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  Executive Officers

 

Michael Dexter-Smith FCA (ICAEW)

President
Mike qualified as a CA in the UK. He qualified and worked for Price Waterhouse for nine years, in audit, computer audit and small business, in Leeds, Cleveland, Wellington, and finally in Boston. He left PW to focus on the software industry, initially as CFO, but then as a CEO with four companies over the last 27 years, working with a broad range of Venture Capitalists. He also has experience at a senior level (board or consulting) in Biotech and Computer hardware and sat on a NASDAQ board for a while.
 
Today, Mike runs a private equity firm called Pine Brook Ventures (dba Xtremesoft) which has a number of holdings in traditional software markets: innovative cloud and handheld computer software: medical and computer appliance ideas and companies; in ideas that help deploy new products and materials in low tech arenas; helps devise and deploy new economic models and looks at innovative solutions to removing or repurposing waste & pollution from our world.

 



 
 

Chris Easton(CA ANZ)

Vice President

 

Chris Easton is the Founder & CEO at Applied Logic Software in Boston.  The firm provides Cloud based Financial, Supply Chain and ERP applications to SMB and Enterprise level companies worldwide.  Previously, Chris was at Progress Software where he was responsible for the worldwide marketing strategy and business development for over 2500 channel partners.  Prior to this Chris was involved as Managing Director of software companies in both New Zealand and Canada as well as holding Internal Audit and Finance Accounting positions at New Zealand Steel, and IT Strategy within the Noranda Group Canada.
 
Chris is a CPA and CA with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and serves as the current ACAUS CA ANZ Representative. Chris is also an active Angel Investor and member of  Launchpad Ventures the largest angel investing group in the Northeast.

 

Chris previously served as the CA ANZ HI Representative on the ACAUS Board.

 
 
 

Mark Billings (ICAS)

Treasurer

Mark Billings is a Philadelphia based Transaction Advisory Services Director at Pine Hill Group, an accounting advisory firm focused on the middle and lower-middle market.  Mark provides buy-side and sell-side financial due diligence services to private equity and corporate clients and has performed over 150 engagements for US and International (inbound and outbound) clients ranging from $1 million to $100+ billion in deal value.  Mark is particularly experienced in healthcare and related industries.

Prior to joining Pine Hill Group, Mark spent 14 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), initially starting his career in Birmingham, UK, and ultimately leaving as a Director in their Philadelphia, US, Deals practice. 

Mark’s home institute is ICAS, and he graduated in Economics and Economic History from the University of Leicester, UK.

Outside of work, Mark is a board member of World Eye Cancer Hope (wechope.org), a charity focused on Retinoblastoma, a pediatric eye cancer.  He also enjoys travelling and spending time with his wife and two children in Wayne, PA.


 

 
 
 

 

 

 

Sasha Carlson (CPA Canada)

Executive Director

Sasha Carlson is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA Canada) and is the Executive Director at the Association of Chartered Accountants in the US (ACAUS), a vibrant, successful and connected professional network of well-qualified accountants from around the world.

Sasha moved to Houston from Calgary, Canada, where she had articled with PwC. After a number of years with Canadian Pacific Railway, Sasha formed her own consulting company. In Houston since 2008, Sasha has continued to work in a private capacity, including contracting with ACAUS since 2013.  Her previous work with ACAUS included member management, implementing online networking and collaboration initiatives and transitioning executive director responsibilities. 

Sasha joined ACUAS in 2010. In her current role as Executive Director, Sasha manages the operations of this 8,000 member organization, maintains and develops relationships with Institute Executives as well as other strategic partners, communicating updates to the membership through on-line networking and collaboration platforms. Sasha develops and rolls out the larger panels, activities and events for the Association and works closely with Chapter Presidents and members to provide valuable benefits to the membership.

Sasha can be contacted at executivedirector@acaus.org or by phone at 713-205-3890

 

At Large Board Member

David Freeman FCA MBCS (ICAEW)

Washington DC Metro Chapter President

David Freeman is an Account Manager at RDA Corporation, a privately held company based in Hunt Valley, MD, that develops and integrates custom software solutions for its clients. David has been with RDA since his arrival in the United States in 1995 and served in various management capacities with RDA during this time.

Prior to RDA, David spent sixteen years at Arthur Andersen London office in the firm’s Audit and Business Advisory Practice. After starting out in the audit arena, David spent much of his tenure leading a variety of business and information technology consulting engagements in areas that included computer risk management and IT strategy. As Director of Audit Computer Services, David was also responsible for audit automation.

David is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, having qualified 1982 and is also a Member of the British Computer Society.

David serves as a Washington DC area contact member for ICAEW members and is also President of the DC Metro area Chapter of ACAUS.

David lives in Potomac, MD with his wife and two children.

 

David Powell

Past - President

 

David Powell worked with IBM Global Process Services as Global Brand  Manager based near Boston, MA until December 2017. He was previously  in a global role as a Finance Leader in the BAO Center of Competence, with responsibility for Finance focused solutions using IBM software assets. David joined Cognos, now part of the IBM Software Group, at the start of 2007, to build a North American specialist services practice for Cognos’s Consolidations software products.

David has significant experience in Hotel software management and accounting systems, having worked at senior levels at Holiday Inn Worldwide (now Intercontinental in Brussels, Belgium) and Starwood Hotels (Braintree, MA), as well as moving to the USA in 1998 as the worldwide process owner for accounting for JD Edwards (ERP software).

David was born and raised in Swansea, Wales. He attended Cardiff University and earned a degree in Accounting and Management Studies. He did further professional studies and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte Haskins and Sells. David is an FCA of the England & Wales Institute. David also serves as ACAUS' Future Skills expert. He previously served as President of the New England Chapter.

 
   

Home Institute Representatives

 
 

Sarah Johnson (ICAS)

ICAS Representative


 
 

Mark Coles, FCA CPA (ICAEW)

ICAEW Institute Representative

Mark has over 15 years of experience in corporate and project finance, financial reporting, taxation, financial planning & analysis and financial operations & controls with emerging, middle market and public companies.

Mark is an active member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. Mark was elected to the ACAUS Board of Directors in 2001, where he also serves as the ICAEW Representative.

 

Conall McGonagle (CA Ireland)

New York Metro Chapter President
 

Conall is Chief Risk Officer and a Managing Director in KBC Bank USA.

He is a FCA of Chartered Accountants Ireland and holds the following certifications: FRM, CISM, CAMS, CIA, CRMA, CFSA.

Conall studied International Business with French for his undergraduate studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway and did a Master of Accounting degree in the Smurfit Business School in Dublin. He worked in the KPMG Financial Services Audit practice in Dublin for 6 years. During this time, Conall qualified as a Chartered Accountant, worked as a Manager for a few years and spent extended periods working in Chicago and in Luxembourg.

Conall moved to the USA in 2009 and last year became a US Citizen. He lives on Roosevelt Island in New York with his wife and three children. 

 


 
 
 

Natasha Holbeck CA CPA (SAICA)

SAICA Hi Representative

Natasha Holbeck is a New York City based audit and assurance Partner at Deloitte, serving both domestic and multinational clients. Currently in the investment management industry, Natasha also has significant experience in the consumer business and Japanese Services industries.

She has completed an assignment in the Deloitte National Office working in the auditing standards group, where her time was focused on assessing new accounting and auditing standards related to fair value measurements. During this time she also served as the subject matter lead for financial instruments and the National Office liaison for the alternative investments SMR group.

 
She is a licensed CPA and Chartered Accountant (South Africa). Natasha represents Deloitte on the NY Metro committee of NEW (Network of Executive Women). She is also a member of the AICPA, AWSCPA and NASBA.

 

 

   Large Chapter Presidents
 

Conall McGonagle (CA Ireland)

New York Metro Chapter President

Conall is Chief Risk Officer and a Managing Director in KBC Bank USA.

He is a FCA of Chartered Accountants Ireland and holds the following certifications: FRM, CISM, CAMS, CIA, CRMA, CFSA.

Conall studied International Business with French for his undergraduate studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway and did a Master of Accounting degree in the Smurfit Business School in Dublin. He worked in the KPMG Financial Services Audit practice in Dublin for 6 years. During this time, Conall qualified as a Chartered Accountant, worked as a Manager for a few years and spent extended periods working in Chicago and in Luxembourg.

Conall moved to the USA in 2009 and last year became a US Citizen. He lives on Roosevelt Island in New York with his wife and three children.

 

         
 

Neil Kapur (ICAEW)

Northern California Chapter President

 

Neil has been in the United States since 1986 and has worked in internal audit for the banking industry.  Worked with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Union Bank, and Fremont Bank. As an internal auditor Neil specialized in auditing capital markets and wealth management lines of businesses.  Currently doing consulting assignments for financial institutions and credit unions in the Bay area.

Neil articled with a medium sized firm of Chartered Accountants in London and then worked with KPMG supporting their banking clients.  He also worked as a financial controller with several computer companies in London.  Before immigrating to the United States he worked in Saudi Arabia and Germany as a financial administrator and an auditor.

Neil is an avid tennis player and loves living in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and enjoying the various restaurants and cuisines the region has to offer. Neil is originally from India and after completing his high schooling there moved to London to study accountancy.

 
 
 

John Weaver (ICAEW)

Southern California Chapter President

John qualified as a CA in Liverpool, England and then joined the Metal Box Ltd. in London. In 1978 he co-founded a music television production company with offices in London, New York and Los Angeles. Clients included Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. His music videos’ many special effects lead him to a position as head of production at George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic.
 
His experience producing visual effects for major motion pictures enabled John to launch into consulting the Hollywood post-production community, film producers and film studios. His focus was on the strategic, business and financial challenges of transitioning from traditional film techniques into the digital domain.

He is now a financial services advisor based in Southern California with clients throughout the United States. John specializes in alternative methods of funding employee benefits, the formation of closely held insurance companies and the advanced use of life insurance for tax advantaged investment planning.

John is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and The British American Business Council. He has been a life long player and follower of cricket, football and tennis. John sits on the board of Streetlights, a charity that trains minority, disadvantaged young people to work behind the camera, in movies, television production and commercials. John likes to play piano and practice tai chi chuan.

John lives in Los Angeles with his wife, daughter, two cats and a dog.

 
 

Daniel Shafrir (ICAS)

New England Chapter Head

 

Daniel is an IT Managing Director with CFGI, with over a decade of IT, Service Organization Controls, as well as Governance, Risk, and Compliance experience, consulting clients in a variety of industries. Prior to joining CFGI, he was Director at PwC’s National Office, responsible for designing and developing PwC’s IT audit methodology and tools, and providing technical guidance to teams across the country. Daniel’s expertise includes SOX, IT general controls testing, SOC 1, SOC 2 reports, assisting companies who wish to undergo ISO 27001 certification, and Robotics Process Automation (RPA). He is also passionate about the blockchain industry, cryptocurrencies, and crypto-assets.
 
Daniel holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of St Andrews in the UK, majoring in both electrical engineering and physics (Microelectronics & Photonics). He is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) as well as a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland in the UK. Daniel has been serving as the ACAUS New England Chapter president since October 2017.
 
You can connect with him by email (dshafrir@cfgi.com) or on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielshafrir/).
 

David Nickson

Chicago Chapter President

David is a principal in PwC’s Global Transfer Pricing practice, and leader of its Intercompany Design and Execution team which focuses on the practical implementation of transfer pricing and value chain transformation planning within client organizations. A commercial international tax professional with over 25 years' experience (17 as partner/principal), he has extensive large company planning and corporate compliance experience, with credentials in the areas of tax-efficient financing, M&A planning, and intellectual property/business structuring.   In recent years David has led large project assignments in the area of Transfer Pricing Execution/Operational Transfer Pricing – where TP or value chain strategies have to be cascaded throughout all layers of a company’s tax, controllership, and IT functions. These engagements touch upon accounting and system issues, control environment/Sox, training, communication, and process change management.
 
He is a Chartered Accountant, a Chartered Tax Adviser (business tax prize winner), and Enrolled Agent, and holds a First Class Honours Degree from the University of Warwick. In his career David has served as an international tax group leader, an office tax leader, and a major account lead partner.

 

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