So long, Farewell , Auf wiedersehen, Good night .
Two years. It seems like just yesterday I was introducing the new board to everyone at Adelphia’s and now it is time to say goodbye as President of the South Jersey Chapter of CFMA.
This experience has been incredible. As incoming president, I was privileged to attend Spring Creek, CFMA’s leadership retreat. This retreat offers work/life balance advice, leadership training, and friendships that will last a lifetime. If you ever have the opportunity to attend, do not turn it down – you will learn so much about yourself and how you respond to your surroundings, and will be a better person because of it.
My primary focus as president was education. CFMA South Jersey continues to offer quality seminars with the best speakers at a great price. On April 1, 2015, my first seminar as your president was entitled Ethics In Construction – Let’s Get the Conversation Started, presented by Tony Stagliano. I remember how nervous I was to not only introduce the new board, but to introduce someone known to many of us as “Mr. CFMA.” The seminar was interactive, with live polling and discussion. It was also our Chapter Showcase submission for 2015-2016, and was chosen to be highlighted at the National Conference in San Antonio. Tony has supported this chapter since its inception, and his support over the years means so much to me. His love for CFMA shows in his commitment to bring timely topics to chapters all over the country. I have known Tony for over 12 years now, and I continue to learn so much from him.
We also held our first CFMA National Education Class (Treasury Management 1 and 2) in June 2016. By the end of the day, the attendees were requesting more like this, including Treasury Management 3 and 4. In addition, we held our first joint class with the New Jersey Chapter, and taught the CCIFP overview course to 29 attendees. The CCIFP has been near and dear to my heart, and I was honored to be one of the presenters for the class. An exciting time!
Since that first seminar, and having gotten used to the microphone, I have enjoyed talking to all of you each month, informing you of the CFMA happenings, introducing the speakers, and even telling a joke here and there. Now you cannot get the mike out of my hand!
It was fun being so involved in the CFMA South Jersey Newsletter. If you know me, you know I love quotes, and finding the quotes to match the message of the month was difficult – not because I could not find what I wanted, but because there were so many I wanted to use! The June issues were my favorite though. June 2015 and 2016 were dedicated to our speakers / presenters, and listed their topics, email addresses, and answers to three questions, including the last book / article / magazine read. Both reading lists from our presenters are on our website. Maybe one day we will get a live in-person book club going (not that I am hinting).
In keeping with my focus on education, 2016 was also the first time South Jersey hosted the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. As chair of the conference, I worked with the leaders of 10 other chapters to make it one of the best in its 17-year history. The theme “Go Back to Where it All Began” allowed us to honor those leaders that came before us, and we created the CFMA Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference Hall of Flame Awards. Named for the Founder of CFMA, David Casey, and the Founder of the Philadelphia Chapter, Tony Stagliano, these awards honored those who started the fire, and will continue to honor those who keep the fire burning for years to come. The addition of the Trail Blazer Awards also ensures that those who work (or have worked) on the conference for many years will receive recognition as well.
Writing David Casey’s story was an experience I will not soon forget. I so enjoyed listening to his stories, seeing the way his eyes light up as he remembers the CFMA early years. It is that passion, that dedication, which drives all of us to do what we do on the chapter level.
Nobody can achieve on their own. There are so many people to thank and I cannot list them all here. I had great board members the last two years. Their hard work and support was unwavering and I thank each one of them for keeping CFMA South Jersey on top with the best seminar topics in the area.
CFMA Headquarters provides much support to the local chapters, and we need this, as CFMA is not our full time job. From Cathy Wasner to Brian Summers, from Erica O’Grady to Fern Oram, and everyone in between, I thank them for their never-ending support.
The people who attend our seminars are not only dedicated to our industry, but always offer their expertise and experience through stories and comments. Whether you are a member or not, if you have attended one of our seminars you have touched me in some way. Your support of our chapter means so much, and it is because of you we strive to bring great presenters and topics. It is my hope that I served you well these last two years. (Moreover, to the attendees who have not joined yet, why not? Join now and take advantage of all CFMA has to offer).
Most of all though, my employer C. Abbonizio Contractors deserves considerable thanks. Being president of a chapter involves much time and travel, and while I tried to do much of the work on evenings or weekends, it invariably bled into the workday. Peter Abbonizio supported my efforts, allowed me to take on this great task, and offered resources as support to the chapter. Joe Artale, as my CFO and a fellow South Jersey board member, had to bear much of the burden when I was torn between work, the chapter, and Mid-Atlantic. While they both are happy for me and what I have learned and achieved, I think they both will be popping the champagne on March 31st.
Having been a part of this chapter from the beginning (before it was a chapter) as a founding board member, and soon to be your past president, I have so loved this experience and am sorry to see it end. I hope that you have enjoyed my time as president as much as I enjoyed working for you. See you at our seminars—bar is open!
Always remember to Share the Knowledge that is CFMA.
Kimberly A. Hullfish, CCIFP
“Share the Strength of Knowledge”
Grow. Lead. Encourage. Educate. Participate.