BPW Sessions

Please note that times, topics and presenters are subject to change.  We will do our best to keep registrants updated with any changes.

Session Topics

Ethics Week Keynote: A “Google Chat” with Google’s Chief Compliance Officer, Spyro Karetsos

In partnership with Georgia Tech’s Ethics Week, we’re pleased to bring this session to the ACE Audience. Keynote speaker, Google Chief Compliance Officer, Spyro Karetsos, will share insight about expectations and best practices at Google. 

Learning Objectives

  • Gain an understanding of ethical challenges facing large organizations
  • Explore examples of ethical expectations for the workforce of the future
  • Solutions for building ethical cultures and effective teams
Spyro Karetsos | Chief Compliance Officer, Google

Currently, Chief Compliance Officer at Google, Spyro was previously, Chief Risk Officer at TD Ameritrade. In partnership with business units across TD Ameritrade, he helped identify and manage the organization’s credit, market and operational risks. He was also a member of the Company’s senior operating committee (SOC), which helped shape the strategic focus of the organization. Karetsos joined TD Ameritrade in 2019, bringing more than 20 years of financial services experience to the Company. He most recently served as head of non-financial risk and Enterprise Risk Services for SunTrust Bank with responsibility for Strategic Risk, Operational Risk, and Third-Party Risk. His work as architect of SunTrust’s advanced risk appetite framework earned it Risk.net’s 2018 Bank of the Year award. Prior to SunTrust, Karetsos held leadership positions with Vanguard, Goldman Sachs, and spent 10 years in the Federal Reserve System where he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and became an assistant vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. A board member of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and Discotech, Karetsos earned a Bachelor of Arts in policy studies from Dickinson College and a Master of Business Administration from Pace University. He also holds a certificate from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.

A View from the Regulators: Regulatory & Enforcement Priorities of the Biden Administration.

Regulators from the DOJ & SEC join us for a breakdown on the latest regulatory and enforcement priorities.

Learning Objectives

  • Review major white-collar crime cases and settlements
  • Discuss current enforcement priorities, and expected new priorities related to changes in SEC and DOJ leadership
  • Review recent pronouncements from DOJ and SEC on enforcement priorities
  • Discuss trends and hot topics that regulators are seeing in areas such as cybersecurity, anti-corruption, COVID relief-related fraud, and ESG reporting


Steve McClain | Asst. US Attorney & Chief of the Complex Frauds Section, U.S. Dept. of Justice, Northern District of GA

Steve serves as the point of contact for the FBI, SEC, United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, and other federal and state agencies on fraud matters. As a federal prosecutor, Steve investigates and prosecutes all types of fraud offenses, including corporate and securities fraud, bank fraud, government program fraud, investment fraud, health care fraud, immigration fraud, tax fraud, public corruption, computer crimes, counterfeiting, environmental crimes, and identity theft. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Department of Justice Director’s Award for the prosecution of a defendant who was convicted by a jury for running a Ponzi scheme and sentenced to 27 years in prison. Before his government service, Steve was a partner in the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he focused on complex commercial litigation. He began his career as a law clerk for Judge Kenneth F. Ripple on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Steve graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School, where he was the Managing Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review, and obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Clemson University.

Justin Jeffries | Associate Regional Director, Division of Enforcement, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission

Justin joined the SEC’s Division of Enforcement as a staff attorney in 2010 and was promoted to Assistant Regional Director in 2017. He also served as a counsel to the Division Director. During his tenure at the SEC, Justin has investigated or supervised a number of high-profile investigations and enforcement actions in all of the Commission’s major program areas. Before joining the SEC staff, Justin worked as a senior associate in King & Spalding LLP’s business litigation practice group in Atlanta, and as an associate in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s labor and employment practice group in Washington, D.C. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable William S. Duffey, Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Justin received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2002 and his bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1997.

ESG Risk Considerations: The Role of Compliance

Learning Objectives

  • Understand key ESG considerations including the regulatory and enforcement landscape, non-financial reporting requirements, and compliance program considerations
  • Learn how strong governance over ESG risks can help avoid:
    • Unethical behavior by your third parties
    • Legal and regulatory consequences
    • Potential reputational impact
  • Discover how to transform ESG risk into a competitive advantage


Joanne Mello | Director, Sustainability and Energy Policy, Southern Company Gas

Joanne oversees Southern Company Gas' sustainability and innovation strategy by aligning efforts conducted across the business and strengthening partnerships with external industry groups and stakeholders. Efforts include a company commitment to lead in reduction of carbon emissions associated with natural gas use and promoting broader sustainability efforts.

Laura Skrief | Investigations, Anti-Corruption & Forensics Partner, PwC

Laura is a partner in PwC’s Cyber, Risk & Regulatory practice with over 21 years of experience. She provides forensic accounting, and investigative experience to attorneys and clients. Laura assists attorneys and clients on regulatory and internal investigations, specializing in forensic accounting projects. She has significant experience on international and domestic assignments relating to matters involving: SEC investigations, forensic accounting assignments, accounting fraud, accounting malpractice, asset misappropriation, embezzlement, internal audit investigations, arbitrations, purchase price disputes and evaluation of alleged fraudulent activities.

Marianna Faircloth | Senior Corporate Counsel, The Home Depot

Marianna serves as Senior Corporate Counsel - Corporate and Securities for The Home Depot. In this role, she is responsible for a broad range of securities, compliance, corporate finance, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters. Prior to joining The Home Depot, Marianna was an associate in the Atlanta office of Paul Hastings LLP, where she represented clients in mergers and acquisitions and securities matters. Marianna received an A.B. from Brown University and her law degree from Duke University School of Law.

Vanessa Salinas Beckstrom | Investigation & Forensics Partner, PwC

Vanessa is a Partner in PwC’s Cyber, Risk & Regulatory practice, based in Dallas, TX. She has over 20 years of experience providing investigative, compliance and eDiscovery services in a variety of industries. She regularly assists global companies doing business domestically, as well as throughout the globe. She is a native Spanish speaker and has traveled extensively in Latin America, Europe and Asia leading combined US and local engagement teams on cross-border investigations, anti-corruption due diligence and compliance engagements.

Cracking the Code (of Conduct)

Learning Objectives

  • Provide an overview of writing and launching a code of business conduct
  • Provide examples of interactivity used in codes of conduct
  • Provide timeline/checklist for launching a code of conduct


Brennan Stewart | Director, Compliance & Privacy, Rheem Manufacturing Company

Charged with oversight of the global corporate compliance program, Brennan provides counsel, guidance, and advice with respect to the development, implementation and maintenance of Rheem’s policies, procedures, training, Ethics Helpline, and investigations. She also provides legal guidance on privacy, data security and consumer protection laws and regulations. She directly collaborates with the Information Technology department with implementing preventative safeguards for compliance, and provides legal advice and counsel on implications and exposure resulting from privacy requirements. Rheem is a manufacturer of heating, cooling, water heating, pool/spa heating and commercial refrigeration products and is the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America.

Eilzabeth Ames | Compliance Counsel, CRH Americas, Inc.

Elizabeth Ames is Compliance Counsel for CRH Americas, Inc., the world’s leading building products company. Elizabeth oversees all aspects of CRH’s compliance program, including policies, training, hotline, and investigations, for its 30,000 American and Canadian employees.

Jaycee Dempsey | Implementation Lead, Broadcat

As an expert corporate compliance generalist, Jaycee is responsible for helping Broadcat customers successfully deploy Broadcat’s tools—and prove the compliance team’s value to the business. With over a decade in higher education, government, and think-tank experience, Jaycee has been active in compliance and ethics in a variety of fields. She’s particularly passionate about behavioral ethics, graphic design, and new technology.

Kara Tucker | Lead Counsel, Director of Ethics and Compliance at Georgia Institute of Technology

Kara Tucker is Lead Counsel, Director of Ethics and Compliance at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Kara oversees a team responsible for strategic leadership, development and management of Ethics & Compliance program content, communications, training, resources and tools, events, and activities, and providing advice and counsel on various ethics and compliance matters.

Ryan Winch | Director of Advisory, Gartner

Ryan Winch is an Executive Advisor at Gartner within the Legal and Compliance practice, specializing in advising Chief Compliance Officers, General Counsel, and Heads of Legal Operations on issues related to Compliance and Ethics. He has experience advising organizations ranging from mid-sized through the Fortune 500, and takes pride in adapting our insights and support to meet the unique needs of each client. His focus areas include compliance program creation, corporate ethics and integrity, talent development, and creating effective compliance communications and policies. Mr. Winch has significant experience helping clients benchmark and revise their Code of Conduct, run legal and compliance risk assessments, and conduct compliance skills assessments. In addition to serving individual clients, he also runs live webinars and presents in-person for specialized client engagements and workshops. Prior to moving into the compliance space, Mr. Winch supported midsized HR teams for 4 years within our HR Leadership Council, and served on the Learning & Development team at Teach for America.