A big thank you goes out to all the chapters and members who attended the Women Who Count National Conference and the Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance’s 80th anniversary in Kansas City! This year’s conference attendance was the largest in five years and we look forward to even bigger registration next year. The conference was full of energy, excitement and powerful speakers. Thank you to all the sponsors who supported the organization and the conference.
At the 80th Anniversary Gala, Treasurer Wendi Christian detailed the history of women in accounting and our organization. I’m a history lover and growing up close to the Missouri-Illinois border, I learned about many historic figures like Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain. Some years back I read the biography of President Harry S. Truman, a native Missourian. He owned a retail store in Kansas City before he entered the political arena. Additionally, about a mile and a half from the site of our conference in Kansas City, Walt Disney had his first studio before moving to the West Coast where he would start the Disney Studios and Disneyland. And then I read about Nelle Peters.
Nelle was born in a sod house in North Dakota in 1884 and decided to become an architect, a field not previously open to women, much like the accounting and finance industry. She persisted until she was hired by a firm, moved to their Kansas City office and two years later left that company to open her own architecture firm.
Like AFWA’s founder, Ida S. Broo, who opened her own accounting firm in 1925, Nelle was a pioneer in her field. She was quoted as saying, “I talked and talked and at last I talked myself into a job.” Peters had over a thousand buildings to her credit and two districts in Kansas City are named for her. I hope that one day Ida Broo will be researched and honored as much as Nelle Peters.
AFWA has gone through many changes this year as well as the past eighty years. However, it remains constant that our organization is nothing without its members. We celebrate each of you individually, your personal successes, and your contribution to your chapters and AFWA as a whole. On the last day of the conference we recognized a few of our members at The Women Who Count Awards luncheon and recognized the outstanding chapters during the Annual Business Meeting and at a special reception. We look forward to recognizing even more women next year. Remember to nominate your mentor, boss, friend, or chapter member next year.
We began our fiscal year in Mesa, Arizona and I challenged our board to focus on both our history and our relevancy in today’s business environment. Our national board and foundation board can be found on our website. I invite each of you to share with us your successes and challenges. We hope to see you next year at the 2019 Women Who Count conference at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando.