President’s Year End Message

This year was a successful year in terms of professional events, topics and social events.   I wish to thank all the board members of the Pittsburgh chapter for their hard work this year.   

The 2016-2017 season of meetings started in September with an informative session on how Accountants can create engagement using social media.  Cindy Neky, a digital marketing consultant explained how web sites and email can be enhanced to promote marketing and organizational visibility.  In October, we received an update on the pending Fair Labor Standards Act from Deb Gray of Express Employment Professionals.   We learned more about the details of this new law and how to prepare for its scheduled implementation later in 2016.    In November, the Pittsburgh chapter held its annual joint meeting with the ARMA chapter.   Our speaker was Thomas White, a history professor at Duquesne, who told us about “Gangs and Outlaws of Western PA”, a very interesting and fun meeting with our friends in records management.   The Pittsburgh Chapter held its annual Holiday Party in early December at the Rivers Club where we were treated to delicious food, beverages and festive music.  Holiday parties have become a great  tradition for the IMA and I always look forward to this event.  The Rivers Club really has the best food in Pittsburgh and they do parties right.

2017 was kicked off with our annual Tax Update meeting in January; hearing from Erik Jansen, JD from BDO, on federal and state tax law changes going into effect this year.    In February, the chapter received an update on the future of healthcare, specifically the Affordable Care Act.  Our speaker was Jerry Bonenberger, VP at Babb Inc who brought us up to date on pending healthcare law changes and what might happen going forward.  In March, the Pittsburgh chapter hosted our annual 2 CPE meeting on Ethics.   We heard from Brian Kasselan, CPA on “Ethical Behavior and Fraud.”   Connie Bentzen of BlackRock spoke to the chapter in April on “Navigating the Short Term Financial Markets” where we heard about how organizations manage their financing instruments in this environment of uncertain interest rates.   At that meeting, the chapter had the pleasure of presenting it’s annual Accounting Student Scholarship award to Marlena Hensley at Clarion University.   Also, we were joined by other students from Clarion and their advisor, Frank Pici, who have requested to establish a student IMA chapter at Clarion University.  The Pittsburgh Chapter approved the application and organizational activities are currently underway.   We are excited about establishing a closer relationship with students from Clarion with this new student chapter. 

It was a successful year and it wouldn’t be possible without the help and tireless efforts of the Pittsburgh board of directors:  in helping to secure speakers, organize our annual Scholarship Award competition and  grow our student chapters at IUP, Penn State and now Clarion.  Thank you to Kathy Goodwill, Newsletter Editor and Meeting Attendance Director; Loretta Corrigan, Treasurer and Student Chapter Director; Keith Schwarz, Director of Publicity; Terry Durst, Secretary, Carolyn Wolfe Director of Students/ Scholarships; Jim Marsh, VP Professional Development, and Diane Shatoff, VP Membership. And thanks to Jim Nelson for your help in bringing speakers to our meetings.  

We look forward to our first planning meeting of the summer, our Open Board meeting on June 21 at the Rivers Club.  We will thank our board members this past year and  and welcome any members who wish to become involved.  We really look for your input and suggestions.   Finally, I thank you for the opportunity to serve as President the past few years.    I look forward to working with the next board, and next President Keith Schwarz, to plan next year’s calendar of events for the Pittsburgh Chapter.  

Sincerely, Tim Abbott,  President