President’s Message July 2014

“To every person there comes that special moment when they are tapped on the shoulder to do a very special thing unique to them. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared for the work that would be their finest hour.” – Winston Churchill


I want to take a few minutes to thank the IFMA people who have prepared me along the way to serve as your president this fiscal year.  If you were a member 7 years ago, you’ll remember that we had some extraordinary ladies running our chapter at that time.  These ladies influenced my career and personal life, more than I’m sure that they know.  Denise Johnston, Sara Gilbert and Heather Denny are three of the best women that I know and I looked up to them then and still do now.  I never had any doubt in my mind that I could lead our Chapter one day if I dedicated myself to IFMA the way these ladies do and I only hope I can be as strong of a leader and role model as you ladies were then and now.


The past 3 years and past 3 presidents have been just as influential to me and also changed our chapter forever.  The growth, structure and innovation that we have experienced under Craig Youst, Jeff Tyburski and Neville Devlaliwalla have been astonishing.  Our chapter has more than doubled in size since I joined!  We built a solid operational and financial foundation to ensure smooth transitions and year over year success.  We have put into place advanced processes that have allowed us to rise above chapters of like size.  We, myself especially, owe so much to these three men and their hard work pushing us to be the best we could be over the past 3 years.  Each one of you saw something in me and elevated me to another level in our Chapter and I’m indebted to you for that.


I’d also like to thank Rob Griffin and Mike Kriston, it has been a pleasure serving on the board this past year with you both.  I have learned much about life, work and IFMA from you both and I treasure our friendships dearly.


Now onto the new fiscal year!  This year we’ll be focusing on Operational Excellence.  We have grown so significantly in years past as I mentioned and we’ve taken the time to put the structure and improvements in place, now is the time to capitalize on all of our hard work.  We have the opportunity here to make every program we put on and every event we throw the best we’ve ever had.  At our planning retreat, we took a step back and realized that in our want to do as much as we can for our members, we may be doing too much.  We will be cutting back the number of events that we have this year to ensure each event we do have, benefits the most people and garners the most professional members.


We have put in place more professional development opportunities with our CFM class and we are looking to sponsor CFM, SFP and FMP designations as well.  We are also in a position to give out more local and national scholarships than ever before.  While we support national, we have so many members here locally that deserve the chance to attend WWP and FF and who want to get their CFM SFP or FMP credential.  We are trying to focus on our local talent which will make us even stronger as a chapter.


These efforts fit into our “Celebrate the Professional Member Campaign” which encourages the chapter focus on the needs of our professionals and encourages them to participate in events and committees.  This can only help our associate members, as the more professionals involved, the more interaction opportunities there will be.


We are currently concentrating our efforts on Chapter Recertification, onboarding our Chapter Administrator, the Annual Sponsorship Campaign and completing the Balanced Scorecard which serves as our roadmap for the 2014-2015 year.  Annual Sponsorship is the life blood of our Chapter Networking Events and Professional Development opportunities.  If you have any questions about becoming an annual sponsor, please reach out to me.  I’d be happy to meet and discuss the available sponsorship levels for your company and how you can partner with the Chapter this coming year.


All these tasks take a lot of time from our committee chairs and co-chairs and I’d like to thank them for all they have done to date and in advance for the work still to come.  We are working to ensure that all of our volunteers have balance with their IFMA duties and work and personal lives.  IFMA shouldn’t be a burden to anyone, but bring additional benefits to our careers and joy to our lives!  It’s a busy time of year for IFMA but come mid-August we should be set and ready to make this year, the best we’ve ever had!


Enjoy the summer & the heat!  I hope you get the time to take a vacation and spend some time away from work with family and friends.  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 anyway!


Laura Shaw President 2014-2015