Joni Ferguson, Founder and Executive Director of Leaders Amplify
Plenary: How do you Transform Students with an Accounting Background into Decision Making Leaders?
Wednesday, June 7, 2023, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Joni Ferguson is the Founder and Executive Director of Leaders Amplify. The organization is the culmination of more than two decades of Corporate experience focused on the creation of leadership journeys. Offerings include workshops, coaching, and content for organizations, conferences, and universities focused on transforming their technically trained talent into dynamic leaders who can grow and progress in any part of an organization.

Mrs. Ferguson is a 20-year Disney veteran that has held leadership roles in Finance, Strategy, and Analytics across the Disney Parks, Experiences & Products and ESPN segments. Most recently Joni was named the Executive Director of Leadership Learning Strategies for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, domestic and international and is a leader in Disney’s Employee Resource Group focused on the experiences of Black/African Disney Cast.

Joni holds a Master’s from the Crummer School of Management at Rollins College and earned two undergraduate degrees, Accounting and Finance, from Florida State University. Before joining Disney, Joni held roles in state government auditing, consumer banking & investments.

Originally from Monticello (FL), she is known for her storytelling and no-nonsense approach to problem-solving. Her objective is helping aspiring leaders succeed in and out of the office. She is married to actor, Essex O’Brien and they share a 13 year old son, Essex II.

Her unique voice and experiences have been shared during events hosted by Disney Dreamer's Academy, Thrive Global, Woman to Woman Talk, organizations like the American Accounting Association, The National Association of Black Accountants, and the National Association of Black MBAs, and universities like the University of Central Florida, Oklahoma State University and Texas McCombs.


Cliff Miller, EY
Plenary: Panel of SOC Professionals
Tuesday, June 6, 2023, 8:00 am – 9:15 am

Cliff is a Managing Director in EY’s Business Consulting practice based in Tampa, Florida. He has over 19 years of experience in providing consulting services to companies in various industries, including consumer products, healthcare, hospitality/entertainment, manufacturing, media & entertainment, retail, rental & leasing, technology, and telecommunications. Cliff currently serves on large-accelerated global & domestic public integrated audits, as well as SOC reporting examinations (SOC 1 and SOC 2 reports).

In addition to his current external IT audit and SOC roles, he has experience with internal audit, SOX readiness and compliance, and third-party reporting for major media research companies. Cliff holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Florida and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Florida. Cliff serves as on the Board of Directors for Dawning Family Services, a not-for-profit organization in Tampa, FL focused on embracing diverse families with children touched by housing instability or homelessness and supporting their transition to a safe and stable home.


Catherine Weisz, KPMG
Plenary: Panel of SOC Professionals
Tuesday, June 6, 2023, 8:00 am – 9:15 am

Catherine Weisz is a Director at KPMG with over 9 years of experience in the Florida market. She works on large-accelerated public integrated audits and performs SOC 1 and 2 Attestations over various industries including, banking, consumer markets - retail, and finance and technology. Catherine is a Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) and an aspiring CPA. Catherine holds a master’s degree in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University, and a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and Finance from Florida State University.


Alex Welsh, A-LIGN
Plenary: Panel of SOC Professionals
Tuesday, June 6, 2023, 8:00 am – 9:15 am

Alex Welsh, CPA, CISA, CITP is a highly skilled Senior Manager at A-LIGN, specializing in cybersecurity audits related to ISO/IEC 27001:2013 & 2022, ISO/IEC 27701:2019, ISO/IEC 22301:2019, HIPAA, SOC 1, and SOC 2. With her extensive experience and expertise, Alex possesses a wide breadth of knowledge of the best cybersecurity practices.

In addition to her work at A-LIGN, Alex is an active member of several committees and organizations. She has completed Leadership Academy and serves as the Vice Chair of the Women's Network, as well as a committee member of the DE&I Network within A-LIGN. Outside of work, Alex is serving as the Young CPA Chair of the FICPA and a Board Member of the FICPA.

Alex received her bachelor's degree in Accounting and Finance from Florida State University.

David Wood, Brigham Young University
Plenary: ChatGPT and Accounting: A Match Made in AI Heaven
Monday, June 5, 2023, 8:00 am – 9:45 am

David is passionate about understanding new technologies and implementing them into the curriculum of Brigham Young University, where he works as the Glenn D. Ardis professor of accounting. David received his Ph.D. at Indiana University and his BS and MAcc degrees at Brigham Young University. At BYU, David teaches accounting data analytics and accounting information systems. David has published over 100 articles in a combination of respected academic and practitioner journals, monographs, books, and cases. His research has won multiple best paper awards. David is a current or past editor at five journals and editorial board member for seven journals. He works with the EY ARC to develop curriculum that is provided for free to academics throughout the world. He is also a coauthor on the market-leading AIS textbook, Accounting Information Systems by Romney, Steinbart, Summers, and Wood and codeveloper of the https://www.byuaccounting.net/ and https://www.techhub.training websites.