|On November 4, 1993, the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of CFMA achieved "Official Chapter" status from National.
On August 17, 1993, a group of individuals, most of whom did not know one another, convened in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to discuss the possibility of forming a local chapter of Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA). The need for a chapter was evident, especially since the closest chapter in Philadelphia was too far away to attract new members from the Central Pennsylvania region. From this initial meeting a Formation Committee was established to focus on the common objectives that are the basis for all CFMA chapters.
The Committee's objectives were simple and direct. The Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the CFMA was to unite individuals with financial responsibilities in the Construction Industry; to provide a forum for Chapter members to meet, debate and generate fresh ideas; and to coordinate programs dedicated to the purpose of improving professional standards within the industry. Their vision was one of meeting both current and future needs of the construction financial community.
The specific tasks necessary to create the Chapter were challenging and numerous. Less than three months after the Chapter Formation Committee congregated to organize and create this new Chapter, the Central Pennsylvania Chapter achieved the following milestones:
- Surveyed other chapters so as to streamline the formation process;
- Congregated its first 20 members on November 3, 1993, at the first dinner meeting;
- Received "Full Chapter Status" from National on November 3, 1993;
- Was perhaps the first in CFMA Chapter history to achieve Full Chapter Status on day after the first membership meeting and less than three months after the first organizational meeting;
- Elected a Board of Directors;
- Drafted, reviewed and ratified Chapter By-Laws;
- Acquired a Tax Identification Number;
- Developed a sizable Contact List;
- Generated a Mailing List Database;
Mailed introductory letter and meeting notices;
- Created Program and Membership Committees;
- Instituted Bank Accounts;
- Developed a Budget;
- Implemented Membership Drive;
- Proposed Program Ideas and Booked Speakers;
- Organized Advertising and Promotions; and
- Functioned without any working capital from National.
As a result of these efforts, the Central Pennsylvania Chapter was awarded New Chapter of the Year from National CFMA.
This early success continues! From its inception of 20 members, the Chapter has grown and prospered. Today, the Central Pennsylvania Chapter has over 90 members. This rate of growth is not only attributable to the successful attraction of new members, but the high percentage of members retained. In fact, the Chapter has earned Renewal Recognition Awards from CFMA National for each year of its existence.
The Chapter is also very proud of the quality programs that are provided at our monthly dinner meetings and roundtable sessions. Each year Chapter meetings provide about nine continuing education opportunities. Periodically the Chapter partners with other organizations to provide additional educational programs. The topics selected are based input from our general members and are presented by experts in their respective fields.
Starting out as a way to kick back and relax, the Chapter's summer golf outing has become the catalyst to fund a scholarship program for local accounting students. Since November 1997, the Chapter has presented (8)$1,000 scholarships to well deserving students, all of who are either working in the construction industry or interested in pursuing a career in the construction industry. The continuance of this program will not only increase the awareness of CFMA but also provide a long-term benefit for our industry.
Another accomplishment of the Chapter has been the publication of a monthly newsletter and program book and roster. These two items keep each member informed on monthly meeting content and schedule, member profiles and other current events. In addition, the CFMA message is communicated by way of meeting announcements in local newspapers.
The President's Excellence Award, presented by National CFMA to our Chapter the last six years, is one more example of our continuing success. This award is given to those chapters who have provided outstanding programs and service to its members and have displayed a high level of membership involvement.
At the core of these accomplishments are the voluntary contributions of our members. Thanks to each of you!