Society members –
This is my final letter to you as President of CFA Society Minnesota – my two-year term as President comes to an end this month. At our annual meeting last week, the membership voted in the new slate of board members and executive officers, including your new President, Mark Peiler, CFA. I will be assuming the role of Immediate Past President for the next two years, then my service on the board will end (though not my participation in the Society).
Before I depart, I would like to thank a few people. First, I want to thank all of the past Presidents of CFA Society Minnesota that I served with during my time on the board: Tony Carrideo, CFA, Leyla Kassem, CFA, Robert Buss, CFA and Kim Brustuen, CFA. Your vision and commitment laid the groundwork for the transformation of the Society that has occurred over the past eight years. When I joined the board in 2009, the Society’s activities were restricted to a monthly lunch, a golf outing and an annual economic dinner. Thanks to the leadership and energy of Tony, Leyla, Robert and Kim we now offer a wide range of activities that meet the needs of almost any member. These range from half-day Insight series programs, a major investor conference, periodic distinguished speaker events, a well-attended annual new charterholder dinner, and plenty of free happy hours and networking events.
Second, I want to thank all the board members and committee volunteers I have served with during my time on the board. Their hard work and ideas led to many new initiatives, including the very successful compensation survey, which has grown from a local survey to one that now includes the entire Midwest and a few states outside our region. The Membership Committee runs a mentoring program that over the past few years has connected dozens of younger financial professionals with experienced industry veterans. Seven years ago, our Education Committee launched our own intensive review courses for all three levels of the CFA exam, which have served hundreds of candidates since their launch.
Besides these new programs, our Strategic Planning Committee spent a good portion of the last five years rewriting our mission and vision, as well creating a new, 3-5 year strategic plan. We also updated our bylaws, aligning these with best practices in governance and our relationship with the CFA Institute. Anyone who has ever tried to write a mission statement or attempted to craft a strategic plan knows how much work goes into these endeavors, and I want to thank everyone on the Board who helped with these documents.
I also want to sincerely thank our staff – Mark Salter, Amanda Sullivan and Diane Senjem, along with former staff members Kris Kautzman and Maren Amdal – for all their hard work over the years. None of the programs and activities mentioned above could have happened without their efforts. They took every idea we threw at them and somehow turned them into reality, no matter how far-fetched or challenging they seemed.
Finally, I want to thank you, our members. Thank you for volunteering with the Society, for attending events, for paying your dues, for suggesting how we can improve and for occasionally reading these letters. Thank you for adhering to the highest standard of ethics, for your commitment to the industry and for mentoring the next generation of investment professionals. We have accomplished a lot in the past eight years with your input and help, and I look forward to attending events alongside you as a regular Society member in the future.
Josh Howard, CFA
President, CFA Society Minnesota