Let’s Meet Up: CMC’s November Events

Ethan-Carlson-at-MIT-Sloan-CFO-SummitThis month we’ll be participating in the MIT Sloan CFO Summit at the Boston Marriott Newton hotel on November 20th.  The MIT Sloan CFO Summit is the nation’s premier CFO event bringing together financial executives from around the world and leading faculty from MIT. The annual event offers a day of interactive learning and thought-provoking discourse on the future of finance, accounting, and business that is not available anywhere else. It includes presentations, panels, networking and a closing reception.  Event information can be found here.  The agenda is outlined below:




Interview with Becky Blackler, Executive Director of the CFO RoundTable

Carlson-at-CFO-RoundTable-243-160I recently attended a CFO RoundTable event at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. I had heard positive reviews about the organization so when Ethan Carlson, CEO of Carlson Management Consulting, asked me to take his place due to a business trip abroad, I jumped at the chance. I was very impressed with the well-attended event. The keynote presentation was provided by Bob Bixby of the Concord Coalition, who spoke in a sobering yet often humorous manner about the growing debt crisis in the country. I also had the opportunity to meet Becky Blackler, the Executive Director of the CFO RoundTable, and followed up with her to learn more about the organization that she directs.

David: Hi Becky, can you tell us about the history and mission of the CFO RoundTable?

Becky: The CFO RoundTable was founded in the Boston area by Jack McCullough in 2006. Jack had been the CFO of a technology start up and was dissatisfied with the networking and education opportunities for CFOs in the area. Most events were focused on big companies and were heavily attended by service providers. He decided to establish the CFO RoundTable based on a simple model: use people’s time wisely, minimize the number of sponsors, and create quality content based on the needs and suggestions of members. The model has clearly worked as it has gone from 20 members meeting informally to four operating chapters with over 400 members. Each chapter has a steering committee comprising CFOs or senior executives that design the content. The committee asks members what topics they want to cover and then creates the program based on their feedback.

Since launching new chapters in different cities, what we’ve found is that no two programs are the same. For example, a popular program of ours is “The Habits of Highly Effective CFOs,” which we’ve produced in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. While the speaker profiles are generally the same, the areas in which our CFOs like to focus the discussion are very different, which leads to a more robust discussion on the role of the CFO and best practices to improve.

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