ACC601 - Accounting Capstone - Speaker Series Archives


SPRING 2014 Preparing for the Profession Speaker Series


Jesse & Amy Ligo '82 '84 - Owner/Operators - Drove Pasture Farm, hosted accounting seniors and guests for a farm tour and lasagna dinner.  In spite of the rainy conditions, students enjoyed food, fellowship, and recalled many memories of their past four years at Westminster.


Abigail Schulz '13 - Audit Associate - Grossman Yanak & Ford LLP, advised senior accounting majors to utilize a mentor/coach in their workplace since this person will be their advocate as well as a career path adviser to guide them in deciding both short and long term goals.  Pizza lunch was provided by the PICPA.  Abby, who passed the CPA exam and will earn her license after one full year of working, had helpful advice on how to study for and pass the exam.


James Pearson '76 - Senior VP & CFO - FirstEnergy Corp, gave an overview of FirstEnergy Corp and the climate of the energy industry as well as describing his career path with them.  He provided students with multiple aspects of professional advice including the importance of gaining a deep knowledge of your company, understanding the business reason when providing an accounting response, and respecting that your boss may have more information than you do.   Jon Taylor - VP, Controller, and CAO - FirstEnergy Corp, also provided insight about public versus corporate accounting.


Richard Tice, CPA/ABV '83 - Partner McCall Scanlon & Tice, LLC, explained the importance of business valuations and how and why they are conducted.  He stressed that being honest and direct with clients and business owners, although sometimes difficult, is the accountant's responsibility.  Under promise and over deliver.


Louis Simeone, CPA '09 - Senior Accountant - CONSOL Energy, joined the senior accounting majors to help them understand the attributes needed to be successful including willingness to work hard, to continue learning, as well as demonstrating initiative and care for the company.


Mary Patterson - Field Marketing Specialist - Becker Professional Education, said, "According to the AICPA, 75% of today's CPAs will retire over the next 15 years.  That is a GREAT job market for today's accounting students!"  


SPRING 2013 Preparing for the Profession Speaker Series


Jesse & Amy Ligo '82 '84 - Owner/Operators - Drove Pasture Farm, accounting capstones students were treated to a homemade lasagna dinner and a tour of Ligos' farm.  Owning their own business, provides many ways for Professor Ligo to demonstrate how theory is applied to practice.

Homemade lasagna dinner Hayride tour around farm Ligo sharing his passion for business


Robin & Dave Gooch '75 '75 - Entrepreneurs - V.A.M. Associates, Inc., from internships through entrepreneurship, Robin and Dave attested to the value of integrity, character, relationships, positive networks, and protecting your personal brand.

Robin Gooch and Mike With Gooches after lunch Dave and Robin Gooch


Jennifer Cidila, CPA, Partner - Healthcare Services - Carbis Walker, advised students to make realistic deadlines and meet them, to learn from their mistakes, to volunteer for more work, and to get outside their comfort zone.  Thanks to the PICPA for supplying pizza for this lunch meeting.

Pizza from PICPA Ligo introduces Jennifer Cidila, CPA, Partner, Carbis Walker Students enjoyed speaking with Jennifer after her presentation


Micah Delo '06, Independent Broker –Cambridge Investment Research, stressed that the key role of a financial planner is to assist a client in developing their long-term financial strategy.

Micah Delo Business lunch Micah Delo


Alicia Seitz '11, Accounting Associate -Hill, Barth, and King LLC, encouraged students to expand their network and to pursue their dreams in spite of difficulty.

Accounting Capstone Accounting Capstone Alicia Seitz


Mary Patterson, Field Marketing Specialist and Bob Crankovic, Course Instructor- Becker Professional Education, recommended making a plan to pass the CPA Exam and to stick to it!

Sarah with Becker materials. Bob Crankovic Mary Patterson


SPRING 2012 Preparing for the Profession Speaker Series


Professor Jesse Ligo '82 and Amy Klipa Ligo '84 hosted the Accounting Capstone class at their farm for a lasagna dinner and agricultural business tour where Ligos emphasized the importance of living your dream.

Ed, Jesse, Joe on hayride around farm. Ryan checks out ATV. Ben and Paige on hayride.
Accounting Capstone Students learned about agricultural business.


Robert Jazwinski, CPA/PFS, CFP ‘75, President and Sarah T. Jazwinski, MBA, Tax Preparer, Operations Support - JFS Wealth Advisors, shared life lessons learned from owning and operating their own business, as well as, providing sound financial advice to our soon to be graduates.

Bob Jazwinski Bob and Sally with students Sally Jazwinski Bob and Sally


Randy Staggers, CPA ’81, Senior Vice President, Administrative Services & Financial Operations - Highmark, explained that clients expect their accounting professionals to be reactive, proactive, and interactive. 

Sam & Randy Staggers Baseball players reminisce with Randy Staggers. Accounting Capstone students thank Randy Staggers for joining them for lunch.


Mark Giallonardo, JD, LLM ’83, Principal – Hill, Barth, & King, LLC, defined the great difference in expectations between a profession, as opposed to a job, and how important it is to be a participant and not a spectator in your career.

Mark & Andy Giallonardo Mark and class Amanda, Mark, Melinda


A.J. Ray, Senior Market Manager/Client Relationship Executive - KForce , stressed the importance of networking on LinkedIn, through community involvement, and business relationships.  He recommends reading How To Win Friends And Influence People.

AJ Ray & Bob Brooks AJ Ray, Andy, Ryan Lunch with AJ


Eric Jackson, Regional Manager - Becker Professional Education, explained the 5 key steps in the CPA Exam process:  Qualify, Apply, Prepare, Schedule, Succeed.

The class is attentive as Eric explains Becker Education for the CPA Exam. Evan Del Bene - WC Becker Campus Rep Eric shows some of the Becker brochures to students.


SPRING 2011 Preparing for the Profession Speaker Series


The final event for Accounting Capstone is a homemade lasagna dinner at Professor and Mrs. Ligo's farm,  Drove Pasture Farm.  After dinner, Professor Ligo gave the students a farm tour, discussing not only the many aspects of production agriculture, but how accounting knowledge has made the farm successful.

Homemade lasagna for supper.Mother cows and the bull are productive assets.Professor Ligo shows one of his products, hay silage.


Rob Jackson '91, MBA, FACHE, Westminster College Trustee, and CEO of Grove City Medical Center, enlightened the class about the importance of being prepared when opportunities arise.

Accounting Capstone Class with Rob Jackson '91.Students heat up hot/cold packs from Mr. Jackson.Rob Jackson, CEO Grove City Medical Center


CPA Chris Wright, a Supervisor with Hill, Barth and King LLC, informed students about the importance of relationships and networking both for client recruitment as well as the job search process.  Having a positive attitude and effeciency in the workplace were items Chris stressed with the Accounting Capstone class.

Chris and Professor Ligo continue the conversation over lunch provided by the PICPA.Chris Wright, CPA covers all the ins and outs of the CPA profession.Accounting Capstone Class with Chris Wright


Pete Chiappa, Director of Business Operations with Seegrid Corporation, discussed the many avenues that an accountant may pursue.

Pete Chiappa explains importance of business acumen in a technology driven company.Accounting Capstone class with Pete Chiappa.Students continue their conversation with Pete over lunch.

Matt Dangel '09, Staff Accountant with McGill, Power & Bell, and Sara Davis Dangel '09, Universal Associate with ErieBank shared their recent post graduation experiences with the Accounting Capstone Class.

Matt and Sara Dangel '09.Sharing more experiences over lunch.Accounting Capstone Class with Matt and Sara.

Eric Jackson, Field Marketing Specialist, from Becker Professional Education provides students with educational tools to pass the Uniform CPA Exam.

Professor Ligo introduces Mr. Jackson.Brandon studies Becker information booklet.Class reviews materials.Eric shares more information with Cody.


SPRING 2010 Preparing for the Profession Speaker Series


WC Alumni, Professor Smith, and the Accounting Capstone Class enjoyed dinner and a farm tour at Drove Pasture Farm.  Professor Ligo explained the nature and practices of his family's agriculture business.

Brent and Scott study a very productive farm asset.Capstone students preparing for farm tour.Prof Ligo explains the various types of crops and farm practices in use.


Professor Ligo stressed the importance of career and personal goal setting, while students contemplated and listed their goals.

Professor Ligo discusses professional goal setting and budgeting.Hannah determining career goals.Corey thinking about his furture.


Ken Romig, Vice President of Financial Management Services, Westminster College, discussed some of his career path highlights, focusing specifically on public accounting, banking, and non-profit accounting.

WC VP Ken RomigKen talking to Acct CapstoneAcct Capstone with Ken Romig

Dean Owrey, CPA, Partner, Assurance Services and Campus Recruiting, Ernst & Young LLP shared his experiences from over twenty years working in public accounting, as well as insights into the recruiting process.

Dean Owrey, CPA, Partner, Assurance Services, E&YConversation over lunch with Dean Owrey.Students thank Dean Owrey for his career insight.


Representatives from Becker Professional Education explained their CPA Review course to the Accounting Capstone class.

Accounting Capstone Class hosts Becker Professional EducationReviewing some materialsLots to learn about passing the CPA Exam.


Jennifer Cidila, CPA, Partner, Carbis Walker, LLP discussed with the Accounting Capstone students the keys to work/life balance and the difference between employment at a large firm versus a smaller firm.

Jennifer Cidila, CPA, Carbis Walker LLPCapstone Class with Jennifer CidilaCapstone class after lunch with Jennifer Cidila


Jordan Belosh '09 and Matthew Saines '09 informed Accounting Capstone students about their experience as staff accountants for Paparone Stillwaggon & McGill.

Matt Saines '09 and Jordan Belosh '09Accounting Capstone Class 2010After lunch with Matt and Jordan

Dean Fair '84, C.P.A. speaks to Capstone class

Dean Fair speaks in class. Students, faculty & speaker share more information .Sharing a few more tips before heading back to the office.