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My Journey on the Chairman’s Path

By Steve C. Tenney, Outgoing Chairman

It seems as though I was composing my first Chairman’s message only a short time ago. This has been a fast but meaningful journey for me. While I wasn’t sure where it would lead, it was clear that each Chairman before me had left his or her impression on the path that provided direction and guidance. I also knew that it was up to me to discover and explore new areas and opportunities along the way.

I have not traveled my CFMA journey alone. Dedicated volunteers and HQ staff who embrace the vision of CFMA and enjoy the opportunity to engage with others locally and nationally have accompanied me. Some join the journey for a short time; others join for a much longer experience. This past year, more than 7,000 members participated on the journey!

A past chairman told me to remember that the journey is not about being Chairman, but rather about the members. I tried to follow that advice and focused on working with volunteers and dedicated staff to improve the products and services that our members value.

Highlights from My Journey
Spring Creek
The opportunity to reconnect with the Spring Creek experience after my first exposure 16 years ago renewed my belief that Spring Creek is the leadership opportunity for CFMA leaders. The members who attend share their experiences, learn from others, and develop new skills that will impact their volunteer time, their corporate time, and their personal time. We’ve done a lot to make Spring Creek accessible and affordable, and I’m confident that those opportunities will continue to improve.

2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition
This was another great Conference with wonderful speakers in the vibrant city of Las Vegas, NV. My first Annual Conference was in 1998, and I still get excited about the lineup of education, fellowship, and speakers each year. I know that the 2015 Conference in Chicago will be another great opportunity for members, guests, and exhibitors.

Chapter STAR Program
Designed to have a direct, positive impact for our 88 chapters, the Support, Training, and Resources (STAR) Program granted up to $3,000 per chapter for use in one of five areas: administrative services for the chapter, Spring Creek registration and/or travel expenses, national speaker program, national education programs, and Chapter strategic planning by a third-party. Although utilization of the program was less than I’d hoped for, it demonstrates a commitment to the core of our membership: the chapters.

Committee Participation
CFMA is lucky to have many active members who participate on national committees and complement that work at the local level. Our committees help us gain broad membership perspective, initiate action, and make a difference for our members and our industry.

Strategic Planning
As we adjust and fine-tune CFMA’s strategic plan, I’m confident that it will guide our efforts for our Association’s continued success.

Products & Services
The growth of the Connection Café, our educational programs, presentations, and the webinars continue to keep members and non-members up to date and informed.

Strength in Numbers
With more than 7,000 members (a significant milestone since membership eclipsed 6,000 in 1998), CFMA’s membership growth aligns with the recovery of the construction industry. Throughout its history, CFMA has directly interacted with more 21,500 members!

New Principal Partner
The addition of BKD, LLP CPAs & Advisors as our second Principal Partner along with Viewpoint Construction Software will help to develop and deliver member value.

A team’s strength is measured by the synergy from its individuals’ efforts. Our team’s strength includes:

Committee chairmen and vice chairmen provide leadership for many volunteers who are focused on areas that make a difference in the overall success of CFMA.

The activities and results from the Finance Committee and other appointed committees as well as the Chapter Resources Committee, Education Steering Committee, Conference Program Task Force, and other volunteer committees have a positive impact on the products and services available through CFMA.

Executive Committee & Officers
These dedicated individuals have energized me to do the best that I can for CFMA, and that includes the current and past officers and executive committee members with whom I’ve served.

Past Chairmen
This group forged the path and provided encouragement and support to maintain the energy and drive required to move CFMA forward.

These wonderful stewards and workhorses keep things moving and complement the efforts of all the volunteers. Until you have a direct connection with the individuals in Princeton, NJ, and see the pride they have in the work they do, you’ve missed out on a significant part of CFMA’s success.

Team Story
My efforts would not have been successful if I didn’t have a great team at Story Construction Co. that supported my involvement and made sure things at my “paying” job kept operating. Many thanks to Mike Espeset (president), Pat Geary (COO), and Shane Hall (Controller and fellow CFMA member) for their support and encouragement.

My Journey Continues
It has been an honor to serve as Chairman, and I have great confidence in our future leaders, officers, and staff. As my journey on the Chairman’s path ends, Brad Robinson’s begins. Brad will be a great Chairman and he’ll extend the path by exploring new opportunities for CFMA’s members. My journey with CFMA will continue with the strong support of my wife Mindy and my family. I look forward to when our journeys intersect as you explore all that CFMA has to offer. It is a journey worth taking!

Copyright © 2015 by the Construction Financial Management Association. All rights reserved. This article first appeared in CFMA Building Profits. Reprinted with permission.
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