Volunteer Service Makes a Difference.

Author:Thompson, Rick S.

More than 2,300 years ago, the Greek philosopher Aristotle reminded us that the essence of life is "to serve others and to do good." It's important for each of us to reflect on whether we are giving back to society, to our profession, and to the things that make a difference in our lives.

From a personal perspective, I'm reminded of successes enabled by IMA[R] volunteer opportunities and the CMA[R] (Certified Management Accountant) certification. I began my career as an industrial engineer at Milliken & Company, a privately held, global textile and chemical company headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C. After seven years, I transitioned to financial roles and assumed responsibility for cost accounting for global operations after becoming a CMA.

IMA volunteer roles became an extension of my career, and giving back to the profession became a priority. After transitioning to other roles in my company, I continued to volunteer in the Spartanburg Area Chapter and served as chapter president. It was an honor to accept the Chair's Award at the IMA Annual Conference on behalf of the chapter and its dedicated leaders.

The opportunity to facilitate an in-house CMA program at Milliken & Company enabled me to witness lives being changed when employees earned their CMA certification. As a passionate volunteer, I served six years (2002-2008) on the ICMA[R] Board of Regents, the governing body for the CMA program. This taught me much about volunteerism and lifetime learning, preparing me to earn other certifications. I was active in the IMA Carolinas Council during this same period and served as council president when the council's dedicated volunteer leaders received the Council Award of Excellence.

I also was a member of the IMA Global Board of Directors while serving as chair of the Board of Regents for three years (2011-2014). It was a great volunteer...

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