Networking and Volunteering Are Key to Growing Career and Business

Networking and Volunteering Are Key to Growing Career and Business

Early in her career, Gabriela Coldea, CFE, understood how beneficial networking and volunteering were for her and her community. She has devoted her time tutoring young students, serving on multiple boards and, most recently, volunteering as the chapter president for the Orange County ACFE Chapter. 

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Chapter President: 'Message Should be Just as Important as the Messenger'

Chapter President: 'Message Should be Just as Important as the Messenger'

After attending a fraud prevention seminar more than 30 years ago, Robert Goehring, CFE, knew he wanted to serve and protect his local community. He has been a board member of the Pacific Northwest ACFE Chapter since 2001. He has served on the board in several capacities, including president, where he has been since 2012.

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Chapter Leader Profile: Pierre-Luc Pomerleau

MEMBER PROFILE

Pierre-Luc Pomerleau, CFE, PCI, CPP, has been in the anti-fraud field his entire professional career. Last year he helped establish the Montreal Chapter and has already made a big impact on the community by organizing sold-out events, establishing networking opportunities and helping promote the largest ACFE Fraud Conference Canada.    

What do you do for a living?
I lead National Bank of Canada’s Corporate Security and Fraud Risk Management Division, which includes corporate security investigations, physical security, and the fraud strategy and data analytics teams.

Why did you decide to enter the anti-fraud field?
I entered the anti-fraud field almost 12 years ago when I was finishing my bachelor’s degree in criminology. I had the opportunity to work part-time as a fraud prevention analyst within a large Canadian financial institution. It was the perfect job for me at that time since the job was related to my degree. At the time, I never thought that I would work in a financial institution. However, since the beginning of my career, I’ve always worked in this industry.

How long have you been involved with the chapter?
I have been the president of the new Montreal Chapter since its formation in October of 2015.

What has been a highlight during your time on the board?
Since March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada, we felt it was important for us to organize an event to promote fraud awareness. We organized a full-day training event and it was a huge success. A total of 185 anti-fraud professionals attended. We did a survey after the conference and the feedback we received from our members was excellent. Since it was our first full-day event, we did not know how many members would attend and we were glad that it was a sold-out event.

Do you have any advice for other chapter leaders?
A board is like a team. The most important things while investing time in a nonprofit organization are your peers and colleagues on the board. It takes time and a lot of organizational skills to build a website, prepare training, get interesting speakers to present at conferences and sponsors to fund our conferences, as well as to find a location for the members to assist an event while working full-time jobs. Having a dedicated board will ensure volunteering for the chapter will be an amazing and beneficial experience.

I strongly believe it is imperative that chapter leaders share roles and responsibilities between each other and that not only a couple of members do the work that needs to be done. We clarified roles and responsibilities between us and we hold ourselves accountable. I believe that this is the best way to invest time and energy in order to create value for the chapter and its members.

What are your favorite activities and hobbies outside of work?
Outside of work, most of my free time is spent with my wife and two amazing children. We like to travel and it is always fun to go to the beach with our kids. I attend NFL football games with friends in New York usually once a year. Nothing is better than a real tailgate on a Sunday morning before the game! I also like to read books, invest time in my personal development and exercise to stay in shape.

What is your personal motto? Does it have any special meaning?
One of the books that I read recently is Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, two former Navy Seals. I really appreciate how the authors shared their experiences and explained how some of the strategies employed in the Navy Seals can be applicable in our personal lives as well as in the business world. One quote that I like from Jocko Willink is, “discipline equals freedom.”

What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
I played football for nine years until I reached college level and this is a sport that I am still a big fan of. In 2002, I had the opportunity to play for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship in New Orleans, Louisiana. We played against team China, Europe and U.S.A. This was quite an experience to play against these countries and at this level. I am still proud of it today.

Read more of Pierre's profile at ACFEChapterNews.com

Fighting Fraud in India: An Interview with the ACFE Mumbai Chapter President

CHAPTER PROFILE

“A mix of integrity, hard work and constant learning is the best policy.” This motto has driven Arpinder Singh, CFE, throughout his professional life and as president of the ACFE India – Mumbai Chapter since its formation in February 2011.

Why did you decide to enter into the anti-fraud field?

There were/are few anti-fraud professionals in the Indian sub-continent to effectively address the growing menace of complex frauds. As a chartered accountant and law graduate, I’ve worked in a number of countries and found it exciting and rewarding. India has become one of the fastest emerging economies due to evolving regulation and increased governance, so I realized that my skills would be apt to address this challenge in the larger interest of the industry.

Why did you become active with the chapter and the board?

The change in crime trends in general and technology fraud in particular. As a fraud investigator I have worked on global assignments with both proactive and reactive work involving detection and recommending frameworks to deter fraud. This gave me insights on working with global conglomerates that have a presence in various sectors. The gap I saw in emerging countries like India was that there were not enough skilled people to address this issue while working in multi-jurisdiction scenarios. To address this gap some of us came together to form the chapter so we could give professionals in this area a forum to exchange views and enhance learning.

What are the benefits of serving as a chapter leader?

The seemingly simple benefits are in fact very precious. For example, the chapter is an avenue to meet like-minded people, network with the who’s who of the fraud investigations industry and mentor aspiring fraud fighters. It has kept me connected with young as well as experienced professionals. The anti-fraud professionals remain abreast with the latest trends in frauds through the ACFE Mumbai chapter platform. I have also had the opportunity to meet and learn from other chapter leaders when I have visited other countries on work.

Do you have any advice for other chapter leaders?

Through my experience of leading the ACFE Mumbai chapter, I have realized there is so much more we can do to bring value to this profession. The more we connect, at all levels, the more enriching the experience we can have.

We must respond to all requests from budding forensic professionals on any queries to keep the interest alive. There must also be constant learning opportunities to keep professionals updated on the latest changes in our field.

What do you like to do for fun outside of work?

I enjoy sports and am particularly appreciative of cricket, as it is an apt example of how each player must bring his or her own expertise to the game to create the best possible chances for winning the match. This further helped me in strengthening the team. I am planning to organize a cricket tournament for ACFE Mumbai chapter members.

Read Arpinder's full interview on ACFEChapterNews.com.

Maryland Chapter’s Harbor Cruise Raises $3,500 for Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship

GUEST BLOGGER

Ashley Stone, CFE
ACFE Chapter Development Manager

When Baltimore was selected as the host city for the 26th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference, the Maryland Chapter decided to plan an event to showcase the city while giving back to the fraud-fighting community.

After brainstorming, chapter vice president (and president elect) Steve Lesniewski, CFE recommended that a great way to entertain conference attendees, while raising funds for the ACFE Foundation, was a sunset cruise through Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

On Monday, June 15 more than 360 conference attendees boarded the Spirit of Baltimore for a two-hour cruise complete with hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, a live DJ and dancing. The cruise traveled along the Patapsco River and offered views of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area, historic Fort McHenry (birthplace of the U.S. national anthem), Federal Hill, the Francis Scott Key Bridge and even the world headquarters of athletic apparel company Under Armour.

The chapter paid for the full cost of the cruise but requested that those who wanted to attend pre-register by purchasing $10 tickets. The chapter is donating the entire proceeds from these ticket sales (more than $3,600) to the ACFE Foundation’s Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship fund as part of the Scholarship Fundraising Challenge.

Chapter president John Grimes, CFE, said that feedback from those that attended was overwhelmingly positive. “From all reports, everybody had a great time. Many people had kind words about Baltimore and the Maryland Chapter,” Grimes said.

On behalf of the ACFE, I would like to thank the Maryland Chapter for hosting this unique event and for their generous contribution to the ACFE Foundation.