2018 Women's Conference (WC18)
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This special event addresses issues unique to women in the CPA profession, offers best practices for career advancement and retention, and highlights accomplished female leaders through the Women to Watch Award presentation at the luncheon. Compared to other conferences, this event is much more conversational in nature, and many of the attendees say it’s their favorite CPE event of the year

When: May 18, 2018
8:00 am - 4:20 pm
Where: Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel
7000 Bluebonnet Blvd
Baton Rouge, Louisiana  70810
United States
Presenter: Various
Contact: Misean Reed

Online registration is closed.
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It's been a historic year for women and this year's event aims to acknowledge the progress we've made, celebrate the female leaders in the profession, and address how we can continue to make progress.

Join us for our highest-rated event of the year and connect with a network of your peers as world-class speakers offer best practices and sage advice for living your best life.

Non-CPA staff may attend at the member rate, so bring a mentee or a friend.
(Note: Gentlemen are welcome too! If you're interested in addressing important issues affecting the women on your team and in your workplace, you'll want to be a part of the candid conversations at this event.)

Sponsorships are still available. Contact Misean Reed at 504.904.1133 or mreed@lcpa.org.

7:30 - 7:55 am Registration and Continental Breakfast
7:55 – 8:00 am Welcome & Opening Remarks
8:00 – 9:00 am

Women in the Profession: Taking Our Seat at the Table

Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA • Global Accounting Strategy Director, Oracle & Immediate Past Chair, AICPA

Although women account for about 50% of new CPAs entering the workforce, our advancement to leadership in the profession is significantly lower. Why aren’t women taking our seat at the table? Immediate Past AICPA Chairman Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA, will share her personal leadership journey, which was propelled by powerful mentors. She will highlight the importance of sponsorship, as well as other strategies to advance women and leverage our skills and insights to continue evolving the profession.

9:00 – 10:00 am

Do It Afraid: Staring Down Fear & Bouncing Back

Julie Stokes, CPA • LA Representative, District 79 • Kenner, LA

Coming soon.

10:00 – 10:20 am Break
10:20 – 11:20 am

Harassment and Discrimination: What’s the Difference and How Do You Prevent and Respond to Each?

Jerry “Jay” Stovall Jr., JD • Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, LLP • Baton Rouge, LA

Mr. Stovall will discuss the distinction between harassment and discrimination and best practices for employers to prevent and address complaints of harassment and discrimination. Mr. Stovall will also touch on the prevalence of retaliation claims and how a retaliation claim can arise out of an invalid claim of harassment or discrimination.

11:20 am – 12:20 pm

Your Best Year Ever: The Power of WE (Women of Excellence)

Flo Meadows, CCIM, CPA • NAI Latter & Blum • Lafayette, LA

What is your unique value proposition? Something that aligns your voice, your core values, your Purpose and your Passions? How do you wake up every day with clarity, fully committed and focused on having an extraordinary year? Learn the five powerful steps to taking actions to design a year of reaching your potential in professional, personal, financial and relational goals. Learn how to harness the Power of WE — Women of Excellence!

12:20 – 1:20 pm Women to Watch Awards Luncheon (included)
1:20 – 2:25 pm

Blissfully Unconscious: Bias in the Workplace

Lindsay Stevenson, CPA, CGMA • 1st Financial Bank USA • Dakota Dunes, SD

Each of us brings a lifetime of experiences and cultural influences that create our unique mental programming or non-conscious expectations or stereotypes that affect the judgments of ourselves and others. Our mental programming allows efficient, but sometime inaccurate, processing of information. While unintentional, relying solely on our mental programming leads to responses outside of our awareness and even conflict with our conscious attitudes or ideals - unconscious bias. Imagine how unconscious bias may impact how we relate to different situations at work if left unattended. In this session, Lindsay will hold a conversation about unconscious bias and how it affects each of us in our daily lives.

2:25 – 2:55 pm

Everything Counts

Sara "D-D" Breaux • Head Coach, LSU Gymnastics & 2017 National Coach of the Year • Baton Rouge, LA

Coming soon.

2:55 – 3:15 pm Break
3:15 – 4:20 pm

Getting to Oz: The Perils and Positives of Navigating the Yellow Brick Road

Kelsey Funes, JD • Partner - Phelps Dunbar • Baton Rouge, LA

Forging a path to personal happiness and professional success is a long and winding road. Identifying your goals, planning a path to achieve them and dealing with the highs and lows that present themselves along the way can be difficult. But the journey can be, and should be, as rewarding as the destination. Using Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as our guide, we will discuss how to tap into our own power, how to be brave in the face of flying monkeys and wicked witches and how to dream in color.

Sara "D-D" Breaux
Head Coach, LSU Gymnastics & 2017 National Coach of the Year

With each passing season, LSU gymnastics continues to collect more honors and titles to its storied program, and head coach D-D Breaux has been the catalyst behind LSU's sustained success. Led by Breaux, LSU has seen increasing accomplishments that includes 15 NCAA Championships appearances in the last 16 seasons, six Super Six appearances since 2008 and 12 individual national titles since 2002.

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Under Breaux's leadership and coaching, LSU has reached new heights in individual and team success. Now entering her 41st season as the mastermind of the LSU gymnastics program, Breaux exudes the same passion and enthusiasm to coach the Fighting Tigers as she did in her first season on the job.

Breaux led the 2017 team to the best season in school history as LSU finished as the NCAA National Runner-Up for a second straight year. Along with a program-best 34 wins, LSU won the Southeastern Conference regular season and postseason meet championship. The Tigers dominated the league with a 21-0 record. It marked just the ninth time in the league's history that a team has gone unbeaten against conference foes.

LSU scored an impressive 197 or better in each meet this season to extend its streak to 23 straight meets. Overall, LSU finished with 27 All-Americans for the most in the nation and the most in school history.

For her coaching efforts, Breaux was named the National, Central Region and SEC Coach of the Year. For her service, dedication and success in the state of Louisiana, Breaux was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in June 2017.

As the "Dean of Coaches" at LSU, Breaux has represented the University at the highest level both in the gym and, most importantly, in the classroom for 40 years. Her dedication to the student-athlete on an individual basis has transcended into academic success, community involvement, Coach of the Year honors, two SEC Championship, NCAA Regional Championships and top-10 national rankings throughout her tenure. In fact, there is a tremendous balance between academics and athletics as LSU has produced 211 All-Americans and 146 Scholastic All-Americans during Breaux's tenure.


  • 2017 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
  • 2017 Louisiana Coach of the Year
  • 2017 National Coach of the Year
  • 2017 Central Region Coach of the year
  • 2017 SEC Coach of the Year
  • USA Gymnastics Region 8 Hall of Fame
  • 2015 SEC Coach of the Year
  • 2015 Central Region Coach of the Year
  • 2014 National Coach of the Year
  • 2014 Central Region Coach of the Year
  • 2013 Central Region Coach of the Year
  • 2010 Central Region Coach of the Year
  • 2006 Central Region Coach of the Year
  • 2005 Central Region Coach of the Year
  • 2005 SEC Coach of the Year
  • 2002 Central Region Coach of the Year
  • 2000 SEC Coach of the Year
  • 1999 Central Region Coach of the Year
  • 1995 SEC Coach of the Year
  • 1994 SEC Coach of the Year
  • 1993 SEC Coach of the Year
  • 1990 SEC Coach of the Year
  • 1988 National Coach of the Year Finalist

Kimberly N. Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA
Global Accounting Strategy Director, Oracle & Immediate Past Chair, AICPA

Kimberly had a lengthy history of volunteering for the profession before taking the helm of the AICPA, including serving as a member of the AICPA Business and Industry Executive Committee and the AICPA Board of Directors where she served as a member of the Audit and Finance committees. Through tireless effort and optimism, she has overcome every obtacle to reach her goals - all while staying grounded and connected to her family, friends, and community.

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Kimberly is currently the Global Accounting Strategy Director for the Financial and Professional Services Industries for Oracle America, a leader in cloud solutions and enterprise technology. In this capacity, she provides insight to help drive innovation in this important domain, particularly as disruption is enabled by technology to include Cloud, Software as a Service, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Data, and Robotics Process Automation to name a few.

Kimberly also worked with the AICPA's Benevolent Fund and has served as a Council representative. She is a past Chair of the Maryland Association of CPAs and has served on many of its committees, including the New Young Professional Network and Tomorrow's CPA.

Previously, she served as the Global Practice team leader for Oracle's Health and Human Services Industry Practice, working with teams worldwide where she developed and executed strategies on Cloud, Big Data, Security, Fraud Prevention/Detection, Customer Experience, and Modernization. Prior to Oracle, Kimberly worked in leadership roles at numerous other major companies and organizations, including the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Motorola; KPMG; and Prince George's County Government, where she served as Chief Information Technology Officer.

She is a sought after speaker and has received numerous awards. Notably, Kimberly has been recognized by Accounting Today as a one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting in 2016 and also by CPA Practice Advisor as one of the Most Powerful Women in Accounting for 2016. As of July 2017, Kimberly is also a member of the Robert H. Smith School of Business Advisory Board.

Kimberly received her bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; an Accounting Certificate from the Community College of Baltimore County, an MBA from Loyola University and Master's of Science in Information Technology and a Chief Information Officer Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University.

Kelsey Kornick Funes
Partner at Phelps Dunbar, L.L.P.

Kelsey Kornick Funes represents both plaintiffs and defendants in their disputes involving public and private construction projects. She has represented owners, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and design professionals in state and federal courts in Louisiana, as well as mediation and arbitration across the Gulf Coast region.

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Ms. Funes has handled matters involving all aspects of the construction process, including public bid protests, delay and inefficiency claims, claims involving construction defects, enforcement of payment and lien claims, as well as claims against performance and payment bonds. Ms. Funes also represents contractors before the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.

Ms. Funes regularly counsels clients in the drafting and negotiation of construction contracts. She has extensive experience drafting and negotiating AIA documents, design/build and EPC contracts.

Outside of the construction arena, Ms. Funes has successfully represented clients in a variety of commercial matters including tax sale redemption, products liability, premises liability, anti-trust, professional liability and environmental insurance coverage.

Ms. Funes regularly speaks at seminars and briefings on construction-related topics. She is also the author of a number of published works relating to Louisiana construction law, the use of electronic documents in Louisiana and Louisiana’s rules of professional conduct.

Ms. Funes currently serves as the practice coordinator of the Baton Rouge Litigation practice.

Flo Meadows, CCIM, CPA
Commercial Realtor at NAI Latter Blum

Flo's commitment to community service is relentless, but her true talent is building personal connections. She works tirelessly to enrich the lives of those around her and never misses an opportunity to raise others up.

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Flo’s real estate expertise spans 25 years including: consulting, brokerage, acquisition and development, financial analysis, and financing in the Lafayette and Dallas markets. She works in all sectors of the Acadiana commercial real estate market.

Past experience includes serving as Chief Financial Officer for entrepreneurs with companies in diverse industries and stages: startup, fast growth, turnaround, mature, as well as mergers and acquisitions. She is the only commercial realtor in Lafayette, LA market who is an active CPA and a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM).

Flo is active in professional and community activities; serving on boards of organizations such as Louisiana CCIM Chapter, Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), and Lafayette General Health System. She is passionate about community engagement and faith ministries.

A graduate of University of Louisiana – Lafayette with an accounting major and French minor, Flo remains involved with the University in volunteer leadership roles. A Ragin’ Cajun, she loves to travel and is a kayak fishing enthusiast!

Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)– Louisiana Board Member, Treasurer
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
International Council of Shopping Centers
Lafayette General Health System– Board of Trustees, Treasurer, Finance Chair
Lafayette Economic Development Authority– Immediate Past Chairman
ULL – BI Moody College of Business – Executive Advisory Council
Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce – Former Chairman

Lindsay Stevenson, CPA, CGMA
1st Financial Bank USA

Lindsay is a CPA in Arizona and South Dakota and is active in both state societies. She sits on the Arizona Society of CPA’s Governmental Committee, A&A Committee and consults with the Emerging Leaders Committee. In addition to sitting on the SDCPA’s Non- Practice Advisory Council, Lindsay received the SDCPA’s Outstanding Young Professional Award for 2015-2016 for dedication in volunteering within the profession.

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Her love for volunteering extends to the AICPA as well where she is the Vice Chair of the Young Members Leadership Committee, sits on the Depository Institution Expert Panel and participated in the Firm in Motion Task Force. Lindsay is a 2015 graduate of the AICPA’s Leadership Academy and has spoken at the AICPA Practitioners Tech Plus Conference and the AICPA EDGE Experience, which she also helps to plan as a member of the EDGE Experience Planning Task Force.

Being active in the community is also important to Lindsay, serving as the Chair of the Sioux City SCORE chapter and recently joining the Board of the Mary J. Treglia Community House. After an exciting 13-year career in public accounting where Lindsay specialized in both audit and tax engagements, she transitioned to corporate finance joining 1st Financial Bank USA in July of 2015. Lindsay has a passion for innovation and promoting women within the profession.

As a mother of 3 boys (ages 15, 13, and 4), she believes that motherhood has provided her with a unique competitive advantage that can be leveraged in her CPA career. Her husband, Justin, supports, encourages, and champions Lindsay in all that she takes on and makes life outside the profession fun.

Julie Stokes, CPA
LA Representative, District 79 Kenner, LA

In the summer of 2017, Julie Stokes was considered one of the frontrunners for the Treasurer's seat, until a breast cancer diagnosis forced her to drop out. The last year has been full of ups and downs and changing priorities. Now cancer-free, Julie will discuss her journey, what she learned, and how to live fully in the face of fear.

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In addition to her work as a State Representative, Julie is actively involved with the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, the University of New Orleans Alumni Association, the Louisiana Society of CPAs and local economic development activities, including the Kenner Economic Development Committee. She is Chairman of the Sales Tax Streamlining and Modernization Commission which has been working tirelessly to bring repair to the state's fractured sales tax system. Rep. Stokes is also Vice Chair of the Legislative Audit Advisory Committee and serves as one of only two interim members on the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. She also serves on the House Executive Committee, Ways and Means, Health and Welfare, and Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay.

Nationally, Stokes serves on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). She is very actively involved with the Task Force on State and Local Taxation of NCSL. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Budgets and Revenues Standing Committee of NCSL.

She was recognized nationwide as one of a handful of State "Tax Legislators of the Year" by State Tax Notes and received an award for "Outstanding Achievement in State Tax Reform" from the Tax Foundation for her work on Sales Tax reform in Louisiana.

She received the Southwest Chamber Louisiana's Fusion Five Award for best new up-and- coming legislator in 2015. In 2016, she was named one of four "Women of Distinction" by the Girl Scouts of Louisiana East. She has also been honored as one of New Orleans City Business Magazine's "Women of the Year" in both 2003 and 2014.

Rep. Stokes traveled the state of Louisiana with the Committee of 100 in 2015 and 2016 as one of the lead speakers on Tax Reform in Louisiana, earning accolades from many media outlets such as the New Orleans Advocate, the Baton Rouge Business Report, and WKRF as one of the most knowledgeable Louisiana legislators in the field of Louisiana's fiscal environment.

Before public life, Rep. Stokes served as a Commissioner of the Regional Transit Authority and as President of the Chateau Estates Civic Organization, the Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance, and the Jefferson Chamber Young Leaders.

Rep. Stokes resides in Kenner with her husband Larry and their two children, Brandon and Taylor. She attended Jefferson Parish Public Schools, and attending the University of New Orleans on full scholarship where she received her Bachelor's of Science in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude.

In 2017, Rep. Stokes sought to become Louisiana's State Treasurer but exited the race after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Other awards include:

  • University of New Orleans Homer L. Hitt 2017 Distinguished Alumna
  • 2017 Graduate of Governing Magazine's Women in Government Leadership Program
  • "Economic Development Ally" in 2017 by the Louisiana Industrial Development Economic Association
  • "Champion of Economic Development" in 2013-2016 by the Louisiana Industrial Development Economic Association
  • Louisiana Family Forum's "Liberty Award" in 2014 - 2016
  • Louisiana Family Forum's "Family Advocate" in 2014 - 2016
  • "Small Business Champion" in 2013 and 2014 by the National Federation of Independent Business
  • "Legislative All-Star" in 2014 by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
  • "Legislator of the Year" for 2014 by the Louisiana Orthopedic Association
  • Education Choice Champion by the Louisiana Federation for Children's in 2013 and 2014

Jay Stoval, JD
Partner, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P.

Jerry Stoval Jr., is a partner in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. where he concentrates his practice in the areas of labor & employment law, corporate formation, business, corporate and fiduciary litigation. He represents individuals, private employers and public entities. Jerry is a frequent speaker, author and trainer, primarily in the areas of labor & employment law.

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  • Associate, Liddell Sapp Zivley Hill & LaBoon, Houston, TX, 1989-1990
  • Associate, West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry, College Station, TX, 1990-1995

Professional Associations:

  • Baton Rouge Bar Association
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Texas State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Board of Directors of the Greater Baton Rouge Society of Human Resource Managers, Member and Legislative Director
  • Counsel to the Louisiana and Community Technical College System
  • Counsel to the Baton Rouge Sports Association and Board Member
  • Counsel to the Baton Rouge Amateur Athletic Association
  • Represents numerous private employers in the construction, service, chemical, health care and sales industries

Honors and Awards:

  • Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Labor & Employment in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel
7000 Bluebonnet Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Group Rate: $139
Group Code: To secure this rate, mention the Women’s Leadership Conference.
Cut-off date: April 24

Registration Fees

Up to 8 CPE Credits

Early Bird (through 5/3) *Member/Non-member: $289/389

After 5/3, add $50 to your fee.

*Non-CPA staff of LCPA members may attend at the member rate.

To register by phone, call the LCPA Member Service Center at 800.288.5272 or 504.464.1040 Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Need to register more than one person?
Fill out our Group Registration Form and email it to register@lcpa.org.