I am privileged and honored to have the opportunity to serve as president of the Muscle Shoals Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) for 2020-2021 fiscal year. This is my second opportunity to lead this chapter. I first became acquainted with the IMA in 1992 as an aspiring accounting student at Athens State University where I served as the second president of the University’s IMA student chapter, so I would like to consider myself a lifelong supporter of the organization. I would like to thank Dr. Dan Hallock for a great year of speakers and accomplishments during the 2019-2020 year and his unwavering support of IMA. I would also like to acknowledge the accomplishments of the remaining past presidents and their leadership teams of the Muscle Shoals Chapter.
The board of directors has worked collaboratively and earnestly to prepare a slate of topics and speakers that will hopefully education, inform, and inspire you as local business professionals and supporters of the chapter. This year’s program lineup looks much different than those of past years due to circumstances driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of this writing, our program lineup includes both virtual meetings and tentatively scheduled physical meetings. Please reference the Technical Program Schedule on page 2 of the program book for further details. We hope that you will plan to join us either virtually or in person (hopefully) for each meeting as we present programs focused on diversity and inclusion, ascension of management ranks in smaller accounting firms, ethics, tax law updates for the 2021 tax season, and cyber security essentials. Of course, your support of the UNA Accounting Awards banquet at the conclusion of the year in April is the perfect way to recognize and encourage current accounting scholars entering the accounting profession.
Please help us to spread the word about the program lineup with your fellow IMA members, colleagues, business associates, students, and friends. Let me take this opportunity to encourage you to participate regularly in the meetings and to even consider a leadership position with the Muscle Shoals IMA chapter. I truly believe that association with the chapter promotes personal learning, enrichment, collaboration, and networking that contribute to the success of individuals, their employing organizations, their schools, the community, and the chapter membership as a whole. The Muscle Shoals Chapter is the parent chapter of the Athens State University Student Chapter. Together, these active chapters support aspiring and seasoned business professionals alike to add value to their organizations and promote sound business and financial practices.
Finally, the health and safety of our officers, directors, chapter supporters, and scheduled speakers are at the forefront of our planning efforts for this program year. Virtual meetings are planned for the remainder of calendar year 2020. These virtual meetings will be presented at no cost for attendees. The physical meetings planned for 2021 are tentatively scheduled to be held at the Marriott Conference Center in Florence, AL. The cost of dinner will be $26.00 for business professionals and faculty. We are pleased to continue the practice of subsidizing student meals, resulting in a price of $12.00 for college students. Chapter leadership will monitor pandemic related restrictions and abide by all state and local level directives in place at the time of our tentatively scheduled physical meetings. If restrictions on physical meetings related to the COVID-19 pandemic still exist in 2021 at the time of scheduled meetings or conditions in the local area aren’t conducive to physical gatherings, every effort will be made by chapter leadership to transition those meetings to a virtual platform with plenty of advance notice.
I look forward to your enjoying of the program lineup and support of the Muscle Shoals Chapter this year. Please let me or anyone on the chapter leadership team know if you have questions or if we can help you in any way. Thank you for being a part of the north Alabama business and education communities.
Dr. John Berzett
President, IMA Muscle Shoals Chapter
2020-2021 Fiscal Year