President's Message

Greetings Blue Grass Area Chapter,

As we approach the holiday season and 2018 begins to close, many of us will reflect on our lives and careers.  Perhaps we may even take stock of those things for which we are thankful, and those who have helped us along the way.  I have just returned from taking a group of students to the IMA's annual Student Leadership Conference.  The experience has prompted me to reflect on the many twists and turns of my own career, how people an organizations have helped me along the way, and what my role in others' careers are now that I am a bit more "seasoned".


In my own career, the IMA has been an incredible support, helping me grow as a professional, and build a network of professional acquaintances and friends.  If you have not, as a member of the IMA, taken full advantage of the many, many resources they offer, I strongly encourage you to explore and take advantage of the multitude of resources the organization offers.  From webinars, to exemplary publications, to exceptional events like the Annual Conference and Expo and the Student Leadership Conference, to the globally recognized Certified Management Accountant credential, to our own very active Blue Grass Area Chapter, realize the full value your IMA membership offers.  Few, if any, organizations invest in the growth and success of its members the way the IMA does.


Yet, what makes the IMA so exceptional is not the multitude of programs, but the people.  None of us succeed professionally entirely on our own.  Every successful person I have ever met was helped along the way.  The most successful people I have met almost universally had a mentor to whom they could point who poured into their life and career.  The IMA is full of people interested in, even excited about, supporting and helping their fellow members grow professionally.  


The various conferences and events IMA global provide excellent opportunities to meet other professionals and grow one's professional network.  One of my students remarked that it seemed I knew everyone at the Student Leadership Conference.  In truth, there were a number of professional acquaintances, some whom I had met through the course of my career, but many of the relationships were developed primarily through IMA events.  


While the larger IMA events are exceptional, the heart and soul of the IMA is its local chapters, and the most meaningful professional relationships are always going to be with one's fellow local chapter members.  It is in the local chapter where we have the opportunity to get to know others over years, and see each other grow and develop professionally.  The local chapter is also where we can have the most significant impact in helping each other grow professionally.


It is this idea of impact with which I would like to close this message.  Observing and interacting with individuals at all stages of their professional career at the Student Leadership Conference:  students at the infancy of their career, faculty and professionals in the middle of their careers, senior executives at the apex of their careers, and possibly even a few retirees and second career professionals, prompted me to think about how each of us can impact another's growth.  More specifically, my thoughts turned to how can I give back to the profession I love, which has given me so much, and how can I do more to help those coming after me.  I also wondered how we as a local chapter can better support our members.  So, I would like to leave you with some things to ponder.  How can you help in the mission of the IMA to advance and support the management accounting profession?  How can you help another IMA member develop and grow professionally?  How can we as a local chapter better help you grow and develop as a professional?  What would you like to see the Blue Grass Area chapter do differently?  Reach out to me via email, or reach out to us on one of our social media pages (IMA-Bluegrass on Facebook and Twitter).  We want to hear from you.  We want you to be a part of the great things occurring in our profession and within the IMA both globally and here locally in the Bluegrass.


JP Stearns


President IMA Bluegrass Chapter