And now the end is near…


by: Roy Stout, CMA Board Chairman

I am dumbfounded that 12 months has come and gone since I became Chairman.  Where does the time go?  I honestly believe that time flies when you are having fun and as I have said before, I had a ball this year.  I am also one of those sick individuals who have a great deal of fun and derive a great deal of satisfaction from hard work.  I know the Board, the Staff and I all worked very hard this year to make sure we continued to deliver the products and services needed by our members to perform their jobs.

In the past 12 months, we gained a renewed respect for the value of Industry Credit Groups (ICG) and the important functions that they fill.  We have spent a great deal of time renewing our efforts to modernize and improve the ICG’s to reflect the vitality and demographics of our members.  Specifically, we have started an ICG Guerilla Marketing Group which meets regularly to evaluate the progress that we have made. 

We have developed some important alliances during the last year.  One of the most notably was an alliance with Q2C.  This organization provided significant support of our educational offerings during a very successful Western Region Credit Conference this last October.  Q2C has also had an impact on both the quality and quantity of webnairs we have been able to provide to our members.  Q2C should continue to be an important partner for the future success of our Association.

Speaking of online educational opportunities; this year for the first time ever, through the tenacity and dedication of our education people; we were able to receive accreditation from the National Association of Credit Management for our online courses.  This was a huge victory, for we can now provide our members the courses necessary, for the certification that they deserve, on their own time and from the comfort of their office or home.  It will not be necessary to drive to a classroom at some distant designated location.  Considering the cost of gas and where it is likely to go in the future, this is a huge win for our membership.

Although we stumbled a little at the launch of anscers v2.0, I feel we have now made a full recovery.  I also believe we have only scratched the surface of what this venue has to offer in growth and value for not only our members but for the users from all over the world.  The continued development and enhancement of this marvelous tool cannot be set aside for it has the capacity to be the guide and monitor for CMA Business Credit Services for the foreseeable future.

This year we introduced CMA Daily News, the daily blast of thoughts, trends and news important to the credit professional.  I love receiving important tidbits affecting my profession and work environment on a daily basis; this is the one e-mail that I do not mind receiving.

It was not all roses this year as I had to say goodbye to one of the true treasures of CMA Business Credit Services.  Erna Ohlsson retired after dedicating her heart and soul to this organization for forty plus years.  Good people come and go in any organization but some leave such voids that their departure is hard to accept.  The mark left by Erna on our Association will not soon fade away and we will all miss her.  I wish her well in all her future endeavors, for I know she will accept tasks in the future with the same dedication that she gave to us for all those years.

I want to extend my sincerest thanks to the many, many people who lent a hand and offered encouragement and support throughout my year.  I appreciate everything you did for me that made my job that much easier.  Together, I think we created an Association that is stronger today than it was when I took office a year ago.

The future of our Association looks very bright.  We have a new Chairman and a new Board who are very qualified to carry on as I am sure they are eager to do.  Our Staff and Officers of the Association are more engaged and more dedicated than ever to the service of our members and I am sure that will continue.   

So, it is time for me to step aside and let the new regime take its place.  Remember tired old Chairmen never die but rather they just fade away into the background from where they came.

Until our paths cross again, here’s hoping this year was as rewarding for you as it was for me.