Enthusiasm & Optimism
CFMA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition
Many of you were disappointed early in the year when CFMA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition that was to be held in Washington, D.C. was cancelled. This annual event has become a pilgrimage for our members, travelling from all around North America to meet up with peers, colleagues, and friends. CFMA’s Conference Program Committee spent months arranging speakers and topics to be presented. Jenny Spriggs, CMP, CFMA’s Director of Meeting Services, and her staff had worked tirelessly on every detail of the Conference and the Exhibition. In a moment, all of that work was seemingly lost. However, with enthusiasm and optimism, the Conference Program Committee, Jenny, and CFMA’s HQ staff began the herculean effort of preparing a never-before-seen virtual conference in just two short months.
CFMA’s Virtual Conference was a huge success, with attendance exceeding expectations and garnering high marks from attendees. Thank you to the volunteers and staff who pressed on and kept the Conference going under unprecedented circumstances.
Assisting CFMA Members & Their Companies
Early in the pandemic, our committees and their leaders focused on assisting our members and their companies. CFMA’s COVID-19 Resource Center was created to give our members easy access to a wide variety of pandemic-related information and resources. The Webinar Subcommittee and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Task Force worked to present a series of pandemic-related
webinars focusing on the economic impact; the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act); and the PPP.
Additionally, the Chapter Resource Committee worked with chapter leaders to virtually connect with members. Thank you, again, to the volunteers and staff who refused to leave our members isolated.
Creation of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee
COVID-19 was not the only major socioeconomic event of 2020. Social unrest amid the ongoing movement for racial justice weighed heavily in our hearts and conscience. What can and should CFMA do? To answer that question, CFMA’s Executive Committee created the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Under the leadership of Committee Chairman Bruce Orr, this group will promote diverse and innovative leadership, increased equity, and strategic collaboration to help members drive employee engagement, pursue opportunities, and create lasting change.
Arguably the most significant event of this past year was the merger of CFMA and ICCIFP. A joint CFMA/ICCIFP Merger Exploration Committee was formed to explore the possibility of merging and to make recommendations to the respective governing bodies. The committee hosted a virtual Town Hall meeting to present its findings and recommendations and to allow all stakeholders the opportunity to speak either for or against the proposal as well as to ask questions of the committee leadership. The results of a survey that was sent to all Town Hall participants after the meeting indicated overwhelming support for the proposed merger. Following the Town Hall, the ICCIFP Board of Trustees, CFMA Executive Committee, CFMA Board of Directors, and CFMA members all approved the merger.
The strong symbiotic relationship between CFMA and ICCIFP has always been vital to both organizations. The merger will further align and unify the efforts of both organizations to promote the value and recognition of certification in the construction industry.
Leading with Clarity
It has been a pleasure to interact with you virtually in so many ways this year. We ushered in a digital transformation from the “Ask Me Anything” on the Connection Café to the “38 Questions” video on CFMA’s YouTube channel. The “Chat with the Chairman” video series provided a new way to get to know the people of CFMA on a personal level. In addition, we created and shared personal playlists on Spotify. CFMA’s new podcast, “Voices of CFMA,” also provided a means to get to know our members better.
This incredible year was made possible by all my friends at CFMA – Stuart Binstock and the wonderful HQ staff, my fellow officers at CFMA and ICCIFP, members of the Executive Committee, the Spring Creek Class of 2019, and too many others to name here. I hope you all know how much you mean to me.
Speaking of someone who means so much to me, my longtime friend and mentor, Pam Hepburn, is succeeding me as the Incoming Chairman. She exemplifies someone who leads with clarity, and I am honored to pass the torch to her.
Copyright © 2021 by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). All rights reserved. This article first appeared in March/April 2021 CFMA Building Profits magazine.