President’s Message – December 2016

As we enter December we find ourselves coming from the time of year we are reminded to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for and look ahead at a short time before the end of the calendar year. I hear the sentiments of time moving so quickly from nearly everyone I talk to, this year was no exception. It has been a wonderful experience leading the board for 2016. I am grateful to have had the opportunity and energized by the many leaders in our chapter and what lies ahead for the profession of financial planning.

Fall is a very busy time in our chapter; we have Symposium, Strategic Planning Day, Financial Planning Day and the National FPA Chapter Leaders Conference. All of these opportunities allow those of us in leadership roles to see the full potential for our chapter and devote our energy to improvements and celebrations. The commitment of our volunteers, past leaders, members and the staff elevate our chapter to lofty heights and continue to improve our widely respected reputation among the association and partners.

I started out this year with a President's message reflecting on the Chapter Leaders Conference and I'll sign off the same way. On November 11 - 13 a large contingent of FPA of Minnesota volunteers and staff attended the 2016 OneFPA Chapter Leaders Conference in Broomfield, Colorado. We spent three days in leadership training sessions and sharing best practices with leaders from the ninety-one chapters across the country. The sessions included drivers of membership, running an effective meeting, volunteer motivation and tips for a successful advocacy meeting. At the awards banquet Minnesota was recognized with two Outstanding Achievement Awards. The first award was given for the work of the Pro Bono committee on the Pro Bono workshops held after chapter meetings and the other was awarded to the Professional Issues committee for their work in strengthening the relationship with the Department of Commerce. Both of these awards are wonderful examples of the innovative ways our chapter is looking to give back to the larger community we are a part of. In addition to the learning sessions there was time for our chapter to continue the conversations we had at Strategic Planning Day at the end of October building on and clarifying our chapters goals. Of the almost 300 attendees at the conference, Minnesota had seventeen in attendance with 2017 board members, future leaders and both of our Executive Directors. The conversations between the directors and committee members are exciting and energizing as we look to the future of the Financial Planning Association.

I want to thank the members for being a part of our community, the committee members for engaging in the work to move us forward, the board for being an inspirational and dedicated group and the executive committee for being shining examples of true collaboration and support. At strategic planning day last year I encouraged all of us to think about "impact" in all we do with our membership and the larger community we are a part of and this last year there have been many successes. Some of the greatest impact we can make is on one another.
Jeanna Fifer, CFP®
Cahill Financial Advisors