by Marj Weber
When checking my records I found the last "around the Chapter" was published in July 2014! So much has happened in that 14 months there's just not enough space to review.  Though review is not necessary, since Michelle does such a great job of keeping the membership informed via this monthly newsletter.
So, that being said, I do want to talk about a couple of events that happened over this past summer (though it still feels like SUMMER!). 
First and foremost, the 2015 CFMA Annual Conference in Chicago.  It was in Chicago in 1997 that I attended my first Annual Conference and I have attended all since (18 of them, in case you didn't want to do the math).  At that 1997 Conference, I was inspired by two women: first, Dottee Mulcahy from our own Chapter as she received the Debra Hahn Memorial Award: and second, Christine Thompson as she became the first woman President (now called Chair) of CFMA on the National level.  It struck me that in a room dominated by men these two bright and articulate women were setting an example for the rest of us.  And I followed - becoming involved first at our Chapter level and then at the National level.  As I said in my acceptance speech for my own Debra Hahn Memorial Award, I was fortunate to have several mentors over the years.  Most importantly were those that gave me the opportunities to serve CFMA - from speaking, to serving on numerous committees, to eventual Chair of The Institute.  I have enjoyed all of it, and continue to do so.  I do want to sincerely thank those that nominated me and for all of those that have supported and worked with me over the years.   It has truly been an honor.
Now on to a more recent event - The Inaugural CFMA Southwest Regional Conference in Long Beach, California from September 13th-15th.  And it was AWESOME and far beyond any expectations any of us on the committee had.  Six CFMA Chapters - Orange County; San Diego; Inland Empire (brand new Chapter); Las Vegas; Albuquerque; and Valley of the Sun joined forces and started planning this amazing event in June of 2014.  From the formation of the absolutely BEST website; to securing National speakers (including IT Rock Star James Benham) this Conference was destined to be a HIT, and it did not disappoint.  Our goal was to have 75 attendees and we sold out at 115!  We surpassed our sponsorship goal by several thousand dollars and with the hard work of the Orange County Chapter (Pam Hummel very specifically) a very professional and valuable Conference was held and enjoyed by the attendees.  From the positive feedback we received, it is going to be a challenge to live up to this first annual conference.  Did I mention it will be in Phoenix next year?  For those of you from Valley of the Sun that attended (28 VoS members), I do hope you found it worthwhile and will  keep the last week in September of 2016 open on your calendars. 
And so until next time...........