to a national event, and I was impressed with its size and professionalism. Despite the large number of attendees, I felt at
home because members introduced themselves and made me
Like George, I had difficulty choosing from all the great educational opportunities. My chapter buddy and I actually split up,
attended different sessions, and shared our notes.
Brian: My first conference was 16 years ago in San Francisco
at the Fairmont, where CFMA was celebrating its 10th Anniversary with 200-300 people in attendance.
At the time, I was attending a software user’s meeting in conjunction with the conference. It was great to meet people doing
the same thing I was doing. Together we freely discussed ideas,
as well as challenges.
BP: All of you have been CFMA members for a
decade or more. What convinced you to renew
your membership year after year?
George: During the last 14 months I’ve been at Walton, I’ve
handled inquiries from my boss about the internal audit function, a bonus program, and accounting for burden – thanks to
my CFMA colleagues/friends at similar-sized companies.
I’ve also referred to Financial Management and Accounting
for the Construction Industry many times in my career. At my
chapter’s monthly breakfast meetings, I continue to see longtime friends and meet new acquaintances.
Without my membership in CFMA, none of these opportunities would be possible. CFMA is truly my “Source & Resource”
within the construction industry.
Vickie: The value of CFMA membership goes way beyond dollars and cents. Many times, a quick phone call to another member saves me a lot of research and hassle.
For example, I once worked for a company that had an opportunity to conduct business in Canada. But, in order for this to
happen, I needed information fast! The project involved Customs, a Goods and Services Tax (GST), and registering to do
business in Canada.
After one quick call to Mike Molaro at CFMA Headquarters, I
was connected with a company in Michigan that was already
working in Canada. A CFMA member (whom I had never met)
talked to me for about an hour, and provided me with the information needed to get started.
Today, David Zartman, my boss and President of Zartman
Construction, Inc., repeatedly says, “We get much more out of
CFMA than we put into it.” I frequently provide management
with valuable information from the educational programs and
CFMA Building Profits articles.
Best of all, a wealth of construction industry experts have
become personal friends, and they are just a phone call or e-mail away.
Jason: CFMA Building Profits was one of the main reasons I
renewed my membership in 1993. I still find myself copying
articles for co-workers today.
Later this year, members will be able to access a digital replica
of the magazine via the Web. What a great benefit for members
and their companies! And what a wonderful way to use technology to reinforce and encourage interpersonal interaction.
Brian: Networking at both the local and national levels has
really paid off for me too. Educational opportunities make a difference, as well. Years ago, I went to a local meeting on sales
and use tax. It led our local chapter to ask the City of New
Orleans to minimize GC exposures for subcontractors who did
not pay city sales and use tax.
BP: George, we’ve heard great stories about
CFMA relationships. How does this dovetail
George: In the association world, members are not only customers, but also leaders and service providers. And, we all know
that innovation usually happens when members need or want
change. As I said in my Incoming Chairman’s Message, “It’s
developing something new when the status quo just won’t do.”
Innovation requires diligence, commitment, communication,
and the participation of every CFMA member. This means
that CFMA’s ability to grow in new directions depends on the
integrity of our relationships. But, with everyone’s help, innovation is easy to achieve and extremely rewarding. Together,
we can create tomorrow’s stories. BP