“When I’m old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say ‘wow, that was an adventure,’ not ‘wow, I sure felt safe.’” —Tom Preston-Werner, Github co-founder

As I sit here thinking about what to write in my final newsletter as your Chapter President, I can’t help but reflect on the past year.  It feels like it has gone by so quickly, yet so much happened in and out of IFMA.  Just in my own life, we bought a house, had a baby, got promoted, my husband started a new job, and I still managed to have time to be a part of IFMA so if anyone is worried that getting involved will take up too much time, you can see from my year, it’s manageable, I promise!

I should say that it’s not only manageable but rewarding.  You certainly get more out of IFMA the more you put in, and I’m very thankful for the time I have dedicated to it as it has certainly supported me time and time again.  The past several years serving on the Board and committees have provided me with so many attributes that will be with me throughout my career.

  • BALANCE – As in Time Management and setting priorities – when you have so much going on, you need to figure out how to accomplish everything and determine what needs to take precedence and what can wait.
  • CONFIDENCE – I was terrified of public speaking prior to being Networking Chair and President and having to address the Chapter at events. I am much more comfortable now, thank goodness!
  • SELF WORTH – There was a time in my career where I just could not get to the next level, and I was able to move up in IFMA, allowing for me to feel like I was in the right field even though I couldn’t get the promotion I wanted. It eventually came, but I may not have been able to hang on as long as I did without having IFMA to support me.  Earning Professional Member of the Year was truly a highlight in my career as well.
  • FRIENDSHIP – When I moved 8 years ago, I didn’t know really anyone in this area. I wasn’t married and moved alone. Shortly after I began my new role at Fidelity, I joined IFMA thanks to one of my only friends at work and made more close friends than I could have imagined.

I have truly enjoyed serving the Chapter the past 8 years and look forward to supporting it as Past President and then on the Past President’s Council after my Board time is over.  I am eternally grateful to the people who have laughed and cried with me over the years.  You are some of the best friends I will ever have and I’d be lost without you.  Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank my husband who has supported my involvement and only once in a while got cranky when IFMA took priority over everything else.  Thank You Drew – your patience is treasured, and I love you very much!

Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your President this year, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist in making your IFMA membership better in any way!

Laura Shaw President 2014-2015