Jessa Aco-Kuchmak, CPA
Jessa is the Co-founder and Vice-President of Pontem Innovations, an Alberta start-up focused on bridging companies to data innovation.
A CPA and PMP candidate, Jessa has a diverse and non-traditional background. After completing a tax co-op and working in audit full-time at PwC, she became Head of the Continuous Improvement initiative at Gateway Mechanical, a large privately-owned mechanical projects and services company. In a year, she became the Manager of Operations, leading three teams: service, client care, and contracts. Jessa also consults for the World Bank’s International Development Association; evaluating development projects in some of the world’s poorest countries. Very recently, she launched Pontem Innovations.
Jessa’s wide range of experience fuels her passion for helping subject matter experts make data driven decisions and technology investments with clear ROIs. A proud Alberta School of Business graduate, she is also the current Business Alumni Association (BAA) President and have been on the board for the past four years.
Mark Basi, CPA Candidate
Mark is a Staff Accountant at KRP LLP which is the largest, local, independent, full-service accounting firm in Alberta. He is a member of their Assurance & Advisory Services practice. He is actively involved in community organizations that prepare youth to become future leaders. He has a passion for business development and helping small businesses realize their potential. Mark actively donates his time to university students trying to enter the job market by helping them prepare for the recruitment cycle. He is a CPA Candidate who holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Commerce from MacEwan University.
Alex Kozicki, CPA Candidate
Alex is member of Deloitte Edmonton’s Assurance practice. He is a part of a growing team that solves unique problems and focuses on providing advisory services to the finance function. He has a passion for enabling organizations to reach their full potential, as well as for understanding how significant technological advances are changing the way we live and do business. He is a current CPA Candidate who holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction as well as a Certificate in Leadership from the University of Alberta.
Sheila Smigarowski, CPA, CA, CIA, CRMA, A.C.C., CPCC
Prior to embracing the coaching profession, Sheila spent 25 years in risk management roles within regulated public and private companies and public practice; industries included hospitality, financial services, non-profit and charities, mining, construction, and water and power utilities. She has been accountable for internal audit, enterprise risk management, and Canadian public company certification requirements under National Instrument 52-109 (CSOX compliance program).
Sheila is an active volunteer, serving the Institute of Internal Auditors for 15 years in a variety of roles, the United Way in Saskatoon, the Sanford Housing Society, and McDougall House. Sheila serves as an Executive Coach, Consultant and Director.
Sheila became a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach in March 2017 and plans to apply for accreditation with the International Coaching Federation. She has been actively coaching leaders in a formal coaching capacity for the past few years and informally in leadership roles throughout her career.
Rizwan Suleman, MBA, CPA, CA, CMA, CITP
Rizwan is a NAIT instructor, teaching computer and accounting information systems courses. After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce from the U of A in 1981, Rizwan joined Price Waterhouse (predecessor to PwC). At PwC he started in Audit, transferred to Small Business, and ultimately became a manager in Tax.
In 1987, Rizwan left to teach financial accounting and taxation at Lakeland College, Lloydminster. In 1995, Rizwan took up the challenge of leading the finance department of the newly formed Lloydminster Health District (LHD). At LHD, Rizwan also oversaw the consolidation and expansion of LHD’s computer information systems. During this time, he earned a Computer Science diploma from Lakeland College.
In 1999, Rizwan moved to Edmonton, where his accounting and information systems experience allowed him to work as a tax software developer with Intuit Canada and a systems implementation consultant with Sierra Systems.
In 2001, Rizwan joined Capital Health Authority, where he completed special accounting projects, helped implement modules of Oracle and other enterprise systems, and led the rollout of shared accounting services to other health care organizations.