The Following History was Published in the 2016 17th Annual CFMA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference History: Go Back To Where it All Began.
Although there is a New Jersey Chapter of CFMA, that chapter’s concentration was in the central and northern part of the state, so if a South Jersey contractor was looking for support and networking opportunities the closest CFMA Chapter was the Philadelphia Chapter. But, with their meetings and education offerings held in the Conshohocken/Plymouth Meeting area, the travel experience going into these areas proved to be an adventure depending on the traffic flow of the Schuylkill Expressway and the Blue Route!
Initially, at least one meeting a year was scheduled in the area around the Philadelphia airport, but it still was not close enough to attract the members who lived and worked in South Jersey. In March, 2006, a request was made to the Philadelphia Chapter Board of Directors to consider having one or more meetings on the New Jersey side of the river to address the needs of the New Jersey based members who could not actively participate in the Chapter and the activities being held in the Philadelphia suburbs. Bob Hinck took initial responsibility to schedule these meetings. In 2007, with two South Jersey based members on the board (Bob Hinck and Faith McDermott) a discussion to create a Philadelphia ‘satellite chapter’ was begun, attempting to create more local meetings and opportunities for the South Jersey members. Board discussions and minutes began to include references to the “South Jersey Satellite Chapter” and Philadelphia Chapter newsletters began to devote areas of the newsletter to South Jersey meetings and activities.
Initially, the South Jersey group had some difficulties: conflicts with meeting times and activities with the Philadelphia Chapter delayed the first meeting from June 26th to October 3rd, 2007. Attendance was sparse as some meetings only had 5 attendees. But persistence paid off and by March, 2008, word had spread that there were meeting opportunities in South Jersey and the influx of new members had begun.
With the increase in membership, Programming and Membership Committees were formed, and both became a priority for the South Jersey group. Ron Hicks assumed the role of Membership Chair to promote membership that now was at 26 members. Beginning in June, 2008, Programming became more formal under the direction of Dana Ostrovsky, and included topics such as contractual legal issues, risk management, retirement planning and sales tax issues. One meeting was a site visit to Sahara Sam’s; walking the site to see what went into the creation of an indoor water park. Most of the presenters were members of the South Jersey group, familiar to local contractors, and a number of meetings were held in the office of the presenter. The October 2008 Philadelphia Newsletter includes a calendar with the South Jersey Events.
At this time, South Jersey was still connected to the Philadelphia Chapter, but through the persistence of a core group of members, which now included Joe Artale and Kimberly Hullfish, and a consistent schedule of valuable programming, the group was growing, addressing the needs of the South Jersey community.
As the group grew, a number of options were now available: continue to be connected as just an outreach of Philadelphia, become a satellite chapter of Philadelphia, or, take the leap and apply to CFMA National to become a new chapter of CFMA. In November, 2008, the start-up kit was requested from National Headquarters so the South Jersey members could start the process to form a new chapter.
Things started to move towards Chapter Formation in 2009. More formal meetings were scheduled and by 2010, and despite attendance being still relatively low, programming was consistent, attracting more and more attendees.
The decision was made in July, 2010 to form a new chapter of CFMA with the help and guidance of Mike Molaro, Director of Chapter Services at CFMA National and Mike Viens, who had just assumed the position of President for the Philadelphia Chapter. Mike’s initial President’s Message in the June, 2010 Philadelphia Chapter newsletter devoted a paragraph to the South Jersey initiative. The first formal meeting of the CFMA South Jersey Chapter in Formation was held on September 15th, 2010, at the Five Points Diner in Deptford, NJ, attended by Bob Hinck, who was assuming the position of President in this start-up period, Joe Artale, Joe Ford, Kimberly Hullfish, Faith McDermott and Joe Rehm (acting Secretary). The agenda was:
Formation of the Board of Directors
Creation of Membership list – twenty active members were needed to start a Chapter
Other Requirements for Chapter Formation
The initial Board of Directors were: Bob Hinck, President; Joe Ford, Vice President, Kimberly Hullfish, Treasurer, Joe Rehm, Secretary, Joe Artale, Wayne Hebard, Ron Hicks, Faith McDermott and Dana Ostrovsky.
The Membership Committee was co-chaired by Joe Ford and Dan Ostrovsky, with other committee members Joe Rehm and Ron Hicks. The Programming Committee was chaired by Ron Hicks, with other committee members Kimberly Hullfish, Joe Rehm and Wayne Hebard. Bob Hinck and Faith McDermott were the liaisons with the Philadelphia Chapter to complete the necessary documents to formally establish the South Jersey Chapter. During this time, Joe Artale was a board member of both Philadelphia and South Jersey, in order to facilitate communications and ensure there were no programming conflicts.
On April 1, 2011, the South Jersey Chapter of CFMA was established, becoming the 84th Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association, and was formally recognized as such at the 2011 National Conference.
The chapter has continued to grow in the past five years through the leadership of the Chapter Presidents, Bob Hinck, Joe Ford and Kimberly Hullfish, and their respective Board of Directors. Monthly programming schedule is strong, and attendance numbers have increased since those earlier days, with presenters still being drawn from the talent within the South Jersey and Philadelphia Chapters. South Jersey members continue to be active in CFMA National committees and participate with other area Chapters in program presentations, such as the Mid-Atlantic Conference.