Markus Ahrens
Speaker, Saturday, October 27, 2018

Markus Ahrens joined the Accounting & Legal Studies Department at St. Louis Community College-Meramec in 2001 and currently serves as the Department Chair.  Prior to his teaching career, he worked as an accountant for 15 years.  Since 2006, Markus has taught as an adjunct professor in the Master of Health Administration Program at St. Louis University.  In addition, Markus is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. 

Markus has received national awards for his teaching and his innovation in the classroom, including most recently, the 2017 Educator of the Year Award from the American Accounting Association Two-Year College Section.  In addition, Markus is the proud recipient of the 2016 American Accounting Association / J. Michael and Mary Anne Cook / Deloitte Foundation Prize.  In 2018 and 2013 Markus received the AICPA Bea Sanders Innovation Award in Teaching Introductory Accounting Courses.  Furthermore, Markus was recognized in 2018 and 2007 for the Innovation of the Year awarded by the League for Innovation. 

Markus served as the 2017-2018 Council Chair for the American Accounting Association.  Currently, Markus serves on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MOCPA), is the Chair for the MOCPA Education Foundation Board and is a past Trustee for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Foundation Board.  In addition, Markus served as the 2014-2016 President for the Two-Year Section of the American Accounting Association and is the past-chair for the Conference on Teaching and Learning in Accounting.  Furthermore, Markus is a past member of the AICPA Pre-Certification Education Executive Committee.  In 2010, Markus served as president for the Missouri Association of Accounting Educators.  Markus is a member of the Teachers of Accounting at Two-Year Colleges, Institute of Management Accountants and the Association of Experiential Education organizations.

Dasha Walker Senior Partner, KPMG
Lunch Speaker Saturday, October 27, 2018 12:00 pm

Dasha is a partner in the Atlanta office of KPMG. She has over 16 years of experience providing financial statement audit services to a variety of higher education, not-for-profit, real estate, and industrial manufacturing clients.  Dasha has experience with accounting and reporting frameworks, such as US GAAP and IFRS. She regularly interacts with KPMG offices abroad to coordinate the audit of international groups. 
Dasha earned her bachelor degree in business administration with a major of accounting and masters in accountancy with a concentration in auditing and auditing information systems from The University of Georgia.  She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Association of Black Accountants. Dasha serves as a KPMG national instructor, chair of the KPMG Atlanta African American Network, and is on the board and treasurer of Synchronicity Theatre.


Donna Maria Blanero, Dean of the Graduate School, Bentley University
Plenary Speaker Sunday, October 28, 2018 9:00-10:30 am

Implicit Bias in Accounting

Donna Maria Blancero is the Interim Dean of Business and the Dean of the Graduate School at Bentley University.  She is one of three Latina business deans in AACSB accredited Universities in the United States. She is passionate about issues of inclusion and equity.

Donna Maria is a Fellow in the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  She is the recipient of several awards for diversity, including the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s Brillante Award for Hispanic Education, the National Black MBA Diversity Educator Award, and the MLK Leadership Award from Bentley University.  Donna Maria chairs the She received her PhD from Cornell University and was the first Latina to graduate with a PhD from the ILR School.

She is a twice the recipient of the SACNAS Presidential Award (2010 & 2018) and co-leads the SACNAS Linton-Poodry Leadership Institute and the Advanced Leadership Institute, the NAMIC Multicultural Leadership Program, and Wells Fargo’s Latin Leaders Program, as well as other leadership programs. 

She is the founding editor for The Business Journal of Hispanic Research and is a national speaker on issues related to Hispanic Leadership, Inclusion, and Unconscious Bias. Donna Maria has been a member of Prospanica (formerly the National Society of Hispanic MBAs) since 1992 and served for ten years on the National Board of Directors, including two terms as Chairman of the Board, from 2004-2006.  She is the Division Chair for the Gender & Diversity in Organizations Division (GDO) of the Academy of Management.  She is also a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women and serves on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.  Previously she was on the Board of Directors for the Latino Institute for Corporate Inclusion and the Alzheimer’s Association of NY.

Her research has focused primarily on Hispanics and other people of color in Corporate America, and has been published in journals such as the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Industrial Relations, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, Human Resource Management, Cross Cultural Management, Journal of Career Development, and the International Journal of Management.  She published a book entitled:  Hispanics at Work:A Collection of Research, Theory and Application. 

Donna Maria is a proud Nuyorican, born and raised in Brooklyn, and enjoys spending time with her large extended family. In her spare time, she is an amateur genealogist and enjoys physical activities such as biking, hiking and strength training.