May 2018 Print

President's Report

This is my final letter as Chapter President for 2017-18.  I learned a great deal as President and discovered that by giving my time, I received so much more in return from the friendships developed or deepened over the past year.  I had the opportunity to work with some of the brightest financial executives and sponsors.  I encourage you to actively participate in FEI to enrich your membership experience as my involvement has done for me. 

We started the year with three initiatives: to increase membership, to invest resources in our members and to be open to new ideas.  I believe the team executed on all three accounts, and I want to dedicate this letter to the Houston Chapter team who executed brilliantly this year. 

I would like to specifically mention a few members of the team. 

Rob Schmitz, President-Elect:  Rob played a key role as advisor in almost all decisions and challenges this year.  He organized many of our processes to guarantee seamless events.  He has a unique ability to think strategically and articulate his vision, which I believe will make Rob one of our best Presidents.

John Briscoe, Programs Chair:  John provided amazing topics and speakers setting a high bar for our not-to-be-missed dinner events.  While delivering outstanding dinner programs, he also arranged speakers for CFO University and managed Career Services.  John’s insight on the quality of topics continuously exceeded our expectations.  I am very grateful for John’s continued support. 

Tony Maresca, Sponsorship Chair & Professional Development Chair:  Tony successfully juggled the roles managing our sponsor relationships and coordinating to provide relevant professional development topics.   It is because of Tony’s work with sponsors that we were able to provide more member benefits this year. 

Walid Ardhaoui, Membership Chair:  Walid leveraged his organizational skills to lead the Membership Committee and successfully attain our goal of increasing membership.   Carole Chichester led a Corporate Membership subcommittee and attracted two new corporate members which enabled the Chapter to gain 18 new members. Scott Gray worked tirelessly organizing events to engage existing members, an essential function to minimize member attrition.   

Ann Kaesermann, Past-President:  Ann was instrumental in organizing events to create a great Houston experience for attendees at the National Summit Conference.  Her efforts led to increased event attendance for the first time in several years and set an example that we expect chapter hosts of future conferences will emulate.  Ann’s support also included organizing Energy Special Interest Group (SIG) events. 

I would like to thank the following who worked in the background to execute a successful year.

Marcus Jonesi, Treasurer:  Thank you for always reporting our results timely.

Scott Skrabanek, Secretary: Thank you for keeping detailed and accurate minutes. 

Sherrie Reinhackel, Leadership Lunches: Thank you for our thought-provoking speakers.

Steve Abercia, Academic Honors Day: Thank you for successfully organizing the FEI Houston Scholarship Foundation’s Academic Honors Day events at Daikin’s Waller facility.  This was a great success enjoyed by all.

Paul Marsh, Wine Dinner:  Thank you for organizing one of the best ever wine dinners for over 90 members and their guests.

Jeff Curtis, National Liaison: Thank you for maintaining the communications between National and the Houston Chapter and for your solid advice as one of our key advisors. 

Kurt Keller, Communications:  Thank you for tirelessly publishing the member directory and your continued effort on branding opportunities.

Andrew Nobbay, CFO University: Thank you for compiling great topics and speakers for our successful CFO University.

Andrew Nat, Technology SIG’s:  I especially want to thank Andrew for his continued support in spite of his ordeal with Hurricane Harvey. 

I would also like to express appreciation for the support of our Board and recognize two members who are rolling off the Board.  Colleen Estes served for many years as a board member and will continue to serve on the board of the Financial Executives Scholarship Foundation.  Phil Denning also served for may years as a board member and held the office of President in 2015-16.  We thank them for their years of service. 

Upcoming events:

Deloitte is hosting a Technology Special Interest Event at their offices downtown Tuesday, May 29th from 7:30-9:30 am.  The title is “AI: Overview & Practical Application for Financial Executives”. 

We are having our first Top Golf Happy Hour Thursday, June 7th from 3:30-6:30 pm on Katy Freeway.  This is a great way to start the summer with some fun. 

Our first Summer Breakfast, sponsored by Lisa Bordelon on behalf of Lockton, is Wednesday, June 20th, when we will discuss ways to cut costs on medical claims.  The topic is titled “High Cost Claims Trends and Management:  Innovation in Healthcare”.  If you are interested in proactively managing health plan financial performance, you should definitely attend. 

Thank you again for your support this past year!


Frances Powell Hawes

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