April 2019 Dinner Meeting

April 23, 2019
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
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Maggiano’s Little Italy - Tysons Galleria
2001 International Drive
McLean, VA 22102

Please join us for a dinner meeting where our moderator Jill Mitchell, former AFWA DC Chapter President and Professor of Accounting at Northern Virginia Community College, will lead our panelists in a thoughful discussion on Tips for Building the Next Generation of Leaders! 


  • Hilary Fordwich, President and Founder of Strelmark, LLC
  • Emma Whelan, Vice President of Accounting, The Knot Worldwide (TKWW)
  • Kat Zajac, Owner and Operator of Ascend Cycle and Underground

Learning Objectives and Program Content: The panelists will cover a variety of topics, from thought leadership to emotional intelligence and pay equity among others, discussing their own personal experiences and providing takeaways for participants. By the end of the presentation, participants will have actionable tips and guidance on how to build the next generation of leaders. 

Program Level: Basic

Field of Study: Personal development

Instructional Delivery Method: Group Live

CPE: 1 credit hour

***Plan to come early for ‘Pinot with the President’ from 5:15-6pm at the Maggiano’s first-floor bar for happy hour.***


Appetizer: Bruschetta
Salads: Maggiano’s, Chopped
Pastas: Baked Ziti & Sausage, Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
Entrée: Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Dessert: New York Style Cheesecake

Panelist bios:


Hilary Fordwich is a proven global business development leader with a career spanning more than 30 years and expertise that includes building practices, client firms and her own successful consulting firm. As president and founder of Strelmark, LLC, Hilary offers a full range of business development consulting services and is a frequent keynote speaker for leadership, trade and professional conferences. Prior to starting her own firm, Hilary served as head of global business development for KPMG, LLP for more than a decade. She has held other high-level positions at leading firms, including Beers & Cutler, PLC and Qorvis Communications, LLC. In addition to her consulting services, Hilary is a business golf expert and commentator. She helped design the curriculum for the University of Maryland's "Golf for Business and Life" program, a PGA-sponsored, three-credit course offered to graduate business students. Hilary is also a published writer, including writing a monthly expert opinion column for the Washington Business Journal, and serves on the boards of The First Tee, Easter Seals and Junior Achievement. Born in England, Hilary became a US citizen in 1982 and graduated Magna Cum Laude from UVA at Mary Washington College. She resides with her three children in the Washington, DC area. 

Emma Whelan is vice president of accounting at The Knot Worldwide (TKWW), where she leads the Global Accounting Group which spans operations throughout the 15 countries where TKWW has a presence. Emma has been heavily involved in scaling the accounting group to match TKWW’s exponential growth in recent years and has been involved in large M&A transactions both domestically and internationally. Prior to joining TKWW, Emma spent 13 years at KPMG, starting her career in the Madrid office and transferring to DC in 2007. Originally from Ireland, Emma earned her undergraduate degree from Dublin City University and completed her MBA at the EOI Business School in Madrid. She has a CPA in the District of Columbia and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She loves to travel with her husband and children and is also an avid reader and amateur runner. 

Kat Zajac is the owner of Ascend Cycle and Underground in Alexandria, Virginia. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from The George Washington University, which sparked her interest and love for health and fitness. After completing her Masters degree in Health Administration, Kat worked for eight years in healthcare consulting and left in 2015 to pursue a more formal career in fitness and health coaching. Kat is also a health coach trained by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has years of personal training and group fitness teaching experience. In 2014, she opened the first women-owned, non-franchised boutique indoor cycling studio in Alexandria. Three years later in 2017, she opened a second studio, Ascend Underground, located in the same building as Ascend Cycle. This studio offers strength and interval training classes. At Ascend, she combines all her experience to create a holistic fitness community that is dedicated to helping her customers achieve a better version of themselves, both inside and outside of the studio. She lives in Alexandria with her husband and their two children.


Administrative Policies: Contact the Meetings Chair, Shannon Kuehn (shannonkuehn@kpmg.com), with any questions, complaints, or special dietary requirements. All sales are final. Refunds must be requested by the RSVP date for an event in writing or by email. Credits may be issued to be used for future event registrations.

Official National Registry Statement: The Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:https://www.nasbaregistry.org/.

Mission of AFWA: The mission of the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance is to enable women in all accounting and finance fields to achieve their full potential and to contribute to their profession. For more information about the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance (AFWA), please visit www.afwa.org.


$45.00 Member Ticket
$65.00 after 11:59 pm April 18

$55.00 Guest Ticket
$75.00 after 11:59 pm April 18

$40.00 Student Ticket
$60.00 after 11:59 pm April 18