell a joke, everyone stared at you dismissively. People make you feel included or excluded by another. It’s feelingtalked over you and cut you off mid-sentence. While you ignored when you’re talking to someone and they glancewere invited to sit at the table, you were not invited to at their watch when you make an important point. It’sengage at the table. Many organizations do a great job being left off of an email chain when you should haveof recruiting for the diversity they seek, but fail to create been included. Think of micro-inequities as the wavesinclusive environments. that threaten to erode your beautiful beach house that sits on wooden stilts. Over time, the waves deteriorate theEngagement is a measurement of a person’s inclusion wooden stilts, often in ways unseen.in an organization and drives the overall quality of thehuman capital brought to the table. While there are a number of ways to uncover exclusion and unconscious bias in an organization—and eventuallyMaslow’s hierarchy of needs states that everyone has eradicate it—the process may start with three questions:needs that must be met before they can reach a levelof self-actualization. In the workplace, an employee’s Is there a team member who would view mysafety and psychological needs are most likely taken care feedback as negative if I give them any feedbackof because their jobs provide the financial resources to at all?clothe and feed themselves. However, the difficulty inmost workplaces starts with the social needs. Who on the team do I dislike working with?When you have friends and positive relationships Which person on the team makes me say, “I amat work, it creates a sense of belonging. Next is your having such a difficult time getting to know thisesteem needs. Everyone has a need to have their work person?”recognized by senior leadership. If employees never hearthat they are doing a good job, they may doubt their Most likely the person or people who surface in yourwork and themselves. responses are feeling excluded from your work groups.If all your other needs are met, you may reach the level of In a training session for a large government agency, thereself-actualization at work. Self-actualization is the point was a senior leader who admitted that while he waswhere you take initiative and solve the critical problems committed to diversity as a cause, he was not putting hisin your organization. When your social and esteem needs actions into practice with certain individuals on his team.are met, you have the space and security to think about He courageously admitted that he created a self-fulfillingnew and different ways to contribute to your company’s prophecy where his favorite employees were excellingbusiness goals. If one of these rungs on the ladder to and the others, whom he did not connect with and hadengagement is missing, however, it could financially ignored, were struggling. Invitations to his afternoonimpact the organization. For instance, employee coffee excursions to Starbucks were only extended to theturnover is one consequence of not having engagement. people on his team that he connected to and liked.If your organization had 75,000 employees, and 50%were women and non-white but saw a 3.6% attrition rate Even those with the best intentions have difficultywith this population, it would cost the organization $2.2 tying their words to their actions. Creating an inclusivemillion if it costs $10,000 to replace an employee. culture takes shaking our unconscious minds awake and questioning our actions. ▲Natalie Holder is an employment lawyer, speaker, corporate trainer and author of Exclusion: Strategies for IncreasingDiversity in Recruitment, Retention, and Promotion. As the co-founder of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor &Employment’s Diversity Fellowship she developed strategies to increase diversity and retention for various bar associations.In 2013, NYU honored her with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award. For more information on Natalie Holderplease visit www.QuestDiversity.com. SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 31


Because potential livesin every community.The future of technology lives in your neighborhood. We’refocused on ensuring that Microsoft will be the best placeto work.And we are there to support organizations and programsthat provide access to technology so people everywhere canreach their full potential.For opportunities to join our talent community, connect withus at naba@microsoft.com 32 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


21st Century Unconscious BiasTHE POWER THAT LIES UNDERNEATH By Kimberly S. ReedI spend a lot of time talking with leaders about their diversity ethical and legal implications. This does not mean socialand inclusion imperatives, and often hear them declare: media should not be used to enhance recruiting efforts;“We are doing very well in this area. We always choose the rather, organizations should work to implement strategiesbest person for the job regardless of race or gender.” Or to address the biases that may pervade the process.they say:“We promote a respectful and an embracing workenvironment and treat everyone equally.”The mistake with Generally speaking, being aware of unconscious bias canthis belief is that there is no such thing as meritocracy in create a more inclusive company culture and increasethe workplace. There is never a level playing field and we the talent pool for your organization. With lower levels ofdo treat different people differently. Our talent and internal unconscious bias, you will reach higher objectivity when itleadership pipelines often are indicative of this. comes to recruitment. You enable your teams to select the candidate who is most suitable for the job, instead of making Generally speaking, being aware of a biased decision. unconscious bias can create a more inclusive company culture and increase the How to tackle unconscious bias talent pool for your organization. One way of tackling unconscious bias is by providing your staffBiases, whether conscious or unconscious, are shaped with training that increases self-awareness and reflection, andby our experiences, culture, education, and economic gives them the opportunity to discover how their unconsciousbackgrounds. Our biases affect not only our worldview, but preconceptions influence their behavior.When we know whatalso our decision-making -- sometimes without our being is affecting us, we can change our actions.aware of our behaviors. It is not the role of HR professionalsand diversity practitioners to “point fingers” as it relates Three tips for tackling unconscious bias:to unconscious biases, and we should refrain from theunachievable task of completely eliminating them. We can, 1. Redefine the labels you use: Move away fromhowever, address those biases so they are not impeding “discrimination and intolerance,”and toward“diversity,the organization’s goal of creating a balanced, diverse, and equity, and inclusion.”inclusive workforce. 2. Review your company values and investigate whichA number of studies have shown that unconscious bias can hidden biases may be the foundation for yourhave a significant impact on talent procurement and can organizational culture.potentially lead to forms of institutional discrimination.For example, a CareerBuilder study found that 34 percent 3. Survey your employees on their experiences withof hiring managers use social networks to find reasons unconscious biases, or hidden barriers that maynot to hire a candidate. Most of those reasons were exist within your organization. Tailor training andassociated with the candidate’s comments, photos, posts, intervention based on your discovery work.or other information that might offer clues to a candidate’sthinking. Although these might seem reasonable ways to We cannot eliminate bias. However, we can acknowledgepass judgment on an individual’s character, there is a high that bias does exist and can have an impact on decision-level of bias and subjectivity involved, which could have making. People and organizations that honestly and consistently try to understand their attitudes and behaviors will be able to cultivate a working environment in which individuals can bring their best and authentic selves to the table. ▲Kimberly S. Reed, CEO and managing partner of Reed Development Group, LLC (RDG), and hasearned a reputation as one of the most dynamic speakers and trainers. For nearly fifteen years, Reedhas helped executives and professionals develop a “Y.E.S.” (You, Empower, Self ) mentality. After overa decade as a diversity and inclusion strategist for some of the largest companies in the world, Reedhas the ability to develop innovative solutions to identifying, attracting , retaining and developingtop diverse talent. For more information, visit thereeddevelopmentgroup.com. SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 33


We are Pleased to Recognize NABA’sLifetime MembersDwayna Adams Charles Davis Daniel Hobson Daniel Moore Patricia Smalls Clifton Addison Tamieka Davis Pamela Hogans Gairy Moore William Smith Enitan Adesanya Frederick Davis Bavan Holloway Lebone Moses Mark Smith Amani Ahmed Shaun Davis V. Reginald Hopkins Dana Moss Margo Smith William Aiken Tanya Davis Paul Horace Rosheila Motley Isaac Smith Jr.Abdool Akhran Chantel Day Harvey Hoskins Fred Moultrie Walter Smith Ronnie Alexander Samantha DeCambre Lisa Howze Grace Mullings Catherine Smith-Spears Renee Allain-Stockton Shariah Dixon-Turner Willie Mae Hughey Avery Munnings Janice Sparks Marvin Allmond Reve Doss Albert Hunt Angela Murphy Thad Standley Lloyd Anderson Marvin Dozier Angel Ingram Yves Mutombo Veda Stanley Anthony Anderson Kenneth Drummond Dee-Ah Iris-Outerbridge Dr. Adam Myers III Avril Stephens Lee Anderson Robert Dunlap Arlene Isaacs-Lowe Edwin Neal Cecil Sterrod Adrian Anderson Angela Dunlap Vincent James Leslie Netter Lionel Stevens Roger Arrieux Jr. Jonell Dunston Clarence James Benjamin Newhouse Shamella Stewart Iris Atkinson-Kirkland Betty DuVerger Curtis James Adaeze Nwachuku Dmitri Stockton Angela Avant Kathy-Ann Edwards Johnny Jefferson Chris Okafor Ebony Stubbs Larry Bailey Cordelia Ekwueme Edwin Jenkins Joe Okeke Lemar Swinney Alfred Ball Candice Elliott Norman Jenkins Avril Okeke Dr. Floran Syler Deidra Barksdale Gregory Ellison J. Frank Johnson Eugene Padgett James Talley R. Everett Bassie Kimberly Ellison-Taylor Gregory Johnson Dorothy Page-Proctor Rolanda Tate Darrell Baxter Patrick English Patricia Johnson Frank Parker III Micheal Taylor Ralph Bazilio Andrante Etheridge Michael Johnson Michael Parkins Ronald Taylor Ronald Benjamin Charmain Eubanks-Thomas Gwen Johnson Keeca Parks Sheila Taylor-Clark Earl Biggett Vernon Evans Robert Johnson Harold Parnell Ralph Thomas Melvin Blake Beverly Everson-Jones James Johnson Greg Parris Francis Thomas Jr.Allen Boston Felicia Farrar Milton Jones Jr. Kimberly Parris Allen Thomas William Boswell Nicole Felix Mark Keener Leslie Patterson Valerie Thomas Ken Bouyer Cecil Flamer Anthony Kendall Ramona Pearson Curtis Tomlin Gloria Bracy Erby Foster Bridget Kinard L. Matthew Perry Manuel Torres Adrian Bracy Carlyle Fraser Anthony King Phillip Pierce Emmanuel Tuffuor Monica Brame Genevia Fulbright LaToya Lacey Tillman Pink Lucy Turnage Latarsha Brazle Douglas Gaines Marjorie LaRue Pamela Pinkett Raymond Vicks Jr.Odell Brown Vernice Gamble Wayne Lee Mario Poole Adrian Vieira James Brown Fred Gamble Brittani Lee Dr. Jenice Prather-Kinsey Lamont Waddell Tyrone Browne Yosief Ghirmai Shelley Lee Hing Starr Purdue Andre Wade Linda Bryant Bertram Gibson James Lewis Okorie Ramsey Ronald Walker Maxine Buckles Dr. Hubert Glover W. Delores Lewis Moire Rasmussen Emma Walker Charles Burch Jr. Robin Gordon Wendy Lewis LaNita Ray George Wallace William Byrd Norman Graves Eddie Lightsey Harry Richards Lydia Washington Willie Carrington Dr. John Green Leona Locke-Dotson Avis Riley Chester Watson Dr. Deborah Carter Verna Greer Clarence Lockett J. Edward Robinson Timothy Watson Charles Carter Derric Gregory Joe Lowry Troy Robinson Anne White Ruby Cato Kim Griffin-Hunter Betty Maple Frank Ross Donald WhiteMillicent Chancellor Austin Groom Phillip Mark Michael Ross Gwendolyn Wiggins-WalcottMarvin Chiddick Linda Guyden Dr. Lawrence Mathews Janine Rouson Maria WileyPaula Cholmondeley Bennie Hadnott Roderick Mayo Michelle Royster Humphrey WilliamsSheila Clark Brenda Hammond Yolanda McBride April Royster L. Anne WilliamsWilliam Coleman Ann-Marie Hammond Milford McGuirt Greta Russell Roger WilliamsBrenda Coleman Thomas Hampton James McIntyre Deatrice Russell-Tyner Chrisalle WilliamsRonald Coleman Donna Hankins Tina McIntyre Ray Sanders James WilliamsMalcomb Coley B. Harrell Barbara McKinzie Uso Sayers George WillieGregory Collins Calvin Harris Jr. Jimmy McMillian Patricia Scipio Dr.Veronda WillisCharlotte Comer Steven Harris Richard McNamee Carolyn Scott John Wilson Anita Conner David Harrison Thomas McRae Victoria Seay Carol WilsonKenneth Cooke Tiffany Harrison Hassan Miah Antoinette Sekou Michael WinstonRaymond Cooper David Harrison George Miles Johnny Session Daniel WorrellDonna Cooper Angela Haskell Mark Miller Dave Sewell Ida YarbroughDeborah Cowan Roland Hendricks Kevin Miller Tadeo Silva Charles Daniel She-lia Henry Judson Mitchell Brainard Simpson Rosalind Danner Yvonne Herron Bert Mitchell Carl Simpson Sandra Davis Jeffery Hill Faye Mitchell Moore Gwendolyn Skillern 34 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2016


Understanding andappreciating eachothers’ diversityBank of America is a proud supporter ofthe 2016 NABA Conference & EXPOVisit bankofamerica.com/careersLife’s better when we’re connected®Bank of America and its affiliates consider for employment and hire qualified candidates without regard to race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age,national origin, ancestry, citizenship, protected veteran or disability status or any factor prohibited by law, and as such affirms in policy and practice to support and promote theconcept of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, in accordance with all applicable federal, state, provincial and municipal laws.© 2016 Bank of America Corporation. | ARJJPBW9 | DI-021016 SPRING 2016 | SPECTRUM 35


SAVE DATEJUNE 6-10, 2017NEW ORLEANS, LOUSIANAHilton New Orleans RiversideTHE 2017 NABA NATIONAL CONVENTION & EXPO


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