President John F. Kennedy once said, “… ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This inaugural address was given at a pivotal moment in American history, and it planted a seed in the hearts and minds of our nation to prepare for the changes to come. Although, those changes did not come uncontested. Sure enough, there were many challenges facing the nation during that time, but the people displayed resiliency that ultimately defined that moment in history.
Over the past few years, GFOAT has also witnessed many changes. Total membership has grown by 16%, from 1,014 to 1,174. In addition, GFOAT sponsorships have also increased by 27%, from $102,500 to $130,000 annually. More recently, our organization has partnered with Business Professionals Network (BPN) and the Accounting CPE Network (ACPEN) to offer a catalog of courses in webcast format. The immediate past president, Mike Rodgers, was the visionary behind this program’s introduction to our membership base. Due to his wonderful leadership, GFOAT now offers an opportunity to obtain continuing education credits for both CPAs and CGFOs through these on-line webcasts. Not only are there opportunities for finance professionals to receive training, but members of GFOAT can also participate in conducting training sessions–whereby transferring valuable knowledge to other members of our organization. This is but one example of asking, “What can I do on behalf of GFOAT?”
Have you noticed that the demographics of our professional climate and workplaces are ever changing? As baby boomers retire, so do their ideals and fiscal philosophies. How the boomers approach fiscal policy, financial management, or operational budgets may vary a great deal from how other generations (i.e. millennials) approach those same areas. The same can be said of our membership. How “seasoned” members approach conference planning, fund raising, and committee involvement may also vary from how new members view those same areas of responsibility.
In closing, I say this: “Lend me your ears my fellow colleagues…. lend me your hands… your feet… your hearts and minds as we embark upon a journey towards the future of GFOAT.” I see a future consisting of climate change, new ideals, and different philosophies. So, allow me to encourage you to be more involved this year. Actively participate on a committee that best suits your desires and talents. Offer to present during a work session or at least take the lead by preparing a topic and coordinating a speaker. There’s so much more you can gain and give by asking, “What can I do on behalf of GFOAT?”
I am looking forward to a productive year that defines OUR moment in history!