Education - ASA Connect: Information Exchange

ASA Connect: Information Exchange 4-16-24


A panel of experts in accounting, bonding/surety, project management, and reporting systems will discuss the critical importance of timely and accurate WIP Reports and the people and processes needed to execute.

  • Team Accountability – communications between the field, project managers, and accounting
  • Managing Ahead – solid data as the foundation for forecasts and making good decisions
  • Pitfalls – are you incentivizing non-compliance with procedures?
  • How to track scheduled work and un-scheduled work (change orders) in WIP reports
  • Bonded Projects – how surprises can cost you lots of $$, bonding risks
  • Best practices and practical barriers to following them


Chris Haiss, CPA, MCTS

Chris Haiss is a partner in Gross Mendelsohn’s Technology Solutions Group. She concentrates her efforts on configuring software so it truly benefits a client’s operations. Her background as both a Certified Public Accountant and an IT specialist benefits clients. She knows about the accounting and financial reporting needs of businesses, and this allows her to efficiently deliver a complete software solution to clients. Chris has extensive expertise working with high-end integrated accounting systems and database programs.

Marie Calabrese, CPA

Marie Calabrese is a principal at Gross Mendelsohn & Associates, P.A. She helps construction contractors, architects and engineers make educated decisions about their finances. She serves as co-director of the firm’s Construction & Real Estate Group, and assists her clients in making educated decisions about their finances by fielding questions on how to account for unusual or complex transactions, among other things. One of her favorite parts of being a CPA is that – with all the changes in accounting rules – she’s never bored.

Bobby Sigmon

Bobby Sigmon a lifelong Baltimore resident, currently sitting as president of Sessa Sheet Metal Contractors, Inc. (SSM). After proudly graduating Harford Technical High School, he pursued a career in sheet metal, much like his father. Since starting with SSM in 2001, he’s received and seized every opportunity provided to grow, shape and propel his career to the highest level. He’s had the liberty of holding almost every job title SSM has to offer as a mechanic, foreman, project manager, draftsman and estimator, to name a few. All of which had a strong peer driven training. He and SSM are very much looking forward to what the future brings to the industry.

Karen Barbour

Karen Barbour founded The Barbour Group in 2002, a nationally licensed surety agency focused on construction bonding and advocacy, with offices in Maryland and Tennessee.  TBG is a certified DBE, WBE, WOSB and WBENC firm.   

Karen has been a frequent advocate for the construction industry in DC and Annapolis.  For her efforts on amending the Stimulus Bill, she won the US SBA Small Business Person of the Year (MD). She has testified before the US House Judiciary Committee as an expert in bonding and construction financing matters.  In Maryland, she has led efforts related to lien laws, prompt payment and retention laws, including the successful passage of the Subcontractors Equal Access to Bonding Act (2013) and the Change Order Fairness Act, (2016).

Karen serves on the U.S. SBA’s National SBDC Advisory Board, MAA (BWI) Small & Minority Business Advisory Council, as Vice Chair for AMAC’s Government Affairs Committee, and on boards such as Women Construction Owners & Executives and Girls Scouts of Central MD. Karen co-founded the Alliance for Hispanic Commercial Contractors, Party For A Cure and the National Small Business Party

What Are Information Exchanges?

Subcontractor Information Exchanges (SIEs) are business education sessions that provide members the opportunity to connect directly with speakers and share experiences on strategic management topics, key operational topics, and leadership and culture issues.  Information Exchange meetings are held once each quarter at a monthly ASA Connect meeting: October, January, April, and July.

(Optional) Business Practice Interchanges (BPIs)

All ASA Connect events (except the Annual Meeting in June) are followed by an optional, members-only, attorney-moderated, confidential Business Practice Interchange (BPI) session to discuss upcoming or ongoing projects, people, pitfalls, and processes.

Food & Beverages

Heavy hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks are included during all ASA Connect events, and the Annual Meeting in June includes dinner and open bar.  BPI attendees may order from the menu immediately following the ASA Connect meetings.


Sponsorships include one ticket and may be purchased at any time up to one week prior to the ASA Connect event in order to allow time for the design and printing of the sponsor’s sign.

When Can I Register?

Registrations for each ASA Connect event are available for five weeks prior to the ASA Connect event, up to the end of the day prior to the event.

  • Learn from your peers and industry experts!
     April 16, 2024
     4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
     Olive Grove Restaurant


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