CAQ Symposium 2021: Panelist Biographies
Friday, July 30, 2021
ESG Reporting | Panel 1: The Current State of ESG Disclosures
Kristen B. Sullivan
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Kristen B. Sullivan is a partner and leads Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Sustainability and KPI services, working with clients to help address their sustainability and non-financial disclosure strategy needs. Kristen also serves as the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (DTTL) Americas Region Sustainability Services Leader, the Global Audit & Assurance Climate Services Leader and the Integrated Reporting Community of Practice Leader. Kristen brings extensive experience in delivering sustainability risk assessment, governance, strategy alignment, measurement, reporting and assurance services.
Given the growing market emphasis on the importance of ESG standards and frameworks, Kristen serves as a member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Community, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Assurance Task Force, the Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative Corporate Working Group, and serves as Chair of the AICPA Sustainability Task Force and member of the AICPA Materiality Task Force. She also served on the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) Working Group. Kristen has authored a number of publications around the value of sustainability and non-financial disclosure and assurance, including conflict minerals and anti-human trafficking disclosure.
She was recognized as #10 on the 2020 Top 100 Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Leaders.
Kristen has over 24 years of experience with Deloitte. She is a CPA (CT, MO) and CGMA. Kristen completed the Berkeley Law Executive Education Certification: ESG: Navigating the Board’s Role. She began her career with Deloitte in the Audit and Advisory services practice. She has also served in Deloitte’s National Office in several different capacities and served in a role working with the deputy CEO of Deloitte LLP focusing on regulatory and public policy matters.
Kristen serves as a member of the Eureka College Board of Trustees and the Financial Women’s Association.
University of Chicago
Christian Leuz is the Joseph Sondheimer Professor of International Economics, Finance and Accounting at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Fellow at the at the European Corporate Governance Institute, Wharton’s Financial Institution Center, Goethe Universität Frankfurt’s Center for Financial Studies, the CESifo Research Network and a member of the IGM’s European Economic Experts Panel.
He studies the role of disclosure and transparency in capital markets and other settings, the effects of regulation, international accounting as well as corporate governance and corporate financing decisions. His work has been published in top accounting and finance journals. He has received several awards and honors, including the 2016 and the 2014 Distinguished Contribution to the Accounting Literature Awards, the Humboldt Research Award in 2012, as well as the 2011 Wildman Medal Award. He was also recognized as a “Highly Cited Researcher” by Thomson Reuters and included in their list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” in 2014-2018. Christian is an editor for the Journal of Accounting Research and has served on many editorial boards, including the Journal of Accounting and Economics, The Accounting Review, the Journal of Business, Finance and Accounting, and the Review of Accounting Studies.
Born in Germany, Christian earned his doctoral degree and Habilitation at the Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany. Prior to this position, he was the Harold Stott Term Assistant Professor in Accounting at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a visiting doctoral fellow at the Simon School of Business, University of Rochester.
Wells Fargo Asset Management
Head of Stewardship
Jessica Mann is head of Stewardship in Asset Management at Wells Fargo. Prior to this role, she oversaw Environmental, Social, and Governance investing and earlier, institutional marketing. Previously, Jessica was the head of standard setting at the CFA Institute. Earlier, Jessica worked in investment consulting with Watson Wyatt Partners in the United Kingdom. Jessica started her career with Mercer Investment Consulting. Jessica earned a BA in mathematics from the University of Virginia. She has earned the right to use the CFA designation and is a member of CFA Institute and the CFA Society San Francisco and is a fellow in the CFA Society United Kingdom.
Value Reporting Foundation
Director of Corporate Outreach
Neil Stewart is the Value Reporting Foundation’s New York-based Director of Corporate Outreach, advancing awareness of the organization’s resources and helping companies world-wide with implementation of SASB Standards and Integrated Reporting. He is a member of the Value Reporting Foundation’s Assurance Task Force and oversees the SASB Standards Consultant Content Program.
Neil brings to the Value Reporting Foundation more than 25 years of experience in and around investor relations and corporate governance. Previously he was at Citigroup as VP IR Advisory on the ADR team, helping non-US issuers develop IR and ESG strategies. Formerly Editorial & Research Director of both IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary magazine, Neil is a board member of NIRI NY, the New York chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute.
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ESG Reporting | Panel 2: Accuracy and Reliability of ESG Disclosures
Wendy L. Cama
Managing Partner of Audit Services
Wendy Cama is the Managing Partner of Audit Services at Crowe LLP, a top ten public accounting firm in the United States, with revenue of approximately $1 billion. Crowe LLP is a public accounting, consulting and technology firm with offices around the world. Crowe uses its deep industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities. The firm and its subsidiaries also help clients make smart decisions that lead to lasting value with its tax, advisory, and consulting services. Crowe is recognized by many organizations as one of the best places to work in the U.S. As an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the largest global accounting networks in the world, Crowe serves clients worldwide. The network consists of more than 200 independent accounting and advisory services firms in more than 130 countries around the world.
Wendy spent her career in the Financial Services Audit Practice. Crowe is a leading firm in the financial services industry and audits more publicly traded financial institutions than any other firm in the U.S. Wendy specializes in audits of publicly traded financial institutions with clients ranging in size from $100 million to $30 billion in assets. Her experience includes securities offerings, including initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, SOX 404 auditing and various consulting services. Wendy currently holds the role of the Office Managing Partner for the New York office, serves on the Firm’s Audit Management Team, and serves on the Firm’s Inclusive Excellence Council. Prior to taking on the role of Audit Managing Partner, she led the Northeast Region audit practice. She previously served on the AICPA Council as one of 16 elected members.
Wendy completed six years as a Board Member for the Firm in June 2019, including the last three as the Chair of the Firm’s Board of Directors. Other previous roles at Crowe have included: Member of the first CEO Advisory Council, including co-lead for development of a Growth Model that is still utilized by management and the Board today; Member of the Board Nominating Committee as appointed by the Board; Member of the Partner Screening Committee as appointed by the Board; Member of the Retirement Plan Investment Committee, as appointed by the Board.
In her position, Wendy has served as a liaison to the PCAOB and the CAQ and has participated in various task forces and webcasts related to Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. She assisted in developing PCAOB staff views in the form of An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting that is Integrated with an Audit of Financial Statements: Guidance for Auditors of Smaller Public Companies, which was issued in January 2009. She also assisted in developing guidance for integrated audits of non-accelerated filers issued by the CAQ titled Lessons Learned: Performing an Audit of Internal Control in an Integrated Audit.
Wendy was selected as one of NJBIZ Top 50 Women in Business in New Jersey in 2016. She was also honored to be selected to receive an award in March of 2018 in the Inaugural Great Places to Work for All as a representative of Crowe. Honorees were women leaders from companies on the FORTUNE 100 best places to work for and best places to work for women. Honorees were chosen by senior leadership at their companies for being a leader who has consistently played a critical role in helping their organization deliver on strategic growth and business goals by creating a high-trust culture that is a great place to work for every employee.
In January 2011, Wendy joined the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Union County, New Jersey. In her role she served as the Co-Master of Ceremonies for the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year Awards in 2011 through 2019 and she serves as the Vice Chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee.
In November of 2011, Wendy joined the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement (JA) of North Jersey. In her role she participates in fundraising events through the Crowe office, young women’s mentoring events, volunteering at JA Finance Park involving assisting high school students with budgeting, golf outings and bowl-a-thons for JA.
In February of 2019, Wendy was the Illinois State University Business Week Keynote Speaker and was subsequently inducted into the Illinois State University College of Business Hall of Fame in February of 2020.
Grant Thornton, LLP
Partner, ESG & Sustainability Services
Jim Burton is a partner at Grant Thornton and oversees the firm’s ESG & Sustainability services. In this role he develops sustainability strategies and reporting solutions as well as attestation offerings. He is the current chair of the Assurance Services Executive Committee, a senior technical committee of the of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants focusing on sustainability reporting, assurance and consulting services.
Over Jim’s 32-year career with Grant Thornton he has been a lead Audit partner delivering financial and non-financial assurance for multi-national clients. He has also held several leadership positions in the firm’s Audit practice, being responsible for the adoption, interpretation, and application of global and United States auditing and attest standards. In addition, he has led the development and implementation of the firm’s assurance-innovation solutions, including tools, analytics, automation and artificial intelligence.
He has also served as the chief financial officer for a privately held semiconductor materials and services company.
Antonia M. Chong
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Antonia Chong is a managing director in Audit & Assurance Services in the National Office of Deloitte & Touche LLP. She serves as the US Audit & Assurance Methodology Leader for assurance, including environmental, social, and governance assurance matters; the Global Audit & Assurance Methodology Leader for audit-related statistical matters, including data analytics; and the US Audit & Assurance Methodology Leader for income taxes.
Antonia plays a key role in developing and implementing strategies to enhance quality across the Audit & Assurance business. She leads consultations with practitioners to implement leading practices throughout the global Deloitte network and initiatives to innovate and transform how Deloitte performs audits.
Antonia serves as a board member of a non-for-profit high school in New York City and has overseen and volunteered for Deloitte’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Workplace Mentoring Program for more than twenty-five years. She is a member of the AICPA and the New York State Society of CPAs, for which she previously served as a committee board member and is often called upon to be a technical reviewer.
International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board
Brett James is a Deputy Director of the IAASB. In that role, he has been involved in projects addressing technology, accounting estimates, complex financial instruments, quality control, other information, and assurance engagements among others. His past experience includes roles with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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The Future of the Audit Workforce | Panel 1: Observations on the Virtual Audit
Partner, Americas Director of Audit and Chief Auditor
Josh Jones currently serves as EY’s US Americas Director of Audit and Chief Auditor. In that role, Josh leads efforts focused on developing and maintaining audit policy, methodology, guidance, tools, and training for EY’s audit engagement teams. He also concentrates on monitoring and responding to the standard-setting activities of the PCAOB, the AICPA and the SEC. Additionally, Josh oversees EY’s guidance and consultation to audit engagement teams on auditing and reporting matters, and other attestation engagements, including auditing, evaluating and reporting on ICFR-related matters.
Josh re-joined EY after serving more than three years on the staff of the SEC. As a former Senior Associate Chief Accountant in the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant, he specialized in the SEC’s guidance related to the evaluation of ICFR and auditing matters related to public companies. He also played a key role in many of the SEC’s activities with respect to its oversight of the PCAOB.
Josh spent one year as a Senior Director, Professional Practice, Policy & Research at the CAQ where he led the their member services, professional practice, and public policy activities.
Prior to serving on the staff of the SEC, Josh spent ten years in public accounting, performing audits of public and private companies of varying size, primarily in the consumer products industry.
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Chief Auditor and Global Audit Methodology Leader
Jen Haskell is the Chief Auditor of Deloitte & Touche LLP and is the Global Audit Methodology Leader for the Deloitte network. She leads the Audit & Assurance Services group which is responsible for audit and assurance methodologies, guidance, tools and technologies; standard-setting activities; and engagement team consultations.
Jen joined the Boston audit practice of Deloitte in 1993. Following a two-year overseas assignment, she joined the US national office, as part of the National Audit & Assurance Professional Development group, which she led from 2003 – 2005. In 2005, Jen joined the Audit & Assurance Services group, focused on US and global standard setting activities, as well as cross-border and group audits consultations and matters.
She served on the AICPA’s Assurance Services Executive Committee from 2017 – 2019. From 2011 – 2015, she was a member of the AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board.
Jen holds a BA in economics and accounting from the College of the Holy Cross and is a CPA licensed to practice in MA and CT.
Partner, Auditing Services, Methodology and Tools Leader
Dave Sharpe is a PwC partner with over 36 years of professional experience, including over 26 years as a partner.
He has gained considerable client service, technical and international experience. Dave has worked with the c-suites and boards of numerous Fortune 500 companies, including Fortune 25 companies, as well as private equity funds and portfolio companies in the consumer markets sector. As a lead partner, he has led multinational audits, financial reporting and auditing issues, internal investigation oversight, as well governance and business matters.
Dave has held National Office and quality network roles, gaining technical and regulatory experience, including experience working with the SEC and PCAOB. He lived and worked in Europe for four years and has also gained experience in emerging markets. Dave’s experience includes debt and equity offerings, acquisitions and divestitures, carve-outs, and structured finance as well as systems implementations and business transformations including shared services and business process outsourcing. Dave has coached and developed many individuals and teams and sponsored candidates for partnership.
BDO USA LLP
National Assurance Managing Partner – Audit Quality and Professional Practice
Christopher Tower has more than 34 years of public accounting experience, including client service, practice operational oversight, and audit quality and professional practice oversight. For a significant portion of his career he has provided audit and other attest services to a diverse mix of privately and publicly held clients in a wide range of industries with a primary focus on real estate, specialty finance, technology, and manufacturing and distribution companies. From 2003 until 2016 he also served as BDO’s west regional managing partner. Currently, Christopher serves as BDO’s national managing partner overseeing audit quality and professional practice. In this role, he oversees the many elements of National Assurance, including auditing, accounting, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) services, global services, quality control, and independence.
Christopher currently chairs BDO’s audit quality committee, which oversees the audit partner annual audit quality assessment process. He also serves on BDO’s assurance committee, which sets the firm’s policies and methodology with respect to audit and other attestation services. Christopher participated in developing and implementing the firm’s plan for improving audit quality and contributed to the firm’s annual Audit Quality Report. He has overseen various aspects of the firm’s audit quality initiatives, including chairing the effectiveness and efficiency committees.
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The Future of the Audit Workforce | Panel 2: Impacts on Talent and L&D
Auditing Services, Methods & Tools (ASM&T)
Kelly is a PwC Trust Solutions Partner with over 32 years of experience working in the Detroit area. She has served a wide variety of SEC-registered and private companies in the manufacturing, retail, consumer products, agriservices and automotive industries as well as several major not-for-profit organizations.
In her current role as the Auditing Services, Methods & Tools Learning and Development Leader, Kelly is responsible for the development and delivery of all US mandated accounting and auditing training programs attended by Trust Solutions interns through partners. These include the programs that comprise the recurring core curriculum as well as individual courses developed to address newly issued accounting and auditing standards and other business needs.
Kelly is also the Firmwide Relationship Partner for Michigan State University where she leads our campus recruiting efforts and faculty relations for a strategic source of campus hires for the firm.
Kelly has a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Toledo. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.
Robert Bloomfield is the Nicholas H. Noyes professor of Management at Cornell University. Robert has used laboratory experiments to study financial markets and investor behavior, and has also published in all major business disciplines, including finance, accounting, marketing, organization behavior, and operations research. Robert served as director of the FASRI, an activity of the FASB, and is currently an editor of a special issue of Journal of Accounting Research dedicated to Registered Reports of Empirical Research. He has recently taken on editorship of Journal of Financial Reporting, which is pioneering an innovative editorial process intended to broaden the range of research methods used in accounting, improving the quality of research execution, and encouraging honest reporting of findings.
As the Johnson School’s Faculty Director of eLearning, Robert oversees the development of online courses and helps faculty make best use of technology in traditional courses. He is the author of the award-winning eBook, What Counts and What Gets Counted, which can be downloaded for free online, and has used the book as the basis for online courses offered through eCornell, as well as award-winning teaching in Johnson’s Executive MBA programs.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nerissa Brown is Associate Professor of Accountancy and the Academic Director of BS/MAS Programs in the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She teaches graduate courses on advanced accounting and financial statement analysis, and holds the R.C. Evans Data Analytics Fellowship and PwC Faculty Fellowship. Nerissa is a former academic fellow of the Office of the Chief Accountant at the SEC and is a CFE.
Nerissa’s research focuses broadly on corporate financial reporting issues. Her most recent work applies machine learning and big data techniques to detect financial fraud and to better understand firms’ financial disclosure practices. Her research is published in elite journals, including the Journal of Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies, Management Science, and Journal of Business Ethics. She has been featured in leading media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, NBC News, Bloomberg News, and Fortune, among others.
Nerissa holds a PhD in accounting from the University of Maryland and earned her BS and MS degrees in accounting from the University of the West Indies (Jamaica). She is an editor at the Journal of Business, Finance & Accounting and serves on the editorial board of The Accounting Review and Accounting Horizons. She has received multiple awards for excellence in research, teaching, and service to the accounting profession.
Rebecca “Becky” Sproul
Partner, Talent and Culture Leader for Audit
Becky Sproul is currently the Talent and Culture Leader for Audit at KPMG LLP. She is focused on developing next generation auditors by enhancing the data and analytics (D&A), technology, project management and communications skills of KPMG’s audit professionals. She continues to invest in the KPMG culture by developing and implementing people-focused initiatives to support the wellbeing of the professionals and foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Becky is the Partner-in-Charge (PIC) of the Coastal Business Unit audit practice for the ten-office region including Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Greenville, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Raleigh, San Juan and Tampa. As Coastal Business Unit PIC, Becky is responsible for operational, financial, personnel and client care matters for the Coastal audit practice, overseeing over 450 professionals.
Becky has more than 28 years of experience providing financial statement and internal control audit service, as well as performance improvement advisory services to clients in a variety of industries.
Becky has provided professional services in accordance with regulatory standards to numerous companies. Her audit experience includes planning and managing financial statement audits for publicly and privately held companies, reviewing SEC filings, researching accounting technical issues, while managing and developing engagement personnel. She has also been involved in numerous debt and equity offerings.
From 2013 through 2017 Becky was KPMG’s National Managing Partner, University Relations and Recruiting. In this role, she was responsible for KPMG’s national recruiting strategy and execution, including faculty relations. Becky is a KPMG national instructor for audit methodology and leadership courses and is a presenter and panelist at numerous CPE seminars and open forum discussions on accounting and auditing matters. Becky was a member of the AAA’s Auditing Section Executive Committee. She is an advisory board member of KPMG’s Hispanic Latino Business Resource Group and a board member of The PhD Project.
Becky holds both an MBA and a BA of accounting from Florida International University, where she is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. She is a member of the AICPA and is a licensed CPA in Florida and Puerto Rico.
Chief People Officer
Julie Wood is the chief people officer for Crowe LLP and is responsible for the development and execution of the firm’s global talent strategy. She has served as a member of the firm’s management committee since 2007. In her role, Julie drives and sponsors major initiatives to position the firm to successfully meet the demands of a changing workforce across a broad array of strategic areas including: career and performance management, diversity, equity and inclusion, learning and talent development, employment risk, employee engagement and retention, talent acquisition, alumni relations, leadership development and succession planning, and organizational change and transformation.
Julie serves as President of Crowe University, the firm’s learning organization. She also chairs the firm’s Sustainability Committee, serves as a trustee of the Crowe Foundation and is a member of the firm’s Inclusive Excellence Council. Julie has testified before the United States Treasury Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession on people issues facing the profession. Prior to joining Crowe, Julie developed nearly two decades of experience serving in human resource leadership positions across various industries including professional services, insurance, investment banking, and gaming.