Ascend, the national Asian-American society of accountants, held its first major conference in New York this week.

The group, formerly known as the Asian American Society of CPAs, wound up the three-day conference with a gala dinner Tuesday evening featuring a keynote speech by Ernst & Young chairman and CEO Jim Turley, who described the need for more recruitment of minorities in the accounting profession. He is headed to China to catch the closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games.

Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg also spoke at the conference, along with PepsiCo CFO Richard Goodman, Merrill Lynch global diversity leader Subha Barry, Wal-Mart Stores SVP of finance Michael Fung and executive coach Jane Hyun.

The conference included mentoring sessions, sessions on cultural fluency, corporate dynamics, interviewing techniques and other topics. After the conference wrapped up, Ascend CEO Jeff Chin rang the opening bell at the Nasdaq on Wednesday morning.

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