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Global Institute of Internal AuditorsBreadcrumb SeparatorNewsBreadcrumb SeparatorInternal Auditor Magazine Spotlights 15 Emerging Leaders

Internal Auditor Magazine Spotlights 15 Emerging Leaders

Young internal auditors earn international acclaim for professional excellence and innovation

LAKE MARY, Fla. USA (Sept. 30, 2019) — Fifteen internal auditors from around the world have been honored as 2019 Emerging Leaders by Internal Auditor, the award-winning magazine published by The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

Selected for their extraordinary demonstration of innovation, integrity, business acumen and passion, this year’s rising stars are paving the way for expanded influence of internal audit across organizational and geographic boundaries. The 15 young trailblazers embrace their roles as trusted advisors and enthusiastically seek opportunities to champion the profession in their organizations and in their communities. From cost savings to cultural dynamics, the organizational impacts of their work are evident – and largely driven by an adoption of advanced technologies and techniques that are redefining the modern internal audit function.

“Already serving as the voice of internal audit in their spheres of influence, this year’s Emerging Leaders  are redefining what it means to be an internal auditor,” said Anne Millage, editor-in-chief of Internal Auditor. “Their committment to excellence and advancement of the profession – and to service in their organizations and communities – is an inspiration.”

The 2019 Emerging Leaders are spotlighted in the October edition of Internal Auditor magazine, available now at

Hailing from countries including the Republic of Belarus, Canada, the United States and Zambia and representing a mix of public and private entities, they join an equally diverse group of over 100 peers from 14 countries who have been recognized since the program began in 2013.

Emerging Leaders must be members of The IIA and have, or be working toward, The IIA’s Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification. They are selected by a panel of distinguished internal auditors, including members of The IIA Global Board of Directors, who evaluate nominations detailing each individual’s performance in the areas of business acumen and leadership, service to the profession, community service, and innovative thinking.

The 2019 Emerging Leaders are:

Christopher Ballweg, CIA, CISA, 28, IT Audit Supervisor, Internal Audit, American Financial Group Inc., Cincinnati

Ballweg believes success in the internal audit profession will always rely on people skills, regardless of how technology advances. While he sees technological advancements as key to driving change, the University of Kentucky graduate notes relationship-building, communication, and adaptability are among practitioners’ most important competencies. Ballweg is an active member in The IIA’s Cincinnati Chapter and serves as a board member for his local American Cancer Society Young Professionals Group.

Megan Beeston, CFE, 29, PRG Senior Associate, Frazier & Deeter LLC, Atlanta

Beeston was drawn to internal audit as an avenue through which she could help people solve problems. The Kennesaw State University graduate is excited for the future of the profession as technology increasingly enables internal auditors to expand their capabilities past current roles. Beeston co-chairs the mentor–mentee program at her local IIA chapter, fundraises for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through her company, and volunteers on select weekends with the pediatric grief counseling organization Kate’s Club.

Marilyn Carnevale, CIA, CPA, 30, Senior Auditor, Rutgers, The State University Of New Jersey, Piscataway, N.J.

Carnevale enjoys the newness of each assignment in her role as an internal auditor and the challenging, yet rewarding, experience each assignment offers. Shortly after returning to work for her alma mater, Rutgers, Carnevale tackled a major, multi-phased project and rose into a leadership role as internship supervisor. She is an active member in The IIA’s Central Jersey Chapter.

Cheng Cheng, CIA, 28, Consultant, Enterprise Risk Service, MNP LLP, Toronto

Cheng characterizes internal audit as “fun,” but it is the challenge of the profession that lured him away from previous roles in finance and assurance. While the University of Toronto graduate is skilled in the use of advanced tools, such as data analytics, he describes communication as valuable for internal auditors to build relationships with clients and colleagues. Cheng serves as the treasurer for The IIA’s Toronto chapter.

Maddie Cook, CPA, 30, Senior Manager, Consulting, Crowe LLP, Los Angeles

In addition to traveling the world as a consultant, Cook is part of an innovation team considering ways to leverage blockchain technology to create internal audit efficiencies. The University of Western Ontario graduate is also researching the potential of robotic process automation and artificial intelligence. Outside the office, she volunteers with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a community food bank, and an organization that builds bicycles for children.

Christiane Dolores, 29, Internal Audit Manager, Caesars Entertainment Corp., Las Vegas

Dolores is known as an “Audit Ninja” and has been recognized numerous times as a top employee. She is vice president for The IIA’s Las Vegas Chapter and has previously served as secretary and vice president of programs. The University of Nevada graduate regularly attends events at her alma mater and engages students in her work with the internal audit community.

Melissa Morlan Donner, CIA, 26, Audit Supervisor, Bank of America, Chicago

Donner’s penchant for strategic data analysis catapulted her through the ranks at Bank of America, where within months of her start date she designed a new monthly business review for the chief audit executive (CAE) to oversee department operations and revamped the issue management report for the CEO’s management team. The forward-thinking audit supervisor is an IIA Chicago Chapter member and helps children improve their reading skills as a volunteer for TutorMate.

Blaine Fritz, CIA, 29, Governance & Operations Manager/Chief of Staff, GSK, Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Fritz’s impressive portfolio includes experience leading global audit teams conducting engagements across multiple areas of risk. His work has spanned multiple functions, cultures, and geographies, including North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The Michigan State University graduate serves in mentorship and volunteer programs at GSK and in the community as a youth soccer coach.

Kenson Munshya, CIA, CISA, 29, Internal Audit, Audit Manager, Stanbic Bank Zambia, Lusaka

Munshya is on a mission to make a difference in the profession, evidenced by his role in helping parent company Standard Bank Group’s Africa region’s team win the firm’s 2018 Group Internal Audit Mark of Excellence Award for enhancing the use of data analytics and audit automation. The Rasangu University Zambia graduate has helped teams from other countries with IT-related engagements and is piloting automation of his company’s process for data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Munshya is an active member of IIA–Zambia and a volunteer for his church.

Sarah Murray, CIA, 27, Internal Auditor, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Aiken, SC

It took one internal audit internship for Murray to fall in love with the profession. The Augusta University graduate is particularly interested in working with data and notes it always has a story to tell. She aims to overcome common internal audit stereotypes and illustrate the profession as one that’s helpful to her peers. An active member and former officer of The IIA’s Central Savannah River Chapter, Murray also volunteers with local youth ministries and an organization that provides exterior home repairs and improvements to local community members.

Aidar Orunkhanov, 29, Solutions Director, TAMR, Cambridge, Mass.

Orunkhanov brings unique experience in data analytics and internal audit to his role with a startup that applies machine learning to data unification. The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign graduate once led development of an automated dashboard at a former employer that provides auditors with timely changes to risk profiles and data-enabled outliers for testing purposes. He also co-led a hands-on data analytics training program for 200 colleagues. Today, Orunkhanov lectures at Boston University, teaching a graduate-level course in business analytics. He also volunteers at a local food bank and helps families file their tax returns.

Katsiaryna Pranovich, 29, Chief Auditor, Internal Audit Department, JSC MTBANK, Minsk, Republic Of Belarus

Pranovich has honed relationship-building and public-speaking skills while performing as a comedian at local clubs and cafes. These communication skills contribute to her effectiveness on the job, where she enjoys helping colleagues deal with difficult situations. The Belarusian State Technical University graduate is a two-time winner of her firm’s “Best Employee” award, which she earned in part for her involvement in a project that examined data mining for automated internal auditing.

Steve Spittler, CPA, CISA, 28, Senior IT Internal Auditor, LPL Financial, Fort Mill, S.C.

A technology enthusiast with strong people skills, Spittler specializes in IT engagements – many of which include cybersecurity considerations. He loves the opportunity to collaborate with cross-functional teams and influence organizational improvement through audit recommendations. A Bentley University graduate, Spittler volunteers at his local Humane Society, the Metrolina Food Bank, and the Boys and Girls Club.

Jordan Sweeney, CFE, 28, Senior Auditor, City of Sacramento, Calif.

Sweeney leads auditing for the city’s Department of Utilities, where her efforts have led the department to realize monetary benefits of more than $15.2 million. She also manages the city’s whistleblower hotline and so far has resolved more than 80 cases. A graduate of the University of California at Davis, where she received a master’s degree in civil engineering, Sweeney approaches her auditing role with the data analysis and problem-solving skills she learned in her engineering degree program.

Jiahui “Bella” Wang, CIA, 28, Senior Internal Auditor, Computer Information Analyst, Atlas Air Inc., Purchase, N.Y.

Wang has designed and built several data-analytics programs to support internal audit's objective of executing more effective testing. The St. John's University graduate is also active with the youth education nonprofit Junior Achievement and often speaks at area college and university events about the benefits of internal audit.

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