By AFWA National President, Linda Harris, CPA
It hardly seems possible that it was just this time last year that I was installed as your National President and I am now writing my last President’s Message. It is an honor that I will treasure.
It has been a whirlwind year!
- Nearly 100 women have demonstrated their commitment to AFWA by becoming lifetime members. It still isn’t too late and we would love to have you join the club.
- To reinvigorate our local Chapters and promote new membership growth, we launched the New Member Chapter Challenge. Participating chapters will receive extra support from headquarters as they strive to reach their unique membership goal.
- We were successful in our bylaw proposals – each member now represents herself and all have an equal vote. And beginning in July 2017, we will have a new membership classification at a reduced rate for student members.
- One of the most exciting things happening will be the launching of our Find a Pro public directory. Our members will have the opportunity to be listed on this public directory – bringing new clients to member businesses and raising the awareness of the many amazing women succeeding in the accounting and finance industry.
All these continue to increase the member experience and help answer the question “What’s really in it for me?” As we approach the June 30th renewal date for many of us I am sure this question may enter into your thoughts. I am so grateful for the member benefits that I have received over the years and have no doubt that I have received much more than the cost of my membership dues. There is no better place to gather CPE for an incredible value than attending your monthly Chapter meetings.
One of the best benefits I have received is the privilege of working with our outstanding staff and my amazing Board. This benefit works for you every day and you may not even know it is happening. These women have commitment and passion for AFWA that is so amazing.
But the most important benefit is the many relationships I have developed since I decided to join. I have a network that expands from coast to coast. When my Dad died and I had to leave my office during tax season there was no doubt that I would call Cathy Allen to backup my staff while I was gone. When I have a multi-state tax issue of course I call Monika Miles. When I had an issue with a client that had activity in New Jersey our membership directory was the first place I looked. And while I appreciate all the expert advise, the friendships I have made are even more special. Knowing if I am in Southern California I can have lunch with Millie Culpepper or in Boston I can visit Karen Gunther. Relationships – that’s what AFWA does best and that is priceless!
I had wonderful chapter visits this year with Mesa East Valley, Phoenix, and Kansas City and will be visiting Spokane by the time you are reading this. The National Board loves to visit, we can’t do it if we don’t know about your great events – invite us! We will do everything possible to have someone there.
I cannot begin to thank, you the members, my Board, my Chapter and our headquarters staff for the privilege of leading this great organization.