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What Association CFOs Are Thinking

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Remember the days when association CFOs were relegated to number crunching and approving budgets? Now they’re playing huge roles in strategic direction. For insight, we gathered a small group of association CFOs at our recent Association Roundtable lunch at Bastille in Alexandria.

What Association CFOs Are Thinking

CFOs are getting out from behind their desks and engaging with members, says United Fresh Produce Association CFO Dan Hilleary. When he first joined the organization in 2009, he wanted to meet members in person. The request was met with surprise, but it’s created stronger bonds with members and their CFOs. Other association leaders said the CFO role has evolved to include more oversight of HR, IT, benefits administration, customer service and facilities.

What Association CFOs Are Thinking

Of course, lunch conversation with CFOs is never complete without talking about revenues, especially coming from non-dues. American Frozen Food Institute CFO Tom Kearney, right, next to Cardinal Bank Wealth Management managing director Bill Mundy, says his organization has generated a new revenue stream through an advantage partner program. Members in the program pay $20k to $30k to get a package of benefits that includes premier access to board members, who are some of the biggest players in the industry. The tricky part is making sure departments within the association that manage things like sponsorships and exhibitors get their allocated revenue from the partner program.

What Association CFOs Are Thinking

National Beer Wholesalers Association CFO Kim McKinnish, middle, says her organization has a similar program. Sponsor partners ultimately want access to board members and an opportunity to engage one-on-one. Technology is also changing the CFO role. NBWA recently upgraded its website and is offering some member-specific safety training videos, which fall under Kim’s responsibility. She's flanked by Cardinal Bank VP Kathy Speakman and Reed Smith partner Olivia Shay-Byrne. (Thanks to Cardinal Bank and Reed Smith for helping us host the lunch.)

What Association CFOs Are Thinking

The thing that keeps Society for Human Resource Management CFO Mary Mohney up at night is risk management. She manages data privacy and IT security. Dan says the changing workforce is forcing CFOs to look at even more risks. It’s not traditional OSHA concerns anymore but more about people working remotely. As an association of primarily family-owned businesses, NBWA is focusing on next-generation leaders and getting them engaged through specific events and an annual stand-alone conference. Tom says his challenge is interest rates and trying to create new ways to come up with fixed income.

Interested in attending or sponsoring a roundtable? Email Bisnow's Chris Wainwright