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Chicago Chapter In-Person Event | Board Priorities During Uncertain Times: Maximizing Efficiency and Mitigating Financial Risks
Grant Thornton Tower, 2nd Floor
171 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60601
Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 4:15 PM - 6:45 PM CDT
Category: Chicago

Board Priorities During Uncertain Times: Maximizing Efficiency and Mitigating Financial Risks


As economic indicators signal potential shifts ahead, private company boards must proactively strategize to safeguard their interests. Our panel of seasoned professionals will explore key topics, including maximizing operational efficiency, streamlining processes, implementing risk management protocols, and optimizing the use of excess cash for strategic investments.

Join us at the Chicago Grant Thornton office on September 20, 2023, from 4:15 pm to 6:45 pm, for a lively in-person Social + Networking and panel discussion event that will include appetizers and beverages leading up to an exciting panel discussion on the Board Priorities During Uncertain Times, sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP and BMO Harris Bank.

Our distinguished experts will delve into essential steps that private company boards can take to steer their organizations towards resilience and success with a focus on the below topics:

Maximize Operational Efficiency: Learn how to assess and improve your company's day-to-day functions and banking operations for enhanced productivity and value.

Simplify Where You Can: Discover strategies to simplify processes, automate tasks, and optimize your team's efforts during times of economic uncertainty.

Make Sure You're Protected: Understand the latest fraud threats and establish robust fraud-mitigation processes to safeguard your organization.

Optimize the Use of Excess Cash: Revisit investment policies to ensure your cash works effectively for your business goals without overreliance on external borrowing.

Please plan to arrive prior to the panel discussion for the networking cocktail mixer and stay after for the Q&A sessions.


$30 Member Registration
$40 Non-Member Registration


Thank you to our National Sponsors!

Thank you to our Chapter Sponsors!





Thank you to our Chapter Sponsors!




Allison Hughes
Senior Manager
Growth Advisory Services

Allison is a Management Consulting leader with twenty years of experience providing strategic insight and implementation support to organizations on initiatives focused on back office, corporate treasury, business operations and technology focused transformation. She has experience in leading teams to develop and implement actionable strategies within client organizations. Allison has a familiarity across the full life-cycle of program delivery and considerable experience in advising on and delivery of organizational change and business process improvements. Having spent the majority of her career advising FS and Banking organizations across their core Retail, Wholesale, and Commercial Banking operations, her experience includes supporting large and complex systems or business process conversion programs using SDLC, Waterfall or Agile methodology as needed. Previously, she held roles at Bank of America and KPMG, both in Charlotte, NC.

Also active in the community, Allison is a member of Board of Directors and Executive leadership Team for Theatre Charlotte, part of the Human Capital Committee for Habitat for Humanity Charlotte Region as serves as a member of the Unite Charlotte Grant Committee for the United Way.

Ms. Hughes has Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of North Carolina Keenan-Flagler Business School and a Bachelor of Science (BS) Business Administration & Information Technology – Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition, she is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Scrum Master (CSM).


Michael Tram
Director, Liquidity Solutions

Michel Tram has extensive experience in helping corporate clients with liquidity management. Before joining BMO in 2019, he worked for a fintech firm specializing in liquidity investment portals from 2015 to 2018. Prior to his fintech experience, Tram held senior client facing roles in liquidity solutions with Bank of America Merrill Lynch from 2010 to 2015 and at Wells Fargo from 2006 to 2010. Michel started his career with JPMorgan Chase in NY and covered a variety of functions in global custody, cash management, and Corporate Treasury. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Accounting from Baruch College and is CTP certified.


Reema Nabhan
Senior Manager, CFO Advisory
Grant Thornton

With more than 15 years industry experience prior to joining Grant Thornton, Reema has a wealth of financial knowledge and management expertise working for several Fortune 500 corporations. Her experience spans multiple industries, including CPG and Manufacturing, Retail & eCommerce, Logistics & Distribution, Technology, Insurance, Healthcare, and Non-Profit Organizations.

She is experienced in the areas of Accounting and Reconciliations, Financial Planning & Analysis, Corporate Strategy, Data Management & Analytics, Performance Improvement, Process Innovation & Optimization, Revenue/Market Share Growth and Cost Reduction.

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Reema led the development and implementation of enterprise-wide budget processes, design and deployment of automated financial reporting and executive KPI dashboards, and project management for process optimization and cost reduction initiatives.

While at Grant Thornton, she has led a variety of projects including:

  • Conducted a detailed assessment of the financial close process for a $1B building products manufacturer. Identified weaknesses, pain points, and recommendations resulting in the advancement and optimization of the close process and a 2+ day reduction in timeline.
  • Led several projects in support of a multi-billion dollar health insurance client's effort to assess working capital and cash management, introducing industry leading practices to increase efficiency, optimize cash flow and reduce operating costs.
  • Facilitated the Treasury Management Software (TMS) selection and RFP process for the aforementioned client. Coordinated all communications, developed software demo scripts and scoring mechanism, providing subject matter expertise and material support.
  • Managed the annual planning process for a multi-billion dollar national commercial real estate client. Leveraged technology solutions to coordinate and execute the initial data collection and planning phase. Led the consolidation, analysis and executive review.
  • Applied organizational insights and industry leading practices to develop cost allocation methodologies and financial models for a global Fortune 1000 financial services and technology client. Assessed the organization’s cost structure to identify primary cost drivers and develop methodologies to enable enhanced fiscal management and transparency.


Tere Sackerson
Managing Director

Tere Sackerson has extensive experience helping organizations achieve their cash flow management goals across a variety of industries and geographies and through economic cycles. Tere’s passion for our community aligns with BMO’s purpose to bolding grow the good – in business and in life. She sits the on the Board of Directors for the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and Penfield Montessori Academy. In addition to her board responsibilities she actively volunteers with other local organizations. In 2020 she received theMilwaukee Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award.



Neema T. Varghese
NV Consulting Services

Neema Varghese is a seasoned financial advisor and independent director advising clients through operational improvements, liquidity management, transaction advisory services, turnarounds, and protecting creditor interests in complex situations. She has more than 20 years of experience with an expertise in managing comprehensive M&A diligence, restructuring, bankruptcy and disputes engagements. Her focus is driving change for middle market organizations and executing superior results.

As Managing Director for NV Consulting Services, Neema has aided companies through cash management issues, raised capital for continued growth, prepared entities for going concern sales of parts or entire businesses, and guided secured lenders and private equity firms through healthy and troubled portfolio companies - often playing a critical role in resolving a company’s lender relationships. In 2019, she was appointed by the Department of Justice to serve as a Subchapter V Trustee for the United States Bankruptcy Court. Previously, Neema was a portfolio manager with Merrill Lynch’s Specials Assets group, Was a Manager of the Business Advisory and Restructuring practice at Huron Consulting Group.

Neema holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois. She is also a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (CIRA). In addition to her role on the Sponsorship Committee for the PDA Chicago Chapter, she is involved in a number of other professional and civic organizations in Chicago. In 2016 Neema was named an Emerging Leader by M&A Advisor.