Record Attendance Set At National Association Of Black Accountants Convention & Expo
NEW ORLEANS – Top professionals and students from the accounting and finance industry gathered for the 46th NABA National Convention & Expo in New Orleans, from June 6-10. It was a week of high-energy networking, relationship building, intensive learning and recognition for individuals who have contributed to NABA's success and history, event reps said. Through programs and events at the convention, attendees were positioned to enhance their professional competencies, refine technical skills, and build their personal brand as disruptors of the status quo with the competence, context, and capacity to fulfill the convention theme "DARE to LEAD."
Record Attendance and Growth Continues
With a record number of more than 2,250 attendees, the NABA Convention continues to grow year over year, event reps said. Over the last three years, the NABA Convention has experienced nearly 15 percent growth in attendance.
“It left me feeling inspired to further participate in the organization, not only for my own personal and professional development but also to ‘Lift as I Climb’ through mentoring,” said a North Carolina accounting professional.
“As a first-time attendee, I was impressed by the topnotch presenters, instructors, and overall experience,” said an Indiana accounting director. “I would encourage anyone in the professional services industry to attend this conference.”
Powerful Support of Corporate Partners
NABA corporate partners were in strong attendance at this year's convention, event reps said. Demonstrating their commitment to creating more diverse and inclusive working environments, corporate partners leverage this event to identify and recruit top candidates in the accounting industry. Accounting for more than 50 percent of the total conference registrants, their investment shows clear support for the NABA members who are part of their workforce.
“As a new attendee to the NABA National Conference I was very impressed by how many companies came out and how accessible the partners were to us,” a New York undergraduate student said.
NABA Reinforced as "Voice" for Diversity & Inclusion
The convention brought many speakers who provided valuable insight to the attendees, event reps said. Featured speakers like Brett Biggs, executive vice president and CFO, Wal-Mart; Kimberly N. Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA, American Institute of CPAs (AICPA); Dr. Calvin Mackie, partner and SVP, Golden Leaf Energy; and special guests Caroline Clarke, the host of “Women of Power TV” and editorial director of “Women of Power Summit;” and Sherri Shepherd, Daytime Emmy Award winner, actress, comedienne, and best-selling author, were coupled with a “who's who” of industry leaders and experts in diversity for the Profession.
“It was great to be able to see so many talented diverse men and women from so many different professional areas,” said a Mississippi CFE certified fraud examiner. “Keynote speakers were all on point along with Sherri Shepherd hosting the Awards Gala.”
Students Take Control of their Futures
For the fourth year in a row, student attendance surpassed the 200 mark, event reps said. Through the generous donations from NABA's members and corporate partners, nearly $100,000 in scholarships were awarded to 54 students during the Celebration of Scholars Luncheon, setting another new bar for NABA, they said.
“It was an extraordinary experience for me to attend the national convention for the first time,” said a Louisiana undergraduate student. “I can say with certainty that I reaped all the benefits of this conference that I had hoped to. I interviewed with an amazing firm that I desire to work for, attended sessions that were very informative, networked with professionals and members from several states and received a scholarship. I hope to be back in Orlando for the next National Convention.”
“NABA National Convention was a life changing experience,” said a New York graduate student. “I can attest to the fact that I have grown professionally and I feel obligated to be a part of an organization that is constantly striving to uplift minorities.”
Highest Honors for NABA members “Unmasked” and Annual Gala
The 2017 Annual Awards Gala was an elegant masquerade ball, emphasized by the theme "Unmasked" to reveal this year's winners – an elite selection of achievers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to reach heights of unique success in their careers, within NABA, in the profession, their organization or their local community, event reps said. NABA awarded 17 members with special honors in nine national categories and eight regional categories, recognizing them for their incredible work over the last year. Most notably, the Frank Ross Outstanding Member of the Year Award was presented to Jeannine K. Brown and the Corporate Diversity Award was given to Crowe Horwath.
The 2018 NABA National Convention & Expo will be held in Orlando, Florida, from June 13-17, at the Orlando Marriott World Center.