Pittsburgh native James (Jim) Fellin, CFE, was a founding member of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter and now serves as president. This father of 5-year-old twins and graduate of Villanova University in Philadelphia is also managing director at The Nottingham Group, LLC.
Why did you decide to enter the anti-fraud field?
I decided to enter the field of fraud prevention and detection for several reasons. I feel it is far more challenging and interesting than traditional accounting, and it also enables me to truly make a difference not only to my clients but to the community at large. There are very few professions that allow the practitioner to make such a dramatic impact.
What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Starting our own firm in 2004 and achieving success in the field of fraud investigation and forensic accounting. We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary in this rewarding and interesting field.
Of course I would be remiss if I did not include the fact that five years ago I hit the daily double when my wife gave birth to twins (a boy and a girl), who just turned five a few weeks ago. Watching them grow up and teaching them about the world is both gratifying and also quite humorous. They help keep me grounded and are a constant reminder of what really matters in life.
What are your favorite activities and hobbies outside of work?
I love to be challenged and equally love fitness, physical activities and anything sports related. The mental and physical aspects help keep my life in balance. I trained all summer and in September 2014, I completed the BattleFrog event, a grueling 15K obstacle course race held in various locations around the country which is sponsored by the Navy Seals and meant to simulate some aspects of BUD/S training.
What goals would you like to help the chapter accomplish?
Right now, our chapter is seeking growth in several areas. We have a sound and well-established membership and curriculum of monthly meetings. We have several chapter members who help with various functions including newsletter publication, event programming and chapter financial affairs, just to name a few. We would like to expand our offerings to the membership and also grow our membership to more than 100 people.
Do you have any advice for other chapter leaders?
Watch what other chapters are doing and replicate their success. There is no need to recreate the wheel, as many initiatives have been tried by other chapters. Make use of their experiences, but don’t get into a rut. Keep trying new things and be inventive.
What is your personal motto? Does it have any special meaning?
My personal motto is something that my sixth grade teacher always said to our class: “There’s an excuse for anything if you’re weak enough to use it.” I try to live my life by this motto. Simply stated, it means don’t make excuses. Be accountable for your actions and your words.