Winter Conference 2021

20th Annual Catawba Valley Accounting and Management Conference


Thursday, December 9, 2021

8:00 am – 5:00 pm


Catawba Valley Community College and Technical Institute
Workforce Solutions Complex

2550 US Hwy 70 SE | Hickory, NC  28602



Sponsored by: Catawba Valley Chapter IMA


8 Continuing Professional Education Credits

(**Including 2 Hours of qualifying Behavioral Ethics)


To keep all attendees safe at this in-person event, the attendee MUST complete an additional form attesting to their vaccination status. A copy of this attestation form can be downloaded by clicking HERE.


Conference Location Directions: 


From I-40, traveling West toward Asheville, take exit 126 toward US 70/East toward McDonald Parkway. Turn left at the light at the top of the exit ramp. Go to the third light and turn left onto US 70. The destination will be on the right at the next stoplight.
From I-40, traveling East toward Statesville, take exit 126 toward US 70 toward McDonald Parkway.  Turn right at the light at the top of the exit ramp. Go to the second light and turn left onto US 70. The destination will be on the right at the next stoplight.



Conference Registration Information:


Registration check-in begins at 8:00 a.m. and the first seminar begins at 8:30 a.m. The last session will end just before 5:00 p.m. Course fees are payable in advance.


All reservations must be received by Friday, December 3, 2021 by registering:

                                  P.O. Box 2132
                                  Hickory, NC 28603


Registration fees include continental breakfast, refreshment breaks, lunch, and course materials. 
**Registration will be available at the door provided space is available and lunch may not be included.

Prerequisites: None
Advance Preparation:  None
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group-live and Webinar Options

CPE Information

The Catawba Valley IMA is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors via its website: This program meets the ICMA guidelines for CPE credits for CMAs and CFMs.


***Registration/Coffee/Continental Breakfast***

8:00 am -8:30 am


Morning Session 8:30 am-10:10 am

(CPE Credit: 2 Hours in Personal Development)


Martin Brossman and Dana Gower present:

 “Everyone’s talking-but what are these things doing to us in reality? Insights into Bitcoin/cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), in user-friendly terms.”


The Printing Press, The Electric Light, The Internet, and now Blockchain and Bitcoin! This presentation will explain how Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, in particular, NFTs, and Blockchain are changing the world of finance and will give you a look at the mechanics, benefits, and limitations of the latest technological disruptions. What are the risks and what are the optimum potential outcomes to individuals and institutions? How does the new “digital wallet” work? You have heard different things in the news, and from entertainment, family, and friends on these topics, and perhaps you have dabbled in Bitcoin. In this presentation, you will hear the latest developments, issues, and predictions in a comprehensive, but easy-to-follow, informative, engaging, and entertaining way. No pre-knowledge of the field is required for this continuing education training.


  • Understanding the basic processes, technologies, and terminologies of Blockchain and the Cryptocurrency world.

  • A brief history plus some current-day examples of the practical use of various technologies.

  • Understanding the risks and potential upsides of the emerging Blockchain field to both people and institutions.


Morning Session 10:25 am-12:05pm

(CPE Credit: 2 Hours in Business Law)


Jeff Penley, J.D. Presents:

 "I Am Not Throwin' Away My Shot (Or Am I?)-The Legality of Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines in the Workplace"


In addition to the widespread health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus has also raised significant legal issues, including whether employers can mandate employee vaccination as a requirement for employment. Major companies like Boeing, Citigroup, Deloitte, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Walmart now require their employees to be vaccinated, and in September 2021, President Joseph Biden announced sweeping new vaccine mandates that will affect tens of millions of Americans, ordering all businesses with more than 100 employees to require their workers to be inoculated or face weekly testing. State governments are “pushing back.” Currently, governors in 12 states, including Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah have signed legislation restricting COVID-19 vaccine mandates in their states. Another “red versus blue” political battle is on, perhaps only to be resolved by a United States Supreme Court decision on the issue.


  • Understand the relationship between the “employment-at-will” doctrine and employer-established COVID-19 vaccine mandates

  • Understand various corporate policies regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates

  • Explain the import of President Biden’s executive order regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates

  • Explain the nature and extent of state laws restricting vaccine mandates

  • Assess whether the US Supreme Court will address the issue, and if so, what the likely outcome will be


***Lunch 12:05 pm – 1:00 pm***



Afternoon Session 1:00 pm – 2:40 pm

(CPE Credit: 2 Hours in Production)


Tim Reynolds Presents:

 “Inventory Management Best Practices”


Inventory can represent one of the largest assets on a company’s books and as management accountants, it’s important that we not only account for it accurately but seek to understand how the mismanagement of this important asset can lead to some serious organizational issues. Join us to learn more about why inventory management is important and learn some best practices on how organizations can safeguard it and implement some operational efficiencies along the way.


  • Understand why inventory management is important to an organization

  • Learn how the lack of controls in connection with inventory can lead to financial losses

  • Discover some best practices related to safeguarding and efficiency improvements for inventory



Afternoon Session 3:00 pm – 4:40 pm

(CPE Credit: 2 Hours in Behavioral Ethics)


Joe Lakatos Presents:

 “A Cautionary Tale About the Use of Data Analytics to Detect and Prevent Fraud”


Over the past few years, data analytics has become one of the principal tools employed by organizations to detect and prevent fraud. In some organizations, data analytics has proven to significantly reduce the occurrence of fraud. However, in a recent survey conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers, 43 percent of business leaders have found “little tangible benefit” from the information obtained in data analysis, while 23 percent ‘derive no benefit whatsoever’. This seminar will explore the reasons why data analytics has fallen short of expectations for many entities and demonstrate how data analytics can hamper fraud detection and prevention, and offer methods to prevent this from happening in your organization. Real-world examples will be given during the presentation.


  • To appreciate the ways in which data analytics can assist in and hamper fraud detection and prevention.

  • To become familiar with the methods used to overcome the pitfalls of using data analytics in fraud detection and prevention efforts.



Guest Speaker Biographies


Martin Brossman

 Martin Brossman is a leading authority on social media and online marketing. He is a business coach, consultant and a dynamic trainer known for his insight and humor. A member of the National Speakers Bureau, Martin is a popular speaker on social media topics and web related topics for business professionals.  He teaches at North Carolina community college Small Business Centers throughout the state since 2006. Currently, he teaches a Social Media Management Certificate program at NC State University TTS.  His published books include Social Media for Business, Linking Into Sales (professional use of LinkedIn) and How to use Hashtags. He has been self-employed since he left IBM in 1995 and has over 10 years of experience in the business use of social media.

Dana Gower, MBA, CCP

Dana has over 15 years’ experience as a Fortune 500 HR/pensions manager, later ran a mutual fund and has served as personal financial advisor for the past 20 years. He is also an author and trainer, with his most recent book and virtual webinar, BOOMERNOMICS - which is about money, family and legacy planning - aimed primarily for affluent Baby Boomers.
With undergraduate degrees in economics and finance, plus an MBA in finance, Dana has had a long-term fascination with money and markets. His work with the human side of things has also enabled him to translate technical financial issues into practical information for his clients and followers.
Dana resides in Cary NC with his wife, who is also an author and trainer. He enjoys biking and spending time with his kids and grandkids, whenever he can visit them in NY and Maine.

Jeff Penley, J.D. 

A native of Burke County, North Carolina, Penley earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science and a law degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He practiced insurance defense law for a large law firm in Charlotte before joining the faculty at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) in Hickory, North Carolina. For 27 years, Penley taught law and ethics classes for the CVCC Business Division. In 2007 and 2013, he received the Catawba Valley Community College Excellence in Teaching (EIT) Award. While a full-time faculty member, he served in numerous leadership roles, including Faculty Senate president, cooperative education faculty coordinator and Southern Association of Colleges re-accreditation team member. CVCC has implemented the faculty titling system Penley developed and proposed while he served on the Faculty Senate. He was on the “front end” of online learning in the Tar Heel state, serving as a course developer for the North Carolina Community College System “Virtual Learning Community.” He has presented for CVCC’s Student Leadership Institute and delivered numerous faculty and staff professional development lectures and Continuing Education presentations. Penley served as faculty fellow for CVCC’s Students in Free Enterprise team from 1996 to 2013. During that time, he coached the team to five regional championships. Since 2012, Penley has served as an extemporaneous speaking and prepared speech coach for the CVCC SkillsUSA team, with his students winning a number of state championships and competing nationally. Since 2019, Penley has served as Special Advisor and Senior Professor for Technical and University Transfer programs at CVCC. He currently coordinates the “Aspire Appalachian” and “49erNEXT” college transfer programs for CVCC students. Penley and his wife Patricia live in Hickory.  Their daughter Katherine, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, is an English teacher in Hillsborough. Their son Ben, also a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, is a pharmacist who lives who lives in Dallas, Texas.


Tim Reynolds

Tim Reynolds is a Principal at Davidson, Holland, Whitesell & Co., PLLC, and has over twenty-seven years of experience in public accounting and in private industry with large, publicly traded companies.  Tim graduated from the University of Toledo with a B.B.A. degree in accounting. Tim provides accounting, tax, and operational consulting services and has several years of experience working with manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, and dealerships across the U.S. on strategies designed to maximize financial and operational performance, identify, and reduce risk, and plan for succession. He is a frequent speaker and writer on various financial and operational topics and conducts educational sessions to help clients succeed and navigate through the various challenges that impact businesses today. Tim is a licensed CPA in the State of North Carolina and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and various trade industry associations. Tim also serves as the Treasurer for the IMA-Catawba Valley Chapter.


Joseph P. Lakatos

Joseph Lakatos, LL.M, JD, MBA, CFE and CPA, serves as a Fraud Investigator, Risk Management Consultant, and Professor of Accounting at Elon University.  His interest in risk management and fraud investigation and prevention stems from his experiences as an auditor at PwC, as an attorney in a Manhattan law firm, and Vice President of Risk Management in the financial services industry.  At PwC, he served on engagement teams spanning several industries.  He also served on the team assigned to investigate the junk bond fraud scandal orchestrated by Michael Milken at Drexel Burnham Lambert.  His tenure at the Manhattan law firm spanned the resolution of the Savings & Loan Crisis during which he directly learned of the widespread impact of accounting malfeasance and the lapse of ethics in the poor choices made by directors, officers, auditors, and attorneys.  Joe advanced his career as Vice President of Risk Management in the financial services industry while also serving as an adjunct professor.  Wanting to show students the positives and pitfalls of business practices and to stir them to pursue lives of impact, Joe became a full-time faculty member and business consultant.  He also puts his knowledge to work as a litigation strategist and expert witness in legal proceedings involving operational and financial statement frauds.  Joe uses his unique ability to detect and prevent all types of operational frauds and financial statement frauds including revenue, expense, and cash flow manipulation schemes, and tax evasion plans and structures. He recently discussed in The CPA Journal a method he developed to significantly reduce the occurrence of fraud in organizations of all types and sizes.  Fraud continues to be pervasive in our society despite the tremendous damage history has shown it causes.  Approximately 90% of frauds are committed by those with no prior record.  (Source: 2020 ACFE Report to Nations).  75% of occupational and financial statement frauds are suffered by small and medium size companies who are the backbone of our economy.