By Marisa Raffles. If you weren’t able to attend our annual user conference, the 2015 Certent Summit, we missed you! The event was filled with hot topics, product training, highly sought after keynote speakers and once-in-a lifetime evening entertainment at Walt Disney World©, The Most Magical Place on Earth. Wednesday began with a full day of pre-conference training sessions. Clients who joined us a day early participated in sessions like In-Depth Reporting & Employee Withholding Taxes and XBRL Bootcamp, while our sponsors such as Morgan Stanley and TD Ameritrade prepared for the event in the vendor hall.
The welcome reception kicked off at 5:00 with passed hors d’oeuvres, indoor and outdoor bars, and a visit from our most loyal user, Iona Share, while clients gathered valuable information from sponsors including StockCross, CompIntelligence and Fidelity. The vendor hall provided attendees with the opportunity to discuss offerings with Certent partners such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Radford, and Stock & Option Solutions. The event continued at the Boardwalk Dance Hall where attendees had a chance to let loose and show off their dance moves.
Thursday morning brought an inspirational message from retired Executive Vice President of Operations for Walt Disney World Resorts, Lee Cockerell. Attendees were impacted both professionally and personally by his clear and poignant message – be cognizant of how you are spending your time, hold yourself accountable and finish what you start. A full day of training and networking at sessions such as Preparing for and Working with Your Auditor led by Armanino followed, with an outdoor garden lunch in the middle.
At 6:30, attendees were whisked away to a private dinner at the American Adventure venue inside iconic Epcot Park. A three course dinner and another entertaining visit from Iona Share were followed by a private gourmet dessert presentation on the water’s edge while a truly magnificent fireworks and musical event took place in the background.
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Friday morning started off with a keynote presentation from PwC Partner and Leader of the National Compensation Consulting Practice, Bill Dunn, exploring how gender and generation affect perception of value of equity awards. Dunn highlighted the significance of gaining a better understanding of the millennial workforce and the importance of incorporating this knowledge into your company’s compensation strategies.
Closing the mornings’ keynote sessions was Mary Schapiro, the 29th Chairman of the U.S. SEC. Schapiro provided Summit attendees with an inside view of the SEC in a Q&A session with Certent’s CEO, Mike Boese. Schapiro engaged the audience on topics including the SEC’s vision on XBRL & data transparency, what was learned from the Great Recession, and the performance of Boards of Directors of public companies.
The closing breakout sessions on Friday morning included Helping Your Employees Understand and Appreciate the Value of Their Equity Awards led by UBS, as well as a presentation on ASC718 proposed changes. Before heading off to implement the new ideas and processes into their workflows, attendees grabbed a gourmet bagged lunch and headed for the airport. Hope to see you all in San Francisco next year for Certent Summit 2016!