My first few months as TMA Global president have been extremely rewarding and informative. It has been a pleasure interacting with TMA Global volunteer leaders and staff, attending various chapter events and meeting chapter leadership, and spending time with our professionally diverse membership. I have felt welcomed at each event and walked away with ideas for improving our overall TMA experience and what TMA Global can do to enhance membership relevance and improve member connectivity.
I have learned that while our TMA chapters share many attributes, each is unique in terms of its opportunities for educational and networking engagement, leadership structure, strengths and challenges, and outlook. After sharing with TMA Global staff and volunteer leadership what we have learned, the challenge is to develop creative, meaningful follow-up to assist chapters when needed and to capitalize on the great things they are doing.
Our TMA NextGen program is alive and well and, in fact, is thriving in many of our chapters. From my recent experience at the TMA Florida Winter Conference, it is clear that our NextGen members are seeking opportunities for active and meaningful engagement and have many creative ideas for enhancing the TMA experience for all members. Their energy and enthusiasm is infectious, and we need to make sure that we engage with them to enable TMA to continue to evolve, thrive, and grow—our NextGen members represent TMA’s future.
I look forward to engaging with more of our leadership, chapters, and membership as the year unfolds. TMA CEO Scott Stuart and I plan to attend many more chapter events this year, including international chapter events.
One lesson that we have already learned is that TMA’s recent messaging focusing on membership has created some unrealistic expectations by new and potential members. Many expressed frustration that after a year or so of membership, they had yet to “get a deal” as a result of their involvement in TMA. Such expectations totally miss the mark about what TMA membership is all about.
Restructuring professionals should look at TMA membership from the long-term perspective—as a part of the growth of a professional career over time. As a member of a TMA chapter and TMA Global you will, over time, develop professional and social relationships that lead to professional and personal growth, learn a great deal about the restructuring industry, stand out in terms of credentials, and, yes, develop opportunities to capture business. The key is not to expect instant success and opportunities but, instead, to foster relationships by becoming an active TMA member and taking advantage of the unique educational and networking opportunities available through TMA.
At every opportunity, I have encouraged our staff and volunteer leaders to focus on the “pillars” of my TMA Global goals for 2019—developing a more forward-facing organization, enhancing Global conferences and educational opportunities, and building on TMA’s strength as a truly international professional association in the restructuring industry. I have been working to align these with the goals and activities of our TMA Global committees, task forces, and staff. This has led us to take a closer look at the roles of our committees and to modify some of them in a manner more consistent with the goal we all share—making TMA more relevant and meaningful in the overall restructuring community and for each of us.
I want to extend my personal gratitude to all TMA Global volunteer leaders and staff and our chapter leaders for all of the hard work they are doing for the benefit of our entire membership. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to mention the hard work underway in planning the 2019 TMA Annual. We have three strong conference chairs leading the way and an enthusiastic planning committee in formation.
By now, you have learned a great deal about our exciting Cleveland venue. In response to feedback from members, this year’s Annual features enhanced and targeted educational offerings, creative new networking opportunities, and, of course, an exciting evening at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For those who have yet to make plans to attend, I encourage you to do so and assure you that it will be time well spent.