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Professional Awards

The Houston ACFE Chapter supports its members, the community, students and anti-fraud professionals by recognizing and awarding them for their contributions, achievements and dedication to the fight against fraud. The following list are those individuals and organizations that have been presented awards from the Houston ACFE Chapter.

Houston Area Certified Fraud Examiner of the year

The Houston Area Certified Fraud Examiner of the Year Award is presented to a Houston Area CFE who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of fraud examination. Nominees are evaluated based on their contributions to the ACFE, The Houston ACFE Chapter, to the profession, and to the community.

Current Honoree

Cynthia Dunigan, CFE, CPA, FLMI

Cindy has been actively serving on the Houston ACFE Chapter Board of Directors since 1997 (20

years) and has held several positions.

She is always willing to do whatever she has to do to help the chapter be successful and make sure the

needs of the Houston Anti-Fraud Professional community are met. She never asks for anything in

return for her faithful service and always has a positive disposition. She is one of the strongest

support members for the Houston Chapter and is one of the primary reasons the chapter has

been so successful. Her service on the board has provided long term stability and sage wisdom to the

chapter and the board.

When Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston Area, Cindy was heavily involved with helping

families recover by cleaning up houses with her local church.

Cindy has been on the board of the Houston ACFE Chapter for over 20 years serving continuously in

various Director roles, including Vice-President and Membership Director. Her continuous work has

resulted in her donating over 5,000 hours of her time to the ACFE community and Chapter.

(September 1997 - Present)

Cindy is also instrumental in making sure that all attendees for all of our events including our two day

conference with an average of 200+ attendees.

Cindy is the most humble, most capable and most unimposing person I know and she gives so much

to help so many and never asks what is in it for her or how it will benefit her. She is a role model for

being a volunteer.

Fraud Fighter of the Year

The Greater Houston Fraud Fighter of the Year award is presented to the investigator(s), public or private, whose investigation exemplifies determination, perseverance and commitment in the fight against fraud and who is a contributing factor in the issuance of an arrest warrant for a significant fraudster.

Current Honoree

Eric Carr

Detective Eric Carr has been an officer with the Houston Police Department (HPD) for 15 years, and the past 10 years have been devoted to criminal investigation. Eric is currently a detective with the HPD’s Financial Crimes Unit where he specializes in ID theft & Elder Exploitations. He teaches courses to hundreds of police cadets and peace officers annually on how to investigate financial crimes.

Throughout his career with the HPD, Eric has gone above and beyond the call of duty. In 2009 Eric transferred from Northeast patrol division to the Burglary and Theft division, and due to his hard work and determination, the following year he was awarded the HPD investigator of the Year award after solving several complex burglary and theft cases, recovering thousands of dollars in stolen property, and arresting several individuals involved in major burglaries around the Houston area.

Eric has a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from University of Houston (Downton), M.A. in Counseling from PVAMU. Eric holds several citizen and supervisor commendations for his professionalism and commitment to excellence, including back-to-back employee of the month awards. In 2017, after the devastating effects that Hurricane Harvey left on the city of Houston and the surrounding areas, Eric and many of his colleagues spent days away from home and family, sleeping at the police stations all to protect the city and to help Harvey evacuees and misplaced families.

Prior Recipients

  • Jennifer McKnight, CPA (2017)
  • Scott C. Lanham, Houston Police Department Financial Crimes Unit (2016)
  • Sheridan Simmond - Port Officer, Houston Port Authority (2015)
  • Charles "Chuck" Cummings of Cummings & Houston LLP (2014)
  • Detective Bruce Moats: Missouri City Police Department (2013)
  • Detective James Blackwell of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (2012)

Houston Area ACFE Educator of the year award

The Educator of the Year award is presented to a Houston Area educator who has made outstanding contributions to anti-fraud education within their college or university.

Current Honoree

Robert "Bob" Barr CPA, CFE, CFF, CGMA

Robert "Bob" Barr CPA, CFE, CFF, CGMA is an adjunct professor at the University of Houston, C. T. Bauer College of Business. Bob has been teaching at the University of Houston since 1982 for a total of 36 years. During that time, Bob has been instrumental in developing and teaching accounting courses and designed and taught the MSACCT Fraud Examination course. Bob is responsible for hundreds of students learning about fraud, how to detect it, and how to investigate it properly. He has a strong network of professional acquaintances in the professional services business and he brings them into the classroom to share their stories and experiences with students.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities at UH, Bob has held positions in multiple professional services firms such as Arthur Andersen, BDO, and Harper and Pearson. Bob also gives freely of his time in volunteering. He was the original Faculty Sponsor for the UH ACFE Student Chapter, member of the Houston CPA Society Golf Tourney including Chair in 2013, Board Member of the Houston ACFE Chapter serving as University Liaison to Houston area universities, and a member of the ACFE Higher Education Committee.

Bob Graduated from the University of Houston - Bauer College of Business in 1977 and since, has been responsible for the creation of the UH Fraud Program including the creation of the Fraud Examination course.

Prior Recipients

  • Dan Ramey CPA, CFE, CFF (2017)

Houston Area ACFE speaker of the year award

The Houston Area ACFE Chapter Speaker of the Year Award is presented annually to honor an individual who has demonstrated the true spirit of leadership in communication, presentation and quality instruction.

Current Honoree

David Kirtland CFE, CIA, CRMA

David has over 7 years in the internal audit and risk management arena. He has extensive experience with financial and operational audits as well as Sarbanes Oxley implementation and testing. He couples his auditing experience with his over 9 years of hands-on operational and project management experience in manufacturing and industrial environments.

As a professional speaker, David has established himself as a leader in the areas of fraud, risk, and internal controls. He has also been a member of the Board of Directors for this chapter for nearly 5 years and currently serves as Chapter Vice President.

David was a 2018 recipient of the Houston ACFE President's Award, and named to the National Association of Certified Valuation and Assurance (NACVA) 40 Under 40. He has also been awarded the Houston ACFE Executive Leadership Award.

He is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and holds a Certificate in Risk Management Assurance.

Prior Recipients

  • Jeremy Clopton CPA, CFE ACDA, CIDA (2017)

FRAUD impact Award

 The Houston Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Fraud Impact Award is presented to the individual who made outstanding, significant contributions to the worldwide effort to prevent, deter, or detect fraud. The fraud fighter must have played an important role in a significant fraud matter. In the spirit of the Houston Chapter slogan United Locally to Fight Fraud Globally, the winner must reside in the Houston Combined Statistical Area, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Chambers, Austin, San Jacinto, Walker, and Matagorda counties. This award is not necessarily awarded annually.

Prior Recipients

  • Robert E. Hoskisson Ph.D (2017)
  • Amy Davis - Emmy-award winning Reporter (2016)
  • Dr. Qingzhong "Frank" Lu - Assistant Professor of Computer Science (2015)
  • Ryan C. Hubbs - President of the Houston ACFE Chapter (2014)
  • Wayne Dolcefino - President of Dolcefino Communications (2013)

President's award

Recognition from the Houston Area ACFE Chapter President to individuals who have had a significant impact on the chapter.

Current Honorees

Seham Carson, Events Director of the Houston ACFE

For her service and dedication to the ACFE and the anti-fraud profession including 2 years of service on the Houston ACFE Board of Directors, Seham Carson was awarded the President's Award on October 19, 2018 at the Houston Chapter's Annual Fraud Conference.  Seham received the award for her excellent work on coordinating and conducting efforts for planning and executing the Annual Conferences in 2017 and 2018.  Chrysti Ziegler, President of the Houston ACFE presented Seham with the award on behalf of the Houston Chapter.

David Kirtland, Vice President of the Houston ACFE

After becoming Vice President of the Houston Chapter, David Kirtland continued his responsibilities of the Training Director job which he had held previously.  Until the Training Director position was permanently filled, David fulfilled both the VP and Training Director roles for many months, which includes obtaining speakers for every monthly event and also for each Annual Fraud Conference in 2017 and 2018.  For his unwavering dedication to the success of the Houston ACFE, David was awarded the President's Award on October 19, 2018 at the Houston Chapter's Annual Fraud Conference.  Chrysti Ziegler, President of the Houston ACFE presented David with the award on behalf of the Houston Chapter.

Patrick Rodriguez, Technology & Communications Director of the Houston ACFE

Patrick Rodriguez joined the Houston ACFE Board in 2015 and his first major task was to find a solution to our website design and security issues.  He implemented Wild Apricot and built our new website which went live in January 2016.  The website was such a success that it was nominated and won the ACFE Website of the Year in 2017 which was presented to the Houston Chapter at the ACFE Global Fraud Conference in Nashville.  The Wild Apricot website solution has since become the preferred solution for many other ACFE chapters around the world.  Because of his quick action and tremendous success with our chpater's website, Patrick was awarded the President's Award on October 19, 2018 at the Houston Chapter's Annual Fraud Conference.  Chrysti Ziegler, President of the Houston ACFE presented Patrick with the award on behalf of the Houston Chapter.

Prior Recipients

  • Cindy Dunigan, Chapter Board Member (2017)
  • Jim Ratley, President of the ACFE (2014)
  • William Blake Hubbard for Student Leadership (2013)
  • Kurt Allshouse, Chapter Board Member (2013)
  • Kent Dixon, Chapter Board Member (2013)

executive leadership Awards

This award is presented by the Chapter President to the Executive Team as a thank you for leadership and dedication to the award-winning Houston ACFE Chapter at the end of their normal elected term.

Current Honorees

 Chrysti Ziegler  Shawn Pickens  Kathryn Avery Guillot
 Scott Lanham
 David Kirtland  Patrick Rodriguez Ryan Hubbs
 Cindy Dunigan
 Tim Davis
 Seham Carson Gabriella Marshall
 Krystin Mitchell
 Beverly Perilloux    

CFE Exam Awards

The CFE Exam awards are presented to chapter members who take and successfully pass the CFE exam.


 Oscar Harvin
 Andrea Violet

 Joseph Aubry
 Angelica Pomykal
 Christina Smith
 Diarra Boye
 Virginia Clayton
 Sarah Barnett
 Ariana Rodriguez
 Eli Levinowitz
 Constance Lehmann
 Luis Peralta
 Anne-Gaelle Rabaud
 De'Ondra Irby

Global conference Awards

Every year, the ACFE holds the Annual Global Fraud Conference which is the largest anti-fraud conference in the world.  To encourage our chapter members to attend the Global Fraud Conference, the Houston Chapter Board selects a limited number of members and provides a financial award to offset related registration and travel expenses.

Current Honorees

  • Chrysti Ziegler
  • David Kirtland
  • Suzon Bridges


This award is granted to the dedicated chapter members who have shown a commitment to not only the ACFE profession but to the local chapter.  The awards are granted at the Boards discretion.

Lifetime Members

 Rika Waldrop
Steven Garner
 Charles Cummings
 Robert Adams Dennis Arnie Robert "Bob" Barr Larry Beall Cecelia Bishop
 John Bovaird Tom Castiglione Tom Cothran A.J. Dyck Elvis Foster
 Jim Garcia Joseph S. Gardella Kent Gee James Griffing Monir Ibrahim
 Richard W. Lilliott III Robert Pierce Malone Richard Martinez Mel McQueary Barry Neff
 Samuel Ng D. Patrick O'Dell Ron Ridley  Stephen Scmoover Marc Schwartz
 Pete Simon Arthur Smiley Herbert Warner Terry Whitley Stephen Wilson

Houston Area ACFE Chapter
PO Box 22853
Houston, Texas 77227-2853

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