2022 Current Event Track


All general and concurrent sessions are open to all attendees and have no specific prerequisites to attend.  However, it is recommended that participants have a general knowledge of the subject matter being presented either through formal education and classes or work experience.  The sessions are formatted in a group setting and are geared towards intermediate level learning.  In keeping with the "green initiative," paper handouts for each session will not be distributed but will be available for downloading from the website to your laptop or other mobile device.  Speaker presentations will be available closer to the conference.  If the name of the session is highlighted, this is a hyperlink to an electronic copy of the presentation.

Approved for up to 12.3 FP&A recertification credits by the Association for Financial Professionals at the rate of one credit for each 50 minutes of attendance.

Approved for up to 14.7 CTP recertification credits by the Association for Financial Professionals at the rate of one credit for each 50 minutes of attendance. 




Monday Morning Sessions

Conference Welcome/Announcements

Session 1 (8:30 AM – 9:30 AM ET) - Kickoff

Economic Update: Consumers, Inflation Drivers, and Recession Risks

Mike Skordeles, AIF [Truist]

Mike Skordeles is senior U.S. macro strategist and a senior vice president at Truist Advisory Services, Inc. He’s responsible for analyzing the U.S. and global economies and financial markets as well as helping formulate and communicate investment strategy, publishing commentaries for our clients. Mike is based in Atlanta, in the Portfolio & Market Strategy division of the Investment Advisory group.

He’s been quoted in Bloomberg, Reuters, and the New York Times, and has appeared on CNBC, among other media outlets.

Areas of focus

  • Domestic economy and macro policy
  • Financial markets
  • Federal Reserve and interest rates
  • U.S. sectors and industries

    After two years, the world has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. What has the pandemic done to global supply chains? Can consumers withstand inflation? Is a recession imminent?

    Break (9:30 AM to 9:45 AM) 

    Session 2 (9:45 AM – 10:45 AM ET)

    Managing Interest Rate Risk in 2022

    Carissa Burns, Chatham Financial

    Carissa Burns is a Director on the Corporate Client Relationship Management team. She brings over 25 years of experience in the financial services and financial technology industries. She served in sales and account management roles in the fintech sector at both ICD and Reval, where she worked with Fortune 1000 corporations and financial institutions to automate their treasury and risk management operations globally. Prior to Reval, Carissa was a Managing Director in the Corporate and Investment Bank at Wachovia, serving in senior sales and leadership positions on both the FX and Interest Rate Derivatives desks. Carissa graduated summa cum laude from Converse College with a degree in Mathematics and Economics.

    In the face of elevated inflation and Fed tightening, U.S. corporations must contend with the potential of rising interest rates and their impact on impending debt maturities or existing floating-rate debt. Spillover into currency and commodity-related exposures are front of mind as well. In this session, you will learn how finance teams are assessing interest rate risk within their capital structures and addressing challenges associated hedging those risks. You will also gain an overview of debt and derivative implications of operating in a SOFR environment

    Session 3 (10:45 AM – 11:45 AM ET)

    The New ABCs: Ambiguity, Blockchain, and Crypto

    Chris Ward - PNC Bank

    J. Christopher (Chris) Ward serves as the executive vice president and head of Data, Digital and Innovations for PNC Treasury Management. In this role, he manages the innovation of PNC’s treasury management solution set. Ward is focused on continually enhancing the client experience and driving new business growth through the modernization of payments and application of the latest technology. In addition, Ward serves as a senior advisor to PNC's treasury management clients.

    Prior to joining PNC, Ward held a number of leadership positions at Capital One, including head of product management innovation and integration for its treasury management business. He led strategic product development and commercialization initiatives to drive revenue growth, ensure customer retention and enhance customer satisfaction.

    His previous experience also includes 11 years at Wells Fargo. During his tenure, Ward served as senior vice president, directing international strategy, payables and receivables and a broad range of strategic business initiatives. Other roles included senior vice president of product design and delivery and strategic technology consultant.

    Ward also shares his wealth of experience as a board member of The Clearing House. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting and computer information systems, from Robert Morris University.

    It can be puzzling to piece together the fast-moving crypto story; what began with Bitcoin has exploded to more than 12,000 types of cryptocurrencies and counting. But what’s actually important for treasury professionals is to have an understanding of how — and if — cryptocurrency fits into an organization’s financial strategy. In addition to helping you evaluate whether crypto should play a role in your company’s business blueprint, this engaging discussion will explore innovative emerging technologies, including blockchain, the tech that makes cryptocurrency transactions possible.


    Lunch  and Keynote address (11:45 AM - 1:30 PM ET)

    Leadership Lessons from HOLLYWOOD

    Andy Masters, MA, CSP

    Award-winning author and Leadership expert Andy Masters creatively uses the magical imagery of Hollywood to help financial industry leaders recruit, develop, and empower their organizations in a POSITIVE work culture—while reducing turnover and defeating the succession planning crisis. That’s right, be entertained and inspired with actual license-protected scenes from movies such as The Devil Wears Prada, Apollo 13, The Iron Lady—and even Office Space and X-Men. This unique program also cites the latest research from Harvard Business Review, Deloitte, and Glassdoor to provoke REAL organizational change from every attendee. Powerful leadership principles are based on Andy’s latest book “Things LEADERS Say: A Daily Guide to Help Every Leader Empower & Inspire.” Andy’s program provides attendees with not only an interactive multi-media experience, but also with immediate “take-home” action items to embrace today’s NEW workforce revolution

    Break (1:30 PM to 1:45 PM) 

    Session 4 (1:45 PM – 2:45 PM ET)

    Payments Update

    Gary Nesbit , GNesbit Consulting, and Sims Propst, South State Bank

    Gary Nesbit has spent over three decades in the banking and payments industry in a variety of roles.  He formed a consulting practice to assist organizations with the myriad challenges with payments rules and regulations. He has helped organizations understand and mitigate the risks associated with participating in the various payment systems and establish payment programs that are efficient, effective, and compliant with all appropriate rules and regulations. He has worked with a wide variety of organizations such as banks, credit unions, payment processors and technology companies. 

    Prior to starting GNesbitt Consulting, he served as Senior Vice President, Member Services, Finance and Administration for EastPay, regional ACH and payments association. He worked for First Union National Bank from 1981 to 1994. While at First Union, Gary held a variety of operations management positions including Electronic Banking Support Manager and Electronic Payments Manager, which included responsibility for ACH operations, wire transfers, ATM deposit accounting, and other cash management operations.  He worked for the Charlotte Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank where he managed reserve accounting and wire transfer. His entire career has been in electronic payments (wire transfer, ACH, and ATMs) as well as regulatory issues.

    Sims Propst is a Treasury Management Sales Officer and Senior Vice President at South State Bank.  Sims has over 35 years of banking experience, seven as a relationship manager with the remainder in Treasury Services.  He was most recently with Park Sterling Bank and, before that, Synovus Financial as well as Wachovia prior to the merger with Wells Fargo.  He has served in a variety of Treasury Management roles including sales and product management and product development.  -

    There are numerous initiatives in the payments arena, from Same Day ACH to the Federal Reserve’s new platform – FedNow. Also, the Clearing House’s Real Time Payments (RTP) continues to grow. Hear what is happening and what it means.

    Break (2:45 PM to 3:00 PM) 

    Session 5 (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET)

    Post Pandemic: Inflation and Interest Rates

    David Valentiner/FNB Corp

    David Valentiner is responsible for overseeing FNB’s interest rate risk management services in North and South Carolina, supporting clients through a variety of derivative solutions.

    With 25 years of financial services experience, David joined FNB in 2017 following its acquisition of Yadkin Bank.

    David is a graduate of Davidson College and is a holder of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) and Energy Risk Professional (ERP) designations.

    Focus on how consumer spending and the money supply affect inflation and how the Federal Reserve plans to respond. 

    Tuesday Morning Sessions

    Session 6a (9:00 AM – 10:00 AM ET) 

    Can ESG and Diversity Goals Be Achieved in your Cash Investing?

    Scott Wachs, Morgan Stanley

    Scott Wachs is responsible for the management, strategy, development, delivery and marketing of short term investment management products including money market funds and ultra-short bond funds. He joined Morgan Stanley in 2014 and has over 32 years of financial services experience. Scott received an M.B.A. from the NYU Stern School of Business and a B.A. in economics from Tufts University.

    ESG and sustainable investing options in the cash space continue to proliferate. This session will start with a view of key ESG principles and diversity goal frameworks. It will then review what products exist that may help to meet these goals and examine the different underlying approaches to these product constructs. We will also discuss how corporate cash investors can evolve their cash investing goals and strategies with ESG and diversity goals in mind.

    Session 6b (9:00AM - 10:00 AM ET)

    From AP Automation to AP Optimization

    Kelly Haley, Southeast Radiation Oncology Group and Jim Nelson, First Citizens Bank

    Kelly Haley grew up in northern Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech with a masters degree in Taxation.  She began her career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, in the tax compliance group for private company services.  Most recently Kelly serves as Controller with Southeast Radiation Oncology Group (SERO).  SERO is a 30-physician radiation oncology practice centered in Charlotte NC.  Kelly currently serves as Controller for several other medical practices along with SERO.  On the side, Kelly acts as chauffeur to her two daughters, driving around to gymnastics, swimming, soccer, and running classes.

    Jim Nelson is a senior financial industry leader with 25 years of experience in Treasury Management, Payments, Consultative Selling, and Change Management. He advises on holistic strategies that maximize profitability and efficiency for clients, large and small. Jim is currently the Director of Treasury Management Sales Enablement at First Citizen’s Bank.

    The last two years brought us forward like never before with AP Automation tools. Now, how do we optimize our process with the tools we now have? Learn from a forward thinker who went from AP Automated to AP Optimized. Kelly Haley shares her experiences with AP strategies, adopting payment types, negotiating with suppliers, and optimizing workflow automation tools.

    Break (10:00 AM to 10:15 AM)


    Session 7a  (10:15 AM – 11:15 PM ET)

    Kerry Pope, Fidelity Investments

    Kerry Pope is an institutional portfolio manager in the Fixed Income division at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is a leading provider of investment management, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing, and other financial products.

    Kerry provides strategy and communications to business partners regarding the management of Fidelity Institutional Asset Management® (FIAM®) Liquidity Management Solutions.

    Prior to joining Fidelity in 2011, Mr. Pope was senior vice president of liability management at State Street Corporation, Treasury, from 2004 to 2008. Previously, he served as senior vice president of global money markets at State Street Corporation, FX Money Markets, for 10 years. He has been in the financial industry since 1986.

    Mr. Pope earned his bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of New Hampshire and his master of business administration degree from Boston University. He is also a CFA® charterholder.

    The Fed is no longer setting monetary policy using forecasts but rather actual inflation and employment results. This shift suggests that monetary policy may be increased as inflation and growth wane. These dynamics may contribute to lower short-term rates than suggested by the FOMC’s median dot plot.

    Session 7b (10:15 AM - 11:15 AM ET)

    Eric Hovey, CFA - Payden

    Eric Hovey, CFA is a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at Payden & Rygel. He works with corporations and other institutions to address their unique investment circumstances. His sixteen years at the firm have included positions as a Senior Fixed-Income Strategist, Senior Trader, and Sector Analyst. Prior to joining Payden, Eric worked at Merrill Lynch as a member of an institutional fixed-income team.

    After years of discussion and debate, the financial market is gearing up for an official transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). What is coming next and how do Treasury departments need to prepare?

    Break (11:15 AM to 11:30 AM)

    Session 8 (11:30 AM - 12:30 PM ET)

    FX Risk Management: Tools for Today’s Treasury Professional

    Rob Richards and Jason Roof - GPS Capital Markets

    Rob Richards, Director of GPS Capital Markets’ Quantitative Risk Analysis team, has spent the past 12+ years dedicated to helping multi-national corporates identify, understand, and succinctly explain their FX impacts using their data via charts, graphs, dashboards, and online platforms.

    Prior to joining GPS Capital Markets in 2017, Rob worked at FiREapps, SaaS FX exposure analytics software in Scottsdale, AZ.  Current and future Treasurers will rely on better, quicker, and user-friendly visualizations. Rob’s Quant Risk team provides these customized views.   When not analyzing data, Rob is usually enjoying anything University of Utah (alma mater), golf, his family, and barbecue.

    Jason Roof has over 16 years of experience in Foreign Exchange, Global Treasury, International Banking, and Interest Rate Derivatives. Throughout his career at SunTrust and The South Financial Group (now Toronto Dominion), as well as during two stints in Finance at multinational corporations, he has advised many companies and organizations on various aspects of Foreign Exchange and Global Treasury. Among others, subject matters have included currency risk & hedging, historical & predictive analysis, funds management, international banking, and trading platforms, all of which apply to FX transactions either for continuing operations or for events, such as cross-border projects and M&A.  

    With the Team at GPS Capital Markets he continues to serve clients as an Advisor and customize FX solutions by incorporating both external factors, such as prevailing market conditions, and client-specific parameters like risk-tolerance, business model, margins, operations, and personnel. Jason is active in the international business community, and speaks German and Spanish.  Jason has his undergraduate and graduate degree from the University of South Carolina.

    This presentation will focus on how to use technology to better manage your foreign exchange risk. This comprises risk identification, quantification, and risk program implementation. A focus will be placed on the channels of communication required to communicate risk across the organization.

    Lunch (12:30 PM - 1:45 PM ET)

    Session 9 (1:45 PM - 2:45 PM ET)

    Innovation Award Presentation 

    Amherst College & Finexio

    Ralph Johnson, Amherst College

    Ralph Johnson currently serves as Amherst College’s Director of Shared Services and Procurement. This organization currently includes Accounting, Payroll, Human Resources Information Systems, Procurement, Accounts Receivables, Accounts Payables, and Workday Project Management. He has over 30 years of experience in Higher Education and Corporate America. Throughout this time he has worked at Morehouse College, Nortel Networks and Ericsson Incorporated. Over the course of his career, he has rotated through a series of senior leadership roles within a variety of functions: Procurement, Procurement Engineering, Materials Management, Quality Management, Test Engineering, and Component Engineering.

    Ralph has been instrumental in developing organizations, negotiating contracts, implementing cost savings measures, improving the efficiency of key processes, and leading change efforts for mission critical programs.

    Ralph holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University and has held professional certifications from the American Society of Quality as a Certified Quality Manager and a Certified Quality Auditor. He has also served as a member of the board for North Carolina State University’s Diversity Council.

    “Amherst College and Finexio were proud to streamline and accelerate the student payment process for various stipends and refunds on campus. Many of these disbursements were Higher Education Relief Fund payments being made to students to help with various emergency expenses during the pandemic.

    a) The process was disruptive as the former process utilized paper check delivery to every student for such payments. The new process is completely electronic.

    b) The process employed radical thinking: Student learning was mostly remote for 2020 and a good portion of 2021. Delivery of physical checks to on-campus P.O. Box addresses was not feasible. Not knowing exactly where across the globe students were completing their remote learning further complicated matters.

    c) The process and technology we utilized overcome these problems.

    As a result, we have been able to quickly and accurately conduct more than 4500 transactions, > $7M, To 1500 students

    - Which reduced our payment interval from 2 weeks to 2 days or less on average

    - With the ability to pay students regardless of where they happened to be located on the planet.

    Break (2:45 PM to 3:00 PM ET)

    Session 10 (3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET)


    Cindy Starns, FBI

    Cindy Starns is the Supervisory Special Agent of the Cyber Squad in the FBI’s Columbia Field Office in South Carolina. Since 2019, she has led a squad conducting national security and criminal cyber investigations working with local, federal and international partners. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the College of William and Mary, she worked in IT for ten years in her own start-up digital media company.

    She began her career with the FBI in 2004, working cyber investigations in the field for nine years and developing new technical capabilities for counterterrorism investigations at FBI Headquarters for five years. For her technical achievements, she was given the 2017 FBI Director’s Award for Excellence in Training and Professional Development and the 2020 FBI Director’s Award for Outstanding Technical Advancement.

    Cyber criminals will remain a persistent threat to businesses and individuals in the Carolinas. Business Email Compromise schemes are the dominant source of financial loss. There was also a continued surge in ransomware attacks against local government, healthcare, and business sectors in 2021, which was already a growing problem in 2020. These attacks aren’t personal, but they are opportunity driven. What should you focus on to minimize your risk?


    Tuesday Night Game Night (6:00 - 10:00 PM ET)

    Wednesday Morning Sessions

    Session 11 (9:00 AM - 11:30 AM ET)  (with a 15 minute break)

    Technology Update

    Rob Hickson

    Rob Hickson, a partner with BluePointe, LLC, has spent over 28 years in technology consulting and the use of technology to enhance business practices and e-commerce sales. As founder of a leading e-commerce web site focusing on luxury mechanical watches, Rob created a profitable retail business model without using a traditional retail store structure which is now celebrating its 19th year. Rob worked for eight years with KPMG in both the Raleigh and Brussels, Belgium offices. Rob also managed the computer consulting and not-for-profit practices, and served as the US accounting instructor in Belgium. Rob was a principal shareholder in American FundWare, a leader in not-for-profit and governmental accounting software that was purchased by Intuit, Inc of California.

    Rob is a James M. Johnston Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a Silver Medal Winner on the CPA Examination for scoring the second highest grade. Rob is a frequent speaker for the NCACPA, SCACPA, IMA, NC/SC Treasury Management Associations and a number of other industry and corporate conferences and events, focusing on technology driven topics and teaching speaker presentation skills. He has been honored with the Outstanding Conference Speaker Award twelve times by the North Carolina Association of CPA’s.

    Rob Hickson joins us again this year to close out our event. He brings his unique perspective and discussion of all things technology. If you've seen him before, you know that he’ll cover the latest technology topics in a fast paced, energized delivery.

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