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Virtual Seminar


Total Credits: 6 CPE

Gwendolyn Sykes |  Katharine Balukas, CPA |  Mitch Thompson |  Lisa Parker |  Chayla White, Esq. |  Colin Buttarazzi, PMP |  Rachel Muench |  Yoko McCarthy, MBA, CFE, CISA, CGFM |  Sarah Mongeau, MSA, CPA, CGFM, CFE
6 Hours 40 Minutes
Expires 30 day(s) after end date.




Thursday, June 27, 2024
8:50am - 3:30pm


  • Leadership
  • Technical Updates
  • Fraud Awareness


  • AGA Members - $100
  • Non-Members - $150
Speakers and topics* will include:
  • Sarah Mongeau, President, and Yoko McCarthy, Incoming President, AGA Boston Chapter - Welcome
  • Gwendolyn Sykes, National President, AGA - Leadership
  • Rachel Muench, Fraud Prevention and Voice Biometric Specialist, Microsoft - Fraud Prevention
  • Colin Buttarazzi, Managerand Katharine Balukas, Senior Manager, BerryDunn - Payroll Internal and External Audit Best Practices 
  • Chayla White, ESQ, Director, RSM US LLP - Ethics
  • Mitch Thompson, Director, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP) - Automation and AI: Use Cases and What's In It For You
  • Lisa Parker, Senior Project Manager, Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) - GASB Update

*Event agenda and topics are subject to change

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Aprel McCabe, Programs and Education, AGA Boston Chapter, at

If you have any questions about registering for this event, please contact Sarah Mongeau, President, AGA Boston Chapter, at 

For more information about the AGA Boston Chapter, visit



Gwendolyn Sykes's Profile

Gwendolyn Sykes Related Seminars and Products


United States Secret Service

Gwendolyn Sykes is the United States Secret Service Chief Financial Officer. In this role, she is responsible for the execution, development and stewardship of the Secret Service's resources and currently manages a financial team that includes budget, financial management, relocation and financial systems experts.

Ms. Sykes began working with the Secret Service in May 2012, bringing with her a wealth of financial management skills and talent for organizational transformation and enhancement. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Sykes is the first African American female to serve as the Chief Financial Officer at NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate, she was responsible for the financial management and health of this $16 billion agency. Ms. Sykes led more than 500 finance professionals, located across ten geographically dispersed locations throughout the United States, in the development and execution of financial policies, processes and procedures.

She has also served as Yale University's Chief Financial Officer, the first in that university's 306-year history, and Chief Financial Officer for Morehouse College. Previous government experience includes working within the Department of Defense and in the office of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens.

Gwendolyn Sykes holds a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Catholic University and a Master of Public Administration from American University, where she also serves as an adjunct professor in the School of Public Affairs. She has been recognized for her achievements by Black Enterprise, Newsweek, the Today Show and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

Katharine Balukas, CPA's Profile

Katharine Balukas, CPA Related Seminars and Products

Senior Manager


Katharine Balukas is a senior manager in BerryDunn's Not-For-Profit Practice Group with over 14 years working exclusively with governmental and not-for-profit organizations. Katharine's experience includes performing financial statement and uniform guidance audits in addition to a variety of consulting work including internal control reviews, audit readiness, technical accounting assistance, internal audits and grants management. As part of Katharine’s expertise in assurance, she has provided clients advice on improving their internal controls and processes, and she assists her governmental clients with the unique challenges surrounding compliance with federal and state grant requirements. She has extensive experience assisting her clients with implementation of new accounting assistance.

Mitch Thompson's Profile

Mitch Thompson Related Seminars and Products


CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP)

Mitch Thompson is a director of digital growth for CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA), focused primarily in working with state and local government clients. He works with clients to support data management, grants management, workflow automation, predictive analytics and machine learning. Collaborating with clients to make sense of their data to help make more effective, real-time decisions are his priority. Mitch is a retired police chief, having served for 29 years in various leadership roles for most of his career. Since 2018, he has been in technology consulting for government clients at the federal, state and local level. His career has allowed him to be on both sides of the project continuum, as the client and the vendor, giving him a unique capability to drive successful outcomes.

Lisa Parker's Profile

Lisa Parker Related Seminars and Products

Sr. Project Manager

Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

Lisa Parker is a senior project manager with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Prior to joining the GASB in 2008, Lisa worked for Runyon Kersteen Ouellette CPAs for 10 years, the town of Old Orchard Beach, Maine as finance director and interim town manager for 2 years, and the city of Saco, Maine as finance director for 8 years.

Lisa is a certified public accountant and a chartered global management accountant. She also is a member of the Association of Governmental Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants, where she served as president. Previously, Lisa was president of the Maine Governmental Finance Officers Association, an executive board member of the New England Governmental Finance Officers Association, and a member of a national GFOA standing committee.

Lisa attended Boston College and the University of Southern Maine graduating with magna cum laude honors and a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Chayla White, Esq.'s Profile

Chayla White, Esq. Related Seminars and Products

Director, Process Risk & Control


Chayla provides consultation services to a variety of public sector entities. She focuses primarily on process improvements and grant management for state and local government, as well as state agencies. In her current role, Chayla serves as a growth manager facilitating relationships with state agencies, elected officials, and staff members.

Prior to joining RSM, Chayla was a real estate practice associate. She has over ten years of experience in the public sector, initially serving as a legislative aide to a then-state representative in the Commonwealth. Chayla also held several positions in a major city’s administration within the state, known for its rich history and vibrant harbor. Her roles included leadership in an initiative promoting equity in new industries. In this role, she led the development and implementation of a program and fund to promote equity in a specific emerging sector, advising the mayor, city council, and senior administration officials on its implementation. She was responsible for budgeting, management, fund disbursement, and oversight of a program providing technical assistance related to this equity initiative.

Colin Buttarazzi, PMP's Profile

Colin Buttarazzi, PMP Related Seminars and Products



Colin Buttarazzi is a manager in BerryDunn’s Government Consulting Group. Colin possesses a strong understanding of internal controls, having conducted numerous internal control reviews and compliance audits for a range of government clients. He has also conducted in-depth payroll reviews and participated in both internal and external audits, including performance and programmatic audits. Colin's expertise extends to project management, ensuring efficient and effective execution of engagements. Throughout his career, Colin has assisted clients by providing valuable insights into improving risk mitigation strategies and internal processes. Colin graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in Economics and Business Management and holds a Project Management Professional certification.

Rachel Muench's Profile

Rachel Muench Related Seminars and Products

Fraud Prevention & Voice Biometric Specialist


In her current role as a Fraud Prevention & Voice Biometric Specialist at Microsoft, Rachel leverages her knowledge of voice biometrics to create innovative solutions. These solutions not only simplify the lives of customers and employees, but also make it significantly more challenging for fraudsters to compromise security. Rachel’s primary focus centers around enhancing authentication and fraud prevention strategies across diverse sectors, including Financial Services, Retail, and Government. Her commitment to superior outcomes and fortified trust drives her work.

Rachel’s career has been marked by customer-centric excellence. Whether acting as the primary driver of opportunities as an Account Executive or specializing in intricate products as a solution specialist, she consistently delivers value. Her unique blend of sales expertise and change management skills extends to training and enablement, where she ensures that others benefit from her wealth of knowledge.

In her free time, Rachel loves cooking, traveling, hiking, skiing, exploring new wines, and walking around the neighborhood with her dog.

Learn more about Rachel on LinkedIn.

Yoko McCarthy, MBA, CFE, CISA, CGFM's Profile

Yoko McCarthy, MBA, CFE, CISA, CGFM Related Seminars and Products



Yoko is a principal in BerryDunn’s Government Consulting Team. She co-leads the Compliance and Risk Management practice, which provides compliance assurance services. Since joining BerryDunn in 2012, Yoko has helped state and local governments strengthen internal controls to protect their resources from waste, abuse, and fraud, and improve operational efficiency while maintaining compliance.

Prior to joining BerryDunn, Yoko worked for the Office of State Auditor in Massachusetts for over eight years.

She holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Massachusetts Boston, and is a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Information System Auditor, and Certified Government Financial Manager.

Outside of work, Yoko is an active member in her community. She is an incoming president for AGA Boston Chapter. She is a co-organizer of a community with over 600 members that connects Japanese-speaking women in the Boston area, and a co-founder of a community where Japanese-speaking professionals educate and inspire one another to improve racial and gender equality in their professional careers and personal lives. Yoko is also the proud mother of two daughters, Mia and Anna.

Sarah Mongeau, MSA, CPA, CGFM, CFE's Profile

Sarah Mongeau, MSA, CPA, CGFM, CFE Related Seminars and Products


AGA Boston Chapter

Sarah is presently the AGA Boston Chapter’s President. 

Sarah has over 20 years of experience in governmental accounting that includes 6 years at the Commonwealth’s State Auditor’s Office and 15 years at the University of Massachusetts in varying capacities – as a business manager for a grant funded program (6 years), University Internal Audit (4 years), and as University Controller (6 years).  

Prior to joining the Commonwealth, Sarah worked in the high tech environment in Medical Equipment Manufacturing and Software Development following public accounting experience.

Sarah has been a member of the AGA since 2018 and is the 70th President of the Boston Chapter.

She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of MA, a CGFM, and a CFE. She holds a Master’s Degree in Accountancy from Bentley University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Emmanuel College.