Article headingConnectApril 2015The magazine for EY alumni
Sarah Kaussbuilding a better bottle and a greener world at
Rich Jonesspeaks his mind on veterans affairs
Jimmy Bargea starring role at Lionsgate
Jennifer Cabalquintoplaying full court with the NBAs Golden
Steve Howe and Kelly Griertalk about the EY people promise
Frank Mahoney and Tom Houghwelcoming EYs newly named and
recently retired Vice Chairs of Assurance
Building better boardsCorporate board directors and EY
alumnaeOlivia Kirtley,Betsy RafaelandBarbara Stymiestsound off on
strategy, digital transformation, cybersecurity, diversity and
other top board matters.
2015 EYGM Limited. All Rights Reserved. ED0116
Source: Global Gender Gap Report 2014, World Economic Forum
Stephen R. Howe, Jr. EY Americas Managing Partner and Managing
Partner, Ernst & Young LLP (US)
As you read the stories of some of EYs amazing alumni in this
issue, you will also notice a theme: EYs desire to work with our
alumni, as well as our clients and communities, to help build a
better working world.
In our cover story, we talk with Olivia Kirtley, Betsy Rafael
and Barbara Stymiest about the issues they face as corporate board
members. They share a desire to make a positive difference and to
serve as role models, especially for women. That goes hand-in-hand
with a number of EY initiatives. For example, to support our alumni
serving on boards, weve created the EY Center for Board Matters,
which engages with boards, audit committee members and investors.
And to promote women in the workplace, we recently launched Women.
Fast forward, through which EY will act as a catalyst to accelerate
the closing of the global gender gap.
I think youll enjoy learning about Sarah Kauss, founder and CEO
of Swell, one of Fortunes 40 under 40, and our first alumna
selected for EYs Entrepreneurial Winning Women program. This
program identifies high-potential women entrepreneurs whose
businesses show real potential to scale and then helps them do
Youll hear from alum Rich Jones, Executive Vice President,
General Tax Counsel and Chief Veteran Officer at CBS, about his
passion for improving the lives of disabled veterans. And well
share some ways EY is helping this special group.
We introduce you to two recently appointed EY leaders, Kelly
Grier, Americas Vice Chair Talent, and Frank Mahoney, Americas Vice
Chair Assurance, and say farewell and thank you to Tom Hough,
Franks immediate predecessor. We deeply appreciate the
extraordinary breadth of Toms contributions to EY over his 37-year
career. Finally, youll meet Alumni Council members Adrienne White
and Kim McGarry and learn what drives them to strengthen the alumni
Every day, I am inspired by knowing and working with such an
exceptional group of EY people and alumni. I hope you share my
belief that together we are making a difference, and that we can,
in fact, build a better working world.
Thank you for all you are doing on behalf of EY.
Building a better working world
Connect April 2015 1
In this issue 04On the coverStrategy needs to take center stage
in the boardroom, say seasoned corporate directors Betsy Rafael,
Olivia Kirtley and Barbara Stymiest. We convened the three EY
alumnae at Bloombergs corporate headquarters in New York City for a
spirited discussion of some of the hot topics facing boards today,
including digital transformation, cybersecurity and board
diversity. They also provide some tips for those looking to join a
14 20 28 32 40 44
Building better boards
Features14 A fair challenge Get to know Frank Mahoney, EYs new
Vice Chair Assurance, and find
out why he thinks the audit profession is more vital now than
17 Closest to the pin As Frank Mahoney settles into his new
role, we welcome his predecessor,
Tom Hough, as one of our newest alumni. Find out what Toms up to
at the United States Golf Association.
20 A thirst for excellence Can a reusable water bottle be both
fashionable and environmentally
friendly? Discover why alumna Sarah Kausss Swell bottle has been
described as eco-chic.
28 It all comes down to people Kelly Grier, EYs new Americas
Vice Chair Talent, and Steve Howe,
Americas Managing Partner, talk about the power and importance
of EYs people culture.
32 Starring roles While alumni Jimmy Barge and Jennifer
Cabalquinto are CFOs of two
very different organizations hes with Lionsgate and shes with
the NBAs Golden State Warriors they share the drive to
40 A call to action CBS exec, EY alum and wounded military
veteran Rich Jones shares his
point of view on the plight of many of our nations veterans.
44 Alumni council members in focus Chicago Alumni Council member
Kim McGarry and Atlanta Council
member Adrienne White discuss options trading, half-marathons
and their desire to build a strong EY alumni family.
50 Alumni Relations around the world Travel with us to
Argentina, one of the worlds top developing nations,
and learn what they mean when they say, Alumni, ser parte
News54 Alumni news and new alumni snapshots Highlighting recent
achievements of your friends and colleagues
59 Events gallery A snapshot of recent alumni events throughout
EY | Assurance | Tax | Transactions | Advisory
About EY EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction
and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver
help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in
economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team
to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing,
we play a critical role in building a better working world for our
people, for our clients and for our communities.
EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or
more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each
of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global
Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide
services to clients. For more information about our organization,
please visit ey.com.
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& Young Global Limited operating in the US.
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operating in Canada.
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& Young Global Limited operating in Argentina.
2015 EYGM Limited. All Rights Reserved. Proprietary and
confidential. Do not distribute without written permission.
EYG no. QQ0391 ED 0316.
The opinions of third parties set out in this publication are
not necessarily the opinions of the global EY organization or its
member firms. Moreover, they should be viewed in the context of the
time they were expressed.
In line with EYs commitment to minimize its impact on the
environment, this document has been printed on paper with a high
April 2015ConnectThe magazine for EY alumni
Editor-in-Chief: Jeff AndersonManaging Editor: Jay
SeitherWriters: Jeff Anderson, Anne Lampert, Jay Seither, Eboni
ThomasCreative Director: Donald BattingContributing Editor: Ellen
LaskPhotography: Jon Gayman, Marcus Krause, Chris Savas, Robert
Connect magazine is printed in the US by Great Lakes
For further information on Connect, please contact Jeff
Anderson, Americas Director, Alumni Relations, at
[email protected] or +1 404 817 4875.
50Connect April 2015 3
EY alumnae Olivia Kirtley, Betsy Rafael and Barbara Stymiest
have truly scaled the corporate ladder. They serve or have served
in the C-suites of many of the worlds top business organizations.
And together, they have dozens of years experience serving on the
boards of leading companies. We wanted to explore with them what
they are seeing in the boardroom today.
Building betterThree EY alumnae discuss board service and their
roles as women in business
We convened a half-day session with our three EY alumnae at
Bloomberg LPs world headquarters in Manhattan. Mark Manoff, EY
Americas Vice Chair and EY Center for Board Matters leader,
facilitated. Joining the conversation were Steve Howe, EY Americas
Managing Partner, and Karyn Twaronite, EY Global Diversity &
Inclusiveness Officer. Our EY Center for Board Matters is on the
verge of entering into an exciting new global sponsorship with
Bloomberg Media that will amplify the Centers brand around the
world as well as with board and audit committee members.
What is job #1 for boards?
How can boards best evaluate their performance?
What is the role of the board in meeting such digital threats as
Why should diversity and inclusiveness remain top of mind?
What is the best advice for someone who is considering
participation on a board?
Mark Manoff Karyn TwaroniteSteve Howe
words: Anne Lampert, Jay Seither photos: Jonathan Gayman
Building better boards
Betsy Rafael Barbara StymiestOlivia Kirtley
Strategy must take center stage in the boardroom, our alumnae
agree. Barbara Stymiest, former CEO of the Toronto Stock Exchange
and a long-time board member at BlackBerry, stresses the importance
of strategy, which she describes as both the biggest challenge for
management and the board to get right and essential to survival: If
you dont make the right choices, youre not around. If you dont
transform, you dont survive.
Survival of the fittestIn every era, keeping the board focused
on the things that really matter takes great effort. Today, with
the digital economy and a dynamic regulatory environment, its
even more difficult to keep strategy at the center of it all.
In the view of Betsy Rafael, who, in addition to serving on
multiple corporate boards, has served in senior finance positions
at companies including Apple and Cisco, You cant lose sight of
whether you are doing the right thing strategically whether the
focus is transformation, growth, international expansion or another
Olivia Kirtley, with experience on five public and private
boards, agrees that, It is easy to get bogged down while making
sure that youre doing your job on the regulatory front and on other
matters. But, in addition to
innovation and growth, you must absolutely stay focused on the
strategy you must protect that time.
The most effective boards, she adds, are those that manage their
time and resources to ensure that strategy remains at the forefront
of discussions. Rafael, who serves on boards of companies at
varying stages in their development, asserts that keeping strategy
first comes down to the level of sophistication and maturity of the
In considering the boards ability to lead, our alumnae are
unanimous in their belief that direct and frequent communication
with the CEO is the best approach. When the corporate secretary
introduces a new regulatory matter
If you dont make the right choices, youre
not around. If you dont
transform, you dont survive.
Connect April 2015 5
Building better boards
In her own words, Barbara Stymiest has come full circle since
her earliest days at EY. Her very first audit client was Queen
Elizabeth Hospital, a not-for-profit rehabilitation institution in
Toronto that later became part of the University Health Network.
Stymiest subsequently joined the Network board and remains very
active in its fundraising efforts.
Today, she considers the growth of the aging population one of
the biggest issues facing people in many developed countries. She
recently became a member of the board of AGE-WELL, Canadas
technology and aging network. The acronym stands for Aging
Gracefully in All Environments using Technology to Facilitate
Wellness, Engagement and Long Life. She describes the organization
as an incubator of innovative technological solutions to help
people maintain their quality of life and independence.
The technology aspect of AGE-WELL also resonates with Stymiest
because of her connection with BlackBerry. Her path
BarbaraStymiestFormer EY Canada partner
Last EY office: Toronto
Board service BlackBerry Ltd. (2007present: 2012 and 2013
Chair; Audit & Risk Management Committee Chair;
Compensation, Nomination & Governance Committee)
George Weston Limited (2011present: Audit Committee Chair)
Sun Life Financial Inc. (2012present)
TMX Group Inc. (19932004)
Symcor Inc. (200411: 200711 Chair)
Business Development Bank of Canada (200204)
Previous positions CEO, TMX Group Inc.
Executive Vice President and CFO, BMO Nesbitt Burns
Group Head of Strategy, Treasury & Corporate Services, Royal
Bank of Canada
Awards/distinguished service Vice-Chair, AGE-WELL
Trustee, University Health Network
Chair, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
Chair, Advisory Board for the Ivey Institute for Leadership
or another new agenda item, it tends to be after the fact.
Stymiest reminds us that, A high-performing company needs a
high-performing board, and a high-performing board doesnt just
happen; it takes a lot of work on both sides, with the chair of the
board working alongside the CEO to drive change.
Is there a gold standard for boards? How do they gauge their
effectiveness?Maintaining engagement with the CEO is an ongoing
task for board members. But it is only one of many challenges that
todays boards must tackle. Among these is the way the board
assesses the quality of its performance in todays environment. Our
panelists expressed strong opinions on this issue: they agree that,
however the assessment is performed, it needs to be thorough and
Kirtley describes her boards assessment process as very
rigorous. With the written evaluation in hand, the lead director or
the head of the governance committee follows up with each board
member, one on one, probing for
additional commentary on whats working well and whats not. What
follows is a very robust discussion at both the committee and the
board level. Subsequently, the board acts on whatever issues or
enhancement opportunities need to be addressed.
In her varied experience across the tech sector, Rafael has seen
boards take different approaches. One board undertakes a very
formal process, she notes. The goal is to really understand the
feedback, and what we are going to do about it. Another board on
which she serves is more informal, but equally effective, as the
process involves a lively and penetrating discussion among multiple
board members about what could be improved. The group then takes
action based on the conclusions of the discussion.
Another technique that boards can consider is the input of an
outside expert. Stymiest describes a recent experience with one of
There are fewer people willing to take a chance, including the
search firms, on someone who is new.
continued on page 9
into the tech sector began at the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland. By then, Stymiest had achieved the distinction of
being the first woman in North America to lead a stock exchange.
She recalls, I joined the board of the Toronto Stock Exchange,
subsequently becoming the vice chair and later the chair of the
board in 1997. When she finished her term as chair, she was
approached to become the chief executive. She is proud of her
achievement. If I had been the token woman, I would not have been
asked to be vice chair and then chair. But having proved myself
among my peers on the board, the board had the confidence in me to
lead the exchange.
At Davos, Stymiest began what would become a strong relationship
with then-Research in Motion (currently Blackberry) co-CEO Jim
Balsillie, a fellow Canadian and EY alumnus. She joined the company
board in 2007 and stayed. Stymiest was a steady hand during 2012
and 2013, serving as board chair as the company transitioned from
co-CEO founder to restructuring (to refinance the organization) to
bringing in a new CEO, John Chen, who became executive chair.
Although Stymiest passed the baton to Chen, she has remained very
involved as chair of the Audit Committee.
To me, the rules of engagement are very clear. The board engages
with shareholders on governance matters only.
Connect April 2015 7
Olivia Kirtleys accounting career began in the EY Louisville
office when the late partner Chet Shelley interviewed and then
hired her literally on the spot. The year was 1972, a time when
only a handful of women were being hired into the profession. Mr.
Shelley was willing to take a chance on me, says Kirtley. Today,
more than 40 years later, she still feels a huge responsibility to
help open doors for others.
Despite being among the first woman professionals at EY, Kirtley
reports witnessing many biases against women and other minorities
throughout her illustrious career in public accounting, public and
private industry and service on corporate boards. My attitude has
always been that its unfortunate that some people have that bias,
which is often an unconscious bias, she comments. However, it was
those very biases that pushed Kirtley to meet or exceed
expectations. Did I try harder to pass my CPA exam on first sitting
OliviaKirtleyFormer EY senior manager
Last EY office: Atlanta, Georgia
Board service Isolyzer Company, Inc. (199798)
Alderwoods Group, Inc. (200206)
Lancer Corporation (19992006)
Papa Johns International, Inc. (2003present: Audit Committee
Chair; Compensation Committee)
Res-Care, Inc. (1998present: Audit Committee Chair; Governance
and Nominating Committee)
US Bancorp (2006present: Audit Committee Chair; Compensation
Committee; Executive Committee)
Previous positions Business consultant
CFO and Treasurer, Vermont American Corporation (including
subsequent joint venture with Emerson Electric Co. and Robert Bosch
Awards/distinguished service Chair, American Institute of
Chair, AICPA Board of Examiners
President and Board Chair, International Federation of
Faculty member, The Conference Board Directors Institute We all
experiences and backgrounds that make us more sensitive to
something, whether its talent development, succession planning or
diversity and inclusion in the C-suite.
boards, which invited in an outside party well-regarded in the
country in the area of governance. This person spent an hour or two
with every director individually. While the board survey provided a
framework for the conversation, the ensuing discussion was far
richer and more wide-ranging. Whatever the method, its very, very
important for the chairman or the lead director to actually act on
the findings. Stymiest also appreciates the opportunity to meet one
on one with the board chairman to gain perspective on her own
performance as a board member.
Board makeup and alignment with the changing needs of the
corporation is a hot topic in governance circles today. Rafael
introduces the area of cybersecurity as an example of subject
matter that boards need to own you need to have people who have the
capabilities to engage in cybersecurity at a different level from
the rest of the board, advises Rafael. The stakes in the game are
higher than ever, she points out, with proprietary data such as
intellectual property and individuals social security numbers
stored on the cloud.
Managing in a disruptive worldThe digital transformation of
virtually every business transaction and activity has reshaped the
role of executives and board members worldwide. Technology, with
all its benefits, has disrupted commerce in every conceivable way
and can create havoc for a company in a matter of seconds. Not
surprisingly, cybersecurity was a substantive topic of discussion
for our alumnae. Cyber attacks and the serious damage they can
cause are driving boards of some companies to request an assessment
a generation of women behind me were going to be judged by my
work? Absolutely, I felt that pressure. By the way, not only did
Kirtley pass the exam the first time, but she was the only one in
her hiring class who did.
Kirtley served as the first woman chair of the American
Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in the late 1990s
and as chair of the AICPA Board of Examiners during the three-year
conversion of the CPA exam to a computer-based exam. Today, Kirtley
keeps pushing new boundaries. She is presently serving as the first
woman president of the International Federation of Accountants, the
global accountancy organization that represents 180 member
bodies in 130 countries and supports four international
standard-setting boards (auditing and assurance, ethics, education
and public sector accounting). In this role, she recently found
herself in Rome addressing Pope Francis in Italian as part of the
World Congress of Accounting. While that event was certainly a
career highlight, for Kirtley its part of a larger mission: Its
really important to a lot of women around the world to see that a
woman can do this, she remarks. Career-wise, Ive attained most of
what Ive set out to do. But this profession has given me so much
opportunity now its my turn to give back and help others around the
world take advantage of the opportunities that were not so
available when I began.
continued on page 10
continued from page 6 The EY Center for Board Matters: your hub
for board and audit committee resources
The EY Center for Board Matters (CBM) is committed to bringing
together and engaging with boards, audit committee members and
investors to exchange ideas and insights. Using our professional
competencies, relationships and proprietary corporate governance
database, which includes historical and current governance data for
more than 3,000 public companies listed in the US, we are able to
identify trends and emerging governance issues. We deliver timely
and balanced insights, data-rich content and practical tools and
analysis to boards, audit committees, institutional investors and
others interested in governance topics.
Visit ey.com/boardmatters to find a wide spectrum of information
for boards and audit committees on topics such as the audit
committees role in disclosure effectiveness, independent board
leadership structures, and the boards role in tax oversight. While
there, click on subscribe to automatically receive the latest
publications from the CBM. Stay up-to-date on the latest board and
audit committee trends by following the EY Center for Board Matters
magazine on our FlipBoard app. Download the app from your preferred
mobile app provider and search for board matters.
services firms that specialize in defending businesses that have
suffered such assaults. Kirtley reports that, Companies are asking
what structures and security measures were in place at the time of
recent attacks, how companies managed through the events and how
the board was involved or not involved in fulfilling their
oversight responsibilities. She remarks that knowing the facts
surrounding events that have occurred is extremely helpful for
Cybersecurity is one of many potential areas of knowledge that
boards may need to cultivate. The panelists agreed on the
importance of recognizing that the extent of board members skills
and experiences is not
always apparent from a resume. Whether a company is
transitioning to new markets or new channels of commerce or
undergoing other major changes, the board or the governance
committee needs to address the adequacy of the skill sets available
among its board members.
Boards must fully understand the range of knowledge and skills
of their directors. Stymiest believes that, Its part of director
orientation to really understand what kinds of skills a new member
brings. To underscore her point, she notes that one of the boards
she serves on now includes a skills matrix in the proxy circular.
Speaking specifically about the accounting
Connect April 2015 9
Building better boards
When boards are open to multiple perspectives, theyre largely
going to end up with a better answer.
professionals she has known, Kirtley finds that board aspirants
often do not present a compelling narrative highlighting their
relevant accomplishments They lack a narrative that goes beyond the
numbers, she says.
When the situation is reversed, and a board member is no longer
adding value, the most effective boards address the situation in a
forthright and timely manner, our panel agrees. For the best
interest of the company,
* EY Americas Managing Partner Steve Howe is one of the 27
founding chairpersons and CEO supporters of the 30% Club in the
continued from page 9
EY acts to fast forward gender parity
It will take until 2095 for women to achieve gender parity in
the workplace, according to the World Economic Forums Global Gender
Gap Report 2014. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January,
EY announced a new global campaign designed to draw attention to
the global gap in gender parity. The campaign, Women. Fast forward,
is designed to consolidate all EYs internal and external efforts to
promote women, galvanize support from business and government
leaders to accelerate change and underscore EYs leading role in
championing women in the workplace.
Womens advancement is a prominent discussion point at WEF and in
the wider business world, said Uschi Schreiber, EY Global Vice
Chair Markets, Chair Global Accounts Committee and executive
co-sponsor of Women. Fast forward. Through Women. Fast forward, we
intend to catalyze a dynamic exchange on how business and
government can work together to speed up the clock to advance women
and, in the process, create greater economic prosperity for
everyone. The launch of Women. Fast forward included a new report
that identifies key accelerators to help women move forward and a
website (ey.com/womenfastforward) that brings together EYs
resources for women and promotes dialogue and learning around
closing the gender parity gap.
EY Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger explained the need
for speed in achieving gender parity. Women are half of our
population, and at EY they are half of our workforce, said
Weinberger. The global economy wont succeed, and we wont succeed,
if women are not engaged. We wouldnt wait 80 years to implement any
other business imperative, so why are we waiting on this one?
Learn more about Women. Fast forward: ey.com/womenfastforward |
#womenfastforwardWhat do you think? Have a thought or comment about
Women. Fast forward? Wed love to hear from you. Please contact Lisa
Schiffman at [email protected]
they say, someone needs to initiate the difficult conversation.
Stymiest is surprised at the small number of board members who are
told that their services are no longer needed. And yet those
conversations have to happen. Thats one reason its important to
have a strong governance committee, Kirtley emphasizes. Its a very
important job, she says. Highly functioning boards will tend to
have those tough conversations and act courageously, and theyre
expected to do so.
Diversity and inclusiveness 2.0While our three alumnae have
found great success in their respective fields, each remains
strongly convinced of the importance of diversity and inclusiveness
in the boardroom and in business in general. Kirtley, who is the
first woman president of the International Federation of
Accountants, points out that each person walks into the boardroom
with different experiences. Women bring a unique set of experiences
and challenges they have had to deal with in the business world.
She remarks, If half of your talent pool are women, you want to
draw from the best of that entire pool.
In Canada, regulators have taken a proactive route to diversity.
Stymiest notes that Canadian issuers in the province of Ontario are
required to disclose the gender diversity of their boards of
directors and in executive officer positions. The rules take effect
with the 2015 proxy season. You have to describe what policies you
have and what targets you have, explains Stymiest, as well as what
progress youre making toward those targets for both management and
the board. Stymiest was the first woman
to head the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). At the time of the
Connect meeting, she had just been invited to join Canadas first
chapter of the 30% Club, a group launched in the UK in 2010 whose
goal is for FTSE-100 corporations to include at least 30% women on
their boards by the end of 2015.*
Diversity and inclusiveness transcends gender and has multiple
dimensions what Stymiest calls diversity writ large. In Canada,
where weve built the nation
through very open immigration policies, we have a very diverse
number of cultures in our country and in our workplace. That
diversity and inclusion writ large is the right direction.
Betsy Rafael, the first woman named to serve on the board of
GoDaddy.com, a major internet company, agrees that diversity and
inclusiveness is good business: When boards are open to multiple
perspectives, theyre largely going to end up with a better answer.
Rafael believes that she was fortunate in the confluence of
Sarbanes-Oxley and the time she was considering an initial board
position. SOX was the impetus for some companies to move the old
boys network out of the boardroom and bring in some fresh thinking.
Because of her gender, and the fact that she had implemented SOX at
a major tech company, she became a sought-after candidate for
Our three panelists also concur that most boards today strive to
gather information and references on potential members from a
diverse pool. Nevertheless, Kirtley offers that many board members
tend to be comfortable with the people they can relate to more
people from similar backgrounds, management positions and
experiences. And, she says, There are fewer people willing to take
a chance, including many search firms, on someone who is new.
Tips for board seekers Just as boards need to be thinking
strategically, anyone considering board service should take a
strategic approach, the panel agreed. Our three alumnae are not
only approached regularly to serve on boards, but are frequently
asked for candidate recommendations. Stymiest, who has begun to
keep a folder on her computer for such occasions, talks about her
process: Youve sat around a management table or a board table, you
know the quality of someones [a candidates] interventions; you know
that they are thoughtful, respectful and nice to be around. These
traits go a huge way with me.
Of course, there is also the Catch-22 that you may not be
perceived as qualified to serve on a board unless you have actually
served on one. Stymiest
Karyn Twaronite Taking diversity and inclusiveness global at
EYParticipating in the conversation was Karyn Twaronite, who was
recently named EY Global Diversity & Inclusiveness (D&I)
Officer. This role comes in addition to her position as EY Americas
D&I Leader, which she has held since October 2011.
About Twaronites new global role, Steve Howe, EY Americas
Managing Partner, said: D&I is a key component of our Vision
2020 goals. This is why Karyn was tapped to expand on our success
in the Americas to further the most inclusive work environment for
all of our people globally. Howe noted that the worlds leading
organizations, including EY, must continue to push the boundaries
in developing the 21st century workforce.
One of Twaronites key concerns is ensuring equitable career
sponsorship. As an example, Twaronite comments: Women are generally
over-mentored and under-sponsored compared to their male peers, and
men who get promotions are more than likely to have sponsors
advocating for them. To encourage more high-level executive
sponsors, she says, womens capabilities, potential and achievements
must be made visible in high-profile jobs throughout all
organizations. Twaronite is a global co-sponsor of EYs recently
launched Women. Fast forward campaign (see more on page 10).
A sampling of diversity and inclusiveness at EY Inclusiveness
Leadership Program a formal mentoring program that pairs
high-potential EY partners or principals with Americas board
members and an external coach is designed to ensure that available
talent is fully capitalized on in leadership ranks.
Career Mentors and Sponsors Program looks at the career
trajectory of high-performing women and ethnic minorities to see
that theyre getting the right experiences. A standing leadership
team of client-service leaders helps ensure that participants are
assigned to top clients, key sales opportunities and other
leadership roles and that they have the best mentors.
Unplugged an annual two-day conference attended by more than 400
Black and Latino EY staff and professionals from every service
line, practice and region. Now in its fourth year, Unplugged offers
a unique opportunity for staff to build relationships, connect with
peers and establish long-lasting networks with EY executives. The
program has been expanded to our Pan-Asian population via
Leadership Matters a learning experience that develops inclusive
leadership capabilities for EY executives, senior managers,
managers and seniors. A significant component of the program is
exploring the impact of unconscious bias and insider-outsider
dynamics, so that our people are more effective in team and
individual relationships across our organization.
Career and Family Transitions Program a coaching program that
supports working moms and dads who are welcoming a new baby through
birth or adoption. By connecting participants with a professional
coach, the program helps new moms and dads meet their personal and
professional goals, while also meeting their clients and teams
expectations, during one of the biggest transitions of their lives.
Coaches are multicultural and multilingual and are based inside and
outside of the US.
continued on page 12
Connect April 2015 11
Building better boards
pushed herself forward early in her career by volunteering to
serve on the board of a non-profit in her community. She recommends
that route for others.
Rafael advises aspiring board directors to develop a case
demonstrating why their specific background and skill set will help
the organization. And she urges them to make an investment to
become educated on the role of boards and board membership. She
recommends enrolling in a directors college, such as those offered
at top business schools and associations.
In some ways, securing a board seat is not unlike a job search.
Building a strong professional network is extremely desirable. And
sponsorship is enormously valuable in Rafaels words, someone who
will say, Im
going to stand up and Im going to go to bat for you because I
know that you will deliver; youre going to show up.
Our panelists advise that it is critical, particularly for those
in the accounting profession, not to take a check the box approach
when presenting credentials to a board or a sponsor. Kirtley cites
the preconceptions about CPAs that their expertise is confined to
finance. Boards, she says, want not only depth, but also breadth.
They are seasoned individuals who have made their mark in strategy,
operations, IT or other key corporate functions. These
professionals need to establish an awareness of all they have done
throughout their career, says Kirtley. All three women agreed that
most accounting professionals have a wealth of experience to offer.
For those with hopes of serving on a corporate board, sometimes its
just a matter of telling their story a little better.
A high-performing company needs a high-performing board, and a
high-performing board doesnt just happen.
Silicon Valley insiders were not surprised when Betsy Rafael was
named the first woman to join the board of GoDaddy, Inc., the
internet company and worlds largest registrar of domain names.
Rafael is a luminary in the high-tech industry, a sector that is
not known for placing women in leadership positions.
As a young professional starting out, Rafael never seriously
considered her gender as an obstacle. It was simply not on the
horizon. My mom was an executive in an advertising agency. My
grandmother was a real estate agent. She grew up thinking that
womens professional success was the norm.
Rafael has been intrigued by technology ever since she can
remember. When she was recruited by EY right out of college, she
chose the San Jose office over San Francisco because thats where
clients like Atari and Apple were being served.
When Apple offered her a position, Rafael made the move from EY.
I liked what I was doing, but I wanted to be closer to the business
... I wanted to have more of a say in what the company was doing in
the finance area. Thus began a career
BetsyRafaelFormer EY senior
Last EY office: San Jose
Board service GoDaddy, Inc. (2014present)
Echelon Corporation (2005present: Compensation Committee Chair;
Autodesk Inc. (2013present: Audit Committee)
Previous positions Vice President Corporate Controller and
Principal Accounting Officer, Apple Inc.
Vice President Corporate Finance (200607); Vice President
Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Officer (200206),
Cisco Systems, Inc.
CAO, CFO and Executive Vice President of Finance, Aspect
CFO and Senior Vice President, Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Awards/distinguished service Trustee, Santa Clara University
continued from page 11
My practical experience in regard to getting on boards has all
been based upon the people I know and my network; youve got to have
people that know that you want to be on a board.
spanning more than two decades in a variety of finance-related
positions with high-profile tech companies. In addition to Apple,
Rafael held senior-level finance positions at Sun Microsystems,
Cisco Systems, Aspect Communications and several others.
As she continued to thrive in the tech sector, she realized that
gender was an issue if not for her, then for others. I recognized
that I had a responsibility to help other women. This commitment
has helped to shape her role as a board director.
I do believe that once youre on a board, you can become that
mentor/sponsor, but you cant do it on the outside looking in.
Looking back, Rafael believes that her background in public
accounting has been a real differentiator. It teaches people how to
problem-solve shows you a way of thinking and learning that sets
you apart from somebody else. She has concluded that her experience
at EY was, from a work perspective, the best foundational
experience of my life.
Connect April 2015 13
Frank Mahoney, EYs Vice Chair of Assurance, believes theres
never been a better time to serve in the audit profession.
words: Anne Lampert photos: Jonathan Gayman
When Frank Mahoney enters an audit room, hes in his element.
Even as EY Americas Vice Chair Assurance, a role he assumed in July
2014, he remains hands-on as a Global Client Service Partner. What
has kept me in the business for so long is working in the audit
room with our audit teams, he says. Mahoney clearly thrives on
working with young people and sharing the insights hes gained from
his substantial experience in the field. It is a legacy that he
feels privileged to pass on.
Given his significant and continuing contribution to the audit
practice, Mahoney was well-suited to become EYs new Americas
Assurance Leader, a role he views as an honor and a responsibility.
And its an increasingly substantial responsibility, given the
evolving global regulatory and standard-setting environment.
The importance of the audit profession has never been greater,
in Mahoneys view. The passage of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) in 2002 was a
message heard around the world by all stakeholders about the
significance of trust in the capital markets. That trust is only
possible through the performance of quality audits: This is why the
work we do at EY is so critical to the
vitality of the markets, remarks Mahoney. With SOX and the
formation of the Public
Company Accountability Oversight Board (PCAOB), US audit firms
now operate under greater scrutiny and regulation. These
developments, according to Mahoney, have driven the profession to
become even stronger. This trend is partly the result of engaging
more constructively with audit committee chairs and members, as
well as communicating more frequently with them as part of audit
delivery. The PCAOB has played a tremendous role in driving the
profession to improve our audit quality, he says, and today we are
achieving a higher level of quality than ever before.
Transforming the audit Before assuming his current role, Mahoney
was the leader of EYs Audit Transformation program. He believes
that audit transformation is about making EYs audit business more
quality-conscious, agile, efficient and relevant, so teams can
deliver against our primary aim to provide the highest-quality
audits in the profession.
Mahoney is very proud of the audit transformation effort: The
whole premise is to transform our audits to better meet the needs
of all stakeholders including audit committees, investors and
capital markets overall. He notes that EYs audit transformation
requires a significant investment in EYs largest practice. By
developing the most advanced tools and technologies, we will
empower our people to better manage the workflow of the audit and
utilize data analytics to gain a more robust view of information
and the business, says Mahoney. The outcome: a more effective audit
and a fuller picture of the clients financials.
Innovation the markets demand A more robust audit tool set is
just one aspect of the recent developments that spark Mahoneys
enthusiasm. Hes also excited about EYs high-growth Assurance
practices, which focus on particular market demands: Fraud
Investigation & Dispute Services
(FIDS) helping our clients analyze the impact of cyber breaches,
conduct fraud risk assessments, evaluate anti-bribery and
corruption programs and utilize forensic data analytics to manage
risk and regulatory compliance
Climate Change & Sustainability Services (CCaSS) assisting
companies in taking concrete actions to identify competitive
advantages, increase operational efficiency and mitigate risk in
A fair challenge
The whole premise is to transform our audits to better meet the
needs of all stakeholders including audit committees, investors and
the capital markets overall.
approach to meeting environmental, social and other
non-financial reporting commitments (see more on page 25)
Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) aiding finance
leaders as they tackle strategic accounting and financial reporting
challenges in particular, addressing major standard-setting
developments such as revenue recognition and future leasing
Each of these businesses addresses an urgent market need,
Mahoney explains. From complex accounting regulations to
environmental and social issues to theft of intellectual property,
many companies just dont have the resources to take on these
challenges, he points out, and they may lack the skill sets to make
sure they get it right. All three offerings are tightly integrated
with auditing, the cornerstone
of the Assurance practice. Taken together, Mahoney adds, They
are well-aligned with EYs Vision 2020 of building a better working
The evolution of the emerging markets is also an integral part
of the growth and people story for Assurance, for EY as whole. The
growing economies in the Americas present significant opportunities
for the practice: Operating in a firm that is so globally
EY Americas Vice Chair Assurance
Connect April 2015 15
Frank Mahoney a fair challenge
day since. I take deep pride in the fact that what we do as
auditors is important, he comments, and that we must hold ourselves
to the highest level of ethics and integrity.
Mahoney views all EY alumni those who spent their entire careers
at the firm as well as those who moved on to other opportunities as
leaving a powerful legacy. He credits the continued advances in the
profession to those alumni who were committed to doing the right
thing for our people every day, to generating the culture that is
so vital to our business and so well-respected, and to cultivating
the great minds of the future.
Mahoney sees his role today as a caretaker for the EY brand, to
make it even better. Following the last financial crisis, the
capital markets gained a greater appreciation of the unequivocal
importance of high-quality audits. He also believes the heightened
scrutiny of the audit is a fair challenge that creates immense
opportunities, reflected in the growth and breadth of EYs Assurance
Mahoney is also keenly aware of his responsibility to maintain
work-life balance, which means having the flexibility to spend time
with his family: his wife, Mary, and four teenage children, Sarah,
Frankie, Lindsey and Jack, who are all very active in sports and
other activities. He values being able to attend their events and
other activities and being there at the right time.
Mahoney looks to the future by first looking back. From his
perspective, the profession has withstood intense scrutiny and
challenges in the past, and has always emerged stronger and better
than before. He takes particular pride in how EY has responded to
those challenges, while always continuing to improve. Mahoney
credits EY alumni for their past contributions and seems to derive
confidence from knowing that the alumni network will always
provide, a powerful resource and sounding-board for how this
Assurance practice evolves in the future.
connected, we have the ability to share ideas and talent across
regions, Mahoney says. We know from firsthand experience that
diversity people from different cultures and perspectives working
together makes for higher-performing teams, he says.
As the practice diversifies both with respect to building out
the three specialty practices and to encouraging diverse audit
teams Mahoney continues to remain personally focused on attracting
new talent to EY. He is active in campus recruiting efforts at his
alma mater, Boston College, and engages often in his new role with
academic leaders and accounting professors to help increase
understanding of the innovations now occurring in the field.
The alumni legacy Asked what message he would deliver to EY
alumni, Mahoney doesnt hesitate he voices deep gratitude. I always
look back with a smile when I recall those that have served as
mentors to me from my very first days with the firm, he says.
Mahoney joined EY after graduating from college in 1985, and the
business principles he learned in those early days have stayed with
I always look back with a smile when I recall those that have
served as mentors to me from my very first days with the firm.
Americas Assurance strengthening EYs base
Talent Number of professionals* = 19,844
with 1,552 partners Number of professionals
hired in FY 14 = 4,888 More than 31 million hours
produced in FY 14Market presence EY audits more companies in the
Fortune 500 and 1000 and Russell 3000 than any other public
EY audits half of the businesses on Fortunes 2015 Top 10 Most
Admired Companies list
Number of US public companies audited in 2014 = 1,071
Innovation in specialty practices Financial Accounting Advisory
Services (FAAS) - Accounting, reporting and governance -
Transaction accounting - Treasury, financial instruments and
Fraud Investigations and Dispute Services (FIDS) - Cyber
breaches/fraud risk assessments - Anti-bribery and corruption
programs - Forensic data analytics
Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) -
Environmental, social and non-financial reporting
- Competitive advantage and operational efficiencies
- Risk mitigation throughout the value chain
Quality Historic investments in
audit transformation: State-of-the-art auditing and research
New analytics suite New private company audit experience
Continuing education hours per audit professional FY 14** = 122
(20% increase vs. prior year)
Commitment to profession-leading financial reporting updates and
commentary via EY AccountingLink
* As of 28 February 2015** US average per professional
Closestto the pin
As we welcome Frank Mahoney to his new role as EY Americas Vice
Chair Assurance (see preceding article), we also welcome Tom Hough,
Franks predecessor, to the ranks of our alumni.
Whether as EYs recently retired Americas Vice Chair Assurance or
in his new role on the Executive Committee of the United States
Golf Association (USGA), Tom Houghs competitive spirit, passion for
people and pride in his work have helped him aim for the pin
throughout his career.
words: Jeff Anderson photos: Marcus Krause
Connect April 2015 17
Closest to the pin Tom Hough
A note from Jeff Anderson, EY Director, Alumni Relations
Americas and US:During my interview with Tom Hough, I reflected on
when we first met: Tom had just been appointed Vice Chair Human
Resources, and I had recently joined EY from Andersen to become the
Southeast Area Director Human Resources, so Tom was now my ultimate
boss. When Tom called his first Americas HR leaders meeting, I
remember the chatter among the attendees. Tom was so positive, so
enthusiastic and so zealous about EY that some of us wondered if he
was for real if he was truly authentic. To inspire us, Tom closed
our meeting with the famous Queen anthem, We are the champions. It
seemed rather unconventional at the time, but after working closely
with Tom and seeing him in action for the past 18 years, I can say
he truly was for real and one of the biggest champions of our
Seeing the light (and the pin)Tom Hough recalls a cold winter
evening in Pittsburgh when he saw the light that changed his
outlook forever. It was 1993, and he was attending a Penguins
hockey game with clients. At the time, he was an Area Managing
Partner, his first significant leadership role at EY. Hough couldnt
help but notice the fierce pride the fans took in their team and in
players such as Mario Lemieux, the NHLs scoring ace of that decade.
He recalls thinking, People are paying good money to buy a jersey
with Lemieuxs name on the back, making Hough want to display his
own immense pride in being part of EY.
A short time later, Hough stood before his Pittsburgh colleagues
and vowed that he would wear an EY lapel pin every day for the rest
of his career as an outward demonstration of his allegiance. Not
only did he do so, but, for the next 21 years, Hough earned a
reputation for handing out thousands of EY pins to EY people and
alumni and even clients all over the world. Today, as a proud EY
alum, hes still wearing one.
Back to his rootsIn addition to his ever-present EY lapel pin,
these days Hough sports the pin of the USGA as well. As a member of
the associations Executive Committee, he commits 40 to 60 days a
year giving back to a game I love, which gave me so much
opportunity. Hough grew up playing golf and was a member of the
University of Alabamas varsity golf team. But soon after
starting college, he discovered a fire for business that more
than equaled his love for the game, and you have to go where your
passion is, he remarks.
In fact, Hough says he was selected for the USGA Executive
Committee first and foremost as a result of the experiences he
gained at EY working with our global organization, empowering
people with technology, developing a consistent approach across
many functional components this is what I learned at EY and what I
hope to use as I serve the USGA. I love business and I love golf;
it couldnt be a better fit, he adds.
The truth hurts (and helps)Hough started his career at EY with
the National Research Group in Cleveland. It was a one-year
assignment and, upon its completion, he transferred to the
Birmingham, Alabama, office. Hough recalls a performance review
that changed his perspective while he was there. The senior manager
on one of Houghs jobs rated him less than expected. I was
devastated, says Hough but he now realizes how important that
experience was to his career. That review helped me to really
appreciate the power and potential of constructive feedback, he
says. It helped me realize our partners and people want to help,
but with that help comes great expectation that you will thrive and
contribute. Interestingly, seven years later, the author of that
critical review would be one of Houghs sponsors for his partnership
Revving the talent engineBy the time Hough was named Vice Chair
Human Resources in 1996, EY was undergoing a period of
extraordinary change workforce composition, technology,
globalization and more were simultaneously exploding. In the midst
of this sea of change, Hough introduced a then-novel concept:
professional coaches. We believed that wed benefit from
independent, outside coaches who could help us maximize our
individual strengths, work better as teams and truly turn on the
engine of our human capital, he remarks. Soon, EY piloted its first
formal professional coaching program. Hough believes EYs
The way EY supports its people it expands our experiences and
potential and creates a much fuller life.
use of coaches unlocked a whole body of knowledge that allowed
the firm to learn more about itself and our people to become more
thoughtful toward each other. Much of this effort culminated in the
introduction of the firms ground-breaking People First strategy in
the late 1990s. Today, nearly 20 years later, a broad spectrum of
coaching programs is a regular part of EYs talent development
Expanding the turfIn 2000, Hough was named Southeast Area
Managing Partner, based in Atlanta. Over the next nine years, Hough
recalls seeing the firm teaming at its best. This included:
responding to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; assimilating and embracing
great talent from Arthur Andersen, which Hough feels helped
strengthen EY for the future; relocating the Atlanta office to
anchor an urban revitalization project; and having the privilege of
working day to day with our people and clients. It was also
his tenure in Atlanta that Hough had the great pleasure of
introducing his sons, Tommy and Houston, to his favorite pastime:
golf. To this day, theyre my best playing partners, he says with a
In 2009, rounding out his career, Hough was named Americas Vice
Chair Assurance, a position he held until his retirement in 2014.
Calling it a privilege and honor to finish his career leading the
firms foundational practice, Hough says the experience allowed him
to see firsthand and more clearly than ever the brilliance of EYs
people. Looking ahead, Hough is quick to praise his successor,
Frank Mahoney. Franks the perfect choice to be our new Americas
Vice Chair Assurance, he declares. Hes a great leader and
communicator and a truly remarkable partner. During the transition
process, Hough notes, Mahoney unexpectedly called and invited Hough
and his family to join the entire Mahoney clan for a football game
at Boston College, Mahoneys beloved alma
mater. We started out tailgating, and to see the love Frank has
for his family and friends and his school it was just a very
special day. I knew then that we were passing the baton to a truly
great EY leader, Hough says.
Sweet home, AlabamaAmong the most special guests at Houghs
retirement reception were the retired partners and their spouses
from his Birmingham office days the people who helped me in the
early stages of my career and who have done so much for EY.
Thinking back on his career, Hough believes EY gave him and offers
all its people an opportunity for a life you never thought you
would have. Indeed, Houghs remarks to EYs newest class of partners
at a recent global new partners meeting may sum up his lifetime
love for EY: Knowing what I do now, I wish I could do it all over
again, and if given the chance, I most definitely would. Hough
struggles to find words that adequately express his appreciation:
Its not about what Ive done, but what EY and the people whove
helped me in my career have done I will be forever thankful.
More about Tom Hough Member of the USGA Executive Committee;
the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship and will chair the Audit
Committee and serve on the Championship, Compensation and Finance
Committees this year
Previously served as co-general chairman of the U.S. Amateur
Championship and the PGA Championship
Has been nominated to serve on the board of Publix Super Markets
Retired partner and former EY Vice Chair Assurance Former member
of the EY Americas Operating Executive
(17 years) and member of the Global Assurance Services Executive
Former Western Pennsylvania, Western New York and West Virginia
Area Managing Partner, Vice Chair of Human Resources for the
Americas, and Southeast Area Managing Partner
Member of the University of Alabama Presidents Cabinet and Board
of Visitors for the business school; member of Wake Forest
University business school Board of Visitors
Past member of the Executive Committee of the Metro Atlanta
Chamber of Commerce and a former trustee of the Woodruff Arts
Center in Atlanta
Married to wife, Jan, for 37 years; two sons, Tommy (wife,
Chelsea) and Houston (wife, Anna)
Tom Hough, retired EY Americas Vice Chair Assurance and a member
of the USGA Executive Committee, shakes hands with Bryson
Dechambeau during the first round of match play of the 2014 U.S.
Public Links at Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton,
Connect April 2015 19
Building a better working world
A thirst for excellence
Alumna Sarah Kauss left the high-powered world of international
real estate to launch a unique company a global sensation thats
helping to build a better working world.
Building a better working world
A thirst for excellenceSarahKausswords: Anne Lampert photos:
Connect April 2015 21
Building a better working world Sarah Kauss
Sarah Kauss is on a mission: to persuade everyone to say no to
plastic water bottles. Her company, Swell, produces the worlds Best
Reusable Insulated Water Bottle. The product sleek and attractive
enough to appear in fashion photo shoots has been embraced by
celebrities such as Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, Tom Hanks and Jimmy
Kimmel. After all, the companys motto is Thoughtfully Designed to
Drink in Style. In the US, Swell products are sold at Neiman
Marcus, Saks, The Container Store, J. Crew, Nordstrom, Athleta and
some Starbucks locations as well as many specialty retailers. As of
1 January 2015, the company had sold more than one million units.
In 2014, Kauss was named to Fortunes 40 under 40, and she was the
first EY alum to have been selected as a member of the EY
Entrepreneurial Winning Women program.
Look great & do good In addition to helping stem the use of
thousands of plastic bottles every year, Swell is part of a
charitable community that gives back. By using Swell bottles,
consumers are not only reducing the number of plastic bottles in
landfills and oceans, but also supporting efforts to bring clean
water to the worlds poorest communities. Swell has teamed up with
the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to help provide clean drinking water to
children around the world. Swells charity partners also include
American Forests, a long-standing nonprofit that works to conserve
forests and promote tree planting, and Drink Up, a private sector
partnership that encourages water consumption, whose Honorary Chair
is Michelle Obama.
Kauss does not remember a time when she didnt carry a reusable
non-plastic water bottle with her everywhere. While municipalities
across the US were considering bans on plastic bottles, she had
long been keenly aware of their environmental impact. Kauss shared
a moment when she remembered traveling by boat on the Amazon and
seeing plastic bottles floating by. It has just always been one of
my pet peeves, she said.
More about the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women programThe EY
Entrepreneurial Winning Women program is a competition and
executive leadership program that identifies a select group of
high-potential women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real
potential to scale and then helps them do it. Now in over 25
countries around the world, the program is spurring real growth.
Businesses involved in the North American program have average
annual revenue growth of 20% and, as a group, have increased their
total revenue by 63% since joining the program. For more
information or to get involved, please visit www.ey.com/us/eww or
contact [email protected]
Making waves in the boardroomPrior to founding Swell, Kauss had
already embarked on an impressive international career. She was
leading international development for Alexandria, the largest real
estate investment trust (REIT) focused on science and technology
campuses in urban settings. At the age of 30, Kauss was holding her
own in boardrooms from Paris to Dubai, making the case for funding
to support the development of research laboratories. She was
involved in nearly every aspect of every project, and it was in
these moments that she valued her background in accounting.
The language of businessThrough it all, I had my accounting to
make me feel comfortable, Kauss said. It really is the language of
business. If youre not afraid of the numbers, what
else is there? Having my EY background was so valuable it really
gave me a lot of confidence.
If you happened to be at the University of Colorado at Boulder
in the late 1990s, you may have spotted Kauss running the Career
Fair as her summer job. Impressed with the recruiters from the
accounting firms, she changed her major from marketing to
accounting. She was particularly attracted to the people of EY. A
memorable conversation with Jo Marie Dancik, Denvers Office
Managing Partner at the time, left a powerful impression on her.
After Kauss introduced herself, Dancik urged Kauss to take charge
of her career: Ask for the clients that you want, for the things
that you want and dont just do what
comes to you. Kauss recalls the conversation vividly describing
Dancik as outstanding. EY was the clear choice.
A flat organization Kauss embraced audit work at EY with her
characteristic brio, appreciating the variety of clients and the
teamwork. On her very first day at a client site, she had the
opportunity to make a difference. I was reviewing journal entries
and found an item that looked questionable.
Kauss recalls her amazement that the organization was so flat,
that even on her first day at the audit, the partner said, Just go
in there and talk to the CFO. We trust you
Global Executive Alumni Partner Michael DeStefano with Sarah
Kauss, founder and CEO of Swell Bottle and EY alumna.
enough to represent us as a company. As it turned out, the team
had to make an adjusting journal entry. Kauss later transferred to
Los Angeles, where she was exposed to high-energy, high-tech
clients such as Geocities, which was later sold to Yahoo. David
Bohnett, Geocities co-founder, advised Kauss to consider business
school. And so she entered Harvard after the tech wave began
breaking apart in 2001.
The 9/11 attacks occurred during her first week at Harvard
Business School, and Kausss perspective on her career goals changed
drastically. She remembers feeling as though she wanted to find a
career that seemed more mission-driven or soulful.
After receiving her MBA, Kauss spent another year at Harvard
working in the Leadership Initiative, a leadership and curriculum
development program focused on research. With a longing to return
to the business world, Kauss took a position at Tapestry Networks,
a firm that establishes business networks to address specific
common issues, such as how to set up effective international
operations. She was presenting on this very topic at INSEAD, an
international business school with campuses in Europe and the
Middle East, when she was offered the position at Alexandria. She
worked at Alexandria for six years, traveling around the world.
Through it all, I had my accounting to make me feel comfortable
It really is the language of business. If youre not afraid of the
numbers, what else is there? I just feel like having my EY
background was so valuable It really gave me a lot of
Connect April 2015 23
Building a better working world Sarah Kauss
Kauss moved back east to develop the Alexandria Center for
Science and Technology, where she did everything from design and
development to work with teams of architects to renegotiation of
contracts with the union, as well as leasing and hiring brokers to
come up with the marketing plan. Visitors to Manhattan can view the
Centers striking high-rise in East River Science Park, next to the
When the international market picked up again, the idea of
working with California-based Alexandria while living on the East
Coast and working with clients in overseas time zones seemed
daunting. Kauss decided to resign. Her next move: to see whether
she could make a go of the beverage bottle business.
Growing brand ambassadors The year was 2009. Back in Manhattan,
Kauss was unemployed and committed to developing her idea. She
worked with a design firm in New York to come up with the name and
a manufacturer in China to develop the bottle itself. Once she had
finished prototype, 3,000 blue bottles piled up in her New York
apartment. On her own, with no staff, Kauss did her own sales and
PR. She sent out samples to stores and to the media, including
Oprah Winfreys O, The Oprah Magazine. Following the sample
delivery, O came back to Kauss asking for the bottles in seven
colors. It was at that time that Kauss took a leap of faith and
ordered thousands of units of the bottle in various colors. Soon
the Swell bottle became a fixture on the O List of recommended
products. And today, Swell bottles come in more than 90 colors and
Creating brand ambassadorsEarly on, Kauss made a savvy and
deliberate decision to court mom-and-pop and small specialty stores
before taking on retail giants like Nordstrom. She did not want to
go to the big retailers without the ability to report the
sell-through rate in small stores.
Today, Swell bottles are sold in thousands of specialty stores
in the US. They love us, and theyre the ones that call us regularly
to say, Can you believe it I sold 80 bottles yesterday? Can you
air-ship more? It is the small specialty shops that are out there
telling the Swell story. Theyre our front-line ambassadors, Kauss
says. And she credits her starting small strategy for having
advocates who are really cheering for her brand.
Recognizing the entrepreneurial spiritLast November, Kauss was
selected as a member of the 2014 class of EY Entrepreneurial
Winning Women, to join the elite program for women entrepreneurs
leading some of the countrys most exciting high-growth companies.
This special group provides Kauss entry to EYs customized
leadership program designed to connect her with the advisors,
resources and insights necessary to scale her business.
Kauss is enthusiastic about the program and keen to spend more
time with the other members of the network. Ive never been in such
a group of committed, smart, amazing women where I can honestly
say, this is what Im struggling with. What did you do about this?
There is just not any judgment. Its a very safe place to say, I
actually am completely making up what Im doing right now. Its also
safe to say that Sarah Kauss is one of the great improvisers in
EY rocks. I dont think Id have the confidence to do what Im
doing now without having grown up in an organization such as
yCustomers expect it. Employees demand it. Shareholders rely on
it. Whats your strategy?As consistent economic growth is slowly
restored across the world, the next great challenge is already
forming. Maximizing the opportunities presented by emerging and
restored markets without further exceeding the worlds environmental
carrying capacity will require an unprecedented level of
innovation, cooperation and political will.
EYs Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) was
formed to help companies demystify the highly complex world of
sustainability and assist them in taking concrete actions to
identify competitive advantages, increase operational efficiency
and mitigate risk.
We begin by helping our clients develop an effective
sustainability strategy that looks at nine key elements framing the
sustainability strategy discussion. Our core services include:
Credible reporting helping clients
assess and understand environmental and social metrics that are
material to managing their operations
Sustainable business solutions helping organizations make better
business decisions by bringing environmental, social and governance
(ESG) concepts out of the sole purview of the sustainability
function into strategic risk, supply chain, marketing, product
development, finance and internal audit
Join the conversationAn effective sustainability strategy needs
to consider all of the components that affect your business.
Illustrated above are nine key elements that should frame the
sustainability strategy discussion.
continued on page 26
Connect April 2015 25
Leisha John is one of the 10 most powerful women in
sustainabilityLeisha John, EYs Americas Director of Environmental
Sustainability, was selected by gb&d, a magazine covering green
building and design, as one of its 10 most powerful women in
John said the honor is a reflection of EYs sustainability
successes such as our strategy around LEED green buildings, the
rollout of Print Plus, which reduces our paper usage, and
harmonizing EYs sustainability reporting around the globe. EYs
culture plays a big role in all those achievements, according to
Were grounded in our values. We have a commitment to diversity
and inclusion, and everyones opinion matters, said John. She cited
the power of the EcoCare network of 800 volunteers in the United
States, which has supported grassroots efforts for more than a
decade, and green champions in various departments across the
Americas who help drive initiatives.
Corporate compliance and operational improvement assisting
organizations in managing corporate compliance and operational
improvement by helping them with environmental and sustainability
regulations and voluntary initiatives. This pragmatic business
approach focuses on improving client operations by providing
cost-effective solutions to material risks
Finally, we examine the sustainability risk areas strategic,
operational, compliance, reporting and reputation that, as
sustainability continues to encompass a broader agenda, have
emerged as key sources of risk to modern companies.
More about EYs CCaSS
Eight sustainability questions to ask yourselfIf you cannot
answer yes to all of these questions, your organizations
sustainability strategy may need enhancing.
Do we have an overall climate change and sustainability
Does the strategy consider all the relevant opportunities to
generate revenue and reduce costs?
Have we taken advantage of all the business and tax incentives
and stimulus funding currently available?
Have we recently assessed the effectiveness of our social
compliance program and human rights status within our supply
Have we assessed where natural resource shortages are likely to
prove most critical in our supply chain?
Is sustainability risk included in our internal audit plan and
overall enterprise risk management program?
Does our company assure our external sustainability reporting
using a third-party auditor?
Do I know all the regulations impacting my business? Do I know
my compliance costs?
Climate Change and Sustainability Services
Lets talk sustainability Addressing risks, overcoming challenges
and achieving results
You can learn more about EYs Climate Change and Sustainability
Services on ey.com (under the Services tab) or by contacting Steve
Starbuck, EY Americas Leader of Climate Change & Sustainability
Services at [email protected] or +1 704 331 1980.
Steve Starbuck EY Americas Leader of Climate Change &
EY contributes to technical sustainability working groups aimed
at standardizing definitions and approaches, such as the
International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Global Reporting
Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Over 700 dedicated EY professionals are fully focused on helping
clients around the globe to develop, execute and measure broad
In an independent survey of global corporate sustainability
leaders conducted by Verdantix, EY was named the company with the
strongest perceived capabilities to advise on global sustainability
EY uses a multidisciplinary team approach to address all of the
clients strategic sustainability needs. This team includes
subject-matter resources from geologists and tax professionals to
former government officials and auditors.
continued from page 25
Building a better working world
Issue # Month Year
Visit the EY Alumni Network today!
Visit the new and improved EY Alumni Network to get the latest
on alumni in the news, alumni developments and connection
opportunities.If you havent visited recently, the EY Alumni Network
has a fresh look, new tools to help advance your career and more
features designed to help you stay connected with your former EY
colleagues. These include: Online member directory now including
global alumni search Job opportunities at EY, in the market and
submitted by your
fellow alum Career toolkit including proprietary templates,
and more Events calendar including alumni reunions and other
engagement opportunities Learning calendar a listing of upcoming
live and virtual learning
and CPE opportunities
Also, when you join the Network, youll receive the Alumni
Network Connector, our quarterly electronic EY alumni newsletter,
and youll be sure to receive relevant invitations to learning, CPE
and reunion events.
Already registered on the Network? You may need to reset your
password.If you previously registered on the EY Alumni Network but
have not reset your password since the launch of the new network,
you will need to do so. Go to alumni.ey.com Click the Connect now
button Select United States under Choose location At the bottom of
the log-in page, under Alumni first-time
users, select click here to reset your password and follow the
Not a member of the EY Alumni Network? More than 70,000 of your
former EY colleagues in the US have already registered. What are
you waiting for? Go to alumni.ey.com Click the Connect now button
Select United States under Choose location At the bottom of the
log-in page, under Alumni first-time
users, select click here to create your account and follow the
Connect April 2015 27
Whenever you join, however long you stay, the EY experience
lasts a lifetime. Thats EYs promise to our people. Under the
leadership of Steve Howe, EY Americas Managing Partner, EY is
making significant strides toward this goal. How do we know? Our
people recruits, current partners, employees and alumni tell us.
For example, in September, EY was again listed as the No. 1
professional services employer and No. 2 employer overall (just
behind Google) in Universums annual Worlds Most Attractive Employer
ranking. Ernst & Young LLP was named No. 3 in The 2014
DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity, and EY received a
Glassdoor Employees Choice Award recognizing the Best Places to
Work in 2015. And for the 17th consecutive year, Ernst & Young
LLP appears on Fortunes 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
In this issue of Connect, we talk with Steve Howe and Kelly
Grier, EYs new Americas Vice Chair Talent, about alumni, talent and
what it takes to nurture a winning people culture.
KellyGrierrecently appointed EY Americas Vice Chair Talent
It all comes down to
People. They are critical to the success of any organization,
but particularly to a professional services firm. At EY, they are
the most valuable asset.
words: Jeff Anderson photos: Jonathan Gayman
SteveHowe EY Americas Managing Partner
You are widely recognized as having helped shape EYs people
culture, including re-energizing EYs alumni relations effort. Why
are alumni so important to you and what do you hope to
When I became EY Americas Managing Partner in 2006, I assessed a
lot of things, including how we were engaging our alumni.
Regionally and locally, we were doing some things very well, but
our effort wasnt consistent. And when I looked at the numbers then
some 200,000 alumni in the US and Canada alone I said, Its just too
powerful, weve got to believe in this: alumni are an extension of
the EY family and we need to help each other.
What do you mean by help each other?Our alumni tell us that one
greatest services we can provide is to help them stay connected
to each other and to EY. So through dozens of alumni reunions
Keeping people at the center of our strategyIn his 32 years with
EY, Americas Managing Partner Steve Howe has seen the organization
nearly triple in size. And as EY grows, so do the number and
strength of EY alumni now estimated at 250,000 in the Americas. We
talked with Steve about the power of this vast alumni network.
and learning events, and communications like Connect magazine,
our alumni LinkedIn group and the alumni network, we try to do
that. How can our alumni help EY? Well, sometimes its helping us
build a relationship or win new business. Sometimes its sharing
their perspectives and ideas. And sometimes its just enjoying
spending time together. EY is part of our alumnis brand and they
are part of our family.
A few years ago, USA Today named EY a top-five leadership
factory due to the extraordinary number of alumni who are in
C-suite positions in leading companies. How do you feel about that
I think its great just fantastic. Our Vision 2020 defines our
purpose as helping to build a better working world. And if you read
the fine print, we explicitly state that, in addition to being
relevant to capital markets and world economies, we
will develop leaders. Many of those leaders will stay here and
help EY reach its ambition. And many are going to leave and become
leaders in the marketplace. And thats fine with me. Its part of our
purpose and our unique people culture at EY.
EY was recently named by Universum as the second most attractive
place to work in the entire US, behind only Google. Does it
surprise you that a professional services firm would earn that
Yes. I think it surprises a lot of people, including my
children. But its a great validation of who we are and who we want
to be. It shows our people are excited about what they do and about
our purpose as an organization. We cant just preach it; our people
must truly believe and live it and this shows they do.
When you become an alumnus, what do you want to be remembered
for at EY?
I hope people will say, He was always true to our values, and he
kept people at the center of our strategy. If we get the people
focus right, were going to serve our clients right, and were going
to achieve our ambition.
Connect April 2015 29
Cultivating future leaders
Kelly Grier begins our interview with a heartfelt declaration:
Ive never been more proud of EY. I love our firm. Our Vision 2020
purpose-driven ambition of building a better working world embodies
in such an incredibly powerful and clear way what EY people past,
present and future are all about.
Since being appointed to her new role this past summer, Grier
says she has gained a whole new appreciation for the dedication of
so many people who work so hard together, often in the background,
to make EY the world-class organization that it is today. Its this
spirit of teaming, she believes, that most distinguishes EY and its
culture who we are as a firm in the market.
As one of worlds most attractive employers, EY has record
numbers of people joining its ranks today. When you take that
infusion of talent, perspective and experiences, says Grier, and
couple it with our high-performing team culture, the result is a
very unique environment one thats extremely potent, particularly
around innovation. She believes the culture at EY helps people
succeed the most when they work in pursuit of a teams objectives.
The success of the individual and the team are not in conflict but
are culturally complementary at EY, she adds.
A global mindset based on experienceGrier has always had an
interest in global business and is, therefore, a huge supporter of
mobility for EY people. When EY won the Compaq audit engagement in
2000, she immediately raised her hand to serve the client in
Switzerland. Her original three-year assignment grew to five after
Hewlett Packard (HP) acquired Compaq and she stayed to work on the
More about Kelly Grier More than 23 years experience serving
primarily Fortune 500 global companies and
extensive international experience Member of the EY Americas
Operating Executive and the US Partner and Principal
Committee and member of the Global Practice Group and Global
Talent Executive Member of the U.S. Dept. of Commerces National
Advisory Council on Innovation
and Entrepreneurship Former EY Chicago Office Managing Partner
and Illinois Market Segment Leader Has served as an elected member
of the firms Americas Advisory Council and the
Global Advisory Council Has served as Coordinating Partner or
Senior Advisory Partner on some of the
firms largest clients, including many SEC registrants Previously
served as an EY Regional Diversity and Inclusiveness Leader
Selected in 2010 as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader
Recognized as a 2011 Woman of Achievement by the Anti-Defamation
League Recognized as a 2007 Woman to Watch, Experienced Leader by
the Illinois CPA Society Recipient of EYs Rosemarie Meschi Award
for outstanding dedication to the development
of EY professionals Trustee of the Ravinia Festival Board of
Directors and Skills for Chicagos Future;
appointed by Chicago Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel as
director of World Business Chicago
Previously served as director of Childrens Home and Aid Society,
the Chicago Finance Exchange and the Civic Consulting Alliance
Kelly Grier says her extensive global experience, combined with
her time spent as a gender equity taskforce member and Chicago
Office Managing Partner, have helped prepare her for her new role
as EY Americas Vice Chair Talent.
In July 2014, former Chicago Office Managing Partner Kelly Grier
was named Americas Vice Chair Talent, succeeding Nancy Altobello,
who became Global Vice Chair Talent. Upon making the appointment,
Steve Howe, Americas Managing Partner, recognized Grier as a
strategic thinker with demonstrated client service experience; a
record of inclusive leadership working with our partners and
developing our teams; and an inspirational leader with a proven
track record of working globally and leading through change.
It all comes down to people Kelly Grier and Steve Howe
Reflecting on her time abroad, Grier views it as a remarkable
and invaluable opportunity so early in her career. I think about
who I am as a leader, and so much of it maps to that experience,
she remarks. Being immersed in a global environment and in highly
diverse teams, and seeing firsthand the ability not just to accept
but to harness those differences witnessing that power and the
power of teaming it was a transformational experience.
One of Griers favorite memories from her time in Switzerland is
her interaction with Compaqs regional CFO. I remember him telling
me, This is not the United States of Europe. Every one of these
countries is different. You cant just come in and expect everybody
to conform to the US way. She quickly learned that it takes a
delicate balance to create consistency while still being true to
the local market and cultural distinctions. That was a surprising
and important lesson Ive never forgotten, she adds.
A leadership factoryThe notion of helping develop leaders piqued
Griers interest a few years back when EY was recognized by USA
Today as a top leadership factory. In fact, one of the first things
she expressed to her Talent team is that their job is to help build
leaders. What does EY do? We build leaders; thats what we do, says
Grier, and our alumni are an extension of our leadership
development, focus and prominence in the market.
Grier continually thinks about how EY identifies and attracts
people, especially experienced talent. Will new talent be accretive
to our culture? Thats incredibly important to me, as is preserving
the essential qualities of our culture which truly is our
competitive advantage while allowing our culture to evolve as our
people, the firm and the market evolve. She explains that through
the onboarding and assimilation process, the focus is on infusing
our culture with the goodness and innovation coming from new people
with different perspectives. Recruits choose us every time because
of our culture.
Grier sees our alumni as stewards of the firms culture because
they helped nurture and build todays EY. She notes that EY
The Chicago White Sox ConnectionIn some ways, Kelly Grier owes
her career at EY to the Chicago White Sox. While in college, Grier
worked as Controller of the South Bend White Sox, which at the time
was the White Soxs Single-A affiliate team in South Bend, Indiana.
Knowing the Chicago White Sox were a client of EYs, she chose EY
and joined the engagement team serving the White Sox. There, Grier
got to know Tim Buzard and Bill Waters, who later joined the White
Sox organization for the love of the game, as she puts it. Buzard
now serves as the teams Senior Vice President of Administration
while Waters is Senior Director of Finance. But their impact on
Grier was indelible. Tim and Bi