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IMA Remembers Keith Bryant, Jr., CMA

By Kathy Williams
November 1, 2018
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Keith Bryant, Jr., CMA, IMA President (now Chair) in 1994-95 and 1997-98, died recently in Birmingham, Ala., at age 88. An IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) member for 48 years, he joined in 1970 when it was NAA (National Association of Accountants), affiliating with the Birmingham Chapter. He was elected chapter president in 1978-79.

 

 

Active in IMA for years, he served as chair of the Committees on Community Responsibility, Chapter Operations, Planning and Budget, and the Board of Regents of the ICMA® (Institute of Certified Management Accountants). A dedicated believer in the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification, he was particularly proud that he was among the first group to sit for the CMA exam in 1972 and pass. He held Certificate No. 10.

 

Although Keith had been working in industry after serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and obtaining his B.S. and MBA degrees, he decided to switch to academia and earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He then led the effort to establish the Department of Accounting there and served as its first chairman from 1969 to 1987. Next he served as associate dean of the School of Business and Graduate School of Management from 1987 to 1995, when he retired.

 

Two of his main goals were to make accounting education more relevant for graduates entering the business world and for IMA to be relevant for all members then and in the future. He also worked to make sure that management accounting would get as much prominence as public accounting, spending his career “Building Bridges” to span that gap as well as gaps between accounting organizations, the present and the future of IMA, and the skills corporate accountants and academics would need to excel in the profession. Most of all, he believed IMA should be a change agent for the future of the profession. He also was elected to serve a second term as IMA President when then President-elect Clark H. Johnson died unexpectedly.

 

A strong family man, Keith and his wife, Stella, were married for 34 years until her death. He is survived by his brother, Walter, and five children along with numerous other relatives.

 

Kathy Williams is editor-in-chief of Strategic Finance. You can reach her at kwilliams@imanet.org.
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