Controller's Workshop

Annual Controller’s Workshop
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Friday, November 22nd
Location:  BASF - 23700 Chagrin Blvd. Beachwood
Cost $125   - 8 Hours CPE

Our Annual Controller’s Workshop is recognized as one of the premier accounting events in Northeast Ohio.  It is a one day seminar held every November for Controllers, CPAs, CMAs, CFMs and Accountants interested in staying up to date on topics of interest or new rules and laws.  Attendees are eligible to earn 8 hours CPE credit and this program meets the ICMA guidelines for both CMAs and CPAs. 


7:30     Continental Breakfast - Sponsored by 

8:00    What is Blockchain and how does it work?

Dr. Charles Dull, Associate Dean for IT Center of Excellence at Cuyahoga Community College

· However, is it the right decision for every business? What would a decision process look like for determining if Blockchain was right for you? During this presentation we will take a look at how you might develop a decision process for potential adoption

9:30  Tax Update

Tammy Tran - Sr. PCX Dept., Cohen & Co & Alex Huff—Manager A&A, Cohen & Co

  • Meals and Entertainment – Breaking it Down
  • Bonus/S179 Depreciation Changes in Perspective
  • Ohio Budget Bill Highlights
  • Wayfair - Sales and Use Tax Refresher
  • Lease Standards – Changes, Updates, and Hot Topics

 Break—Sponsored by

 11:00   Excel, PowerBI and Data Analysis—Eliminating the Paralysis of the Analysis

Don Tomoff, founder Invenio Advisors LLC

  • Explain the Excel “power tools” and better understand the capabilities of “modern” excel
  • Understand how Excel and PowerBI, although separate platforms, are integrated and complementary tools
  • Explain the process of “ELTR” in data analytics—Extract, Transform, Load and Report

12:00 Lunch - provided
12:45       Role of Management Accountants in Powering Organization Behavior

Gaby Lahoud, Serenity Advisors—Consulting Firm, IMA Board Member

  • What is organization behavior?
  • Influence of the organization culture on the accounting and finance departments
  • The role of management accountants in reshaping the organization behavior for a more effective and efficient decision-making process
  • How a powered culture can turn a management accountant into a strategic partner

 2:00 Ethics (1 hour of Ethics CPE)

Marybeth Murphy - Assistant Professor of Accounting, Hiram College

  • Case study analysis

 3:00  Why Everyone Hates Performance Appraisals, and What’s Next?

Jim Williams—The Executive Happiness Coach®

  • Understand why current one-way, top-down Performance Management (PM) systems do not and cannot ever work well
  • Experience a reverse feedback process with the potential to shift responsibility for PM
  • Learn a balanced feedback model based in Appreciative Inquiry
  • Review findings from Positive Psychology about context and feedback
  • Leave with tools and data to support a redefinition of PM systems in their organizations

 Program Speakers

Dr. Charles Dull

Dr. Dull (Chuck) is currently the Associate Dean for IT Center of Excellence at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. As Associate Dean he is tasked with program planning and support for IT programs and trends in IT education. Dr. Dull research interests lie in new technology trends as well as innovative pedagogy and learning design working to meet the needs of students and their future employers. The latest of those trends: Blockchain and understanding the decision process for adoption.


Alex Huth

Alex is Manager in the A & A department at Cohen & Co where he is helping his organization and clients in training and staff development in the Private Company Services Division.   He has a range of audit experience, particularly within the realms of real estate, construction and employee benefit plans. He has real estate industry experience including extensive work with historic tax credits, new markets tax credits, and historic prevention easements.

Tammy Tran


Tammy Tran is a Senior in the PSX tax department of Cohen & Co. She provide tax consulting and compliance for corporations and partnerships with an emphasis on state and local income/franchise tax.   Her primary focus is private company services, business and individual taxation, and state and local income / franchise taxation.



Don Tomoff, CPA

 Don is the founder of Invenio Advisors LLC, a consulting firm specializing in information management, process improvement, reporting and data analysis, as well as education and training.  Don’s experience includes “Big 4” public accounting, senior-level industry finance positions, and consulting.   For the last few years, Don has worked with executives and companies on many process improvement, reporting and training initiatives, including developing and implementing mobile information strategies.  His efforts are focused on three fronts – simplify, improve and innovate – through understanding trends, identification of process improvement opportunities, and the leveraging the available technology tools to drive change at various conferences.


Gaby Lahoud

Gaby is the founder & CEO of Serenity Advisors, a strategic and financial advisory firm, president of IMA Lebanon Chapter, and a board member at IMA Global. He enjoys 15+ years of experience working in the fields of finance, accounting, education, and public speaking across multiple industries catering for international and regional markets. Gaby is a CMA, CFA, and PMP; holds a MBA in Banking & Finance, and is a PhD candidate in Strategic Management. He has held multiple positions in regional & multinational organizations, a professional & academic instructor in multiple professional institutions and academic universities, as well as provide in-house training.


Marybeth Murphy

Marybeth is Assistant Professor of Accounting at Hiram College.   She has a BS degree from BGSU, MS in Accounting from James Madison University and has completed post masters work at Cleveland State. Previous experience includes owning a tutoring company Knowledge Points, teaching at numerous NE Ohio schools on a full or part time basis including Kent State University, Arkon, Cleveland State, and Tri-C while working at General Electric.



Jim Williams


Jim Williams is The Executive Happiness Coach®, a global provider of executive coaching, and personal and workplace transformation services.  His passion is to create a Happier world and workplace, one Leader at a time. Drawing on his 20+ years of executive experience as well as 50+ years as a Human Being, Jim has coached leaders from 30 countries and six continents.  He works with leaders to better balance their lives, dramatically improve their leadership skills, and build more positive workplace cultures. Jim holds professional certifications in coaching (PCC, BCC, NCOC™, Body & Movement) and is currently pursuing accreditation as a Board Certified global Health & Wellness Coach. He holds Senior HR certifications through both HRCI and SHRM, and serves as adjunct faculty for Baldwin Wallace University’s MBA program.

Jim is also the author "Happiness At The Speed of Life: 13 Powerful Strategies for Finding Happiness at Home and On the Job,” and other titles on Happiness, Leadership, and Coaching, and he has touched the lives of over 18,000 people through his work on Positive Emotion and Leadership.  He has used the 13 Principles of Happiness to raise his own family and to deal with work, life, love, and tragedy.  

Finally, Jim wants you to know this: he lives in a multigenerational compound filled with love and good food, he dances a little every day, and he worships Dark beer, Dark Coffee, and Dark Chocolate... and deeply believes that Happiness is a Decision, not an Event!

Learn more at




Program Directors
Sandra Brenner
Dennis Rarick


Photography: By registering for this event, you agree and acknowledge that IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) along with its partners, subcontractors, or affiliates plan to take photographs at the IMA Cleveland East Chapter Annual Controller’s Workshop for reproduction in educational, news, or promotional material, whether in print, electronic, or other media including IMA and IMA’s affiliate partner websites. By participating in the IMA Cleveland East Chapter Annual Controller’s Workshop, you grant IMA and any of its designated subcontractors, partners, or affiliates the right to your name and image (both photographs) for such purposes.


Liability Waiver: By registering for this event, you agree and acknowledge that you are undertaking participation in IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) events and activities as your own free and intentional act, and you are fully aware that possible physical injury might occur to you as a result of your participation in these events. You give this acknowledgement freely and knowingly and that you are able to participate in IMA events, and you do hereby assume responsibility for your own well-being.