Large Crowds at Maryland and Central Ohio Chapter Conferences

It is conference season for many ACFE chapters, and two of the largest chapter conferences in the U.S. occurred in May. The Maryland Chapter’s Maryland Fraud Conference 2015 had an attendance of more than 525, May 4-5 at Martin’s West in Baltimore. The following week, the Central Ohio Chapter’s 2015 Emerging Trends in Fraud Conference attracted more than 680 attendees at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus.

Both events required months of planning and a team of chapter volunteers.

Maryland Chapter president John Grimes, CFE, said the chapter uses the skills, manpower and patience of 21 volunteers to execute the event. This group includes board members and the chapter’s advisory committee members.

The chapter recently secured a NASBA sponsor number and worked hard this year to meet all of the NASBA requirements for CPE events. “The toughest part of planning each year is coordinating speaker schedules and contracts to ensure that we are able to offer 16 CPE credits for the event,” Grimes said.

The chapter starts planning for the next year’s conference the week after their event ends. “We try to recruit speakers from the ACFE Global Fraud Conference, so that begins each year in June,” Grimes said.

At the Central Ohio Chapter event in Columbus, chapter leaders work in conjunction with the Ohio Auditor of State’s office beginning in September before the event.

Melissa Smart, CFE

Melissa Smart, CFE

Chapter president Melissa Smart, CFE, said around 10 chapter volunteers assist during the event.

Similar to Maryland, Smart said the toughest part of the event is “tracking all the moving parts and pieces: securing a variety of speakers and topics, managing all of the vendor details and contracts, in addition to the daily responsibilities of a full-time job, family and school.”

“In the end it’s worth it all when we see the high marks that attendees give for the sessions,” Smart said.

Below are pictures from the Central Ohio Chapter's event.