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A farewell, and plenty of thanks to pass around.

As I sat down to write what will likely be my last column as President of FEI, I racked my brain as to what message I want to leave the organization with. Over the last (almost four) years, I have written about financial reporting (probably more than any other topic--it's my favorite, in case you couldn't tell!), fair value accounting, the changing role of financial executives, the relationship of CFOs to the board, Sarbanes-Oxley, tort reform and legislative items, among other issues that impact FEI members.

My time at FEI has been the most challenging and fulfilling of my career! My predecessor, Phil Livingston, told me that this job would be a lot of fun--and he wasn't kidding. This job has been a blast!


I want to dedicate this column to all FEI members, the staff at FEI National and the volunteer leaders, who dedicate so much of their time and energy to FEI.

The value that a member receives from an organization like FEI is what the individual makes of it. Some members like the peer-to-peer networking and outstanding programming that they can get at the local chapter level. The local chapter leaders work very hard to continue to bring their members this level of service, and I encourage those of you who haven't taken advantage of the networking and programming available at your local chapter, to do so. You won't be disappointed.

Real-time, Relevant Information

Other members like the real-time updates and information on issues impacting them. Our staff at FEI National is top-notch and works very hard at keeping our members informed and updated, whether it is through our weekly FEI Express, through continuous updates to our website headlines, through our award-winning magazine, Financial Executive, or through our national conferences and many webcasts. Our magazine, marketing and public relations and conference staff are constantly ensuring that our members get real-time and relevant information.

FEI's advocacy efforts come from volunteer members of our seven technical committees. The members of these committees (Committee on Corporate Reporting, Committee on Corporate Finance, Committee on Benefits Finance, Committee on Taxation, Committee on Private Companies, Committee on Finance and Information Technology, and the Committee on Government Business) dedicate an inordinate amount of time to ensure that our voice is heard on specific issues. Our technical committee staff (both in our New Jersey headquarters and Washington, D.C., office) works tirelessly to ensure that our technical committees' points of view are heard by the appropriate standard-setters, regulators and legislators.

Our Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) provides topical research of relevance to our members. They continue to do a fine job, working with our technical committees and the Research Advisory Committee (made up of more FEI volunteers!) in prioritizing and sourcing the best research possible.

All of this is not possible without some other important people, including our Finance and IT staffs, and the fine governance provided by our Board of Directors (more FEI volunteers!).

The relationships that I was able to develop over the last few years are precious to me. It never ceased to amaze me how dedicated the leaders and members of FEI are to the organization. When we were determining how to celebrate our 75th anniversary, past chairs of FEI volunteered to work with staff on a committee to develop some of the ideas we had. It culminated in our inaugural Hall of Fame event, which took place in November. Without the dedication of past leaders, the FEI Board of Directors and staff, this vision would never have been achieved.

The most important lesson I learned over the last (almost) four years was that to be successful, you need to surround yourself with people who have an enthusiastic attitude and who can do their job better than you can. The staff at FEI National is second to none. In real estate, the most important thing is "location, location, location." Well, at FEI National, the most important thing is "members, members, members."

No decision is made without thinking about the members first. The teamwork, camaraderie and collaboration that take place between all of the various departments at FEI, FERF and the volunteer FEI leadership is evident in the quality of service that FEI members receive. I will miss every last one of you!
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Title Annotation:president'sPAGE
Author:Cunningham, Colleen
Publication:Financial Executive
Date:Dec 1, 2006
Previous Article:Tim Regan.
Next Article:From the editor.

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