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Ascend Inspiring Across Generations

Connecting and Belonging - Being Present to Inspire and Get Inspired

Speaker Bios

Executive Panel


Sheila Enriquez

Chief DEI Officer, Texas Market Leader, Houston Managing Partner


Sheila Enriquez is the Chief DE&I Officer and Texas Market Leader for Crowe, a global Public Accounting, Consulting, and Technology Firm. She was the CEO/Managing Partner for Briggs & Veselka Co, Houston's largest independent CPA firm, before she and her team joined Crowe in January 2022. As a CPA and an attorney with over 26 years of experience, Sheila offers a powerful blend of financial expertise and legal perspective to her clients. Sheila also carries the Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) designation and is a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA). Her vast expertise includes audit services, agreed-upon procedures, forensic accounting and litigation support, and mergers and acquisitions due diligence. Sheila’s passion is education, which has been guided by her individual journey. Born and raised in the Philippines, she received a full scholarship in 1990 and completed her A.S. in Business with High Honors at SUNY/SCCC’s Toyama, Japan and Loch Sheldrake, New York campuses. Sheila later graduated summa cum laude from Mercy College with a B.S. Degree in Public Accounting, and received her M.B.A. with Distinction from Long Island University, and her J.D. from University of Houston Law Center. As a first generation immigrant, Sheila understands the power of education and hard work. She believes in servant leadership and is passionate in developing and mentoring professionals within the firm and the profession. Sheila credits the firm’s leaders over the years for fostering a culture in which anyone who demonstrates the desire can rise, and for mentoring and providing her opportunities that ultimately prepared her to assume impactful leadership roles. Sheila is a member of the AICPA and is serving a term on the AICPA Governing Council. She is also a member of the State Bar of Texas and Texas Society of CPAs (TXCPA), where she is Chairman of the Board of Directors and is a past president of the Houston Chapter. She believes in the power of the CPA designation and is committed to furthering the profession by helping build a pipeline of future CPAs and increasing the general public’s awareness of the value that CPAs bring to businesses and communities.

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Soumava Dey

Actuarial BI Manager

Corebridge Financial

Soumava Dey is currently working as Actuarial Business Intelligence Manager at Corebridge Financial (formerly known as AIG Life & Retirement). He is a DEI leader and the current President of Houston Asian Affinity ERG group at his organization. Soumava joined Corebridge in September of 2015. Soumava holds a master’s degree in Data Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a freelance Data Science writer with multiple publications on online journals. He is an avid Manchester United fan and a long-standing member of Houston based United supporter group “Houston Red Army”. Soumava loves travelling, making vlogs for his YouTube channel and playing with his pet dog during his free time.

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Linh Nguyen

Consulting Managing Director


Linh is a Managing Director in the Cloud Engineering practice of Deloitte Consulting focusing on Energy and Chemical sector to help our clients transform their business by leveraging cloud technology.  Linh is a proven growth-minded business and people leader with a track record of success. He has a unique combination of expertise in creative deal shaping, enterprise delivery, people development acumen and a passion for forging "trusted" client relationships. His experiences span over 30+ years career in technology consulting at Accenture for 8 years then Avanade for 22 years to help our Fortune 500 clients capture value in a cost-effective manner.  Linh is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion.  He was the founder and executive sponsor of the Asian Employees Network ERG for North American employees at Avanade.  He is focus on developing API leaders and always look for opportunities to advance the initiatives.  His greatest strength is problem solving.


Ian Shol

Management Consultant


Ian Shol is a management consultant in AlixPartners’s Risk practice. Ian advises law firm, private equity, and corporate clients in the context of complex disputes and litigation, business interruption, and MA&D transactions. Ian has experience in a variety of industries including manufacturing, energy, consumer goods, hospitality and gaming, and financial services. Ian is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner, and holds a certificate in Financial Forensics from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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Zoe Thompson



Zoe Thompson is a Principal with KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory services firm. She drives Social Strategy for KPMG’s US ESG practice and co-leads KPMG’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practice. She has nearly 30 years consulting experience working in a broad range of change management, operational and organizational performance areas, including workforce improvement, diversity, equity and inclusion and corporate culture. She has spent her career consulting within a variety of industries, helping clients manage change associated with strategic, cultural and technical transformations. Zoe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Economics from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She sits on the board of Holt International, a global humanitarian organization that provides services for vulnerable families and children, and on the Board of Visitors for Trinity University. She is also an adjunct professor for the University of Houston – Downtown Marilyn Davies College of Business. She lives in Houston with her husband, dog, and 4 children.  In her free time, Zoe enjoys outdoor activities, serving as spectator at her kids’ lacrosse games, reading and cooking.

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Tam Vo

Principal (Board of Director)


Tam Vo is a certified coach passionate about helping clients attain balance in 12 different life categories so they may live happier, healthier lives. Tam has worked C-suite executives, business entrepreneurs, Grammy award-winning musicians, healthcare workers, emergency responders, veterans, terminally ill patients, and more on shifting mindsets and forming healthy habits to attain what they out of life. Before switching careers to coaching, Tam enjoyed 2 decades in public accounting as a tax strategist for many clients including Fortune 500 companies and most recently worked at Grant Thornton as Director and regional service-line leader.

Connecting Circles Session

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Ragini Roy 

Advisory Principal


Ragini is a Principal within the Cyber & Strategic Risk Practice within Deloitte.   With twenty-one years of experience, she specializes is in the area of Crisis Management. She helps lead the Crisis Recovery Practice where she serves our largest disaster recovery clients to include projects in Texas, Louisiana, and Colorado.  She has vast experience working in areas of disaster recovery, grants management ARRA funded projects, organizational transformation, managing public assistance engagements, hazard mitigation engagements, finance transformation, and in performing internal, financial, and operational audits. She has used her leadership, communication and analytical skills to successfully manage and lead her engagements.  Ragini has been involved in helping her clients with multi-billion dollar natural disasters and successfully led and managed disaster recovery projects and has demonstrated capabilities to help organizations quickly set up and effectively administer large and complex programs.  She has significant experience in helping our clients respond and recover from large-scale crisis events and build resiliency into their organizations. Relevant Experience ►            Ragini is currently serving as the Lead Engagement Partner for the State of Louisiana’s Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), a client of hers for over thirteen years. She has led a multimillion dollar, multi-functional project for the assessment of the systems of internal control over governmental entity as it is related to the governance of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Grant Program for over $14 Billion for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike as well as other federally declared disasters. As it relates to Grant Management and Disaster Recovery she has created a risk based subrecipient monitoring plan and monitoring strategy to monitor over 1200 sub-grantees. She has designed expense review tools to effectively manage and reconcile over $14B of transactions. She has led data analytics projects to identify data integrity issues and subsequently designed and transformed the organization to include new and redesigned processes for grants management, finance, accounting, sanctions, appeals, insurance tracking and overall compliance with managing a Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation programs. Related to grant management and disaster recovery she has: Led an agency wide risk-based assessment of current state capabilities of the organization related to the people, process, and technology components. Designed and supported the phases of implementation for the creation of a risk assessment to assist the organization in evaluating its sub-grantees and developing a monitoring strategy, created monitoring templates to facilitate desk reviews of A-133 reports and subrecipient site visits. In addition, led the design and implementation of a sanctions and appeals program. Designed an expense review tool to automate and enhance the grant manager’s review of over $14B expense reimbursement requests for claims processing for disaster related claims. Performed a data analysis exercise to identify data integrity issues and subsequently developed a tool, procedures and a template to facilitate the reconciliation of a $14B transactions related to federal programs. Designed an insurance tracking and compliance system to better manage insurance considerations for Grant Managers in managing a PA disaster. ►            Ragini served the State of Colorado’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as the Lead Engagement Principal and helped design their strategic plan, design their business processes over their PA program for expense reimbursement, payment reconciliation, subrecipient monitoring, project formulation, closeout and helped implement a disaster grants management system and helped configure and customize the solution to meet the needs of the states. She also advises the state on Audit readiness and helps facilitates conversations with FEMA and other third parties. ►            Ragini has led a project in Texas with ARRA – State Energy Conservation (SEC0) office and their grants and created a risk based monitoring program to monitor approximately $290 Million worth of funding that was distributed to various recipients.  She led the creation of tools and templates to monitor recipients based on financial, compliance, and operations requirements of the program. ►            Ragini has led two projects for the Texas State University System to evaluate the client’s processes to effectively comply with federal and state regulations over Public Assistance (PA) funds available to them.  She also led the development of Disaster Recovery and Management Policies and Procedures for the Systems offices and campuses as a part of an audit readiness project to better prepare them for future disasters and related audits. Ragini holds a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Louisiana State University. She is a frequent speaker on strategic risk, crisis management, disaster recovery.

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JC Chang


Alix Partners


Helen Feng

Managing Director


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Julie Ho




Kim Huynh

Audit Partner


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Mindy Hwang

Managing Director


Mandy is a Managing Director at BDO.  She has been a data analytics leader for over 25 years .  Her focus has been assisting clients in recovering from, and avoiding, significant business events across diverse industries by leveraging data and analytics technologies.  She has been actively involved in ASCEND Houston mentoring program.


Dan Russell



Dan leads the business owner tax team for the Houston office of RSM. He has more than 20 years of experience at public accounting firms advising business owners on interconnected business, financial, and personal tax saving strategies. His focus is understanding the specific goals of his clients and delivering custom solutions to help them reach their goals. Dan enjoys volunteering with TXCPA Houston.  He chairs the Scholarship Extravaganza committee and the Accelerate committee.  These committees provide scholarships to accounting students at local universities and educate future accounting leaders in executive leadership competencies. Professional affiliations and credentials        - American Institute of Certified Public Accountants        - Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants        - TXCPA Houston        - Houston Estate and Financial Forum        - Houston Business and Estate Planning Council        - Certified Public Accountant, Texas and California        - Certified Financial Planner Education Bachelor of Science, accountancy, California State University, Fresno


Nazif Sharique



Nazif has over 24 years of public accounting experience, which includes the Big Four, plus two years of industry experience with a Fortune 500 company. His professional services experience is in a wide range of industries, including energy, manufacturing and distribution, technology, etc. Nazif has led and supported the execution of auditing processes, application reviews, IT security reviews, quality assurance reviews, board-level presentations and business process improvement projects. His expertise includes compliance and risk management, IT strategies, emerging technologies, i.e., cloud, mobility, cyber security, robotic process automation (RPA) auditing, data governance, including business intelligence and artificial intelligence. Nazif is skilled at reengineering business processes and implementing technologies to improve efficiency, remove redundancy and optimize working capital. Nazif works with private equity groups to provide IT due diligence services as they relate to mergers and acquisitions. Nazif oversees the Houston consulting practice, which includes IT audits for public registrants (Sarbanes-Oxley 404), internal audit services, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) selection and assessments, cybersecurity, technology consulting, infrastructure managed services, digital transformation, supply chain management, organizational change management and IT risk assessments. He has designed automated programs for Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) 99 procedures for various business cycles applicable to both public and private entities to improve the approach and execution of substantive audit procedures. Nazif also provides System and Organization Controls (SOC) 1 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 18 [SSAE 18]), Type 1 and 2; SOC 2, Type 1 and 2; and SOC 3 attestation services. Professional certifications and affiliations     - Certified public accountant (CPA)      - Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)     - Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)      - Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)     - Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP)     - Certified Common Security Framework Practitioner (CCSFP)     - American Institute of Certified Public Accountants     - Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA)     - Houston Chapter of TSCPA     - Information Systems Audit and Control Association Education Education:     - Bachelor of Science, accounting, Rutgers University     - Bachelor of Arts, economics, Rutgers University

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Tam Vo


Tam Vo is a certified coach passionate about helping clients attain balance in 12 different life categories so they may live happier, healthier lives. Tam has worked C-suite executives, business entrepreneurs, Grammy award-winning musicians, healthcare workers, emergency responders, veterans, terminally ill patients, and more on shifting mindsets and forming healthy habits to attain what they out of life. Before switching careers to coaching, Tam enjoyed 2 decades in public accounting as a tax strategist for many clients including Fortune 500 companies and most recently worked at Grant Thornton as Director and regional service-line leader.

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Franscisca Wahjudi

Consulting Managing Director


Ms. Wahjudi is a Managing Director in Deloitte Digital – Customer and Marketing practice with an expertise in business transformation, global program management, and digital technology enablement to help our clients engage their customers, partners and employees better. In addition to her market role, she also serves as US Digital Customer Architecture Talent leader. She is passionate about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and talent development, especially our women in technology and next generation of architects who provide a hands-on approach to defining how digital business platforms deliver value in the modern enterprise and measuring the results against plans. She's known for approaching her work with empathy, humility and cultural awareness. Originally from Indonesia, she has experience working as an electrical engineer in Asia and New Zealand prior to joining Deloitte in Australia and transferred to US practice.


Lily Wang

Audit Partner



Xin Xin

Tax Parter



Melinda Yee



Melinda Yee is Deloitte’s Houston Advisory Leader and leads a team of over 600 practitioners focused on helping organizations effectively navigate a variety of business risks and opportunities – from strategic, reputation, and financial risks to operational, cyber, and regulatory risks—to gain a competitive advantage. She has over 25 years of public accounting experience with a background in accounting, auditing, due diligence, transaction structuring, and financial processes. Melinda specializes in advising clients with their transactional needs for mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and joint venture formations and dissolutions.  She has led numerous M&A teams, both foreign and domestic, on various acquisition and divestiture transactions serving both corporate and private equity clients.  She has substantial M&A experience with companies across the energy value chain including upstream, midstream, downstream, chemicals and oilfield services.  Additionally, she also has substantial experience with power and regulated utilities, including independent power producers, alternative energy, clean-tech, water and waste water, mining, manufacturing, and industrial products. Melinda is also active in the non-profit community and currently serves on the board of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, the Foundation for the Women’s Energy Network, and the University of Colorado Foundation.  She is a co-founder and original board member of the North Texas Chapter of Women’s Energy Network and served on the Houston Chapter’s Advisory Board as well as United Way of Greater Houston’s Women’s Council and the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and previously served on the Advisory Board for CU’s Leeds School of Business. She was honored to be recently named by Oil & Gas Investor as one of the 25 Influential Women in Energy as well as recognized by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce as one of the Breakthrough Women.

Ascend Speakers

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Dr. Stephanie Bloodworth

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist 

Dr. Stephanie Bloodworth (she/her) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She integrates constant learning across therapeutic approaches into real conversations with her clients for a single goal: supporting people in building the lives that suit them best. Stephanie specializes with people experiencing complex trauma and multicultural challenges as well as empowering the neurodiverse and gender/sexual minority communities.


Charlene Tsang-Kao

Assistant General Counsel

Marathon Oil

Charlene is the Head of International Law, Litigation, Labor/Employment, and Legal Operations for Marathon Oil based out of Houston, Texas. Prior to joining Marathon Oil, Charlene was a Partner with the global law firm of Baker & McKenzie, Acting General Counsel / Deputy General Counsel at Solvay North America, and a Senior Attorney for Chevron. Charlene is a Senior Fellow of American Leadership Forum (Class XLV) and currently serves on the State Bar of Texas Advanced In-House CLE committee and the Panel of Independent Observers for USA Gymnastics. A staunch advocate for equity and Asian American empowerment in the workplace, Charlene is a founding member of the State Bar of Texas’ Corporate Counsel Section DEI Committee and Marathon’s Law Department DEI program. She is also a Founder/Sr. Advisor of Marathon’s enterprise-wide AAPI Employee Resource Group, which was launched in May 2022. Charlene is a former Board Member for the National and Houston Chapters of OCA Advocates and former two-term President of OCA Houston, as well as a former Board Member of the Houston Area Women’s Center. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate with Honors from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin. She is the proud mother of a UT Longhorn and a St. Agnes Tiger.

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Lise Monahan

VP,  Technology for US & Canada


Lise Monahan is the VP of Technology for US & Canada at Sysco, the world’s global foodservice leader. She has more than 30 years of professional experience across technology and finance in global enterprise organizations, including executive leadership positions, and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Lise is known for her authentic engagement, nurturing meaningful connections and high expectations.

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Kishore Sundarajan

Business & Technology Executive | Change Agent |Builder |Connector

Kishore has spent his time focused on impacting the top line, bottom line, and cash flows in his 30+ years in the Industrial Automation space across different global industry segments. His focus on customer experience, increasing yield and throughput, improving on time delivery with quality and reliability, and lowering risk are large reasons for his success. Throughout his career, Kishore’s priorities have shifted to embrace his key learnings: • the importance of holistic customer experience, • clear and concise communication matters, • the business is its people, • focus on a few things and do them well, • the ability to be agile, and • maintaining a work-life balance in a flexible way. This is apparent through the adaptable strategies he has developed and implemented as well as the methods, tools, and processes he has used to operationally execute. He invests time in sharing these learnings by recruiting, mentoring and developing individuals, and building and coaching teams. Kishore takes pride in his family, his ability as a business-technologist who can lead and impact change, and the people in the global network he has built throughout his career. Other proud moments for him include when his teams have gone the extra mile and when he has helped organizations win through tough times. His customer experience obsession, global cultural experiences, and career journey have contributed to the cultural and organizational changes he is proud to have led. Outside of work, Kishore loves spending time with his family, especially his grandson, eating vanilla ice cream, and vacationing on a beach. In his free time, he likes to read, learn new things, and support Asians developing leadership abilities through his engagement in the Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (SASE) and the Asia Society of Texas.

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