Joni Wilson Ferguson, Leaders Amplify, The Walt Disney Company
Friday, April 24, 2020, 8:10 am – 9:00 am

Future Forward: Prepping Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

Joni Wilson Ferguson is a business veteran with more than 15 years with The Walt Disney Company. Her passion is sharing her career experiences with current and future leaders to provide perspective on leadership in demanding and growing industries. She’s a high energy speaker, with an informative story-telling format that includes the impacts of leadership in your professional and personal life. Leaders Amplify is her growing leadership development and consulting company focused on transforming technically brilliant contributors into effective leaders with technical brilliance.


William E. McCarthy, Michigan State University
Friday, April 24, 2020, 9:10 am – 10:00 am

Impact the Future:  Integrating Practice, Teaching, and Scholarship with Design Ideas from the Far Reaches of the Accounting Universe

William McCarthy is a Professor of Accounting and Information Systems at Michigan State University.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, majoring in accounting and minoring in computer science.  At MSU, he teaches database design and programming classes in the information systems track of their MS program in accounting, where he has won multiple teaching awards at the department, college, and university levels.  Professor McCarthy's research interests center on the application of knowledge-based systems, object orientation, and database theories to the problems of building better accounting systems, and his present research focuses on (1) the development of accounting enterprise ontologies, and (2) the use of independent-view models in open value networks and blockchain environments.

Professor McCarthy worked in the Artificial Intelligence Group of Accenture where he was part of a research team that analyzed the first uses of embedded semantics for the SEC's EDGAR system. More recently, Bill has been especially active in international e-commerce standardization efforts with the United-Nations-based ebXML project. He is an editor for the ISO-based Open-EDI initiative where he was the principal architect of the accounting and economic ontology for Open-EDI (ISO 15944-4).  In the area of blockchain, he is the co-editor of a developing ISO standard (ISO 15944-21) for Distributed Business Transaction Repositories and Open Value Networks.  He is also a member of the board of directors for the Accounting Blockchain Coalition.

From the American Accounting Association, Bill has received the Innovation in Accounting Education Award in 2003, the Outstanding Service Award in 2007, the Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 2008, and the Cook Prize (graduate category) in 2019.  He has also served as an AAA Vice-President and as an Editor for The Accounting Review. He is a co-author (along with Guido Geerts and Graham Gal) of a forthcoming AAA monograph on the REA (Resource-Event-Agent) model and its use as an accounting and economic ontology.