Chapter Happenings - April 12, 2013 PDC

Professional Development Conference

April 12, 2013

Atlanta, Georgia

The Atlanta Chapter of AGA is proud to announce the Professional Development Conference

will be held April 12, 2013 in downtown Atlanta, Georgia at the Westin Peachtree Hotel.

This year’s theme is:

Accountability for Today's Leaders


The planned program features a host of presenters that will cover topics ranging from the

fraud detection and prevention to ethics and communications for staying current on the common

body of knowledge for accountability professionals. This one day event will qualify

for 8 hours of Continuing Professional Education units. You are cordially invited to attend

this engaging training event in Atlanta. See you there!


 All sessions held in International D, 6th floor (except where noted)

 Session Time Topic/Speaker/Room  
7:30-8 am     Registration and Continental Breakfast
8 am-8:10 am     Welcome and Announcements 
 8:10-9:05 am    

Topic: Fighting Fraud, Waste and Abuse

Speaker: Brian Miller-Inspector General, General Services Administration 

 9:05-10 am

Topic: Fighting Fraud, Waste and Abuse

Speaker: Brian Miller-Inspector General, General Services Administration 

 10-10:20 am Break and Networking 
 10:20-11:10 am

Topic: Top 7 Ways to Improve Your Finance Organization

Speaker: Kevin Smagh, Deputy CFO, CDC 


Topic: Ethics

Speaker: Leon Young, Motivational Speaker for Leadership and Ethics

 Noon-1 pm

Topic: Laughing at Simply Ridiculous Stressors

Speaker: Millicent St. Claire, Motivational Speaker, Best Selling Author and Trainer 

Room: The Overlook, 6th floor

 1-1:50 pm

Topic: State and Local Government Survey

Speaker: Bob Childree, Grant Thornton 

1:55-2:50 pm 

Topic: Audits, Letters and Report Writing...OH MY!

Speaker: Leon Young,  Motivational Speaker for Leadership and Ethics

 2:50-3:10 pm Break and Networking 
3:10-4 pm 

Topic: The Evolving Role of Auditing in Meeting National Challenges

Speaker: Ben Nelson, Government Accountability Office 


We thank our sponsors for support:




Brian D. Miller

The U.S. Senate confirmed Brian D. Miller as the Inspector General of the U.S. General Services Administration on July 22, 2005.  Prior to becoming Inspector General, Mr. Miller worked for the U.S. Department of Justice for 15 years, beginning in the Office of Policy Development.  Attorney General Janet Reno appointed him as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he concentrated on procurement, grant, and health care fraud cases.  In 2001, he served as the Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General and Special Counsel for Health Care Fraud for the U.S. Department of Justice.  In 2002, he returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to serve as Counsel to the United States Attorney, while continuing grand jury, trial, and appellate responsibilities as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. 

As Inspector General, Mr. Miller leads over 300 auditors, special agents, lawyers, and support staff in conducting nationwide audits and investigations. As a leader in the fight against procurement fraud, Mr. Miller participates in the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and partners with federal, state, and local officials to share information to detect, investigate, and prevent procurement, Recovery Act, and grant fraud.   Mr. Miller is a frequent speaker at conferences, task force meetings, and regional working groups, and he testifies regularly before Congress.   

Mr. Miller provides aggressive, strategic, and creative leadership by developing new ways to fight fraud.  In 2010, he established the Government Infrastructure Protection Initiative within his Office of Investigations to protect the federal procurement process and supply chain from the dangers associated with counterfeit products.  In 2008, he created a forensic auditing unit and sponsored federal forums to promote forensic auditing as a tool to analyze databases and to detect fraud.  In 2006, Mr. Miller was named Vice-Chair of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force, a task force of the Department of Justice, law enforcement offices, and several inspectors general.  As co-chair of the Legislation Committee, he played a key role in amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require contractors to report overpayments and crimes.  He also was a principal author of a legislative and regulatory reform white paper, which resulted in legislation, regulation, and a national debate on important issues related to procurement fraud.

The U.S. Comptroller General presented Mr. Miller with the David M. Walker Excellence in Government Performance and Accountability Award, which recognizes and honors government audit professionals who have made sustained contributions to improve government performance and accountability through their leadership in transforming government organizations.  He was recognized by Ethisphere magazine as the 12th “most influential person in business ethics” by a worldwide panel of experts and was named among “Those Who Dared: 30 Officials Who Stood Up for Our Country,” a special report of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.  Mr. Miller also received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award.



Deputy Director, Finance, and Deputy Chief Financial Officer

Kalwant (Kevin) Smagh, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Director, Finance and Deputy Chief Financial Officer for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.  He is responsible for planning and directing Finance operations supporting more than $11B annually.  He leads a staff of 160 federal civilian financial managers that provide accounting, travel, debt, systems and payments supporting the CDC and its worldwide public health programs. Mr. Smagh brings more than two decades of federal financial management experience to CDC. Previously, he was the Director of Financial Management at the Warner Robins (Georgia) Air Logistics Center for the U.S. Air Force.


Kevin was born in Kellogg, Idaho, and grew up in Broomfield, Colorado.  He began civil service in 2008 after completing 20 years of Air Force active duty in finance and administration. He has commanded 2 Air Force squadrons, with responsibility for operations in financial services, budgeting, cost analysis, accounting, audit and acquisition, and served as the assistant to the U.S. Air Force Comptroller at the Pentagon. Organizations he led earned award and recognition as the 2007 Air Force Financial Management and Comptroller Organization of the Year and from the Department of Defense Comptroller in 2011. Kevin has a Bachelor's Degree in Management from the U.S. Air Force Academy (1988) and a Master's in Economics from the University of Oklahoma. He is a Certified Defense Financial Manager.  Mr. Smagh joined the CDC in June 2012.


He can be reached at WPG5@CDC.GOV


Leon Young, Motivational Speaker for Leadership and Ethics, Leon Young Seminars 

Leon Young, a motivational speaker and professional facilitator for ethics and leadership throughout the United States. A recognized expert in the area of Ethics in organizations in both the public and private sectors. Leon is a very sought after keynote speaker for conferences and professional development workshops. He is known for his ability to present serious subjects with humor and to involve his audiences in the subject through interaction. Leon imparts both knowledge and understanding to his audience.

Leon is the author and creator of Ask Leon, an Ethics Q and A, for the Journal of the Association of Government Accountants. His column appears in each issue of the publication.

An educator, Leon is an Associate Professor (adjunct) at the University of Maryland University College where he teaches in Behavioral and Social Sciences and teaches and does academic evaluations in the Experiential Learning Program.

He conducts training in the areas of leadership, communications, conflict, and negotiations.

Leon was employed by OSHA, US Department of Labor for five years where he trained both the program and financial staffs in all of the Federal regions in monitoring recipient spending and programs.

Leon has served on the Boards of Directors of the Mental Health Association, the Crises Center, Abused Persons (Chair), and Emergency Medical Services (Chair). Leon is an appointed member of the Ethics Board of Santa Fe County, NM. He is a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of the US Postal Service (USPS) of Santa Fe, NM.


MILLICENT ST. CLAIRE! - International Trainer, Inspirational Speaker & LIGMO Luminary!

Seasoned seminar leader, inspirational speaker and author, Millicent St. Claire uses her groundbreaking book Simply Ridiculous and the LIGMO (Let It Go, Move On) Self-Mastery Process to help business professionals, women and students let go of self-limiting beliefs and behaviors and have a new experience of themselves.


As a LIGMO Luminary (one who walks in the light and releases daily), Millicent shares how to LET GO of everything that is Simply Ridiculous and focus on what's really important in life - personal and professional development so that you can stand out and achieve your goals and make a powerful contribution in life. Formal training in Accelerated Learning, PhotoReading, Hypnotherapy, NLP, HeartMath, and other sciences of the mind, assures that Millicent's programs introduce breakthrough discoveries in neural and cognitive sciences. Having overcome tremendous personal life challenges, Millicent's dynamic mix of innovative learning techniques and authentic sharing results in an inspiring program that deliver results! She creates an interaction-rich, learner-centered space that connects people to who they are beyond the familiar

known paradigms, worn out cultural constructs and conditioned behaviors.


This LIGMO Luminary has a friendly, animated and girlish style that just might surprise you as she opens hearts and minds in a lighthearted and magical way. Clients rave about their personal insights and breakthroughs and you will too.  Millicent travels extensively, speaking and training at businesses, organizations, and colleges as well as private and public workshops.


Robert L. Childree

Mr. Childree has over thirty five years experience in financial management and governmental accounting systems.  He has specific expertise in the area of financial management systems for state governments including accounting, budgeting, procurement, payroll, personnel (HR), financial analysis and financial reporting.  Mr. Childree developed and wrote fiscal and accounting policy for the State of Alabama.  He has developed and taught financial management courses to the fiscal staff of the State of Alabama and has spoken frequently regarding governmental financial reporting to various organizations across the country.


Grant Thornton LLP

Director, Global Public Sector (February 2010 – present)

Bob Childree is a Director in Grant Thornton’s State and Local Government practice.  He was previously the Comptroller of the State of Alabama from 1987 to 2009 and in his time with Grant Thornton has provided accounting and local government financial management expertise on our engagement with NIFA to address the budget deficit of Nassau County. During the NIFA engagement , Bob provided extensive  guidance and direction regarding GASB 60 and the correct accounting treatment as well as how and when to recognize revenue under GAAP for governments. In the Jefferson County  Alabama engagement, Bob provided consulting services related to the County’s position (both financially and politically) in the Bankruptcy decision and continues to serve as a financial advisor to the county’s major general obligation creditor.


State of Alabama

State Comptroller (May 1987-April 2009)

During his term as Comptroller, Mr. Childree directed the development and implementation of the State of Alabama’s Financial Resource Management System, a fully integrated financial system (ERP) which encompassed the procurement function, payroll and personnel functions, departmental budgeting and accounting systems and the State’s Central Accounting System.  In conjunction with this project, the Comptroller wrote new fiscal and accounting policy which complied with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles for Governments.  As part of this initiative, Mr. Childree directed the development of the extensive training required for the State’s fiscal staff.  As a result of the successful development and implementation of the State’s new Financial Resource Management System, the State of Alabama issued its first Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and has subsequently received seventeen consecutive Unqualified Audit Opinions.  Additionally, the State of Alabama has obtained the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the last nine fiscal years.



B.S., Commerce and Business Administration

Accounting, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


Years of State Experience

36 years



National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT – Past President)

National Association of State Comptrollers (NASC – Past President)

Association of Government Accountants (AGA, Financial Management Standards Board, Past President Montgomery Chapter)

Board of Directors, Auburn Montgomery Center for Government

Board of Directors, Auburn Montgomery School of Business

Board of Directors, Alabama Training Institute

Board of Directors, TechAmerica State and Local



2006 - Excellence in Leadership Award – Association of Government Accountants (AGA)

2008 - National President’s Award recognizing outstanding chairmanship of AGA’s Financial Management Standards Board

2010 – William R Snodgrass Distinguished Leadership Award` – Association of Government Accountants (AGA)




“Overcoming Adversity”, 21st Century Government Essays on Leadership, August 2001, National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers

“Leaders are Made”, Leadership Secrets of Government Financial Officials, July 2005, National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers


Benjamin F. Nelson

Mr. Nelson is a senior executive with the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  He joined GAO after participating in General Motors’ management development program.  Since October 2001, Mr. Nelson has served as Managing Director for Audit Policy and Quality Assurance at the U.S. Government Accountability Office.  The Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office manages GAO’s quality assurance system, operates its performance measurement system, and develops and maintains its audit policies.  The office also issues GAO’s annual performance and accountability report.  Mr. Nelson’s responsibilities include directing GAO’s preparations for external peer review, its annual internal inspection program, and quality assurance training.  He consults domestically and internationally on audit quality assurance systems, peer review, and compliance issues.


Mr. Nelson holds a BA in business and accounting from Albany State College.  He also holds a graduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.  Mr. Nelson has completed work on international trade and competitiveness issues at Georgetown University and the University of California at Berkeley.  He has also studied at the European Institute for Public Administration.  Mr. Nelson has received numerous awards and citations, including Meritorious Service Awards in 1978 and 1987 and the Distinguished Service Award in 1998, 2005, and 2011.