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CPE Speakers

Haya Ajjan, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems, Elon University

Haya Ajjan's teaching, research and service focus on the use and impact of emerging technologies, social media, mobile technologies and enterprise systems on individuals, groups and organizations. Prior to her appointment at Elon University, Dr. Ajjan attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she completed her doctoral studies in 2009. Her research articles have appeared in national and international journals, and she has presented at numerous national and international conferences, such as the Academy of Management, the International Conference on Information Systems, the Society for Information Technology in Teacher Education, the American Conference on Information Systems, and the International Council for Small Business. Dr. Ajjan has also served as a consultant with a multinational energy firm designing and implementing a project portfolio management solution.

Ron O. Cardwell, JD, MAcct, CPA, CMA, Assistant Professor of Accounting, Salem College

Ron Cardwell has 20 years of professional experience working as a CPA or attorney focusing on the needs of small businesses. Prior to Salem College, he taught accounting and/or business law courses at UNC Greensboro, NC A&T State University, Elon University, and Alamance Community College. He joined the faculty at Salem College in 2009 where he now teaches financial accounting, auditing, taxation and business law.

Robert L. Commerson, Enrolled Agent

Robert Commerson has been an enrolled agent since May 2008, specializing in taxpayer representation, employment taxes, trust fund recovery penalties, installment agreements, offer-in compromise cases, innocent spouse claims, penalty abatement requests, and N.C. Department of Revenue cases. Previously, he had a 35-year career with the Internal Revenue Service as a revenue officer, group manager, program analyst, branch chief, disclosure officer and member of the IRS Instructor Cadre.

Greg Lilly, Associate Professor of Economics, Elon University

Greg Lilly taught at Wake Forest University before joining the Elon faculty in 1990. His areas of interest include bounded irrationality, experimental economics, exploratory data analysis and assessment of student learning. He received a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University and a doctorate from Duke University.

Jennifer Platania, Associate Professor of Economics, Elon University. 

Jennifer Platania earned her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Economics from West Virginia University in 1996, and earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics from Florida State University in 2001. Her primary fields of interest are general macroeconomic theory. Dr. Platania's research focuses mainly on the implications of policy changes on the macroeconomy; some of her work looks at the macroeconomic effects of removing the mortgage interest deduction to housing, and moving to a single-payer healthcare system.

Bryan Wayne Starnes, CPA/ABV, CFO, Meridian Senior Living

Bryan Starnes has been a CPA since 1989 and an ABV since 1993. Before joining Meridian Senior Living, he was a partner of Martin Starnes & Associates CPAs P.A. Mr. Starnes is also an accomplished speaker, offering leadership and accounting training for the American Institute of CPA’s, N.C. Association of CPA’s, Government Finance Officers Association, University of N.C.-Charlotte, University of N.C.–Chapel Hill, and various trade organizations throughout N.C.

Keith A. Wood, CPA, Attorney at Law

Keith Wood is certified by the North Carolina State Bar as a board certified specialist in estate planning and probate law. His practice areas include tax planning and representation of clients before the Internal Revenue Service, corporate law and business transactions, and personal estate planning. Keith is a frequent speaker to civic and professional groups on business planning, taxation, and estate planning, and he has authored published articles on these topics. Mr. Wood is also a CPA and is an active member of NCACPA and a former member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Wood received his undergraduate degree in business administration and his law degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina. While in law school, Keith served as the business manager of the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation.