Staff honor Jim Ratley for his seminal role

ACFE employees show their appreciation during a reception for President Emeritus James D. Ratley, CFE, March 6 in Austin. Photo credit: John Loftis, CFE.

“We would not have the ACFE without Jim Ratley. Period.”

So said Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, founder and Chairman of the ACFE, at an in-house farewell reception on March 6 for President Emeritus James D. Ratley, CFE. Ratley has retired from the ACFE on his 30th anniversary. Bruce Dorris, J.D., CFE, CPA, formerly the vice president and program director, and an 11-year ACFE executive, has been appointed president and CEO.

Wells said at the reception that he and Ratley started the ACFE together. “I get the credit but he did the work,” Wells said. He recalled how he and Ratley first met when Wells ran the investigative firm, Wells & Associates, in Austin. “I was both the Wells and the associates,” Wells said. “Jim was secure in a 16-year job in the Dallas Police Department and decided that he did not want to be a policeman for the rest of his life. So, what kind of man would leave a 16-year career, pull up his two children and move to Austin on nothing more than a promise? Well, that’s Jim Ratley for you. He took the job with me with a 100 percent commitment.”

ACFE employees and Ratley’s family and friends lauded him with a slideshow, gifts and stories.

“I want to agree with Joe here about never giving up,” Ratley said. “Dr. Wells never gave up. He always worked and assured us, and we kept fighting the fight. … You try something and it doesn’t work? You try something else. And we did that until we found the formula. And that’s why y’all are all sitting here today. And why we’ve got such an outstanding organization. … Thank you all for your friendship. That means an awful lot right there. God bless you all.”

Wells announced the ACFE administration changes in a Feb. 8 letter to the membership. He said that Ratley personally selected Dorris to be the next president and CEO. “He has one of the brightest minds around, and I am confident he will put his own personal stamp on our continued growth and professional direction,” Wells said.

Prior to joining the ACFE, Dorris earned his Juris Doctor from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 1993 and is licensed to practice law in state and federal courts in Texas and Louisiana. He served as a prosecutor in Louisiana for 13 years, focusing primarily on financial crime investigations.

Dorris has conducted anti-fraud training for the United Nations, the American Bankers Association, colleges and universities around the world, as well as with the FBI, the Government Accountability Office and other U.S. federal and state law enforcement agencies.