IMA Volunteerism: An Exciting PathwayBy
Life is a journey, not a destination. I believe this wholeheartedly. My life’s journey has brought me incredible experiences, including attending Dartmouth College, working on Wall Street, helping Mom start her own business, starting my own consultancy 23 years ago, traveling the world, and volunteering for organizations with which I have a strong connection.
As an undergrad, I was very focused on a destination—becoming a surgeon. I certainly couldn’t have predicted where I was headed during my subsequent journey, which has brought me around the world and down a very different career pathway from commercial banking and investment product development to marketing, brand management, and consulting.
Along the way, I met IMA® in 2009. Although I had no formal accounting education, I’d been consulting with the accounting profession since 1996 in assurance services, technology, reporting standards, financial planning, and business valuation. In 1997, I began working with the XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) technology standard for digitizing business information. Through my professional network in the XBRL Consortium, I met former IMA Chair Kim Wallin. Kim assembled an international IMA XBRL Committee (including me), and my journey took me into IMA.
What an exciting path it’s been! I was appointed chair of the XBRL Committee and helped educate management accountants about the value of XBRL. Technology was becoming increasingly important, so under my leadership we broadened our scope to become the IMA Technology Solutions and Practices Committee.
While I was serving as committee chair, John Pollara, another former IMA Chair and my valued mentor, nominated me for the IMA Global Board of Directors. I was honored and humbled when I was selected, and I didn’t want to let anyone down. I suspected that expectations were high, especially since I was not an accountant.
I served three consecutive terms on the IMA Board and thoroughly enjoyed them, sharing my insights and perspectives and learning from my peers. I was given many opportunities over those six years to lead projects on behalf of our members, and I will be forever grateful for those learning experiences. They have enriched my life and made this journey meaningful and fulfilling.
Having reached my term limit for the Board, I rolled off in 2016. Sad to leave but excited to do something else for IMA, I was asked to lead the IMA Diversity and Inclusion Committee. As a nonaccountant, non-CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) following a very different pathway into IMA volunteering, I’ve received my share of inquiries as to why and how I got where I did without following a more “traditional” accounting path. I take diversity and inclusion to heart, and I’m very pleased that IMA has embraced and welcomed my nontraditional path.
I’ve learned along my journey that you need to be passionate about what you do if you want life to be a successful and enriching learning experience. New opportunities are around every corner.
And now my IMA journey continues. I’m back on the Board for another term. Next up—my CMA!