One of TMA’s core values is that it is chapter-centric and dedicated to ensuring an active, vibrant, and consistent experience for TMA members at the local chapter level. I have had the great honor of serving as TMA Global Vice President of Chapter Relations this year, and I am pleased to report that TMA and its chapters are consistently improving and finding new ways to enhance the member experience. Here are a few observations about the fantastic opportunities our TMA chapters and international affiliates are offering—and how by taking advantage, TMA members and leaders can get the most out of this vital and diverse organization:
Regional connections are stronger than ever. TMA’s regional conferences have always been a strong draw. But not only have these opportunities increased in 2023, the pull of participants from outside their respective regions is at an all-time high. New opportunities, like TMA Rocky Mountain and TMA Arizona’s Power Networking event in Scottsdale, brought together TMA members from those chapters and a few outsiders (including yours truly) for two great days of networking in the desert. TMA NorCal and SoCal’s Summer Extravaganza was back and stronger than ever, drawing many attendees from outside California, and the TMA Southeast Regional had near-record attendance—in August, no less!—drawing attendees from around the country to Nashville, Tennessee. As chapters continue to promote and participate in these opportunities, the value and reach of the connections made by TMA members at these events are increased manyfold.
NextGen leaders are making an impact. TMA’s average member age is the youngest it has ever been, and this is reflected by the number of NextGeners who are leading our chapters, either as chapter presidents or in other pivotal roles. Never was this more apparent than at the most recent NextGen Leadership Conference, held in July in Chicago, and attended by NextGen members from 20 chapters, including a number of NextGen members currently serving as a chapter president. By fully participating and serving in TMA leadership early in their careers, these NextGeners are laying a foundation not only for their own professional success by building robust networks but also raising the profiles of their chapters and enhancing the value of TMA membership.
International engagement and growth. TMA has made enormous strides in the level of interaction it affords our international affiliates and the opportunities it provides our North American members and chapters to connect with them. In June, the inaugural TMA International Symposium and European Annual was held in Hamburg, Germany. I was honored to be included among a delegation of TMA Global leaders to attend. While I knew this would be an enjoyable opportunity, I could not have anticipated the value that would come from building a truly international network of turnaround professionals. I learned so much from my international colleagues, but most importantly, I saw that our jobs and their challenges were more similar than different, and that swapping ideas and war stories was just as fruitful abroad as it was at home. With so many opportunities to meet and connect with international turnaround colleagues on the horizon (including the Central & Eastern European Summit in Zurich, Switzerland, in September and the TMA UK Annual in London in November) and with new international affiliates joining the TMA Big Tent every year—welcome TMA India, and soon to join Colombia and Slovakia!—no TMA member experience is truly complete without making international connections.