The It’s All About MEEEEE Scholarship Fundraising Dinner on Thursday, August 14, 2014 delivered on its promises to:

Meet and network with friends, colleagues and other professionals
Enjoy a delicious meal at Austin’s popular Balcones Country Club
Engage your brain with highly-acclaimed speaker Helen Sharkey
Earn continuing education credit for CPAs, CFPs and Attorneys
Enrich the Austin Chapter TSCPA’s Scholarship Fund and
Educate the next generation of CPAs

We must thank everyone who made this one-of-a-kind event a huge success, especially our sponsors:

Atchley & Associates, LLP
Donna & Royce Faulkner
Mike’s Print Shop
Wolters Kluwer, CCH
Fleming & Conway Insurance Agency

We also had a stellar committee who supported and put this event together: Jeremy Myers, CPA, Chairman Scholarship Fundraising Committee, Katy Avenson, CPA, Jennifer Brown, CPA, Connie Clark, CPA, Nancy Foss, CPA, JT Genter, CPA, Elaine Hanks, CPA, Jan Keeling, CPA, Chris Okafor, CPA, Tony Ross, CPA and Kaira Tanwar

We also raised quite a bit of money for scholarships with our silent auction packages. We appreciate all the donations from local businesses to make it possible: The Wiewel Law Firm, Amy’s Ice Creams,Balcones Country Club, Barton Creek Resort and Green Pastures.

Our keynote speaker, Helen Sharkey, presented her topic Low Man on the Totem Pole – How I Became a White Collar Criminal to a very intrigued crowd. When she was hired as an accountant in 1996 by Dynegy—an up-and-coming energy trading company in Houston—she had no idea the job would ultimately lead to 28 days in a maximum-security federal prison. But that’s exactly what happened.

At the age of 28, Helen was the lowest-level employee on a $300 million structured finance transaction team called Project Alpha. Little did she know, Dynegy was following in the footsteps of Enron. Soon, the Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation of Project Alpha, followed by criminal charges brought by the Justice Department against three employees, including Helen.

In August 2003, Helen pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

She spoke about her mistakes frankly, yet also delivered a message of hope: Even when things are at their darkest, never lose sight of the light at the end. Follow it and believe.

If you’re interested in joining the Scholarship Fundraising Committee, please contact Kaira Tanwar. We’re always looking for new ways to raise money for our scholarship program to help the CPAs of the future!