Business and Industry Conference (VIRTUAL CONFERENCE)

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BIC  |  Virtual Live  |  All Levels  |  Scheduled

Designed For

CPAs and accounting professionals in business and industry.


Whether you work for a small, medium or large company, its success is not just about accounting. Put the communication, management and leadership ideas you will gain at this conference to work for you - and your organization's future.


See sessions below.

Your Price: $340.00

This is your base price and does not reflect any additional session fees, optional add-ons, or guest registrations.

Members log in and save $50.00 on this event. Not a member? join today.


March 9, 2021

7:00am - 7:50am (Central Time)

How does someone avoid a corporate or organizational scandal and create an ethical organization from the top to the bottom? While we often hear that "tone at the top" is key, there are additional steps you can take to ensure that organizational ethical values reverberate throughout your organization. Discover ways to improve the ethical profile of your organization.  
Key takeaways:

  • How the tone at the top affects the ethical profile of organizations
  • Evaluate methods to prevent ethical decisions from becoming business decision
  • Discuss how employee performance goals can lead to unethical behavior
  • Assess the effects of competition and rivalry on unethical behavior
  • Develop methods to increase performance and intrinsic motivation without inadvertently leading employees to unethical behaviors

Attend this session and receive one (1) additional hour of CPE credit (9 hours total). Qualifies for ethics CPE credit.

Speaker: Bret Hood, CFE, MBA | 21st Century Learning and Consulting

8:10am - 9:10am (Central Time)

Director Durham will discuss the state's economic development strategy, including focus areas for growth, policy initiatives and the programs that help drive Iowa's economy.

Speaker: Debi Durham | Iowa Economic Development Authority

9:20am - 10:10am (Central Time)

Natural disasters, cyber-attacks, civil unrest and other crises are all potential threats a company must be prepared to face. Learn the basics of developing a business continuity plan to help you deal with potential threats. From preventative measures to recovery, a disaster plan enables business operations to continue. Additionally, this session will discuss the threat of cyber-attacks—steps you can take to prevent them, what to do if you suffer a breach, and how to insure against the ever-present risk of cyber threats to your business.      

Speakers: Anne MacFarland, JD, CPCU and Chuck Martinek, CSP | LMC Insurance

10:20am - 11:50am (Central Time)

From the corner office to the shop floor, 2020 was exceptionally tough. The sheer amount of disruption, both good and bad, turned kitchen tables into 8-to-5 desks, parents into teachers and a myriad of unforeseen business challenges. Hear from a panel of Iowa business leaders as they reflect on the key lessons learned during the pandemic and tips to navigate the year to come.


  • Cindy Adams | CEO, Iowa Society of CPAs (moderator)
  • Tej Dhawan | Chief Data Officer, Principal Financial Group
  • Erin Kuhl | CFO, Kum & Go
  • Eric Kress | District Executive Director, YMCA of Greater Des Moines
  • Paul Rottenburg | President, Orchestrate Hospitality
Select One and Only One
12:35pm - 1:25pm (Central Time)

This session will focus on the legal considerations relating to a remote workforce and concerns that have become more prevalent in the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear the latest on department of labor clarifications, security issues and other pressing areas of concern when managing a remote workforce.

Speaker: Jo Ellen Whitney | Shareholder, Davis Brown Law Firm

12:35pm - 1:25pm (Central Time)

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new challenges to our workplace and employers must adapt and flex to ensure the safety and continued productivity of their workforce. This session will review policies and procedures that organizations can adopt as the "new normal" shapes the way we work.

Topics will include:

  • Important updates for ADA and FMLA policies
  • Virtual school and childcare challenges
  • Employee safety
  • Updates around the new stimulus bill and vaccinations
  • Tips for productivity and collaboration

Speaker: Sarah Walker, SPHR, SHRM-SCP | HR Services Supervisor | Oasis, a Paychex Company

1:35pm - 2:25pm (Central Time)

Despite having vast volumes of data, technology for analysis, and team members excited to analyze the data, do you find yourself stuck? Instead of insights, do you have data overload? Instead of action, do you have analysis paralysis? Success requires a focus on something other than the technology. This session will provide tangible strategies on how to use data to assist in decision making, change initiatives and how to drive action in your organization.

Speaker: Jeremy Clopton | Upstream Academy

2:35pm - 3:25pm (Central Time)

Hear from Iowa CPA favorite Jim Martin as he shares the latest updates on FASB and the CARES Act.

Speaker: Jim Martin, CPA, CGMA

3:35pm - 4:25pm (Central Time)

Miriam Erickson Brown began her career in the marketing department at Anderson Erickson Dairy which was founded by her grandfather in 1930. She held various positions in the company until being named chair and CEO in 2006. In her role, Miriam focuses on building upon the strong legacy of commitment to quality and excellence while developing vision for product innovation and branding. AE Dairy is the epitome of a family-owned business with the products becoming a staple in many Iowan's homes. Her quote backs up this tradition: "We’ve always been a different kind of dairy, and that begins with our roots.”

In this session you will hear Miriam's leadership journey as she navigates the company through the many challenges, uncertainties and victories that have helped shaped the company's success.

Speaker: Miriam Erickson Brown | Chair and CEO, AE Dairy


James D. Martin

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James (“Jim”) Martin is a true “general practitioner” who, for over 32 years, has specialized in both income tax and accounting and audit areas. In addition to serving the accounting and tax needs of 200 clients, Jim performs up to 70-75 continuing education seminars per year for CPAs and attorneys throughout the United States. To date, he has prepared and presented over 1900 full and half-day seminars on accounting and taxation topics. Jim’s philosophy of CPE is simple: spend the class time on topics of applicability and relevance to all and present the topics in an entertaining and fast moving manner.

Jim also regularly consults with CPA firms throughout the United States on a variety of accounting and auditing technical issues and serves as expert counsel in litigation manners.

Debi Durham

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Debi V. Durham was named director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA, formerly Iowa Department of Economic Development) in January 2011 by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. Prior to joining IEDA, Durham served as president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce. In 2016, Director Durham was recognized by the Des Moines Business Record as a Women of Influence, and in 2014, she was named a Janus Fellow by the Janus Institute, an organization with the mission of contributing to the body of knowledge in economic development and advancing its practice. In 2009, the Downtown Rotary Club in Sioux City recognized Durham as their Key Way award winner, designating a local leader who has “contributed greatly to the health and prosperity of the area through business and community involvement.” Durham was also recognized by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry as one of “Five Iowa Women You Should Know” in 2007. In 2003, she was named to the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame and was the Republican Lt. Gubernatorial candidate in 2002. Durham holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing and Management from Missouri Southern State University. [2017]

Erin C. Kuhl

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Erin Kuhl is the vice president and controller at Athene USA in West Des Moines. She provides oversight for financial reporting, reinsurance, and all general accounting functions. Erin has technical expertise in U.S.GAAP, statutory accounting, transaction accounting and internal controls.

Michael B. Hood

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Michael “Bret” Hood was a special agent for the FBI for 25 years. He investigated complex financial crimes, corruption, and money laundering violations. Upon retirement from the FBI in 2016, Bret opened 21st Century Learning & Consulting, LLC, a training and consulting business designed to help prevent people from making the mistakes that first lead them down the slippery slope.

Bret was recruited to become an Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) faculty member and was awarded the ACFE’s James R. Baker Speaker of the Year award in 2020. Bret was named the top-rated speaker at the ACFE’s Global Fraud Conference and the Institute of Internal Auditor’s Global conference. In addition, Bret serves as an adjunct professor of forensic accounting for Mt. St. Mary’s University and an adjunct professor of corporate governance and ethics for the University of Virginia. Bret previously served as an adjunct professor of forensic accounting for the University of Virginia and Florida Gulf Coast University. Bret is also part of the Forensic Accounting Advisory Council at Mt. St. Mary’s University.

Bret publishes articles on best practices in Fraud Magazine, Compliance and Ethics Professional magazine, ACAMS Today, National Mortgage Professional Magazine, and Law Enforcement Bulletin.

Bret is a federal-court certified expert in money laundering and financial crimes. Bret is also the author of the critically acclaimed books, Eat More Ice Cream: A Succinct Leadership Lesson for Each Week of the Year and Get Off Your Horse! 52 Succinct Leadership Lessons from U.S. Presidents.

Chuck Martinek

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Chuck is VP Loss Control Executive with LMC Insurance. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Safety and Health from the University of Dubuque and also holds a CSP (Certified Safety Professional) designation. His extensive consulting experience includes service to clients in the construction, manufacturing, transportation and healthcare industries. Chuck specializes in developing and implementing programs that promote a positive safety culture. His unique ability to educate managers and employees on loss prevention techniques is highly valued by LMC clients.

Anne MacFarland

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Anne MacFarland is VP and Account Executive at LMC Insurance. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. Before joining LMC, Anne was an attorney at a civil defense firm in Las Vegas, Nevada. The firm’s practice was focused on defending businesses and insurance companies against claims of personal injury, commercial general liability, products liability, premises liability, and construction defect. After moving to Iowa in 2013, Anne worked for a large insurance carrier where she handled lawsuits and large-exposure claims. Anne has considerable experience in negotiation, mediation, and claim evaluation. She also specializes in coverage analysis, with a focus on professional liability and management liability insurance.

Tej Dhawan

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Tej Dhawan is Chief Data Officer with the Principal Financial Group®.

As the Chief Data Officer, Dhawan is responsible for developing and carrying out the strategic vision for company-wide data and applications.

Dhawan works closely with the chief information officer and chief digital officer to help shape, evolve and drive our digital experience. He also partners with business and technology teams from around the company to build a customer-focused digital experience that addresses the ever-changing needs of our global customers. The experience takes into consideration a mix of data, analytics, user experience, and augmented intelligence.

Dhawan’s experience includes small business ownership, startup advocacy, accelerator mentorship and use of data to influence and adopt innovation. Dhawan earned his bachelor’s degree in math and computer science at Central College.

Paul Rottenburg

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Over the past 30 years, Paul Rottenberg has established a strong track record in the development and management of hospitality and real estate projects, including as general manager of the historic Hotel Fort Des Moines and it’s affiliated properties. Paul’s award-winning work in the restoration and commercial transformation of the historic downtown landmark, the Temple for Performing Arts led to wide recognition from the greater Des Moines community. His concept for Centro restaurant helped spur a renaissance in downtown dining and created a catalyst in the rebuilding of the Western Gateway Corridor.

In 2000, Paul started Orchestrate Hospitality, a hospitality management and development company. Since starting Orchestrate, Rottenberg has developed and is a partner in Centro; Django; Malo; Zombie Burger + Drink Lab; Hilton Garden Inn Des Moines/Urbandale; Gateway Market and Cafe; and Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Altoona. He has served on various boards and leadership committees; in 2006, the Des Moines Register named him one of Des Moines’ most influential business leaders.

Paul is a native of New Jersey and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is married, has three grown children and enjoys travel, playing guitar and relaxing on his ten acre farm.

Jo Ellen Whitney

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Jo Ellen is adopt at managing the everyday chaos employers and human resource managers face. She is known for her approachable demeanor and practical approach to employment law. She shares her knowledge regularly - Jo is a prolific speaker and writer - simultaneously educating and entertaining audiences on the grey areas of employment law.

Her clients are employers, managers, physicians, hospital administrators, and HR professionals in the health, manufacturing, telecommunications, technology, agriculture, and finance industries as well as not-for-profit service organizations. She is described as “top notch” by clients she advises on a wide array of matters and issues relating to employment and labor law, health law, fair housing, privacy and data security compliance, and contract and policy issues relating to grant funding.

Miriam Erickson Brown

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Miriam Erickson Brown began her career at Anderson Erickson Dairy (A.E.) in the marketing department of the company founded by her grandfather. She has held various positions at A.E., and in 2006 she was named president and CEO. As CEO of AE Dairy, Miriam has focused on building upon the strong legacy of commitment to quality and excellence. She has developed a new leadership team and set the vision for product innovation and branding.

Miriam has invested much of her career representing independently owned dairies through leadership on dairy industry boards. In 1994 she was selected by the Secretary of Agriculture to join the Milk Processor Education Program (Milk PEP) Board where she has held many leadership positions. Miriam also served as chair of the International Dairy Foods Association and the Milk Industry Foundation Boards. She is a board member of The Innovation Center for US Dairy. In 2007, she was the recipient of the International Dairy Foods Association’s Soaring Eagle Award for extraordinary service in the dairy industry.

Miriam enjoys speaking about the health benefits of milk, as well as creating (and of course, tasting) new AE yogurt flavors. She is married and lives in Urbandale, Iowa, with her husband and her golden retrievers.

Sarah Walker

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Sarah Walker Charlier, SPHR, SHRM-SCP has worked in human resources for 19 years, primarily with Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs). Serving organizations in both the non-profit and for-profit sector, Sarah has spent her career guiding small business owners and managers through complex employee relations matters, talent management and development processes, and employment regulation compliance. After starting her HR career in the horseback tour industry in Arizona, Sarah moved to Des Moines in 2005 and currently leads an HR administration and compliance team for Oasis, a Paychex Company in West Des Moines. She served on the volunteer board of directors for the Central Iowa Society for Human Resource Management (CISHRM) from 2009 to 2016, with two years as chapter president.

Jeremy Clopton

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Jeremy Clopton, director at Upstream Academy, gained his real-world experience from his work with one of the country's top accounting and consulting firms. There he led the firm-wide Big Data & Analytics and Digital Forensics practices. During his 12 years there, Jeremy gained extensive data analytics, leadership, and practice management experience. Still, his real passion was serving as an advisor to his clients to help them determine what they needed for future success. Before Upstream recruited him, Jeremy launched his own consulting company focused on developing more successful cultures by helping companies ask better, more strategic, questions. He created the SQ Method, a framework designed to help firms overcome challenges and more successfully leverage technology and solve problems. A dynamic and insightful presenter, Jeremy speaks both in the US and abroad at industry events and is a faculty member for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. His dedication to not just meeting but exceeding client expectations makes him a favorite for participants.

Jeremy believes in data and technology's potential to transform firm practice management, leadership, and culture. He is also passionate about employee engagement and the value brought by each generation in the workforce. An avid reader, Patrick Lencioni, Brené Brown, Daniel Pink, and Michael Hyatt, influence Jeremy's leadership style. Beyond books, he is a fan of TED curated content and cites Shonda Rhimes' TED2016 talk My year of saying yes to everything as one of the most influential talks of his career.

Outside of work, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and golf. Jeremy and his wife, Katie, have three incredibly curious daughters, a lazy golden retriever, and two energetic toy Australian shepherds.

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