Well, it’s the middle of December 2016, as I write this. The time of year when many of us reflect on the past, from both a personal and professional perspective, and look to the future. What were your successes and where could things have been better? What did you celebrate? Did anything catch you by surprise in 2016?
Well, one of my highlights for the year was the birth of my first grandchild, Ada. She is just about the best looking baby I have ever seen! And I am proud of my daughter and son-in-law in the very thoughtful way that they are approaching parenthood. Along the lines of where was I disappointed in progress, I would say my golf game. It seems no matter how many lessons I take and how much I practice, I just can’t seem to get the handicap down.
As for celebrating, we’ve done that on several occasions. In May the Society was named as one of the Best Places to Work in Indiana for the fifth straight year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. In October, we received a prestigious national award called the Power of A Summit Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) for our work on the CPA Center of Excellence®. And just last week, we won three awards (two for projects and one for an individual staff member) at the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE)’s annual STAR Awards.
One surprise came in November. I had the opportunity to attend the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis. A long-time friend is employed by Ludwig Drum Company. As I was entering the exhibit hall, I ran into (almost literally) Mark Stempel, a CPA and INCPAS member. Little did I know that he was a music major at IU and studied percussion. I also studied percussion, but my school was Indiana State University. The chance meeting resulted an introduction to the executive director of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), which is headquartered in Indianapolis and a personally guided tour of the Rhythm! Discovery Center. You should visit … it is really an interesting place!
Professionally, my reflection confirms that I am very gratified to continue our work on behalf of the CPA profession. Thanks to the INCPAS 2025 document, we have a solid foundation on which we will continue building for the future. The Indiana CPA Society is blessed to have the highest quality volunteers at the board level and throughout the organization as we prepare to address numerous opportunities and challenges. Our staff is second to none when it comes to state societies supporting the CPA profession.
Our board leadership spent considerable time this year examining the role of innovation for the CPA profession and the Society, and you will hear more about that in 2017. We also looked at leadership development and how the Society can identify and grow new leaders for tomorrow. And we are seeing the emergence and expansion of the CGMA credential, along with the creation of the Association of Certified Professional Accountants, which is set to represent the profession globally.
The future of the CPA profession, though always changing and sometimes uncertain, is very bright. I will hesitate to predict what all will develop in the years ahead or even just in the next year, but I am assured of one thing: the profession as a whole and those who serve the profession and the Indiana CPA Society stand ready to meet the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities – whatever they are.