A Lifelong CommunityBy
When I assumed the role of IMA® Chair last July, the organization was celebrating its 100th anniversary year, an incredible milestone. Serving as Chair this year, the first of IMA’s second century, has been among the most rewarding experiences of my life. The trips I have taken and the people I have met have shown me that being a part of IMA means you’re part of a lifelong community.
Among my most memorable experiences as Chair was traveling to China to attend and speak at IMA co-sponsored events. There, I met government officials, CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) candidates, and corporate partners, and saw firsthand the common language we shared through the CMA program and IMA membership.
Being IMA Chair has allowed me to meet many talented professionals who have helped us to get where we are today. For example, I recently met someone who earned her CMA in 1973, a time when not many women did. Hearing her story of overcoming hardships and studying and passing the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and CMA exams while raising three children exemplifies the drive and determination of our members globally.
She went on to write questions for the CMA exam and volunteer as an officer for her local chapter. Individuals like her remind me that IMA is more than just the CMA and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) certifications—it’s a community and family of finance professionals.
Over this past year, it’s also been apparent how IMA is able to successfully partner with key groups that keep enthusiasm for management accounting alive, like accounting faculty. Among this year’s highlights for me was attending an American Accounting Association event where J. Lee Nicholson, the founder of IMA and the father of cost accounting, was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame. It was a chance for IMA to show its support to the academic community, which plays such an important role in training students.
In a world transformed by COVID-19, students who enter the workforce will face new challenges. They will need the support of faculty, professional mentors, and organizations such as IMA that offer leadership experiences and continuing education. This new generation must become lifelong learners, ready to adapt to complex challenges that require skill and fortitude. And with Paul Juras, an accomplished educator, as the next IMA Chair, I’m sure this emphasis will continue.
This past year has shown me that IMA members respond to adversity with determination, hard work, and a can-do attitude. It has truly been inspiring to see this resiliency in action. It has been more than an honor to serve as your Chair. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.