Meet Our First 10 Ascend Honorees
The CFO Leadership Council proudly highlights our very first ten Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ascend Honorees! Launched in December 2020 as part of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiative, Ascend honorees are carefully selected for their outstanding contributions within and outside their organizations.
The Ascend program is an opportunity for Senior Finance Executives from underrepresented groups to join The CFO Leadership Council. Candidates can apply (or be nominated) for a free one-year Premium membership along with access to our exceptional mentor community. This initiative brings together members from historically underrepresented groups to discuss issues that are important to them along with educational and networking opportunities.
Meet Our Honorees!
Maria Duanne Andrade, Chief Financial and Strategic Officer, Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)
Maria, (also known as Duanne) co-leads SELF, reporting directly to the board on strategic, operational and financial matters. She is responsible for the SELF’s sustainability strategy and leads the capital raising efforts, financial operation and program developments. Duanne also developed SELF’s proprietary underwriting method based on ability to repay, designed to provide affordable, unsecured financing to low-and-moderate income populations with low credit scores.
“It has been an honor and great experience to be a CFOLC Ascend Awardee! The human and professional quality of the CFOLC team is outstanding! Unlike other networks, the CFOLC has a very high standard and delivers the best and most relevant and practical resources to advance knowledge and opportunities. I am not keen on recommending networks because people are already busy and don’t have extra time to just chat and sift through a barrage of information, however, the CFOLC is different, and I can only encourage CFO’s and aspiring CFOs to join. The CFOLC provides curated, valuable information in an efficient and effective way to help advance your career amongst top CFOs in the nation. I am grateful to be a part of the CFOLC!”
Christina Y. Fisher, Senior VP & CFO, American Hospital Association
Christina Fisher joined the American Hospital Association in 2016 as senior vice president and chief financial officer. She joined a new executive team to lead strategic alignment and operational transformation of Finance, Information Technology, Meeting & Travel Services, and Facilities Management.
Prior to joining the AHA, Christina was vice president of finance for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago where she led the financial planning and analysis functions for the Chicago Fed and collaborated on projects with leaders across the Federal Reserve System. Early in her career, she worked as a management consultant with Deloitte & Touché and Accenture. Her consulting experience included audit and risk advisory services, project management, business process improvement and information technology, primarily serving financial institutions.
Christina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Washington University in Saint Louis and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. In her free time, Christina is active in church and community activities, and serves on the Board of Directors for Girls in the Game — a non-profit that empowers girls through sports, health, and leadership programs. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Public Service Sorority, Inc.
Joy Harper, Cloud Finance, Google
Joy Harper is the Head of Go-To-Market Finance for Cloud Partnerships and Industry Solutions. Prior to this role, Joy worked on the Oracle to SAP Conversion on the Finance Systems and Integration team at Google. She also led the Treasury Tax initiative at Google. She has extensive public speaking, general finance, capital markets, treasury, and tax experience.
Joy is very involved in finance outside of her day job. Joy helped found a non-profit in San Francisco, called The Recharge Group, which focuses on aggregating and accelerating black wealth and philanthropy in Silicon Valley Joy studied African American History and Accounting at Miami University, earned a Master of Accountancy at Case Western Reserve University, and rounded out her education with a Juris Doctorate from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
Joy is our first Ascend Honoree. To hear more about her experience click here.
Christopher Hollinger, CFO, Rethink Food NYC Inc.
Christopher is responsible for overseeing all financial management and reporting for the organization. He has been part of numerous global and domestic companies with a great deal of restructuring and CFO management experiences.
He has been on several panels held by Argyle / CFO.com and was articulate and generous in sharing his insights. He serves on the Nominating and Selection Committee for the Alabama Business Hall of Fame, Treasurer for TiE NY and is a mentor for the CUNY Public Health Innovation Accelerator Program.
On a personal level, I got on a call with Chris after seeing him on a panel discussion and he was gracious in taking extended time to share career advice and experiences in his career journey. Overall he comes across as someone who might be a value added to the community.
Christopher Hollinger’s Nominee
Nwokedi Mbanugo Corporate Controller, Snapdocs
Nwokedi is an accomplished finance professional and dynamic leader with hands-on experience defining and driving domestic and international accounting, sharing accounting principles and full accounting processes end-to-end, driving on-going financial and budgetary report reviews, auditing and managing financial risk, and developing scalable accounting and compliance.
Kim Nguyen, Chief Financial Officer, Industrial Management Training Institute (IMTI)
Kim Ngyuen came to the US from Vietnam to further her education and obtained her MBA with a concentration in Accounting at Albertus Magnus College. Kim started at IMTI as an Assistant Distance Learning director in 2015 and helped IMTI launch the online exam prep courses and is now expanding the online apprenticeship program. Kim works closely with the CEO to develop strategic plans while focusing on financial matters to enhance the quality of the daily operations.
“Even though I have only joined CFOLC for two months, I feel more confident in my job as well as personal development because of the support, knowledge, and network I access here. I strongly believe this experience will enhance my career in the long run.”
Indri Ongko, Controller, Western Technology Investment
Indri joined Western Technology Investment in 2007 from Ernst & Young where she was a manager in the Risk Advisory Services practice. Prior to that, she was a senior auditor in the Core Assurance practice at Deloitte & Touche. Indri holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a CPA in both Texas and California.
Melissa Rose, Founder & President, MelRose CFO Services
Melissa provides outsourced CFO and Controller consulting services to her clients with a passion to support start up and mid-size businesses as they grow. She has held various leadership finance and accounting roles with a specialization in the entertainment, media and technology industry in both large matrix organizations and start-up ventures. She is a dynamic and results-oriented leader with demonstrated success who partners with senior executives, board members and collaborates across all levels within an organization to drive success, deliver high growth value, increasing operating efficiencies and developing, growing and managing finance teams.
Melissa also currently serves as Co-Treasurer on the Executive Board of Women in Cable and Telecommunications NY Chapter where she supports the foundation in developing women in media.
My time has definitely been incredibly welcoming and I really appreciate this opportunity to have a netwok of other CFO leaders in various organizations that i can meet with, share ideas to improve our service to our businesses or clients and network with.
Ian C.A. Thompson, Director FP&A, Turnils NA Group Companies
(Division Hunter Douglas Window Fashions)
Ian is a highly accomplished finance and accounting business leader with 19 years of progressive growth experiences within a world class global business environment. He lives in Atlanta, GA, is a Syracuse University Alum and is currently serving on the Syracuse University Regional Council as well as the Whitman School of Management Advisory Board.
“Since joining the CFOLC in December as an ASCEND Honoree it has been helpful in my continued development as a Financial Professional through the multitude of events and programming. It has also opened up resources that was unavailable to me before, i.e., listserv, to ask questions/advice/best practice on actual day to day issues.”
Denye Versher, Vice President of Finance, Easter Seals
Denye has over fifteen years of accounting and finance experience and has spent eight years in the non profit industry. Denye received the National Nonprofit Controller of the Year Award in 2020 and is the Co-Founder of the National Society of Black CPA’s. Denye received his B.A. in Economics from UCLA and M.B.A. from Cal State University, Long Beach
Denye is a track and field enthusiast and earned All-American recognition in Track & Field at UCLA.
Please join us again in congratulating & welcoming these exceptional contributors to our CFO Leadership Council community!
To learn more, visit: www.cfoleadershipcouncil.com/cfolc-diversity-equity-inclusion/
About The CFO Leadership Council
What began as a close knit experiment back in 2006 is now a global community, 2000+ members & 26 chapters strong. The CFO Leadership Council offers both live & online programs that feature expert panels and interactive sessions that drive meaningful conversation and leadership development among our membership. Our collection of leadership development resources similar to this article contain pragmatic insights and advice sourced directly from our members and industry experts. Recordings of CFOLC webcasts are made available to our current CFOLC Premium & Virtual members. For a full list of programs, visit www.cfolc.com.
Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative
At the CFO Leadership Council, we believe that diversity strengthens our community. We have been committed, since inception, to providing an environment in which diversity in all its forms are welcomed and engaged in our organization. The CFO Leadership Council champions diversity celebrating race, ethnicity and gender, as well as culture, experience, creativity and ideas. By embracing the value of broad perspectives, we not only cultivate success in our business, but return on our promise of empowering CFOs and their teams. To learn more about the program, upcoming events & meet our DEI Advisory Board, visit www.cfolc.com/cfolc-diversity-equity-inclusion.
Want to Continue the Conversation?
We’d love to hear from you. Post a comment about your experiences or provide feedback below to continue the discussion about how creative leadership in the current climate. Or contact Kristin Todd, Vice President of Marketing, [email protected].