Thank you, is all I can say. As we close out the 2020 fiscal year (Sept 1 – Aug 31), I do not need to rehash all of what has transpired over the past 12 months (and continues to plague us daily). However, I do need to say thank you to so many people. While most of you do not think about CFA Society Minnesota (CFAMN) on a daily basis, or even a weekly basis, the staff and volunteers at CFAMN do and continue to make this organization thrive. Like most organizations, we had to unexpectedly shift the way we operate in March 2020. While we are still working on the best way to deliver content and meaningful connections, we have made some serious progress in these endeavors.
Recently, Intellisight was switched to an entirely virtual conference, on top of transitioning to a new platform vendor. At the beginning of the shutdown, the annual Putting Investors First event was both moved to a virtual format and the discussion was changed to reflect what was happening in the world. We also had near-record attendance at the socially distanced golf outing. The staff worked hard to deliver these events, and many others, while battling the Zoom fatigue that we all have come to know so well.
I’d like to thank several individuals and groups, beginning with the staff:
Mark Salter – joined as our Executive Director in 2012 and has led the CFAMN team successfully since. We are lucky to have him guiding the organization while remaining calm and positive despite the challenges faced.
Diane Senjem – As she entered her ninth month of pregnancy, she was still hard at work preparing events and leading volunteer committees. Her ability to work ahead, gave everyone some breathing room when she went on maternity leave in April. She is now back, and we are grateful for that!
Megan Millett – The newest member of the team and likely the least well known as a result. Megan joined in a part-time capacity in 2019 and then stepped up in a big way (Intellisight 2020) as she moved to full-time earlier this year. She has delivered under pressure with grace and humor despite being the new kid on the block.
Additionally, I’d like to thank all of our volunteers. Whether you have helped at an event, contributed to the blog, served on a committee, or on the board, your contributions are critical to our success. While I won’t name all those that have contributed meaningfully, I did want to thank two individuals.
Sam Somuri, CFA, CFP, CAIA and Mark Traster, CFA both completed their terms as board members after serving eight and seven years, respectively. Thinking back to where our organization was at the time when they joined, we have made incredible strides and they were significant contributors to that success. Thank you both – although neither of you are off the hook yet entirely J
Another component of our success is the support that we receive from our sponsors. While this may not have been the year that any of us were expecting, we appreciate that you have stuck it out with us while we are doing our best to continue to deliver a positive experience for our members. Without you, we would have to cut back on many of the things that our members enjoy most. Thank you for your partnership.
To conclude, I want to thank our members. This has been a wild year and we appreciate the incredible patience that we have received from you all. We know that in many ways we weren’t able to deliver some of what you expected from us this year. We continue to try out ways to provide engaging content and offer opportunities to develop meaningful peer relationships. The latter has been particularly tricky thus far. However, on a positive note there has been a significant acceleration of our plans to offer more digital content (a special thanks to CFA Institute for providing us access to Zoom). This was the swift kick that we needed to get over a few hurdles. Thank you for bearing with us while we continue to refine this. Check out our archived webinars here.
In a year when everyday things were so hard, it feels good to think back on the positive aspects and to fully appreciate them. Be sure to check out our 2019 Annual Report to catch up on other activities. In a world of polarization and division, inclusiveness and gratitude are in short supply. Please join me in spreading the latter by thanking someone mentioned above.
Again, thank you all. We are looking forward to an even better year ahead.
Chris May, CFA
PS – If you have not yet completed our short membership survey, please do. I get it, no one loves filling out surveys, but it helps inform our plans and we would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thanks!