JULY 2014

 Date: 7/22/2014
 Doors Open: 6:00pm 
 Location: Biltmore Hotel 
  2151 Laurelwood Road 
  Santa Clara, CA 95054 
 Presentation: "Feng Shui" by Linda Lenore
   Cost:Day of Event at the Door 
  $40 members 
  $50 guests 
Discount rate, register and pay using Paypal here 
  $35 members 
  $45 guests 


  Linda Lenore - "Feng Shui"


Learn how to make your space a place of vitality and prosperity from a Feng Shui expert!

AFWA Silicon Valley is excited to have Linda Lenore come speak about the art of Feng Shui! Linda is an international speaker and consultant on environmental influences, Feng Shui, design and cultural awareness with an Asian focus. Her best-selling book, The Gift of the Red Envelope, and her co-authored book, Power to Change, focus on how our environments shape our lives.

She has appeared on Life-Time Media & The Hallmark Channel on how to create homes that support us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As one of the first three non-Asian Feng Shui Masters in North America, her clients include superstars, media personalities, CEO's and CFO's of the Who's Who of Silicon Valley including corporations, like Bank of the West and The Ritz-Carlton, where she creates environments that both stimulate success & soothe the soul.

<Register Here>



The AFWA Silicon Valley board members would like you
to join them at the strategic planning meeting to help discuss 
and plan our next fiscal year!

Please come with all your great ideas about:
  • Topics for meetings.
  • What  you expect out of  your membership.
  • How to increase membership and attendance.
  • Fundraising ideas.
  • Any other innovative ideas you want to share!

JULY 19, 2014 
From 10am to 3pm 
(lunch will be provided)



RSVP by Tuesday, July 15th to: 


Lincoln Village Community Room
1032 Lincoln Village St 
San Jose, 95125

(click on a Sponsor to be directed to their website)



- June Membership Meeting Recap -
Getting the Year Off to a Great Start
Mending Mentor Relationships
5 Ways Women Can Stick Together In The Workplace

2014 Summer Reading for Accountants


Nicole Letellier

AFWA - Silicon Valley Chapter President

Happy July!


It is a great honor to serve as your 2014-15 Silicon Valley Chapter's President. Thank you to our membership for their vote of confidence.  I promise to do my best to not deceive your expectations.


I have a very special place in my heart for the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance.  As many of you already know, I am a past scholarship recipient.  I received these scholarships at at a turning point in my life.  In fact the scholarships allowed me to get the best start for my career that I could have dreamt of!  I feel that I would not be where I am today if it was not for the support of AFWA's great members.  I am grateful for the help and support I have received from this group and I intend to put all my efforts as president into keeping and improving the great work we are doing together.


My goals for the year are:

  • Increase the numbers of attendees to our monthly membership meetings by offering programs that are of interest to our members.
  • Increase the number of applications for our scholarship program by reaching out to more schools via faculty members and students
  • Increase our membership enrollment by reaching out through social media and networking events
  • Doing all of the above while having a good time and making new friends


I cannot accomplish any of these goals without your help.  Please join me and our board members at our Strategic Planning meeting on July 19th.  Come ready to share your own goals for your group and your innovative ideas that will get this chapter to be the best chapter of our region.  You should have received an invitation already, if not please feel free to contact me for more information about our strategic planning meeting.


Happy summer and I am looking forward to seeing you on July 19th!




Registration is now open!

2014 Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance Annual Conference

Sunday September 28- Wednesday October 1, 2014
Astor Crowne Plaza


Don't miss this opportunity to network with other women in accounting and finance from across the country. Join us in New Orleans and learn from leading experts on ways to develop a variety of your skills. The Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance Annual Conference will be loaded with opportunities for networking, leadership development, education - including CPE credit hours - and fun!


You should attend if you are...

  • Responsible for monitoring developments in accounting, taxation and finance
  • Responsible for the quality and profitability of your company or firm
  • Supervising and/or training accounting and finance staff
  • Interested in developing a network of outstanding professionals.
  • Ready to promote your company or product in today's marketplace
  • A beginner or veteran, with or without a degree, in private or public accounting, finance or academia

What will you learn at the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance Annual Conference?

  • The latest technical developments in accounting, auditing, finance, tax, management, leadership, government and industry, including e-commerce, and budgeting and accounting software applications
  • Motivational strategies that work
  • Methods for effective management of people and the marketplace
  • Effective means of identifying and responding to economic problems
  • Valuable leadership techniques
  • Means for achieving effective communication
  • Professional contacts in a variety of industries

Need help convincing your organization to send you to our conference? Build your case and read our reasons why you should attend.


Stay tuned for session and registration details!






Don't forget to like our Facebook page for our latest updates!


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AFWA Silicon Valley members and guests attended June's membership meeting for the presentation "Does Your Thinking Limit Your Success?" from special guest speaker Betty Jo Waxman. 

Members also voted and installed new board members for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. 
Welcome new board members! 


JULY NEWSAccountability

By Berranthia Brown, CMI, AFWA National President
July 9, 2014

I am very excited and proud to serve as your National President for this year. As a member of the Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance since 1998, I have seen many changes through the past year that will take AFWA into the next 75 years, and make us the premier organization for women in accounting and finance. As we embark upon a new year for the Alliance, our National Board has finalized our 2014-2015 Strategic Plan and is ready to put the wheels into motion. We are embracing new ideas, pursing opportunities to revitalize and grow our organization, and planning to deliver a quality membership experience without boundaries for each member. As newly installed Chapter Presidents being to plan with their boards, I have just a few tips for getting the year off to a great start:


Work together with the board to develop strategic goals.
We will be rolling out the National Strategic Plan to all chapter leaders later this month, to share our 2 key initiatives for this year. Each chapter can use the Chapter Self-Assessment Scorecard (found on the AFWA Member site, afwa.org, under Chapter Resources) to evaluate the chapter's strengths and weaknesses and allow you to develop a plan for the coming year. Then utilize the Strategic Planning Template to develop specific goals and track their progress throughout the year. Aligning your chapter goals with National's Strategic Plan will allow our entire organization to grow and strategically move forward.


Encourage the use of tools on the AFWA website, www.afwa.org, to develop leadership skills and programs. 
Check out the Chapter Resources section of the website, which includes the Membership Brochure, the recent Chapter Leader Training Webinar, and many other tools to help inspire and guide successful membership drives and event planning. Celebrate the victories, anniversaries and special events! We recognize the need for resources by our chapter leaders and our members so we will be increasing the number of quality resources available.


Engage new members & Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!
When new members join our organization, be sure to engage them and allow them to share their talents & skills. This provides chapters with additional resources, an expansion of knowledge, and an opportunity for chapter members to collaborate. As the leader of the National association, and you as leader of a chapter, our job is to represent the organization while providing vision and direction. Delegating to our committee chairs allows them to develop leadership skills. You also have the ability to create an ad hoc task force to accomplish a one-time program undertaking. The more you involve members, the stronger and engaged the membership becomes. We all like to feel that we are contributing to the organization.


On another note, thank your Outgoing President


Finally, I would like to thank Kate Mulder for her leadership, knowledge, and expertise that she has shared with the board and its members over the past year. Her energy and commitment is contagious and has brought about positive changes within our organization for the future. Kate ensured that I was prepared to take on this role, by allowing me to chair the Transitional Taskforce and learn all of the key responsibilities of the National President. She kept me informed on issues and involved me in decisions so I was aware of processes and actions. So, hopefully the Immediate Past President has been involving you in chapter leadership during the past year. Make a pledge to yourself to involve your President-Elect so that they come into the Presidency ready to hit the ground running. Feel free to call on the Immediate Past President and other Past Presidents for guidance on issues. Their knowledge, experience and wisdom can help you go forward confidently with new plans and ideas.


I look forward to a fabulous year for our organization!
Berranthia (Brandi)


from the Wall Street Journal
by Charlie Wells
July 1, 2014

You've found the perfect mentor. Maybe she's hired you, coached you, even started nudging you up the corporate ladder.


And then, poof. Your tongue slips. You miss a deadline. You ask for advice and get an email back with a cryptic-but definitely curt-reply.


Moments like these leave many young professionals feeling as if they've permanently damaged their relationship with their mentors. But experts say things probably aren't so dire.


Too often, those with limited workplace experience perceive small blips with superiors as crises, says Kimberly Elsbach, a professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management who studies workplace perception. New employees end up damaging their relationships with mentors not by making gaffes, but by reacting to them poorly, she says. They blame someone else, deny them or avoid confrontation by never revisiting the issue (or maybe even the mentor) again.


What mentees should do instead, says executive coach Michael Melcher, is to realize that, as junior staffers, their perspectives can be limited. They have to stay clear-eyed and try to re-engage, no matter how awkward the situation feels.


Here's how three young mentees did just that, and how their mentors responded: <Read More>

from Fast Company
by Toni G. Wolfman

Help a sister out! It's little benefit to your own career-- not to mention bad form and bad karma-- to keep another woman at work down.

The fact that many of us had to overcome significant hurdles as we banged our heads against the glass ceiling doesn't relieve us of the responsibility to help smooth the path for the women who come after us.


If we don't help each other out, how can we expect our male colleagues to do so?


As Madeleine Albright famously quipped in her 2006 keynote address to the WNBA, "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."


A recent Bentley University Women in Business study found that 90% of respondents think women have what it takes to succeed in business, 95% think that women are as ambitious as men, and 57% of corporate recruiters feel women are better job candidates than men.


Still, 70% of respondents believe men are better suited to succeed in "today's business climate."

What does this mean?


Both male and female survey respondents attribute the disconnect between women's abilities and their success in pursuing business careers primarily to four interrelated factors. Specifically, when compared to men, women have: 

  1. More family and other constraints that continue to hold them back
  2. Not enough encouragement to enter and remain in the business world
  3. Fewer opportunities in business as men
  4. Not enough mentors in the business world

At the Center for Women in Business at Bentley, my colleagues and I are intensely interested in these results as we focus on the institutional structures and corporate culture that either encourage or thwart the creation of a supportive, inclusive environment where women are retained and can advance to leadership positions.


Regardless how one defines this situation, there is no question that those of us who have made our way in the business world can make a big difference for all those who follow after us.


Here are five ways to do that: <Read More>

from Accounting Today

Summer's here -- the perfect time to dive into the new revenue recognition standards from FASB, and then spend some quality time reading up on the Affordable Care Act (so you can finally understand what all the fuss is about). That ought to take you up to fall.


Or, you can take a step back from the technical and grab some of these shorter reads, which skew heavily toward positioning your firm and your career for the future, offering new ways to think about where the profession is headed.


President - Nicole Letellier

President - Elect - Eileen Perry

Secretary - Nicole Sheets 

Treasurer - Wendy Matthews

Program - Diane Ollila

Membership - Amrit Dhaliwal

Scholarship - Susan Wright

Newsletter/Web - Edronda Guiriba 

Hospitality - Jeanne Kourmako

CPE Compliance - Marvel Khan

Immediate Past President - Julia Becklund 



Click here for more info about the Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Directors.



Chair: Diane Ollila


There is an excellent line-up of programs for the Silicon Valley Chapter this year, and most of them qualify for CPE!  Check out the line-up as we have engaged some dynamic and outstanding speakers.

Speaker: Linda Lenore
Presentation: Feng Shui


Speaker: Maria Pribyl
Presentation: Excel Tips

Speaker: Mike Neurendorff
Presentation: Professional Speaker

Chair: Amrit Dhaliwal


  • All Levels of Accounting & Finance
  • Bookkeepers
  • Corporate Accounting Finance
  • Public Accounting
  • Management & Educators
  • Recruiters

If you would like to join the Silicon Valley Chapter of AFWA, follow the link to our National website:



Please feel free to complete the application or forward a copy to someone you think would benefit from joining our Chapter.




  • Prestigious status of professional affiliation
  • National contacts for networking and professional information
  • Forum for CPE
  • Scholarships
  • Leadership opportunities in supportive arena
  • Subscription to Accountability e-newsletter 
  • National and regional conferences at a discounted rate
  • Access to Career Center
  • Access to AFWA's LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter groups and National online membership directory
  • Discounted membership to the Institute for Management Accountants (IMA)
  • Discounted products and services through affiliation agreements
    • CPA review courses, CCH tax & accounting books, Long Term Care Insurance and Bank of America credit card.

Hospitality Chair: Jeanne Kourmako
CPE Chair: Marvel Khan

Reservation and cancellation policy: 
Reservations or cancellations are requested by noon on the Friday preceding each meeting.  Email Jeanne to reserve or cancel. The goal is an accurate count for the hotel.  Unreserved members (not guests) incur a surcharge of $5.00.

Reserved members or guests who are no-shows will be billed if not cancelled by noon the preceding Friday. We do want you to come to the meetings and reservations are helpful but if you have to cancel let us know beforehand to avoid incurring the cost of the meal. WE ACCEPT CREDIT CARD PAYMENT AT THE DOOR.


Volunteers are always welcome at our monthly membership meetings. Lend a helping hand to make our monthly events and meetings even more interesting while building a great network and forming new relationships.


CPE credit is available for participating in any of our qualified programs.  See Marvel for more details in person at the meeting.

Chair: Edronda Guiriba

We have changed our newsletter! Like the new look? Be sure to send us some feedback.

The newsletter is prepared and distributed on a monthly basis.  Visit our web site at www.afwasiliconvalley.org.  If this Chapter does not have your e-mail address, please contact Edronda at edrondaguiriba@gmail.com


We encourage our membership to submit articles of interest for our monthly newsletter.  Please make your submission under the following criteria...

  • Prepared as a Microsoft Word document
  • Photos in JPEG format
  • captions are okay, no imbedded text, please
  • 600 words or less

There are four sponsor levels of contribution established for the scholarship fund.
Sponsorship up to $150.00  
Sponsorship up to $300.00 
Sponsorship up to $500.00 
Sponsorship $750.00 or more

Share the information! 
See Susan Wright for more details. 

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 Founded in 1938, AFWA/ASWA provides women in accounting and finance the leadership, education and networking opportunities needed to achieve their career goals. Celebrating 75 years as the only organization that solely represents the interest of women in the entire accounting and finance community. The organization's mission is to enable women in all accounting and related fields to achieve their full personal,
professional and economic potential and to contribute to the future development of their profession.