The health and wellbeing of members, exhibitors, staff, and other stakeholders is our top priority. Due to the growing concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in alignment with the best practices laid out by the CDC, WHO, and federal and local governments, CFMA has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 CFMA Annual Conference & Exhibition. Please CLICK HERE for more information.

Resolve to Get Involved

Michelle D. Eastman, CCIFP
Michelle Eastman, CCIFP, Chairman

Welcome to 2020! I am so excited to ring in a new year that I believe holds amazing things on the horizon and many more records to be set at CFMA. I hope this new year also brings you and your company an exciting road ahead.

This year, I encourage you to consider a new resolution – become more involved in CFMA and pursue Destination Leadership!

As this issue of CFMA Building Profits is focused on Leadership, it may come as no surprise that this is one of my favorite topics. To explain why, please allow me to revisit my thoughts that were first shared at CFMA’s 2019 Annual Conference & Exhibition.

My journey with CFMA began in 2004. At that time, I was the controller of a home builder in the West Michigan area and very content with where I was in my career. As many of us experience, we reach destinations along our professional journeys where the status quo is perfectly acceptable. I liked the company, enjoyed working with the executive team, and cherished working with a talented staff. But little did I know that soon my CFMA Compass would be given to me and my journey to Destination Leader would begin.

In 2004, my company hired a new CFO and, in a very short time, he gifted me my CFMA Compass. He told me that he saw great leadership potential in me and to help develop that potential, I should look to CFMA. I took the first step of my CFMA Destination Leader journey when I attended my very first non-chapter CFMA event in Dallas, TX.

How has CFMA helped me accomplish my own Destination Leader? The first is through my participation in two of CFMA’s formal leadership programs. I have had the amazing opportunity to attend CFMA at Spring Creek twice (once as an attendee and once as CFMA’s Vice Chairman) and to participate in CFMA’s Executive Mentoring Program with a great mentor! Both programs helped me develop my professional, personal, and CFMA leadership skills. I gained valuable insight into myself (yes, I am a red), how to work more effectively with others, how to better manage my time (a skill we all can improve), and how to motivate and lead. I cannot say enough about the benefits of these two programs.

I have also learned and refined my leadership skills while serving on CFMA committees, task forces, and as an Executive Officer. Each time I volunteered to serve on a new committee, had the opportunity to serve on or lead a task force, served on the Executive Committee, and as an Executive Officer, I have continued to learn how best to lead and work better within ever-changing team dynamics. These informal leadership opportunities are invaluable, and I promise that if you step in and get involved in CFMA, you will certainly grow as a leader!

In closing, I serve today as CFMA’s Chairman and hold my current position in my career because of the role CFMA has played in developing me as a leader. I may not have stepped out of my comfortable status quo had it not been for the inspiration of a CFMA member who passed the compass along to me, especially knowing the value I was yet to learn.

I encourage you to embrace your CFMA compass, step in, and get involved; not just for the betterment of CFMA, but for the leadership skills you will develop. If you find yourself asking how to plug into CFMA’s Leadership Path, visit www.cfma.org/volunteerleadership to find out how to get started. I hope you will pay it forward and introduce others to CFMA so they too can develop into the best of the best in construction! I wish you and yours an incredible 2020, and as always, all the best in your pursuit of excellence!

Copyright © 2020 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.

Contact publications@cfma.org for reprinting information. You can also download a PDF of this article.