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Who Will Tell Your Story?

By Stuart Binstock, President & CEO

Let me preface this message by stating that I am obsessed with the Broadway musical Hamilton. In my 50 years of attending Broadway shows, there has never been a more original, uplifting, entertaining, creative, and groundbreaking show – and I haven’t even seen it yet!

At the end of the show, as Alexander Hamilton is dying from a gunshot wound from the most famous duel in America and reflecting on his life and legacy, he asks, “Who will tell my story?”

Luckily for CFMA, which has now been in existence for 35 years, we have many members – including our founder, David Casey – who are as passionate about “our story” as Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ron Chernow were to tell Alexander Hamilton’s.

Most recently, Kimberly Hullfish, President of CFMA’s South Jersey Chapter, compiled a detailed account of CFMA’s early history for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Construction Financial Management Conference. While this “story” may not be as riveting as Hamilton, Kimberly’s passion for CFMA is characteristic of our membership.

I encourage you to take a look at a video that features David, Kimberly, and Tony Stagliano, one of CFMA’s most influential and longtime members, who recently sat down to recount the early days of CFMA ( You can also read about David’s reflection on how CFMA began, the driving forces behind the creation, and how close we have come to reaching the vision he had 35 years ago. Interestingly, our essential mission hasn’t changed in 35 years. I guess David was onto something from the outset.

And, speaking of telling a story, let’s talk about one CFMA offering that may help your company tell its financial story. In this instance, I am referring to CFMA’s Construction Financial Benchmarker Online Questionnaire. The 2016 results were released this past September and tell a much brighter “story” from where we have been.

One of our major goals has been to increase the number of participants, and thanks to substantial contributions from volunteers and CPA firms, as well as the work of HQ staff, that number increased to 869 – up from 520 companies that submitted data last year. For a glimpse at the Benchmarker Questionnaire results, turn to page 49 to read the Executive Summary.

Using the Construction Financial Benchmarker (, companies can review and compare their data with the results. As has been the case in the past, the Benchmarker contains 20 key financial ratios and the data is segmented by region, revenue, and industry. A company can select up to five data sets to compare itself against similarly sized companies in the same revenue range, industry, and region. New this year, companies can also compare data sets over a three-year period.

And, the results are available in both Excel and PDF; the PDF includes narrative insights on key ratios and strategic profit model ratios. This information can be incredibly valuable data for a company that wants to compare itself to its competitors.

CFMA’s members and our many offerings (such as the Benchmarker and CFMA Building Profits) will continue to “tell our story.” We have much to be proud of from the past as we look ahead into the future.

Copyright © 2016 by the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). All rights reserved. This article first appeared in CFMA Building Profits and is reprinted with permission. CFMA Building Profits is a member-only benefit; join CFMA to receive the magazine.

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