Transitions like this are exciting, but they also can be tough—especially when we must say farewell to someone who has made such an impact on us.
I’ve known Jeff since my earliest days on the IMA Global Board of Directors. He welcomed me warmly and was always generous with his time. Jeff also impressed me with his knowledge of the profession, his passion for continuous learning—especially the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification—and his capacity for listening to the viewpoints of others.
IMA has transformed under Jeff’s leadership. Back in 2008, when Jeff first took the helm of the organization after serving for three years as vice president of research, IMA was an organization that needed a change in direction. We had slightly more than 59,000 members, mainly in the United States, and fewer than 17,000 CMAs.
Today, we have approximately 140,000 members in more than 150 countries, plus about 300 chapters. And since 1972, we’ve certified nearly 118,000 CMAs. IMA operates out of 13 offices around the world and has elevated its presence, respect, and influence in the profession.
That happened in large part because Jeff has always been passionate about the role of management accountants as well as the role of IMA as a partner in the profession. Jeff made it his mission to help grow this influence: He personally served as lead director on the board of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), and, with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), he made sure IMA’s voice was heard and that the profession would be prepared for the future. This is evident in IMA’s leadership role in the areas of technology; sustainable business; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Thanks to the foundation Jeff helped to lay, I’m excited and confident about the future of IMA, our global footprint, and the many careers that IMA will enhance moving forward.
If you ask Jeff about IMA’s successes, he focuses on the “we” who worked to turn around the organization in the face of numerous disruptions, many of which continue today. He recognizes the valuable contributions of staff and volunteers, the heart and soul of IMA.
On the personal side, I have utmost respect for Jeff, who is husband to Harriett, father of four adopted children, and caregiver to his older brother, Doug. As Jeff has said, friends, relatives, and caregivers need to take care of themselves so they can take care of others. That pertains to both business and life.
Although Jeff is moving on to retirement, I know he plans to continue to be involved in the profession as a thought leader. The profession will be better for it, although he deserves every moment that he’ll now be able to spend with his family, including numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
On behalf of the IMA Global Board of Directors, and myself personally: Jeff, thank you for everything you’ve done for IMA, and all the best for a long, healthy, and heartily deserved retirement.