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Building the Foundation for Success

Samantha M. Hutchison, CCIFP, CFMA’s 2017-18 Chairman

Howdy! I am thrilled, humbled, and honored to serve as CFMA’s 2017-18 Chairman. Since shortly after joining the construction industry, CFMA has been and continues to be a key building block for my career.

In 1999, new to both my company and construction accounting, my boss invited me to attend CFMA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition in Atlanta, GA. I still recall attending The Basics of Construction Accounting course, a perfect primer for someone beginning to lay the foundation for their career.

But what stood out the most were my fellow attendees who were welcoming, professional, and clearly passionate about the Association. And the fact my employer was willing to make that investment in my professional development was incredibly meaningful.

My Journey to Chairman
When I initially joined CFMA, my involvement was limited to attending chapter meetings. Seeing the value of membership, I joined the board of the Houston Chapter, eventually serving as chapter president.

Attending CFMA at Spring Creek, the annual retreat for chapter leaders, provided professional and personal development skills as well as a network of fellow leaders and HQ staff. From that experience, I served on several committees, then as a member of the Executive Committee, and finally as an Executive Officer.

Over the years, my role and job responsibilities have expanded, and with the help of the education and connections CFMA provides, I have grown to meet the increased challenges and expectations. 
The amount of time I’ve invested with CFMA has been returned tenfold with opportunities and lessons that have not only helped me develop professionally, but have also benefitted my employer.

The Year Ahead
Looking forward to this year’s Annual Conference & Exhibition in Phoenix, AZ, and to the rest of the year ahead, it’s a good time to emphasize the role CFMA plays in developing the foundation for a successful career.

The education provided at local chapter events, the Annual Conference and regional conferences, and monthly webinars keeps us apprised of current issues impacting our roles as CFMs – whether financial, risk management, HR, or technology.

The articles in CFMA Building Profits help us evaluate challenges our companies face and offer new ideas. The magazine is also a great resource for others in our companies who may need a better understanding of the areas crucial to a construction company’s operations and success.

And, CFMA offers a network of more than 7,800 fellow members seeking solutions to questions and concerns who we can routinely call upon to be a resource – while also lending our experience as a resource for them.

All of these connections woven together create a strong, enduring foundation on which we can build year after year.

I am fortunate to have many people whose support, mentoring, and encouragement over the years have been key components of my foundation, helping me develop as a financial professional and as a leader within this Association.

I would like to give special thanks to my boss Steve Dishman, President at Brookstone L.P., for his ongoing support of my involvement and recognition of the return on investment the company has received from CFMA.

My Challenge to You
In closing, I challenge you to ask yourselves: 
• In what areas would you benefit by strengthening and shoring up your foundation to be ready for the always-changing environment? 
• What are the necessary components for others in your organization to develop the foundation they need to grow and advance to keep your company successful? 
• And how can CFMA help you meet those needs while also benefitting others through your involvement? 

The answers to these questions are your Foundation for Success!

Copyright © 2017 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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