I was lucky to first meet Izz at the IMA® Student Leadership Conference in 2016 in Detroit, Mich. We reconnected in San Antonio, Texas, at the IMA Global Board of Directors meeting last October, where she was among those selected to participate in the Young Professional Leadership Experience.

Our Volunteer Leadership Experience subcommittee, chaired by Rachel Saunders, oversees the Young Professional Leadership Experience, and last year they received a record number of applications to attend our October Board meeting. The individuals selected—Izz as well as Zohaib Akhtar, CMA, CSCA, CIA; Luke Harris; Eric Jerome Mauer, CMA; Jayada Ravindra Samudra, CMA; and Jordan L. Savage, CMA, CPA, CFE—are exceptional, and I look forward to watching their professional careers and seeing how they decide to serve IMA.

I hope they will one day aspire to be the IMA Chair and CFO of their companies. You see, their lives have been affected positively by IMA because of their passion for the profession and strong desire to be servant leaders. They want to change lives like IMA has changed theirs.

Izz’s passion for IMA and what we do for the profession is infectious and is prevalent throughout our global IMA member organization. It’s Young Professional Leadership Experience participants like Izz, Zohaib, Luke, Eric, Jayada, Jordan, and others who have the commitment to move our profession forward with data analytics, robotic process automation, business intelligence, and more with exceptional confidence. This confidence is fueled by the many professional development opportunities IMA offers members. IMA staff and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure our members are “always relevant,” even in changing times.

I would like to share Izz’s closing remarks from the Young Professional Leadership Experience luncheon, which have inspired me during the past few months as I faced things ending. Izz offered one of her favorite quotes: “Do not cry because it is over, smile because it happened.” Izz and her fellow young professionals didn’t want the experience to end, for sure, and some did want to cry because it was over. But Izz’s ability to maintain a positive outlook inspired all of us, and I hope those words help you to see things in a better light as things come to a close at different times in your life.

What are some of your IMA moments that you didn’t want to end? Please share your story at www.ima100years.org. I wish you a very healthy, happy, and prosperous 2019! I’d love to hear from you at gwhite@imanet.org.

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