Magazine article Strategic Finance

From CMA to CEO

Magazine article Strategic Finance

From CMA to CEO

Article excerpt

I was somewhat of a late arrival to the accounting/finance world. The first decade of my career was in radio and television broadcasting as a disc jockey, news director, and anchor. The second decade was in Human Resources at commercial banks.

During that time, I soaked up all the banking and finance education I could get, expecting to be a career banker. But after the Texas banking debacle of the mid-1980s, an investment banking firm I worked for collapsed in 1989, prompting me to reevaluate future career options.

No matter where I worked or in what industry, accountants seemed to have a great deal of influence in the organization's decision making, so I decided to go back to school to pick up the additional credits to sit for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam. I enrolled in Troy State University's graduate program where I was mentored by Dr. Khamis Bilbeisi, who also encouraged me to join IMA[R]. Although my immediate focus was on the CPA exam, Dr. Bilbeisi spoke favorably of the CMA[R] (Certified Management Accountant) credential, noting that many accounting graduates migrate from public accounting to business and industry during their careers.

I earned my CPA in August 1993 and an MBA a year later. Then I spent a year as a financial accounting manager for an international manufacturing company, followed by my first controllership at a software/ e-services company before moving back into financial services with Regions Banks and into the credit union world four years later in 2003. …

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