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Conference Speakers

Jack Stahlmann

Jack Stahlmann’s informative and educational presentations are built around his experiences in Los Angeles as an actor, producer, director — and of course, a waiter. In Hollywood, he launched his own production company which created several films that enjoyed international success and was an Assistant Director for the Margaret Cho stand-up show, Cho Revolution.

As an actor, his shining moment came in a co-star role on the CBS drama Cold Case, where he played a wimpy park ranger. He also appeared on Days of Our Lives and several commercials.

Jack graduated with honors at DePauw University and has been a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. He currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ron Kral, CPA, CMA, CGMA

Ron Kral is a partner of Kral Ussery LLC, a public accounting firm delivering advisory services, litigation support, and internal audits. Ron has worked with hundreds of clients as a public accountant offering robust solutions on governance, SEC compliance, internal controls testing & remediation, IT general controls, IPO readiness, M&A transactions, auditing standards, COSO frameworks, and U.S. GAAP. He has both an audit and a management perspective, having signed external audit opinions, led a business unit for a large publicly traded company, and delivered numerous internal audit efforts. Ron served on FEI’s working group for the development of COSO’s 2013 control framework and is a member of four of the five COSO sponsoring organizations: the AICPA, FEI, IIA, and IMA. Ron holds an MBA from Arizona State University and a BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan Robinson is a psychotherapist, best-selling author of ten books, and a professional speaker from Northern California.  For the past 30 years he has spoken to dozens of Fortune 500 companies including Google, Microsoft, Dell Computer, Coca-Cola, and Fed-Ex. Mr. Robinson has made numerous appearances on the Oprah show and CNN, as well as other national TV talk shows. He has reached over 100 million people around the world, and is known for providing his audiences with immediately useful information presented in a fun and entertaining manner.

LAWRENCE A. (MAC) McCLELLAND, MBA, JD 

Mac McClelland, an attorney and accounting professional, is an associate of K2 Enterprises of Hammond, Louisiana, and Network Management Group of Hutchinson, Kansas. Mac was formerly the director of the Centre for Financial Studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, where he lived and worked for seven years from 1990 to 1997. He was also a member of the faculty of the Advanced Business Programme, ranked in the top 100 MBA programs in the world by The Economist, specializing in business strategy and strategic management accounting. 

He gained his practical experience in information systems with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and has an established practice in business and technology consulting. Mac has taught hundreds of continuing professional education seminars to accountants and business managers in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Southeast Asia. His presentations are highly rated, and he has won several awards for teaching excellence. 


TERESA WARNE

As Vice President of Finance, Teresa advises the CEO and other key members of senior management on strategic planning, financial budgeting, cash flow, investment priorities, strategic procurement and business development.  Prior to joining American Crystal Sugar Company, Teresa worked in various positions at Caribou Coffee, Northwest Airlines and CliftonLarsonAllen in the Twin Cities. 

In her free time, she enjoys playing volleyball, photography, traveling and spending time with her family.  Teresa resides in Moorhead with her husband Marlan and three children: Ash, Lynsey and Jesse.

DENNIS DRAEGER

Advisor Denny is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education. He started as a financial advisor in Fergus Falls, MN in 1984. He acquired the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional certification designation in 1993. As the business changed, Denny joined a group, Legacy Financial Partners, with 27 other offices in ND, MN, SD, NE, MT and WY. This allows the advisors to specialize and share resources as well as provide one on one service to clients. Denny currently works with clients in Fargo/Moorhead, Fergus Falls and Jamestown. Denny has been named a Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisor in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. In addition, he was recognized as the Financial Times 400 Top Financial Advisers for 2020.Denny and his wife, Randi, have three children and 5 grandchildren. In his spare-time he enjoys time with family, extended family and friends, traveling, grilling, and spending time at their cabin on Paul Lake.

Shayla Rivera

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Rivera grew up with an avid interest in human behavior, science, machinery and fixing things. Her parents always made it clear that going to college was the way to go in order to have a successful personal and professional life. Rivera attended Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering with a great number of additional credits in her other passion, Psychology. After graduation she joined McDonnell Douglas Space Systems at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, where she worked on the NASA Space Shuttle and Space Station programs for five years.

Rivera left NASA to pursue her abiding interest in psychology, trying to figure out what makes people tick. Rivera began facilitating life-changing seminars on stress management for executives at companies around the country. Shortly thereafter, she began giving motivational speeches. Encouraged by many of her clients she signed up for a weekend seminar on stand-up comedy, at the end of which she performed a five-minute routine. It was a personal turning point. “I knew I’d found what I was looking for,” Rivera recalled.

Corey ciocchetti

Serving as the Bill Daniels Professor of Business Ethics and Legal Studies at the University of Denver, Corey Ciocchetti is one of the University’s most popular and highest-rated professors. Corey joined DU after graduating with a law degree from Duke University School of Law, a Masters degree in Religious Studies and two Bachelors degrees in Finance and Economics—summa cum laude—from the University of Denver.

Corey is a talented speaker and teacher and has won multiple teaching and speaking awards including the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award and the Joel Goldman Award for most respected speaker on the CAMPUSPEAK roster. He currently teaches classes on business law and ethics in a department ranked by the Wall Street Journal and Business Week in the top ten nationwide for producing students with high ethical standards.

Corey also speaks to tens of thousands of individuals each year about “authentic success” and living an ethical life and is the author of the book Inspire Integrity: Chase An Authentic Life. He has spoken to diverse audiences in over 250 cities and 47 states over the past ten years. A Colorado native, Corey resides in Denver with his wife, Jillian and daughters Sophia and Sydney.

Jay Giannantonio, MS, CPA/CGMA, CIA, CSM

Jay is a management consultant specializing in finance transformation, risk management, process  improvement and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance issues. His professional experience includes long stays at PwC(Ex C&L), Verizon/Bell Atlantic, KPMG, and EY in a professional career that began in 1980. His teaching experience includes time as an adjunct faculty member in the MBA program at Widener University and CPA exam instructor for a local CPA exam prep course. Jay live in the Philadelphia, PA area.

Kassi Rushing, APR

For the past 18 years, Kassi has been bridging the strategies between business and people. She focuses on developing, executing and measuring initiatives in the areas of: workplace culture, diversity, equity and inclusion, leadership/pipeline development, employee engagement, internal communication and public relations. She specializes in connecting the functions of recruiting, learning and leadership development, communication, and employee engagement to create a powerful, unified story. The result is a place where people want to work, and a company that other businesses want to work with. 

Kassi earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with an emphasis in public relations from Mississippi State University and her Master of Science in corporate communication and public relations from Mississippi College. She holds the Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America and is presently pursuing her Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from the Yale School of Management.

Vanessa Lystad

Vanessa is a shareholder at the Vogel Law Firm in Fargo, North Dakota, practicing solely employment law.  In her practice, she handles administrative complaints, provides advice for North Dakota and Minnesota employers on employment compliance issues, reviews and drafts employee handbooks and policies, investigates workplace complaints, and represents employers in employment litigation.  Vanessa is also co-chair of the firm’s employment law practice group and an editor of the North Dakota Employment Law Letter, a newsletter providing employment law updates to North Dakota employers. 

Tommy Stephens

Tommy Stephens received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree (Major in Accounting) from Auburn University in 1985. In 1992, he earned a Master of Science degree (Major in Finance) from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Presently, Tommy is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Information Technology Professional, and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. 

In 1995, Tommy began authoring and presenting continuing professional education courses to accounting and finance professionals. In 2003, he affiliated with K2 Enterprises, and in 2007, he joined the firm as a partner. Over the past twenty-seven years, Tommy has presented over 2,800 educational sessions to over 71,000 participants throughout the United States and Canada. Tommy maintains professional memberships with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, he is a past member of the Institute of Internal Auditors. 


Michael Loesevitz, CPA

Michael did not start out his professional career in the accounting field; rather, he worked as an attorney, starting in 2008. He joined the Brady Martz team in 2016 and proceeded to pass all four parts of the CPA Exam over a four-month period despite never having studied accounting in school.  His work includes researching and preparing memoranda on complex tax issues, drafting tax opinion letters, assisting with the preparation of estate tax returns, analyzing business contracts for compliance with tax rules and regulations, analyzing the tax consequences of complex estate plans, and more. From August of 2019 through March of 2021, Michael worked part-time with the firm to work full-time for the South Dakota State Legislature as a senior legislative attorney. Born and raised in Germany, Michael currently lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota with his wife of 19 years and their three children, Wesley, Sophia, and Ella. In his free time, he likes to go to the gym, watch baseball, watch Unsolved Mysteries, and hang out with his family.

SIDNEY COMPTON

A member of the Brady Martz team since 2012, Sidney has spent the entirety of her professional accounting career with the firm. She works in both the Tax and Audit Departments. On the tax side, she primarily focuses on business tax both at the federal and multi-state levels. On the audit side, she serves as the manager on audit files and works with employee benefit plans, non-profits, and non-public companies. 

Raised in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Sidney currently lives in West Fargo with her husband, Chris, their two children, Grayson and Reese, and a dog named Roxee. Sidney enjoys the area because it is a family friendly community and there is always something to do with the children. Outside of the office, Sidney enjoys doing hot yoga and spending time outside, when the weather allows.

KAYLA CHRISTENSEN

Kayla Christensen is a Manager at Brady, Martz & Associates in Fargo, ND. As a Certified Public Accountant in the tax department, she primarily provides tax preparation and consulting services for individuals and small businesses. She receives great joy when building trusting relationships with her clients and seeing how her work can make a difference in her clients’ businesses and lives.

Kayla grew up in Flom, MN and attended college in Moorhead. After spending nearly ten years in western North Dakota, Kayla, her husband Brett, and their family moved back to Fargo in 2016. During their current free-time, you may find them playing board games, building LEGO projects, tinkering in the gardens, and having impromptu dance parties on the living room floor.

RENEE GRAVALIN, CPA

Renee has worked in the nonprofit/healthcare industry for nearly 34 years. She is the audit partner of a variety of nonprofit organizations including Foundations, voluntary health and welfare and museums, as well as nonprofit healthcare clients. Renee also works on single audits, financial forecasts and consults with clients on variety of areas. Renee is a board member for the American Red Cross Minnesota Dakotas Region and mentors business students at her alma mater, Minnesota State University Moorhead. She is a past member of the AICPA’s Healthcare Expert Panel and serves on Eide Bailly’s Healthcare Technical Issues Committee. When not working, Renee enjoys knitting and crocheting as well as traveling, golfing, and hiking with her husband. She is also busy with her three grandchildren (and her two daughters, son, and daughter-in-law!).

REGGIE MACMASTER, CPA

Reggie began her career at Eide Bailly after graduating from North Dakota State University with her Master’s in Accountancy. She supervises and reviews attestation engagements for a variety of nonprofits, including foundations, scientific and cultural, affordable housing, and health and human service organizations. Reggie is involved in the community as a classroom volunteer for the past several years through the Junior Achievement Program and recently has become a run mentor through the Mile in My Shoes organization. Within Eide Bailly, Reggie is the chair of the Technical Issues Committee for the Affordable Housing industry and serves on other firm committees. Outside of the work, Reggie enjoys staying active and taking weekend trips with her husband to participate in various races, recently finding enjoyment in triathlons. Reggie enjoys traveling to new destinations whenever possible to explore something new!

Stephanie Decker

In March of 2012, a tornado ripped through the town of Henryville, Indiana. Stephanie Decker, a 37-year-old mother, found herself in a life-altering moment. As her house began to disintegrate around her, she shielded her two young children with her body. Her dream home fell in, crushing her legs, but because of her heroic actions, Stephanie’s children were amazingly unscathed. It was a miracle that she even survived and made it to the hospital. At that point, doctors determined that parts of both legs would need to be amputated.

Since the accident, Stephanie has been featured on: The Today Show, The Ellen Degeneres ShowABC World News Tonight as “Person of the Week”, USA Today,USA Weekend, and People Magazine. She was featured in Successful Meetings list of Most Reliable Keynote Speakers who surpass expectations. She was also named as one of the L’Oreal’s 2014 Women of Worth Honorees and nominated for the 2015 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award for her foundation work.

Stephanie Decker has become a true symbol of survival and overcoming adversity. She has used her story to bring awareness for the Stephanie Decker Foundation, which supports two major areas:

1. Children with prosthetics
2. Accessibility to leading-edge prosthetic products


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