March 2017

Happy March!




Date: 4/25/2017
Doors Open: 6:00 pm
The Biltmore Hotel
2151 Laurelwood Rd
Santa Clara, CA 95054

 Join us for our Annual Spring Gala 
where we will present two deserving students 
with  the 2017 scholarship awards. Each scholarship is $2,500 cash. 

Please join us to recognize the recipients for their hard work and accomplishments!

The Registration Link for the event will be available on the next event email.

After our scholarship awards, we have Erin McConlogue 
with Dale Carnegie of San Francisco closing the night with a special presentation: 

Building Rapport and Communications Tactics!

Have you ever known someone who has a knack for connecting with people? No matter who this person meets, he or she manages to create a sense of trust and understanding within a matter of minutes. Developing rapport is a skill that anyone can learn, and then use. 

Learn how to use rapport to build excellent relationships with your clients and your team.

* Practicing a networking tool for how to have a conversation with anyone 

* Strategies for amazing first impressions

* Overview of Dale Carnegie human relations principles

Erin McConlogue is an Account Executive and Training with Dale Carnegie of San  Francisco who aligns business strategies and people practices to drive results. She has  a passion for performance, works to exceed the WOW factor, powers up organizational  culture, loves her clients, and expects business results. In a nutshell, she is the fork in  the road where culture and strategy meet. A citizen of the world and an experienced  community mobilizer, Erin has previously worked for several global nonprofit  organizations as a fund-raiser and strategist. She is also a Taekwondo blackbelt and  instructor who has taught self-defense courses to refugees living in Africa and the  Middle East.







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 coming up for 2017.


11th Annual Spring Gala and Scholarship Awards Night
Topic - Building Rapport and Communications Tactics!
Speaker: Erin McConlogue, Dale Carnegie of San Francisco

New Board Installation 2017-2018

In This Issue:

~President's Message~
~March News~
  • Diversity in Accounting
  • Soft Skills: Necessary and Not Just a Buzz Word 
  • Mid-Level Leaders are the Most Powerful and Most Overlooked Drivers of Diversity Gains 
~Board of Directors~
~Committee Updates~
~AFWA Foundation~

Edronda Guiriba  
AFWA - Silicon Valley Chapter President
During our April meeting we will be presenting the scholarship recipients and awarding them $2,500 scholarships! It will be an eventful night, because it will also be our 11th Annual Spring Gala. If you or your company would like to sponsor the event, please fill out and return a  sponsorship form . Depending on your level of sponsorship, your sponsorship may include tickets to the event, recognition in our promotional materials and our newsletter.

Please make use of your membership - attend events, apply for scholarships, get involved with the Board, and build your network. Hope to see you soon!



Diversity in Accounting
Posted February 8th, 2017 
By AFWA National President, Linda Harris, CPA, 
Each February, many organizations take a moment to acknowledge the importance of Diversity. Diversity is more than race, it's also ethnicity, age, and gender. In AFWA, we champion for diversity in the accounting and finance industries by empowering women to take a seat of leadership in their firms.

Soft Skills: Necessary and Not Just a Buzz Word 
Posted February 02, 2017
By: Ericka Harney, Executive Director, AFWA

Use of the term 'soft skills' or 'people skills' has been thrown around a lot but what are professionals really doing to improve them? We seem to think they are important but don't know exactly why. They are hard to quantify, and as such, I have found employers are not as supportive of professional development in these areas when they can pay for education with more obvious outcomes. In addition to the quantifiable issues, we have an innate aversion to the word 'soft' in the professional context.

Dina Medland, a contributor to Forbes, examined several studies that seek to quantify aspects of soft skills. One study showed that 97% of employers think soft skills are important to their business success, with 75% of employers finding a lack of, or gap in, soft skills. While this provides some perspective, a more impactful quantification is that a study determined that soft skills was responsible for the contribution of £88 billion in the UK economy. Talk about a quantity!

Continue Reading

Mid Level Leaders are the Most Powerful and Most Overlooked Drivers of Diversity Gains
Posted February 8, 2017 
By Joanne Cleaver, Wilson Taylor Associates 

Top leaders set the vision, but mid-level leaders make it reality

Somehow, accounting firm leadership has the impression that if they can just hire enough women and diverse new grads, the 'woman problem' and the 'diversity problem' will solve themselves.

That's wishful thinking in the extreme. While women comprise 53% of new bachelor's and master's grads, according to the most recent AICPA statistics, they are only 23% of partners and principals. That's a figure that's consistent across all studies, including the  Accounting MOVE Project, which compiles demographic data from 50 participating firms (and is managed by my firm, Wilson-Taylor Associates, in partnership with the AFWA).


Board President:
Edronda Guiriba

Program Director:  
Tran Huynh

Newsletter/Web Chair:
Julien LaCrosse

President Elect:
Nicole Sheets

Scholarship Director:

Hospitality Director: 
Jeff Olevson

Sue Stokke

CPE Chair:
Deborah Rosengarten

Hospitality Co-Chair: 
Barbara Lietzan

Julia Becklund 
Immediate Past President:
Eileen Perry



  • 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)
Email Edronda Guiriba

Hospitality Chair: Jeff Olevson
CPE Chair: Deborah Rosengarten, CPA

Reservation and cancellation policy:  
Reservations or cancellations are requested by noon on the Friday preceding each meeting.  Email Allyson- 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 with higher cost. Online registration will close on Sunday before the event day. 
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 Debbie for more details in person at the meeting.

Chair: Julien LaCrosse

Send in your articles!


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

The newsletter is prepared and distributed on a monthly basis.  Visit our web site at  If you have questions regarding articles to submit or about the newsletter, email the newsletter chair, Amrit,


Amrit is interested in hearing about your latest achievements and activities too, she will include the appropriate content in next newsletter. 


WHERE: Washington D.C at The Westin Alexandria
WHEN: Sunday, October 29 - Monday, October 30, 2017


AFWA Day: Saturday, October 28 - 

featuring chapter development and professional development 

designed for current and aspiring AFWA Chapter leaders.


Pre-Conference: Saturday, October 28 - 

earn up to 4 additional hours of CPE

More information coming soon!  |  Registration to open June 2017

The Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance Annual Conference is the premier networking and education event for professionals and students of Accounting and Finance. The event attracts hundreds of professionals from across the country for four days of educational sessions - providing up to 24 hours of CPE credit - presented by leaders in the industry.



The Foundation is all about us, accounting and financial professionals, we strive every day to make a difference in the financial world and in our communities. The Foundation is charged with raising funds for national scholarships, and educational advancement of our peers and rising leaders. 


The Foundation offers each of us the opportunity to support the future direction of the profession where we have gained our own personal successes.


It is important to support those entering the profession and working alongside us. Those that follow in our footsteps have much to teach us and much to learn from us. They embody the next generation of accounting and financial professionals. Our goal for you and AFWA is to lead the way in their development.




The Foundation promotes and advances education, career development and leadership in finance and accounting. Our vision is to guide women along the path to achieve success in finance and accounting.



 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.