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The Best in Us All

By Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE
January 1, 2021
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Many years ago, during my dog’s annual checkup, I had a veterinarian tell me something that has stayed with me for a long time: He explained that my dog’s “true personality” really came out when she was under duress.

 

As a result, this tough time—when she was anxious and fearful about what the vet might do—was causing my typically gentle and calm companion to be, frankly, agitated and downright ornery.

 

When I think about this period of history we are living through right now, I’m reminded how difficult times can bring out the worst, and the best, in us all. And as I reflect on our IMA® community, I’m filled with gratitude that we have chosen hope over helplessness and compassion over despair. Yes, the global disruption and loss brought on by 2020 has touched us all, no doubt impacting some of our members and their families more than others. But 2020 has brought out the best in IMA, drawing our members, volunteer leaders, and dedicated staff closer than ever. And I remain confident that this will continue as we enter 2021.

 

There are so many examples of the way our community has come together to support one another. I’ve been so inspired by the virtual events we have conducted around the world—many of these events filled to (virtual) capacity with members eager to expand their knowledge and keep connected with each other and the profession. We’ve drawn impressive numbers of attendees to professional and student events in our six regions around the world, with many of these individuals hailing from far-reaching locations and who in the past might not have had the opportunity to attend an in-person event.

 

It’s also encouraging to see so many members across all of our regions continue to sit safely for their CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) exams. By taking this important step, these members are choosing to look to the future with confidence, making an investment in their own careers as well as finding a way to positively impact the organizations and institutions around them.

 

As a community, we’ve embraced education as a way to move forward in the midst of struggle. I’m pleased to report that in 2020, IMA awarded more CPE credits than ever before—in fact, nearly 50% more than in 2019. The fact that tens of thousands of you have upskilled this year with our new continuing education courses—on topics like data analytics, blockchain, robotic process automation, and cybersecurity, just to name a few—demonstrates that you’re ready to add value in important ways.

 

As I look ahead, I know our members will play a vital role in rebuilding businesses and organizations around the globe. And make no mistake: There is much work to be done. So please join me in looking forward to 2021 with renewed hope and optimism. The IMA community is here to support you in good times and, especially, in challenging times.

 

Jeffrey C. Thomson, CMA, CSCA, CAE, is IMA president and CEO. He also is a member of IMA’s Bergen-Rockland-Meadowlands Chapter. You can reach Jeff at jthomson@imanet.org or follow him on Twitter: @IMA_JeffThomson.
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