Like those plants, we IMA® members need to be similarly resilient in our professional careers. Much like tending the garden to give the seeds the resilience to flourish, we need to tend to our networks and our knowledge base—and we can’t wait until conditions change before we begin to prepare.

I like to think of IMA as the garden center where you can get what you need to build that resilience. While IMA offers many professional development opportunities to do that, it’s only once a year that IMA hosts its Annual Conference & Expo (ACE). As a longtime IMA member, I have had many positive experiences and memories from attending Conferences, where I met new colleagues, renewed old acquaintances, and attended informative educational sessions.

This year, for the first time, IMA will hold the Conference in a 100% virtual format. One big advantage of this format will be the convenience. There’s no travel involved, yet you’ll have access to numerous career-enhancing sessions just as you would’ve been offered in the traditional setting. While this will make for a different experience from years past, there are still the same opportunities to grow and prosper.

IMA’s Virtual ACE2021 will present more than 50 live and bonus sessions, giving you the ability to earn up to 11 NASBA and approximately 50 ICMA® (Institute of Certified Management Accountants) continuing professional education credits. The sessions are grouped according to eight specialty tracks, so you can customize your learning experience and attend those sessions that best fit your personal and professional development goals. You’ll have the ability to dive deeply into topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion; data analytics; robotic process automation; cross-cultural communication; the importance of environmental, social, and governance reporting; and more. There also will be networking (virtual-style). Plus, all ACE sessions will be available on demand for 30 days after the event, so you can access, at your convenience, those sessions you may have missed.

Many of us have faced professional challenges over the past year, and we will all continue to be challenged in the future, whether it be a pandemic, economic downturns, advances in technology, and the like. But like a well-tended plant, the resilient professional is the one who not only survives but thrives. Be part of Virtual ACE2021 and build your professional resilience. You can register now. I’m sure you’ll find it to be an outstanding experience.

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