Message from the Chair:
I'm writing a personal note this month to share news and insights from the 2015 CFA Institute Society Leader Conference in Hong Kong. I'm delighted to announce that CFA Washington was awarded the 2015 Excellence Award for Member Engagement! This is the second year in a row that we have received this award and it is a testament to not only the efforts of our staff, board and committees, but to all of you who make CFAW such a vibrant and interesting group.
While it was terrific to be recognized for our local efforts, it was equally gratifying to hear from CFA Institute's new CEO, Paul Smith. We continue to be impressed by his vision and leadership, attributes which were reflected in the tone and energy of the conference. Paul has assembled a strong team of senior leaders within CFAI to drive the Institute's newly defined strategic priorities: Credentialing, Member Value, and Standards & Advocacy. The most immediate impact will be felt in Member Value where CFAI has announced plans to significantly increase investment in local societies. CFAI has also announced the launch of a global brand awareness campaign which will include multiple media channels to promote the value of the CFA charter globally. Credentialing and Standards & Advocacy are equally important to CFAW - the first in terms of revenues as it relates to exam prep and the latter which is critical to our own efforts to promote the charter and putting investors first.
We at CFA Washington continue to seek ways to deepen and enhance our partnership with CFAI and leverage their resources to support you and your interests. I think you will share my excitement and enthusiasm about the future of the CFA charter and the opportunities that lie ahead. Please don't hesitate to reach out with your comments and feedback - in addition to governing the local Society, your board is here to represent you to the Institute so I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
I look forward to seeing you at upcoming Society events. In the meantime, on behalf of your board of directors, we wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!
All the best,
Camille Alexander, CFA
CFAW Board Chair
Message from the Chair:
Greetings to our members from all of us at CFAW. I hope you enjoyed the summer. We were glad to see so many members at our Annual Reception on September 24th.
Your Board of Directors was hard at work behind the scenes this summer. In July we held a half-day strategic planning session facilitated by an outside consultant who is an expert on non-profit strategy and governance. I challenged the Board to be bold and audacious as they envisioned and deliberated CFAW's mission, core values, goals and organizational structure.
The result is an entirely new strategic plan supporting our updated mission statement: To facilitate a vibrant, engaged community that advances members' professional success. You may find the entire plan on our website, but for now, here are the five main goals and objectives:
- CFAW is the primary authority and respected thought leader in the DC community on all issues related to investments, global financial matters, and ethical standards in the industry.
- CFAW members across all demographics and industries are engaged and participate actively in Society activities and sharing their time and expertise in support of the organization's mission, goals, and objectives.
- CFAW members have meaningful opportunities for education, development of substantive professional relationships and dialogue.
- The value of the CFA charter is known by employers, investors, and the local community.
- CFAW operates as a premier membership association and as a prudent steward of society resources.
We have also realigned our various committees to support these objectives. There are two categories: Committees of the Board and Committees of the Society. Committees of the Board will assist and enable the Board in carrying out its duties in setting policy and strategic priorities, providing financial stewardship and oversight, and ensuring the operational effectiveness of the organization.
In addition to the Finance Committee, we are adding two new Committees of the Board:
- Executive Committee: comprised of Board Officers, and chaired by the CFAW Board Chair, this committee will handle human resources and staff compensation matters, as well as any Board business that might arise between regular Board meetings.
- Governance Committee: chaired by the CFAW Secretary, this committee will cultivate and foster Board knowledge including orientation and training; evaluate Board composition and succession planning; and assess Board and committee effectiveness.
Other committees are considered Committees of the Society. Although Committees of the Society may from time to time recommend strategic initiatives or policies to the CFAW Board of Directors, they are primarily focused in assisting the CEO and staff in the implementation of the organization's strategic priorities. These committees are an important way that CFAW encourages volunteer involvement and active member engagement. For each of these committees at least one Board member will be assigned as a liaison and the CEO will serve as an ex officio member, except for Nominating.
The realigned Committees of the Society include:
- Member Engagement: assists with members recruitment, engagement and retention; evaluates member experience; member communication and social media; and networking events, meetups and other informal gatherings
- Programs & Education: develops and assists with the execution of member programs (continuing education, career, etc.); candidate programs such as exam prep and mock exams; and oversees awarding of scholarships
- External Relations: assists with community outreach—business/university/employer; develops and supports advocacy and charter awareness initiatives; the solicitation of sponsorships; external communication/media; and our Investment Committee Volunteer initiative
- Nominating: proposes slate of officers and directors per the CFAW bylaws
I am incredibly proud of the work we've done and am immensely grateful for the commitment, passion, and vision that your Board exhibits every day. I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the rest of our leadership team. Indeed, the work of the Board and the Society would not be possible without our talented CEO, Leigh Talbot, whose contributions and insights were invaluable to the process and critical to the success of our Society.
At the end of the day, our vibrancy is a result of the exceptional partnership between staff, Board, and engaged volunteers. We encourage you to get involved. It is a rewarding experience that allows our members to enhance their professional network and skills and we welcome your involvement, whether it's serving on a committee, proctoring a mock exam, or greeting fellow members at an event. Please contact Operations Manager, Deborah Martinez, at email@example.com to let her know what committees or roles interest you the most.
We have a number of big initiatives planned beyond our usual excellent lineup of programs. We are entering phase two of our awareness campaign. If you haven't already done so, please pledge your support of the Statement of Investor Rights at www.InvestorsFirstDC.com. We will once again be marketing this website and the directory of our members who support the Statement.
We are enhancing our relationship with area non-profits who seek highly skilled and ethical investment committee volunteers. If you'd like to be considered as a volunteer, please click here.
We're strengthening our already positive relationship with CFA Institute to leverage their resources across multiple channels. We're very pleased that as part of CFAI's strategic plan, increased support for all societies is of paramount importance.
Given the presidential election next year, we will hold an event on April 20th focused on potential election outcome impacts on the financial markets and our profession. Our keynote will be Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report. This will be a high profile opportunity to highlight that CFAW is, in fact, the local thought leader on the markets.
There are many other exciting plans in the works. We will be increasing our efforts to connect members in informal ways, facilitating meet-ups for members with shared interests among other things. Please take a look at the Strategic Plan, provide us with your feedback and let us know how you'd like to get involved. With your involvement, we believe that CFAW is well-positioned to succeed in our mission to facilitate a vibrant, engaged community that advances our members' (your!) professional success.
Best regards and hope to see you soon at one of our many upcoming events.
Camille Alexander, CFA
CFAW Board Chair