I’m reminded of a quote by Anne Frank that captures what I sincerely believe is the driver behind each of us who chooses to offer countless hours of our time and talents. Anne said, “How wonderful it is that nobody needs wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” We all know the Anne Frank story and the enormous challenges she and her family faced, yet she has remained a beacon of hope despite the tragedies they suffered.

Two people I’m lucky to call friends come to mind when I think about improving the world: Barry Nathan, chair of IMA’s Technology Solutions and Practices Committee, and Pem Smith, chair of the IMA Leadership Academy.

I first met Barry when I joined the IMA Global Board of Directors in 2008. It was the first time for either of us to serve IMA at the global level. Barry and I served on the standing Planning and Development Committee that first year, and we voted to expand IMA’s footprint in China and the Middle East. The committee also recommended a budget to the IMA Global Board of Directors that provided funding to translate the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) exam into Chinese.

To see how IMA is helping make businesses in China and the Middle East more successful gives me—and I’m sure Barry and the other Board members who voted yes to these critical changes—tremendous satisfaction. When I visited China last May and met many of our CMAs and CMA candidates there, it reaffirmed my belief that we made the right decision to support the accounting and finance profession globally.

I met Pem a few years later in my Global Board service. Pem and I share not only our passion for IMA service, but also a background in Six Sigma. Pem has been instrumental in bringing in an outstanding partnership with the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and he has helped demonstrate and explain the value of both Lean and Six Sigma to our members.

The same friendship that Barry, Pem, and I enjoy exists every place in the world for our CMAs and CMA candidates. I hope to see you at one of our events at some point in the future. If you can join us at our 2019 Annual Conference & Expo in San Diego, Calif., June 15-19, 2019, please register at www.imaconference.org. It should be an outstanding experience as we celebrate our 100-Year Anniversary. And if you’ve not yet served the profession at the local, regional, or global level and would like to do so, visit Volunteering with IMA at bit.ly/2B560QE to learn more about giving back to the profession.

I’d also like to hear your stories of service to the profession and IMA. Please share them with me at gwhite@imanet.org.

About the Authors