Speakers - Global Academy of Finance and Management ®
Dr. George Mentz, JD, MBA, AMC, CWM - is a US Education Scholars Commissioner
2019-2022 and a licensed attorney and holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree (Latin
JD) and an MBA in tax and financial services. Mentz is a bestselling author of
several revolutionary books. Formerly, Mentz was a Senior Wealth Manager at a major Wall Street Firm.
Prof. Mentz is the author of 20 books and has been featured or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Hindu
National, El Norte Latin America, Reuters, the Financial Times, The China Daily, & The Arab Times. Dr.
Mentz, as a professor, has taught over 200 graduate and undergraduate, law and business courses at accredited
programs, has won several awards for teaching excellence, and has earned various financial licenses, registrations
and certifications from regulatory authorities. Prof. Mentz has established financial standards centers in over a
dozen Countries around the world including USA, Latin America, Singapore, Bahamas, Arabia, EU, India, Africa, Asia,
and The Bahamas. Prof. Mentz presently serves on the Advisory Board of the ACCE Association of Chartered
Economists, The Indian Institute of Financial Management, The China Wealth Management Council, the Arab
Leagues/Arab Academy of Financial and Banking Sciences Standard Board, and the LatinoAmericano Capitulo for Finance
Executives, and has served as an advisor to the Global Finance Forum in Switzerland. His books addressing law, tax,
management, operations, and compliance, include Wealth Management – A Treatise and Guide for the Wealthy,
Investment Management Strategy and Policy, Trust and Estates Management and Regulation, Fundamentals of US
Economics and Markets Basics on Investing, Financial Markets and Financial Planning, Project Management – Executive
Summary for the Financial Industry, Anti Money Laundering Laws and Regulation, and Financial Planning Treatise
Fundamentals. Mentz has consulted directly with agencies and departments the US Government, China
Government, Brazil Government, UAE, and the United Nations to raise standards in the world of management and
finance. Mentz is a chartered and accredited management consultant.
Prof Mentz is the Wealth Management and Investment Management graduate law school faculty Coordinator for
Wealth and Investment Management Specialization, Professional Designations for the Diamond Graduate Law Program in
finance and international tax with the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Mentz was the #2 in the World Wealth
Management influencer in 2020.
James Lavorgna, JD, LLM, CWM, CFP is the President & CEO of Forsyth Wealth
Management, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser and Business Services International, Inc., an international tax
and wealth management advisory company. Business Services International, Inc. also provides wealth management
instructional courses for the American Academy of Financial Management and the Royal Society of Fellows. Starting
in the financial services industry in 1976, Mr. Lavorgna has provided extensive financial and estate planning
services to professional athletes, high net worth individuals and business owners. He also works with non-profit
organizations and clients that have an interest in charitable giving, family wealth planning, and asset protection.
Mr. Lavorgna was an adjunct professor for investments and financial planning at Sussex County Community College
during the 1980’s and currently teaches accounting, computerized accounting and business law, a course he developed
for the Patrick Henry Community College distance-learning program. He was a thesis promoter and teaches
international tax credits as an adjunct professor for St. Thomas University School of Law Masters of Laws Graduate
International Taxation program. He now teaches as an adjunct professor for the Diamond Graduate International Tax
Program at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law. He is also a Certified Instructor for the American Academy of
Financial Management and currently teaches the Chartered Wealth Manager and Chartered Trust and Estate Planner
designation courses. Mr. Lavorgna has been a financial planning radio talk-show guest, an international public
speaker (recently speaking in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Barbados), has been quoted in trade publications, and
has independently published numerous articles. He has written the Anguilla Chapter for the Offshore Financial
Centers Database for Richmond Publishing, London and is currently completing a book on financial planning and
investing called Educated Investing. He also writes articles for ProducersWeb.com, a web magazine for professional
financial advisors with a membership of over three hundred thousand. He is listed in the National Register’s Who’s
Who in Executives and Professionals 2001-2002 edition and has been listed in the 2005-2006 “Guide to America’s Best
Financial Planners” published by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.
Casimir Sayn-Wittgenstein, CWM, MFP, prior to co-founding Scimitar Oryx Partners, was
Senior Vice President at Renaissance Investment Management, where he helped to launch an Emerging Europe Hedge
Fund. As part of the African Origination and Structuring team at Renaissance Capital, Mr. Sayn-Wittgenstein focused
on Investment Banking, Real Estate as well building Renaissance's Middle Eastern operations. Prior to joining
Renaissance, Casimir was a Senior Officer at EIM Group in London where focused on Family Offices and HNWI. In 2004,
Mr. Sayn-Wittgenstein joined EIM Group from Pictet & Cie where he was an Investment Manager in Private Clients
and Global Custody. Casimir is a German and Austrian Citizen; he speaks English and German fluently and has a
working knowledge French and Spanish. Casimir studied European Business Administration (BAEBA) at the European
Partnership of Business Schools and graduated from Hendon Business School specialising in Management and Marketing.
Mr Sayn-Wittgenstein currently serves on the Advisory Board of Armira Partners a private equity investment vehicle
focussed on Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Casimir is the Chairman of the Royal Society of Fellows, the premier
professional cross-disciplinary society that educates, trains and certifies professionals in international tax,
compliance, anti-money laundering and corporate and computer security. He is a member of the International Council
of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
Samuel Temitope Apanisile
MBA, ERMCP, MPM, AMA, ACCB- Nigeria GAFM Coordinator & Bureau
Samuel is an enterprise risk
management certified professional, a master project manager, systemic management accountant, an associate chartered
commodity broker and a SEC (Nigeria) Licensed Corporate Investment Adviser dedicated to continually design,
diagnose, develop and drive effectual frameworks for sustainable project and organization-wide outcomes that
add more gain and less pain to the achievement of desired bottom lines. Samuel does all these by enabling
better collaborative implementation via better informed decisions to improve business performance under uncertainty
and complexity. With Samuel's business support experience and certifications, his proposition is value
creation, managed risk and business outcomes.
AREA OF PROFESSIONAL
Enabling situational analysis to advance relationships for creating customers and retaining them.
Providing foresight frameworks to inform problem analysis to strengthen quality strategy in the face of
Coordinating the interdependencies of projects for success in the face of complexity & uncertainty
(ISO 21500 )
Generating fat-tail risk information for wiser financial decision making under radical
uncertainty (ISO 31000)
Illustrating patterns to help leaders make sense of probabilities in order to shape their behavioural
Providing applied management training capabilities to advance human capital and shape business
Dr. Robert Munro is the author of twenty-three published books including the five-volume
Money Laundering, Asset Forfeiture And International Financial Crimes and the three-volume Cybercrime And Security.
A tenured law librarian at University of Florida College of Law, Dr. Munro is the Co-Director of the Center for
International Financial Crimes Studies and a Senior Research Fellow and Director of Research for North America of
CIDOEC at Jesus College, Cambridge University. His expertise is concentrated on International Financial Crimes,
Organized Crime and Intelligence Analysis and he has addressed audiences at Cambridge University, the University of
Florida, the University of London, the CIA and the U.S. State Department. He has also created, organized and
chaired over 20 conferences on these topics in Miami, Aruba, Curacao, the Bahamas, Washington, D.C., New York City
and San Francisco. He is a Barrister and an Attorney at Law.
Phillips G. Gay, Jr., annually provides the AML training for 30 of the 50 state banking
associations, as well as speaking at several national and regional banking association events. Moreover, he trains
bank associations on bank security. He was a Senior Vice President at the Commercial Bank of Florida, in Miami, and
President of the Compliance Advisory Service in Coral Springs. Before this, he managed the Compliance/Community
Reinvestment Act programs for the Bank of North America, and for First Union Corporation. He is a founding partner
and senior advisor of the Paragon Compliance Group. Phil attended the University of Alabama and Florida State
University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Management and Business Administration. He is a High Honors graduate
of the School for Bank Administration at the University of Wisconsin and National Graduate Compliance School and
has served on their faculties. He holds the designations of Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager, Certified Risk
Professional, and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist.
Dr. Knut Olsen Head of Global Tax & Legal for a Nordin based multinational
corporation with responsibility for 80 countries of operation, overseeing over 100 subsidiaries. He was formerly a
tax and VAT inspector in Norway, has 25 years experience within taxation. For 4 years he was a lecturer at the
Directorate of Taxes for County Tax Inspectors, where he had the sole responsibility for the tax syllabus for the
2nd year students. He was also lecturing at the Norwegian School of Management, Ostfold Regional College and Oslo
Advanced College. He is engaged as an international tax course supervisor by PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he gives
lectures for the tax lawyers. His Ph.D. subject is within international petroleum taxation / tax treaties.
He fulfilled a LLM and a certificate in international taxation at St. Thomas University, Miami in 2003. He is also
authorized as a legal services provider, equivalent to a chartered tax advisor, and as an authorized account.
Furthermore, he has Special Subject Examination in Tax Law and 3 years of examination of law.
Rob Bloink Esq. started his career as a litigator for the IRS. In his governmental
capacity, Mr. Bloink became recognized as an expert in the taxation of financial structured products. Mr. Bloink’s
core competencies led to his involvement in prosecuting some of the biggest corporate tax shelters in the history
or our country. Since leaving government service, Mr. Bloink has long been in constant demand as an advisor to
America’s wealthiest families, private equity groups, hedge funds, and banking institutions.
J. Richard Duke Esq. has four times been elected by his peers to list of "Top 100
Attorneys" in the U.S., Worth magazine, December 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. He received his Master of Laws in
Taxation from the University of Miami School of Law and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Cumberland
School of Law of Samford University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law, Walter H. Diamond and Dorothy B. Diamond
Graduate Law Program in International Tax and Financial Services, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (formerly teaching
at the Diamond & Diamond Program at St. Thomas University School of Law, International Taxation (LL.M.)
Program, Miami, Florida (2000-2007)); Professor of Law at Aristotle University College of Law, Carlsbad,
California; and Adjunct Professor of Law at the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University (International Tax
and Asset Protection Planning) (1983-1999). Member and Distinguished Fellow of The Royal Society of Fellows (RSOF);
Member: International Tax Planning Association; Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP); International Bar
Association (Section on Business Law; Committee on Taxes); Inter-American Bar Association; Tax Section of the
American Bar Association; Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of the American Bar Association (Committee
on Asset Protection Planning); International Law and Practice Section of the American Bar Association (Committees
on International Taxation and International Property, Estate & Trust Law, International Private Client Group);
The Florida Bar (Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section, Tax Section, and International Law Section);
Alabama State Bar (Tax Section). Co-author updating the six-volume set of books titled International Trust Laws and
Analysis, Kluwer Law International; Author: Chapters, Tax Compliance and Reporting For Offshore Trusts and Uses of
Foreign Life Insurance in International Estate Planning, Asset Protection Strategies: Planning with Domestic and
Offshore Entities (The American Bar Association); contributing editor to Offshore Investment magazine, authoring
the monthly feature "Dubai Digest"; Use of Trusts by U. S. Citizens in International Tax Planning, Trusts in Prime
Jurisdictions, Kluwer Law International; and co-author of Controlled Foreign Corporation Guide; author of the U.S.
chapter for Global E-Business Law and Taxation (in the process of being published by Oxford University Press);
co-author Legal Ways to Save Taxes, Offshore Tax Strategies, and Offshore Tax Boot Camp Manual, Second Edition,
Research Press, Inc. (Prairie Village, Kansas); and co-author of U.S. Tax Reporting Guide for Foreign Trusts, which
is being published by Research Press, Inc. (Prairie Village, Kansas).
Dr. G. L. Salis Esq. is currently Principal Income Tax Analyst (International) at
Vertex, Inc., which is one of the largest international tax software companies in the world. He is also Adjunct
Professor of Economics at Webster University's MBA program, in Florida. Prior to his position at Vertex, he was
engaged as international tax and economic advisor and consultant to various firms such as the St. Abbeys Group,
(UK), The Quantum Group, LLC, JurisConsults International Group, LLC, The Scottish Rite Foundation, Inc., to name a
few. From 1996 - 2005, he served as the Program Director for the Legal Studies Department at Keiser University,
having designed and revised the Department's curricula several times during his tenure. He also served as Dean of
academic Affairs of the Lakeland Campus of Keiser University from 1999 until 2002. He has taught Economics, Law,
Business and International Trade related courses at several colleges in the US and abroad at the graduate and
undergraduate level, and he is frequently a guest lecturer at various colleges and universities in the US, UK, and
Europe. He is the author of two books on international law and policy, as well as numerous articles related to
international economic law, taxation, global investments, trade, and compliance for various professional journals
and trade magazines. A frequent speaker in the international conference circuit in the areas of international
trade, tax and economic law, Dr. Salis was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award twice at Franklin
Pierce College, in New Hampshire, with other nominations later at New England College, Rollins College, and at
Keiser University, Florida. He is a Distinguished Fellow in the Royal Society of Fellows, an international society
of lawyers, bankers, and investment, compliance and tax professionals from around the globe and a Distinguished
Fellow of the American Academy of Financial Management (AAFM), where he is a member of its Board of Standards. From
2003- 2005, he also served as Director of the Global Wealth Commission for the AAFM. Dr. Salis earned his Ph.D. in
International & Comparative Law & Economic Policy, from The Union Institute & University, a Master of
Laws in International Taxation from St. Thomas University School of Law, in Miami and a Post- Graduate Diploma in
European & International Tax Law, from Robert Kennedy College's Graduate School of Law, in Zurich, Switzerland.
He received his law degree with Honours, from the Honours Law programme at the University of Wolverhampton Law
School in England, the Specialist Diploma in European Union Law from Holborn College London and Oxford University
(UODLE). In 1988, he obtained a Master of Arts in Legal and Ethical Studies, from The University of Baltimore. He
earned Bachelors degrees in Economics and Political Science (dual major) with Honors, from The University of the
State of New York, Albany, and another in Philosophy and Humanities from Barry University, in Miami Shores. He is
active in the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the London Court of International
Arbitration, and the American Society of International Law, among other international organizations.
Internet Law Expert
George Mentz is the Founder of the Institute of Certified E-Commerce Consultants in the late 1990s. The
CEC Institute is the first vendor neutral e-Business Management Certification in the USA. Since 1998, Mentz has
been teaching e-Business Technologies, E-Markeing, Internet Marketing, e-Business and Media Law. Mentz's articles
on internet marketing and recruiting have been published in the top three college admissions journals. Mentz was
formerly a member of the advisory board of the World E-Commerce Forum and the Global Finance Forum in Switzerland.
The CEC ™ Certification is available to graduates of the law school courses in e-business. Mentz also created the
Project Management certification programs and books for e-Business Managers. In his book, E-Business MBA Guide for
CEOs, he stresses legal entity issues, intellectual property, trademark, and copyright law.
Financial Analyst Training Specialist and IFRS
Dr. Joel M. DiCicco, Ph.D., AFA®, CPA, PFS, CFF, CHE, CWM® - Dr. DiCicco has more
than 25 years of practitioner experience in the areas of finance, taxation and accounting. While he gained much of
his expertise in the valuation, tax treatment and structure of sophisticated financial instruments from his tenure
with the IRS Financial Products Specialists division, his history includes work for the National Futures
Association, Republic National Bank, and Security Pacific Merchant Bank. Currently, Dr. DiCicco is an adjunct
Professor for Florida Atlantic University’s Executive MBA program and the Managing Partner at the DiCicco Financial
Products Institute, LLC, providing training in all areas of finance, accounting, and economics. Additionally, he
conducts certification programs for the American Academy of Financial Management, as well preparation courses for
both the Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Analyst exams. Dr. DiCicco was twice invited to speak
before Senate Finance Committee staffers on hedge funds and other emerging financial products issues. He was the
Lead Instructor for all levels of the IRS Financial Products and International Taxation courses and taught numerous
seminars for the IRS on topics such as Embedded Options, International Accounting, and Hedge Funds. In addition, he
spoke in a variety of venues on a myriad of financial topics, including monetizations, financial synthetics, hedge
funds, and fair value accounting, just to name a few. Dr. DiCicco earned his PhD in Public Administration at
Florida Atlantic University with a concentration in public budgeting and finance and special emphasis on tax policy
and structured financial products. He also holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Manhattan
College and a Master of Science in Taxation from Florida International University. He is a licensed Certified
Public Accountant in the states of New York and Florida. In addition, Dr. DiCicco is a Personal Financial
Specialist and Certified in Financial Forensics by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Lastly,
Dr. DiCicco is a member of the American Academy of Financial Management and holds the Certified Chartered Economist
and Chartered Wealth Management certifications.
Dr. Tefera Tibebu Beyene, CWM®, Ch.E., has more than 20 years of experience in the areas
of management, accounting, finance, and taxation. He has Corporate, Government, and Oversees experience. Most of
his tax accounting; tax treatment and structure of sophisticated financial instruments experience gained from his
tenure with the State of Illinois Department of Revenue and with the IRS Financial Products Specialists division.
Dr. Beyene is an adjunct Professor for many universities and teaches accounting, finance, and economics courses.
Dr. Beyene is a President & founder of International Finance Training Institute LLC www.iftiti.net , providing
training in all areas of finance, accounting, and economics. Additionally, he works with www.diciccofpi.com &
conducts training programs and administrates examination for American Academy of Financial Management www.aafm.us.
Dr. Beyene is named by AAFM as a chief nominator for Ethiopia. Dr. Beyene earned his PhD in Applied
Management & Decision Sciences concentration in Accounting from Walden University. He also holds a Master of
Business Administration degree with double concentration in Accounting & Finance from Dominican University. He
is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois. Dr. Beyene is a fellow and member of the
American Academy of Financial Management ® (AAFM) and holds the Certified Chartered Economist and Chartered Wealth
Management certifications. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA);
American Accounting Association (AAA); and the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) and holds the
Credit Business Associate certification.
Dr. T. A. Gionis, MD, LLM, a United States Fulbright Scholar in Law, United
States Fulbright Senior Specialist Program, serves as Chairman of the American Board of Healthcare Law and
Medicine, and is an Adjunct Professor of Law, St. Thomas University School of Law ( Miami, Fl) in the Walter H. and
Dorothy B. Diamond International Tax LL.M. Program where he obtained his LL.M. degree. Dr. Gionis previously taught
International Health Law and Human Rights as an Adjunct Professor of Law at STU. While obtaining his LL.M. at STU,
Dr. Gionis served as Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Society of Fellows Law Review, the official publication and law
review of the International Tax LL.M. Program at STU and the Royal Society of Fellows. Additionally, Dr. Gionis is
a Fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine; Fellow, International College of Surgeons; and Fellow, Royal
College of Surgeons. After completing high school at 16 years of age, Dr. Gionis completed approximately 3 ½ years
of college in one (1) year, and started medical school at 17 years of age. He received his M.D. degree at 21, in
1975, from the Medical University of South Carolina, whereupon Dr. Gionis was reported as the youngest person in
the United States to complete this accomplishment. Dr. Gionis trained in general, thoracic and cardiovascular
surgery at Tulane Medical Center – Charity Hospital, New Orleans, La., and completed his Emergency Medicine
Research Fellowship at Harvard University – Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Gionis received his JD from the
John Marshall Law School, Chicago (Cum laude). He was a member of his law school’s Dean's List for every semester
of law school, was in the upper five in class standing, was a member of the Honors Program and was selected as the
Editor-in-Chief of the John Marshall Law Review. Dr. Gionis is a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Honors Society.
Within one (1) year of graduation from law school, Dr. Gionis published three law reviews articles (John Marshall
Law Review; Southern Illinois University Law Journal; American University Law Review). Concurrent with his first
year of law school studies in Chicago, Dr. Gionis completed the Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA) program,
at Seton Hall University, Center for Public Service. Dr. Gionis delivered the Commencement address at the Seton
Hall graduation. Dr. Gionis also holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Pepperdine University ,
Graduate School of Business, where his thesis was selected for inclusion in the Graduate School of Business
Library. As a United States Fulbright Scholar in Law, Dr. Gionis lectures world-wide on the law of corporate
director fiduciary duties; professional attorney ethics; the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; international law; the
international protection of human subjects of clinical research and experimentation; global commerce law and
E-commerce, and the law of scientific evidence law. Dr. Gionis has lectured regularly at Harvard University for the
past 14 years.
*List as Approved By Dean. Byrnes. AAFM has legal agreement with Diamond LLM Law Program and TJSL to
promote the program. All Names listed herein are Distinguished Professors (Hons) also recognized by the American
Academy. Some professors are not affiliated nor members of the academy but are available to work for executive
training or custom programs for in house education. Courses are offered by the law school as a private label