January 2017 Print

President's Message

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is already here. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we hope that all your dreams, wishes, and resolutions come true this year. 
We are kicking off the year with one of the hottest topics the industry is facing today, Cybersecurity threats. Please join us this Thursday, January 19 for a two-hour CPE on Cybersecurity Essentials for Organizations & Individuals. There is still time to register.
In the upcoming months, the board will be focusing on our annual PR dinner that is coming up in May. We are always striving to make this day useful, meaningful and fun for our chapter members and guests. Please solicit feedback and ideas and join the board in its efforts to make this event great. 
We want your feedback! If you have any ideas for upcoming CPE event meetings or a specific topic you would like to have covered in a CPE event, please let us know. If you know of a speaker or group that would be interested in speaking at one of our meetings, you can also call/email a board member or just write your suggestions down on the meeting evaluation forms – whichever you prefer. We want you to get the most out of your membership in AFWA! 
Scholarship committee needs you!  If you'd like to be a part of a group that awards AFWA scholarship funds to the most deserving female students, then this committee is for you.  
Lady Vesty nomination - If you have a great nominee for the Lady Vesty award, please provide you suggestion to us! 
Fundraiser suggestions – In our efforts to raise scholarships funds, please provide ideas on how we can improve our fundraising efforts. If you are interested in donating a basket for the basket raffle, please let us know.  
See everyone this Thursday!
Natalya Walls, CPA

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Event Registration

      Last chance to register...
Cybersecurity Essentials for Organizations & Individuals
Practical Tips: How to Manage Cyber Threats
Presenter Lanny Morrow, EnCE, CTFI, Senior Data Scientist, BKD will discuss cybersecurity and how it impacts us personally and professionally.  Upon completion of the presentation, participants will be able to:
  • Discuss the historical perspective on cyber threats
  • Describe the current cyber threat landscape (top five cybercrimes, recent developments and case studies)
  • Recognize the types of data and industries at risk
  • Understand specific risks such as ransomware and business email compromise.
  • Identify the best practices and available frameworks with regard to cybersecurity preparedness, monitoring and response strategies
When:   January 19, 2017
              3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Where:  Seim Johnson, LLP
              18081 Burt Street
              Omaha, NE 68022
Cost:   $50 / member or first-time guest
Register no later than Tuesday, January 18th
Event Details
In the digital age, security breaches are inevitable, and cyberattacks against businesses and governmental organizations are becoming more frequent and severe. Cybercrime and espionage are costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars, and the threat of cyberattacks is ranked as the No. 1 risk facing U.S. businesses. On the personal side, individuals face the same threats without the same organizational resources to combat cyber-attacks. This presentation will provide a historical perspective on the nature of cyber threats, discuss the current landscape facing organizations, and practical tips on how to manage cyber threat risks.
Speaker Bio
A 20-year veteran at BKD, Lanny is the senior data scientist and technical lead in digital forensics, cybersecurity incident response, and advanced data mining for BKD’s Forensic Investigations division. He is a frequent speaker and writer on both topics, including contributions to university textbooks and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ Fraud Magazine publication. Recent Speaking and Publications:
  • Big Ten Conference Audit Directors annual meeting
  • Oklahoma Society of CPAs
  • Ohio Colleges and Universities Audit directors annual meeting
  • Heartland ACFE Chapter Annual Meeting (Omaha, NE)
  • Financial Executives Symposium
  • National Association of Surety Bond Producers
  • Government Financial Officers Association of Texas annual meeting
  • Fraud Magazine 6-part series on data mining (https://goo.gl/YXc6ib)
  • Cybersecurity Investigations – Planning & Best Practices webinar


Attention Members! 
During the National Conference held in Denver, Colorado this past October the National Board held a bylaws forum allowing members to provide their feedback on the bylaw amendments that are effective July 1, 2017. Since then the National Board has fine-tuned the amendments and has sent the ballot to the chapters for a vote.
The Omaha Chapter will vote on the bylaw amendments at our member meeting on Thursday, January 19th. To place our vote we need members of the Omaha Chapter to be in attendance. We are offering a social hour (5pm-6pm) ticket for $15 for members only that are unable to attend the CPE due to scheduling conflicts. This ticket is for members only.
The Board encourages you to attend the CPE portion of our meeting as well so please attend both the CPE event and social hour if possible, and bring a guest. The Board has worked hard to provide our members with quality CPE and social time at each meeting. We hope by offering this special social hour price we will be able to vote on the bylaw amendments and reconnect with members that not have attended a meeting yet this year.

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Upcoming Events

2016-2017 Program Calendar

Mark your calendars for our upcoming 2016-2017 events!  
January 19, 2017
3:00 PM
Cyber Security
Seim Johnson, LL
 April 27, 2017 4:00 PM  Social Event - details to follow TBD
 May 16, 2017 Details to follow   Annual Public Relations Dinner Details to follow

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Lady Vestey

             Lady Vesty Award Nominations
We are currently accepting your nominations for The Lady Vestey award. As part of our chapter's tradition we recognize a woman from Eastern Nebraska or Western Iowa who has achieved success in her career, personal life and her community. Nominations will be accepted through March 31, 2017.  The winner will be notified and she and guest will be invited to our Annual Public Relations Dinner & CE event being held on May 16, 2017.
Nominations are due Friday, March 31, 2017


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  Scholarship Opportunities

Omaha Chapter Scholarships - applications are due March 31, 2017

Current members of the Omaha AFWA Chapter are encouraged to apply for scholarships to support the exam fees of the following certifications: CPA, CFP®, CFE, CIA, CMA, or CVA. 
Members and Non-Members
If you are pursing a degree in Accounting or Finance that meets one of the following criteria, we encourage you to apply for a scholarship:
  1. Enrolled in your 3rd, 4th or 5th year of college and are pursing an undergraduate degree in accounting or finance.
  2. Enrolled in a graduate program with an emphasis in accounting or finance.
Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent.  Scholarship candidates will be reviewed on leadership, character, communication skills and scholastic achievement.


 AFWA Foundation Scholarships

Members Only:
  • PhD Scholarship – To cover the cost of research for a student seeking a PhD degree in accounting. AFWA Members Only. (Applications due April 1, 2017)
  • National Dues Reimbursement for Unemployed Members – To assist dedicated AFWA Members with the expense of National Membership Dues who are unemployed at the time of their membership renewal.
Members and Non-Members:
  • Undergraduate Scholarships – To support the costs of attending 3rd, 4th, or 5th year when pursuing an accounting or finance degree. (Applications due April 1, 2017) 
  • Masters Scholarships – For those attending an accredited College or University enrolled in a master’s program, and is pursuing an accounting or finance degree. (Applications due April 1, 2017)
Visit the Foundation's scholarship page HERE for more information and applications!

 The Omaha AFWA and national AFWA scholarships are not correlated, so applying for both is encouraged! 


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Member News

  • Cindy Brack – October 2016

  • Darlene Lynam – January 2017



 November Anniversaries

  • Beth Byrne – 29 years

  • Kelly Martinson – 16 years

  • Barbara Rizvi – 5 years

  • Loarraine Kolasinski – 4 years

  • Michelle Sagar – 4 years

  • Suzanne Rasmussen – 1 year

December Anniversaries

  • Gail Reiter – 34 years

  • Lisa Waite – 7 years 

  • Amy Nieman – 2 years

  • Trisha Ullman – 1 year

 January Anniversaries

  • Gail Endorf – 9 years

  • Sharissa Fernau – 3 years 


Two members have joined the Board of Directors.  Please welcome Jamie Brewer, BKD - Treasurer and Darlene Lynam, Woodmen Life - Director of Membership!


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AFWA National News

Did you know?

AFWA offers CPE credit to its members through select monthly webinars.  Details on the webinars and availability of CPE credit can be found at afwa.org/events



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Check Us Out on Social Media

Have you liked the "Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance - Omaha" Facebook page?
    Give us a “like” for event reminders, Wellness Wednesday
                    and Tip Tuesday posts, and accounting humor!




Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn    View on Instagram

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Employment Opportunities


Have an employment opportunity to post?  Ads are free for members - please contact communications@afwa.org for more information! 


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Board of Directors

2016-2017 AFWA Omaha Chapter Board of Directors
President - Natalya Walls, CPA
Bland & Associates, PC, CPAs
President Elect - Annette Devine, FLMI, ACS
Woodmen Life
Past President - Barbara Rizvi, CFP®, ChFC®
First National Bank
Vice President - Amanda Braasch, CPA

Treasurer - Jamie Brewer
Bland & Associates, PC, CPAs
Secretary - Ashley Huss
Infinity CPA Group
Director of Programming - Sheryl Fitzgerald
Habitat for Humanity
Director of Membership - Darlene Lynam
               Woodmen Life
Director of Communication - Krystal Elms, CPA
Seim Johnson, LLP


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Interested in Joining AFWA?

Please contact membership@omahaafwa.org or any Board member if you are interested in joining the Omaha Chapter of AFWA.
You may also access membership information at: www.omahaafwa.org 


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