Chapter Celebrations: Past, Present and Future

Chapter Celebrations: Past, Present and Future

Every edition of ACAMS Today  highlights one of the 61 ACAMS chapters worldwide in the “Know Your Chapter” section, where the chapters discuss events, updates and more. This time around, to celebrate ACAMS chapters, and in honor of its 20th-anniversary, ACAMS Today  Editorial reached out to eight chapters to discuss a range of topics from the impact that ACAMS Today  has had on the chapter to the most memorable event in the chapter’s history to the chapter’s evolution since its inception.

ACAMS Macua Chapter

ACAMS Today  (AT): How has ACAMS Today  helped in furthering your chapter’s mission?

ACAMS Macau Chapter: Since 2018, the ACAMS Macau Chapter has cooperated with the Macau University of Science and Technology to set up a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) Examination Center. In November 2019, the Train-the-Trainer (TTT) training program was established. The Macau Chapter sent professional members as lecturers to the university and trained more than 30,000 students.

The chapter will continue to improve its members’ anti-money laundering (AML) professional level by regularly holding seminars and annual international conferences. In addition to promoting the specialization of AML and its awareness among Macau citizens, as well as cooperating in training and professional certifications in related anti-financial crime (AFC) fields for different industries, the Macau Chapter is committed to laying a solid foundation for government administration and international recognition of Macau’s AML.

Lynn Li, CAMS-Audit, board member, ACAMS Macau Chapter, AML director, Greater China, ACAMS,

ACAMS Vancouver Chapter

AT: What is the most memorable moment in your chapter’s history?

ACAMS Vancouver Chapter: The ACAMS Vancouver Chapter’s most memorable moment is its May 2019 educational event, which featured a discussion surrounding the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada’s (FINTRAC) proposed changes to the “Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.” The chapter was proud to have Jacqueline Shinfield, a partner at the Canadian business law firm Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP and co-lead of its financial services regulatory group. Shinfield outlined the proposed changes and addressed in-depth questions from AML and financial industry professionals from across the Lower Mainland. Not only did the proposed changes demonstrate Canada’s dedication to countering financial crime, but the event remains one of the best attended and most significant for the chapter, reflecting the industry’s commitment to upholding the integrity of Canada’s financial systems. In 2022, while still navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, the chapter looks forward to remaining a valuable informational and educational resource, as well as a strong networking system for financial crime professionals.

ACAMS Vancouver Chapter,

ACAMS Barbados Chapter

AT: How has your ACAMS chapter evolved since its inception?

ACAMS Barbados Chapter: Since its establishment in 2019, the ACAMS Barbados Chapter has aimed to attract members from the entire Caribbean region. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chapter has been doing exceptionally well by transitioning to virtual learning events with good representation from its members and the wider compliance community to discuss prevalent typologies, best practices and red flags—such as bitcoin, the risks of virtual currency and medicinal marijuana. Thank you to all the great professionals who joined us from across the region!

In 2022, the chapter intends to reinforce its relationships with law enforcement, the regional regulators as well as corporate sponsors. Furthermore, the chapter will diversify its executive membership and enhance its events and networking opportunities by incorporating members’ feedback and increasing specific member activities as well as virtual social activities. The chapter has already begun planning 2022 events that include networking-only gatherings, as well as learning events focused on new regulations and the Financial Action Task Force’s guidance. In addition, anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) and proliferation financing inspections, awareness of human trafficking/smuggling issues and case studies of recent money laundering and terrorist financing cases will be included. Beyond learning events, the chapter will explore facilitating study groups for the CAMS exam.

Abena Agard, CAMS, CTMA, senior analyst, AML/CTF, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, director communications, ACAMS Barbados Chapter, St. Michael, Barbados, Instagram: acamsbarbados.

ACAMS Cyprus Chapter

AT: What is the most memorable moment in your chapter’s history?

ACAMS Cyprus Chapter: The ACAMS Cyprus Chapter was ahead of its time when it introduced a hybrid model for its learning event in 2017, at a time when webinars, Zoom and Teams were not as popular as they are today.

The chapter booked a venue, confirmed a great sponsor and ordered snacks and drinks. The event was fully booked, with over 130 people expected to attend. However, our speaker’s plane was delayed and she missed her connecting flight.

With just four hours until the event, the chapter did not panic or cancel. Instead, the speaker, Samantha Sheen, booked a room with an internet connection near the Vienna International Airport. The chapter set up a big screen and a laptop and used all the available technology, including social media and mobile phones, to engage with the speaker in real-time! The chapter set up the presentation on a separate screen and even moved it manually to make sure people in the room could follow.

Sheen did her magic with a great presentation on the risks around politically exposed persons, managing those risks and recognizing close associates.

ACAMS Cyprus Chapter,

ACAMS Brazil Chapter

AT: How has your ACAMS chapter evolved since its inception?

ACAMS Brazil Chapter: The ACAMS Brazil Chapter, from its inception, has focused on being the leading organization for the dissemination and discussion of topics for professionals working in the AFC sector in Brazil. The ACAMS Brazil Chapter is a platform for career and network development for AML/CTF professionals.

Our chapter seeks to promote ACAMS’ mission, “to advance the professional knowledge, skills and experience of those dedicated to the detection and prevention of international money laundering, and to promote the development and implementation of sound anti-money laundering policies and procedures” through free events for our community with relevant themes related to the new Brazilian regulation and by bringing important names to the Brazilian scenario.

Since last year, we have significantly increased our number of affiliates and members. There are more than 200 affiliates in our ACAMS Brazil Chapter. We have improved our social networks through engaging events and a heightened focus on sharing AML news, reaching 3,467 followers on LinkedIn and 1,398 on our Instagram.

Roger Miura, CAMS, communication director, ACAMS Brazil Chapter, C6 Bank, São Paulo, Brazil,, Instagram: @roger_miura

ACAMS New York Chapter

AT: How has ACAMS Today  helped in furthering your chapter’s mission?

ACAMS New York Chapter: ACAMS Today  has consistently delivered high-quality and relevant topics to the AFC community. These articles have helped the ACAMS New York Chapter executive board formulate a strategy for upcoming webinars and relevant topics. In 2021, the chapter held 11 virtual events with over 5,000 attendees, in part thanks to the efforts put forth by ACAMS Today  contributors and executive staff. Thank you, Karla and the editorial team, for all that you do!

Meryl Lutsky and Howard Spieler, co-chairs, ACAMS New York Chapter,

ACAMS Greater Twin Cities Chapter

AT: What is the most memorable moment in your chapter’s history?

ACAMS Greater Twin Cities Chapter: As a chapter, our board takes to heart the goal of identifying and providing the needed education and networking opportunities to our members and community. Over the course of our history, the ACAMS Greater Twin Cities Chapter has witnessed the need to recognize our law enforcement partners and educate the financial community about human trafficking. These efforts took place as Minneapolis hosted the Super Bowl LII and maneuvered the way we operate to continue providing learning opportunities during an unprecedented pandemic.

As we step back and look at our achievements, we celebrate all our wins together. As a board, we are not only proud of the level of expertise from our speakers but the number of learning opportunities that our event’s committee has hosted over the last two years. Understanding the need for our members to continue their education while providing them with a chance to step away from their day-to-day work and feel like a part of their community was monumental. The chapter recognizes the efforts and creativity of our event’s committee over the last couple of years.

ACAMS Greater Twin Cities Chapter,

ACAMS Southern California Chapter

AT: How has your ACAMS chapter evolved since its inception?

ACAMS Southern California Chapter: “Evolution—The gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.”

The ACAMS Southern California Chapter was launched in August 2009 to create a closer-knit community of AML professionals and fill a gap in the Southern California marketplace. The landscape at the time needed to enhance the coalition of AML professionals in the banking sector with law enforcement and other financial services industries.

In the past 12 years, with the support of our members, communities and ACAMS, the inaugural meeting of 36 AML professionals in a board room has blossomed to a dynamic and vibrant chapter comprised of dedicated and diverse members from the public and private sectors: bankers, law enforcement officers, regulators, consultants, financial remittance centers, money services businesses (MSBs) and financial advisors.

Our minimum of four annual learning events evolved through the years from covering basic investigations, suspicious activity report filing tips and trade-based money laundering (TBML) case studies to MSB forums, human trafficking, elder abuse, cryptocurrency and pandemic fraud. We have organized four successful day-long AML symposiums with over 300 attendees covering hot topics, including a regulator’s panel.

As part of our evolution, the ACAMS San Diego—Baja Chapter was successfully established with former board members and maintains its own identity.

Throughout our growth, our chapter supported charities such as the Elizabeth House, Polaris Project, Red Cross, Ascenia and CAST LA. In 2020, the chapter received the “Exemplary Non-Government Partnership” award recognition by the Los Angeles office of Homeland Security Investigations for public-private collaboration.

We continue to be an ever-evolving and dynamic chapter member of ACAMS.

Hoi Luk, CRCM, CAMS, AU Truss Risk Management, chapter membership director, ACAMS Southern California Chapter, California, USA,

ACAMS Today Editorial, ACAMS, USA,

  1. “ACAMS,” Adtalem,
  2. Definitions from Oxford Languages

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