Jackie Walter is a director on the Board for the Heartland ACFE Chapter. She joined the chapter in 2015 after being a chapter member for years. During her tenure on the board, the chapter’s membership has increased tremendously and the chapter won the Chapter of the Year Award in 2016. She will be sharing her experiences and expertise as a new member of the Chapter Leaders Committee.
How long have you been involved with the chapter?
I have been a member since 2010.
Why did you become active with the chapter and the board?
I became active with the board in 2015 after being a member for years. I wanted to help the chapter succeed in its mission to provide quality fraud training, grow the chapter through recruiting more students and other professionals, and provide more networking opportunities for our membership.
What has been a highlight during your time on the board?
A couple of highlights come to mind. The first highlight would be the teamwork of the board, even during times when things don’t run smoothly behind the scenes. Life happens, and sometimes board members are unable to attend meetings due to job-related duties and travel, emergency family matters or medical conditions. Having a good team to complete board duties while other board members are gone is of great value. You need to have very dedicated board members who will step up and pitch in to get things done. Having the membership tell you that the board provided an excellent meeting or seminar is priceless.
Another highlight would be the 2017 goal of converting to a new website, upgrading the chapter processes to be more electronic than manual, and getting it up and running. We converted to the new website on January 1, 2017. The website conversion has been a challenging experience and a rewarding achievement at the same time. It helps us look back to see what was achieved over the last year, and what needs to be done yet in the future.
The website change made the registration process, event notifications, member access and payments for meeting events more user-friendly for chapter members. It has provided a better accounting of how successful the trainings have been and made it easier for members to pay by credit card for membership and meetings online.
What are the benefits of serving as a chapter leader?
The main benefit of serving as a chapter leader is getting the opportunity to train and network with the membership and develop a variety of new skills in the process. It is satisfying to be able to see the work done at the strategic board meetings reached during the year while serving as a chapter leader.
What goals would you like to help the chapter accomplish?
The chapter has a few goals that I would like to see accomplished. We would like to increase the number of CFEs in the chapter. We have many non-CFEs who we would like to provide future scholarships and help to obtain their CFEs. To promote membership in the ACFE, I added a link to the ACFE website on the front page of the Heartland Chapter ACFE website for members to view.
I would like to get webinars up and running for our members to obtain additional training in the future. The chapter tried a physical secondary location in Lincoln, NE, for the bimonthly meetings along with the Omaha location, but the joint venture was not successful. We went back to the drawing board to propose developing a new webinar option. One step back, two steps forward.
Recruiting student members is also important to the chapter. We have had more than 300 members join since I have been on the Board, but the number of students has not been a large part of our membership totals. We recently approved having a student on the board to promote and provide outreach to college students for the chapter.
We have a goal to market more through social media in the future. We have a social media web link on our home website page but would like to develop our social media presence even further.
We would also like to develop a database of speakers for future use. We have started to compile other local speakers and members for future fraud trainings, and plan to use the ACFE listing of speakers who are willing to come to local training events to speak. Surveys with members about the type of speakers they want to hear from has helped the chapter customize the speaker list.
Do you have any advice for other chapter leaders?
There are many challenges that chapter leaders face when leading the affairs of the chapter, but it all comes together in time, so remember to not stress out. Even though not all chapter leaders agree all the time, respect for each other and a team spirit are very important to the success of the chapter in its mission and goals. Have fun being a chapter leader.
What do you consider your greatest achievement(s) to date?
Professionally, CFE credential and my CPA license have been my greatest achievements in my life.
The following achievements have also been important to me:
- Holding various board positions and being president for the Association of Government Accountants – Lincoln Chapter for more than four years.
- Volunteering my time on the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Investment Adviser Regulatory and Review Project Group for eight years writing model rules for the NASAA membership, and three years working on the NASAA Investment Adviser Training Project Group.
- Being on the Heartland Chapter ACFE – Omaha Board, being the chapter secretary and working with a great group of board members has been very rewarding.
My personal achievements are having my husband, Jeff, for the last 32 years in my life, and Bode (pronounced BO-dee), our German Shepherd, for the last four years.
What is your personal motto? Does it have any special meaning?
A tired dog is a happy dog. I have found over many years that wearing your dogs out makes them happier and healthier, and curtails any destructive or naughty behavior. I have owned six German Shepherds over my lifetime and really love the breed. I have found that intelligent dogs tend to keep you on your toes and will always test your alpha dog abilities.
Another motto of mine – Think outside the box and keep learning new things.
What are your favorite activities and hobbies outside of work?
My hobbies include bowling, golfing, gardening, working crosswords and solving jumble puzzles.
My favorite activities are spending time with Jeff, Bode, and our family members and friends. Another favorite activity of mine is watching the Nebraska Cornhuskers play football. Go Big Red!
My all-time favorite activity is taking Bode swimming every Friday to get him additional exercise at The Fit Canine. I enjoy watching Bode swim while I drink a cup of coffee and chat with the owner. I have been swimming Bode since he was only a few months old; he loves the water and really gets into swimming.