2018 Western Region Meeting



Anne L. Christensen, AAA President, Montana State University-Bozeman
Plenary Speaker, Saturday, April 14, 8:20 am - 8:50 am
Pathways to a Sustainable Future

Anne L. Christensen is a Professor of Accounting in the Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship at Montana State University, where she has served as Director of the Master of Professional Accountancy Program and Director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Anne earned her Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Her research has been published in journals such as Issues in Accounting Education, The Journal of the American Taxation AssociationATA Journal of Legal Tax ResearchAdvances in Accounting EducationJournal of Business Ethics, and Financial Accountability and Management. She has served on Editorial Boards for Issues in Accounting Education, Accounting Horizons, Journal of the American Taxation Association, and Journal of Accounting Education.

Anne is currently serving as the President of the American Accounting Association (AAA).  In the past she served as the AAA Director-Focusing on Segments and on AAA’s Sharpening Our Vision Taskforce I and II. During her career she served on AAA Council as President and Program Chair of the Western Region, as President, Vice President, and Trustee of the ATA. She has served on the AAA Strategic Region Leader Committee as Co-Chair, and as a member of the Council Committee on Awards Committee, Deloitte Wildman Award Committee, AAA Journals Task Force, and AAA Nominations Committee.

Billie M. Cunningham, University of Missouri's School of Accountancy
Plenary Speaker, Friday, April 13, 9:15 am - 10:15 am
Well, THAT Didn't Work. How Purposeful, Systematic and Continuous Improvement Has Kept Me from Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater (and other ways it has affected my teaching): Perspectives on Effective Teaching

Billie M. Cunningham is the EY Teaching Scholar and a Teaching Professor at the University of Missouri’s School of Accountancy. She holds a B.B.A., M.B.A., and Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. Cunningham has taught more than 24,000 students in the undergraduate introductory accounting courses and the M.B.A. accounting course. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her teaching including most recently, the 2016 American Accounting Association/J. Michael and Mary Anne Cook / Deloitte Foundation Prize and, at the University of Missouri, the 2017 William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. She is a co-author of Accounting Information for Business Decisions. Cunningham’s research studies effective ways to help students develop their critical thinking skills and how to use action research as a systematic, evidence-based means of measuring the effectiveness of one’s teaching strategies and classroom environment. Her research has been recognized with awards from the TYC and TLC Sections. Cunningham has served as President of both the TYC and TLC Sections, and as AAA Vice-President Academic She has served on the AICPA Pre-Certification Education Executive Committee and as President of the Missouri Association of Accounting Educators. She serves on editorial boards of IAE and AEI, and is the current CTLA Co-Chair.


Scott Hamlin, Founder and CEO, Looptworks
Panel Plenary Speaker, Friday, April 13, 8:10 am - 9:05 am
Current and Future Trends in Sustainability and a Challenge to Accountants

Scott Hamlin, is the Founder and CEO of Looptworks, a certified B corporation design brand that creates meaningful products from excess materials.  Looptworks repurposes abandoned materials into beautiful, long-lasting and limited-edition products such as bags, clothing and accessories.  With industry experience at adidas AG, Jockey International and Royal Robbins, Hamlin is considered a thought leader on the circular economy from a practitioner’s perspective. His passion is focused on re-imagining product creation with a focus on zero waste and closed loop manufacturing methods. By re-using the world's pre-and post-consumer excess, the Portland, Oregon based brand aims to rid the world of waste, while inspiring a generation to reduce their impact on the planet. 

Looptworks has been featured on Oprah’s O list, the Today Show, The Guardian, The BBC, NBC National News, The Washington Post, Fox Business News and many other mainstream media, blogs and websites.
Looptworks has partnered with companies such as Patagonia, Southwest Airlines, LUSH Handmade Cosmetics, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, Mercedes Benz, The Portland Trail Blazers, The Dave Matthews Band, and Brooks Athletics, just to name a few. Its products are currently sold online at, to a global audience, in REI Flagship Stores and in Patagonia Stores.

Hamlin was recognized for his work in the area of sustainable capitalism and was selected to participate on a panel with former Vice President and Nobel Peace Laureate, Al Gore as a pioneer of sustainable industries. He has served as the key note speaker at Temple University’s Social Entrepreneurship Conference, as well as speaking engagements at Harvard University, The Green Biz Forum, and many other Universities and Business Conferences both in the US and Internationally in Canada, Brazil and Japan.

Hamlin was also featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and on their website where his video was the most watched video on the site and garnered coverage from The Wall Street Journal. Hamlin’s podcast with the Fresh Water Trust landed on the front page of iTunes and has been the most downloaded podcast in their successful series.
In addition to leading Looptworks, Scott is involved in his Portland, OR community, serving on the advisory board for the University of Oregon’s Sports Product Program and as a member of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. He is a year round bicycle commuter and spends his free time surfing, biking, running, hiking and playing outdoors with his family.


Tom Kelly, President, Neil Kelly Company
Panel Plenary Speaker, Friday, April 13, 8:10 am - 9:05 am
Current and Future Trends in Sustainability and a Challenge to Accountants

Tom is the president of Neil Kelly Company, founded by his father in 1947. The company employs 200 people with locations in Portland, Lake Oswego, Eugene, Bend, and Seattle. Neil Kelly Company is proud to have developed and to occupy the first LEED certified building in the western US (the company’s Lake Oswego design center), and to have built the first LEED certified home in the west. Neil Kelly Cabinets is the first supplier to offer a DECLARE labeled collection – spotlighting sustainably sourced materials. The company’s Home Performance / Solar – energy efficiency division – is growing rapidly. Neil Kelly’s work kept 1000 metric tons of carbon out of the atmosphere in 2013 and carbon savings will continue those homes into the future. An even greater number of homes are forecast to see this kind of improvement in each of the coming years. Neil Kelly’s Home Performance Division was recently profiled in a national Department of Energy bulletin. Neil Kelly Company earned B-Corp certification in December of 2013 and was registered as a State of Oregon B-Corp on January 2, 2014 – Oregon’s first official day for such recognition.

Tom’s current community activities include; Chair – Oregon Business Alliance for Climate, Board member of Oregon Solutions, Member of the Children’s Museum Advisory Group, Member of Climate Action Plan Update Steering Committee (City of Portland / Multnomah County) and Member of The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies Advisory Council.

Tom is former Chair of the Portland Development Commission (now Prosper Portland,) past President of the Portland Metropolitan Home Builders Association, past Chairman of the Board for Portland Meals on Wheels, a past President of Portland Downtown Rotary, a past president of the Volunteers of America of Oregon Board, and a past Chair of the Oregon Construction Contractors Board. He was the founding Chair of the Oregon Business Association.

Tom was recognized with the Volunteers of America of Oregon DePriest Award for Community Service Excellence in 2010; and received the national remodeling industry Fred Case Award for Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 -- made especially meaningful as Fred Case and Tom’s father, Neil, were friends. Neil Kelly Company received the Oregon State University Austin Family Business Program Family Business Leadership award in 2012.

Tom and his wife, Barbara Woodford, are avid sailors and skiers. They have two grown sons.


Richard Thornton, CPA, PFS, Adjunct Professor, Masters of Tax Program, Portland State University
Lunch Speaker, Friday, April 13, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
The Accountant's New Full Employment Act: Tax Reform 2018

Rich was the National Tax Practice Leader for S corporations and gifts, estates and trusts for Moss Adams LLP, a regional accounting firm with offices in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico and Kansas. He is a certified public accountant in Oregon and Washington. He began his career with the Internal Revenue Service in 1974 and joined Moss Adams LLP in 1984, served as the managing partner for the Yakima office for six years, and is now based out of the Portland office. In his thirty-year tenure with the firm as a tax partner, Rich has primarily worked with business owners and families in multiple industries with a particular emphasis in the food processing and agricultural industry on their federal, state and international choice of entity business structuring. Rich specializes in Closely-held Business Services (CBS) and in dealing with business financial and tax management, exit strategy planning (family transfers, ESOPs, outright sales or private equity and/or mergers and acquisitions) and the related business and family estate planning issues. He also works extensively throughout the Firm on IRS controversy matters. He is a frequent speaker for the AICPA, State societies, state and local bar associations, multiple estate planning councils, Northwest Farm Credit Services and multiple industry trade and cooperative organizations on various financial, tax, business, and estate planning issues. He is now an adjunct professor at Portland State University, teaching the Masters of Tax program for estates, gifts and trusts.

Copyright © 1998 - 2019 by American Accounting Association. All rights reserved.