2014-2015 What Presenters are Reading!

What Presenters are Reading!


 Book Club Corner—CCIFP  Resources                                                                                                                 Kimberly A. Hullfish

I love books.  I have too many in my house, and am usually reading 3 or 4 books at a time.  I am constantly asking my business partners for ideas on what to read next.  Now I have been asked for a good source on Construction Accounting, and I have a few recommendations to share..

Financial Management and Accounting for the Construction Industry.  This book offers “The Body of Knowledge” for CCIFPs and is a “Primary Certification Resource.”  I reference this for many decisions—from a formula for benchmarking to recognizing revenue on a claim. 

While studying for the CCIFP, I did read this cover to cover and outlined much of it, complete with notecards! You can purchase it here:  The Book

The second recommendation is  the Construction Contractors - Audit and Accounting Guide Paperback – 2015, AICPA.  Updated once a year, this is also a great reference guide for controllers and CFO’s., and is a must have if studying for the CCIFP exam. 

Lastly, if you attend the CCIFP overview course, you will receive the CCIFP Study Guide, also available at the online store.  This guide is accompanied by a CD which includes articles from Building Profits, always a great source for our industry.

Happy Reading!


2014 - 2015 Speakers and Presenters:  What Are They Reading?

What a great year we just had!  We toasted the successes of our outgoing President, Joseph Ford, we had a great Round Table Discussion that will begin a new tradition.  We learned about the NJ DOL, Ethics in Construction, and the South Jersey Economy.  We readied for Year End, and talked about Succession Planning.  Leadership, Strategic Planning, and Growing Your Business were great topics.  All of this took work, and our presenters volunteer their time to educate us, to better us, to help us grow.  We are very thankful to the volunteers, and dedicate this edition of our Newsletter to them.

Of course, in thanking our presenters, we asked them to volunteer yet again.  To both acknowledge and to get to know them better, we asked three questions:  1.  What was the last book or article you read?  2.  What is your favorite quote, either by someone else or even your own?  3.  Tell us something about your experience with CFMA.  They came through for us, and their answers were awesome!  This is a great summer reading list!

There is a theme running through the presenters’ comments on CFMA.  As we compiled the answers, we realized that it does not matter if the presenter has been in CFMA since inception (Tony Stagliano, Founding Member of the 1st Chapter, Philadelphia) or brand new (Doug Diaz, for one), their comments on their CFMA experience go back to one thing:  The People.  It is the people that make CFMA the outstanding organization it is today.

Thank you everyone for making the 2014-2015 programming year a great one!  From the presenters, to the committee members, to the attendees:  we learned so much, shared so much, and grew both professionally and personally.  Let’s work together and make 2015-2016 even better!  Have a great summer and stay in touch through www.cfmasnj.org and our LinkedIn Group!


September 2014:  2014 Economic Outlook. 

Gary Keith, Vice President and Regional Economist, M&T Bank. 

 1. Last Book:  “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough.  Orville and Wilber are the quintessential American success story—two guys without formal training who revolutionized the world by sheer determination, hard work and ingenuity.  Their never give up attitude and slow, steady progress toward achieving “the extraordinary” was inspiring. 

2. Quote:  “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.”  — Winston Churchill

3. On CFMA:  Though not a member of CFMA, I appreciate the value that comes from networking and sharing ideas and experience with other industry participants.  Great ideas often come from simply listening to others and leveraging what works (and what doesn’t work) in new ways.  We benefit more when we reach out rather than pull back from one another.


October 2014:  Growing Your Business in a Challenging Economy


Dave Sulkin, Vice President of Sales, American Asphalt Company

1. Last Book:  I am on my second read of Jim Collins “Good to Great.”  So much incredibly powerful information… yet the reader is left challenged to bring the authors thoughts and systems on line into their own organization.  This work fascinates me and frustrates me at the same time.

2. Quote:  Paraphrased from others:  “Don’t let great get in the way of good” and “Perfect is the enemy of good.” From Dave Sulkin:  “People do not do business with companies, they do business with people they like and trust.”

  Dan Caldwell, Principal, Stout and Caldwell Engineers.

 1. Last Book:  “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.  Take a deep look into your company and decide if you are good or great.  Then read the book.

2. Quote:  From the above Book:  Good is the enemy of Great!  And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government principally because we have good government.  Few people attain great lives, in large because it's easy to settle for a good life.  The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good and that is their main problem.”

 3. On CFMA: I’ve been a member for a year and it’s been not good but great.


Robert W. Harrington, Manna Design

 1. Last Book:  “The Wawa Way” by Howard Stoeckel.  Great book.  Very easy, short read but full of inspiration for privately owned businesses.  It was interesting to learn about the great leadership and strong values that go into a product that I almost use daily, often without thought.  After reading the core values and goals, it’s no wonder they’re so successful and highly regarded. 

 2. Quote:  “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

November 2014:  How to Strategically Plan for Your Next Strategic Plan.

Myron M. Gellman, MBA, Mercadien. 

1. Last Book:  “Your Network is Your Net Worth” by Porter Gale.  The primary learning that  I took away is the value of not only who you know, but how well you know them.  Great relationships are all about give and take (personal, professional, etc.,), are very important to one’s success in business. 

2. Quote:  “Never, Never, Never give up.”  — Winston Churchill

3. On CFMA:  I have been a member of CFMA for 4+ years.  I really like the high quality members that I have met, the networking, and great programming.  CFMA is a fantastic organization that truly supports the construction industry. 

Lee D. Boss, CPA, MBA, CCIFP Mercadien. 

1. Last Book:  “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.  This leadership and personal change book has been around for some time, but worthwhile to pick up and read cover to cover.  How can you go wrong by “beginning with the end in mind”?

 2. Quote:    “Whatever you are, be a good one.”  Abraham Lincoln.

 3. On CFMA:  CFMA and the South Jersey Chapter of CFMA provide a forum for industry experts to network and share best practices and knowledge with each other.  As an associate member, my clients benefit greatly from the experiences, contacts, knowledge I have gained from CFMA.


December 2014:  Post– Election Realities and Lame Duck Congress:  Annual Tax and Healthcare Update. 

Richard S. Willinger, CPA, MST, Mercadien


1. Last Book:  “The Innocent Man” by John Grisham 

2. Quote:  None.

3. On CFMA:  Very welcoming group.  Pleasure to give presentation to because members are interested, engaged and appreciative of the time and effort the speaker puts into it.

Lee D. Boss, CPA, MBA, CCIFP Mercadien. 

       See Answers Above.

Mark Lacher, CIC, Partner, Lacher & Associates

1. Last Book:  “Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships that All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward.”  By Henry Cloud

2. Quote:  “Every endeavor of importance in life, whether it is creative, athletic, interpersonal, or academic, brings with it a measure of discomfort.”  Patrick Lencioni, “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business.”

3. On CFMA:  My main interface with CFMA has been as a presenter.  I’ve always enjoyed my time with the members, sharing ideas, discussing new ways to think about benefits and healthcare, and learning about their challenges. 


January 2015: Public Work: An Overview of Requirements from Bid to Closeouts

Douglas Diaz, Esq., Archer & Greiner PC Attorneys at Law

1. Last Book:  I read an article recently titled “The Moral Bucket List” by David Brooks for the New York Times that caught my eye because it focused on how persons with strong moral character traits are made and not born. (Note: Mr. Brooks based this article on his book, “The Road to Character.”)

2. Quote:  “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”  Bruce Lee

3. On CFMA:  I have been very impressed with the organization based on my experiences to date.  The organization provides practical and useful information to those in the construction field while at the same time embodying a strong camaraderie among its members.

David A. Weinstein, Esq., Archer & Greiner PC Attorneys at Law

      1. Last Book:  “Playing for Pizza” by John Grisham. Quick and enjoyable read about finding your true place in life in places you wouldn't expect to find.

2. Quote:  “Don’t be humble, you aren’t that great.”  Golda Meir

3. On CFMA:  I have been involved with CFMA for several years and while I cannot make every meeting, when I do get to the meetings I enjoy the company, the information and the dialogue.  CFMA provides me with the opportunity to stay connected with clients and friends in the industry.


February 2015:  Risk Management—A Practical Guide to Decision Making to Protect the Bottom Line. 

Ron Hicks, Hicks Risk Consulting

      1. Last Book:  “The ISO 2013 Edition of the Commercial General Liability Insurance Policy”.  How to put a layman to sleep in under five minutes!

2. Quote:  “You can’t think your way into a new form of action, you must act your way into a new way of thinking.” - Unknown.

3. On CFMA:  As an associate that has a number of clients in the construction industry, CFMA has allowed me to understand their needs and pain well beyond my little area of expertise.  This in turn has allowed my business to focus on the overall needs of a construction organization.


John Derstine, CIC, CRM, Senior Advisor, Commercial Insurance, Lacher & Associates

1. Last Book:  “The Advantage” by Patrick Lencioni.  The Subline of this book reads “Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business.”

2. Quote:  “If you can dream it, you can do it.”  Walt Disney

3. On CFMA:  CFMA is all about the people.  It has provided an opportunity for me to learn—thereby increasing my business acumen, and to network with members of the construction industry and other professionals who serve the construction industry.



March 2015:  CFO Roundtable—Hot Topics in Construction

Lee D. Boss, CPA, MBA, CCIFP Mercadien. 

      See Answers Above.

 Kimberly A. Hullfish, CCIFP, MBA, CRIS

1. Last Book:  I usually am reading 4 books at a time, so here are the last two.  Fiction:  “The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.  This was my April Book Club selection—was a very good and easy read about coming of age during World War II in Seattle.  It was a bit surprising to find out how many people in my book club did not know this part of our American History and how it is glossed over in high school history classes.  Non-Fiction:  “Lean In:  Women, Work and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg.  I must say that normally I do not read “women business books” as I try to stay more gender neutral.  However, I had heard so much about how men were reading this and how relevant it truly is to the business world that I had to pick it up.  Admittedly, the first few chapters of this book  drew me in because I saw much of myself, or things that have happened to me, in her writing. 

2. Quote:  “Slow down, you’re doing fine.  You can’t be everything you want to be before your time.”  - Billy Joel.  Or “To Finish first, one must first finish.  If you’re just in the wrong spot at the wrong time, it can take you out of the opportunity to take the best race car in the field and win.”  Tony Stewart at Talladega.

3. On CFMA:  I think I said it all in my June President’s Message—10 things I am Thankful for at CFMA.  CFMA has been a great place for me to grow, to continuing learning, to meet people in the industry who are passionate about what they do.  If you have not joined yet, talk to me and I will tell you why you need to be a member.  This organization  is unique in so many ways.

April 2015:  Ethics in Construction—What is Acceptable and What is Not!


Tony Stagliano, CPA, CCIFP, CBIZ—Mayer Hoffman McCann PC

      1. Last Book:  “A Patriot’s Calling—Living Life Between Fear and Faith” - Major Dan Rooney

2. Quote:  “There is no such thing as chance.  Life is made up of encounters that guide us on our unique path.  The ultimate reward is the fulfillment that comes from following your destined path.”  - Major Dan Rooney

3. On CFMA:  Joining and becoming a part of the CFMA family is one of the best decisions I ever made.  It has filled my professional life and personal life with incredible friendships that will last a life time.  My thanks to Dave Casey, the Founder of CFMA.


May 2015:  Got Internal Wars?  How to Foster Communication, Teambuilding and Employee Engagement

 Richard J. Hoffmann, VP/Senior Business Consultant

 1. Last Book:  I always read a business related book and an entertaining book.  My business book was “Hundred Percenters—Challenge Your Employees to Give It” by Mark Murphy.  My entertaining book was “The Hot Zone: The Terrifying True Story of the Origins of the Ebola” by Robert Preston.  The first book was to view the various methods and concerns with Employee Engagement and the second was to understand the difficulty in treating the most deadliest of viruses.

2. Quote:  “Doing the same things over and over yet expecting different results” - Albert Einstein.  Definition of Business insanity.

3. On CFMA:  Just being involved with CFMA has shown me that there are people in the construction industry that are interested in both people and business development and it isn’t all about the financial condition of a company.

June 2015:  Succession / Estate Planning for Closely Held Businesses

Joseph M. Nardi, III, Brown & Connery LLP

1. Last Book:  Heroic Leadership by Hedrick Smith and Who Stole the American Dream by Hedrick Smith.

2. Quote:  Enjoy every sandwich.”  - Warren Zevon