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Northern Lights Council & Chapters
Meeting Minutes

July 23, 2016

Welcome and Opening Remarks by President Amy Blaz. Attendees: Chippewa Valley: Larry Zorn; Lake Superior: Nolan Koskela (via web connection); Minneapolis: Lianne Lueks & Tina Brown; St Paul: Shari Nepper; South Central: Linda Olson: Southern MN: Marsha LaFrenier & Nancy Zaworski.

Minutes from April 22nd meeting approved after amending to include that the Council signed a 2 year contract with the Holiday Inn to keep the Spring seminar at the same location. There was a discussion as to clarify whether the Past Council President is a board position with voting rights. It’s not stated in the bylaws so Amy will check with other councils to see what they do. The Council will update the bylaws appropriately. We have a quorum … 5 chapters represented.

Treasurer’s report / 2015-16 finished with $2400 lose so we used some reserve dollars. The expense for the council board members who attended the Vegas conference in June was included in the final 2016 financials. The 2016-17 budget was a created with a $5500 loss. We raised the Professional Speaker line to $5000; the Annual Conference travel to $4500 ($750 x 6 board attendees); and added a $200 travel expense line for corporate, school or chapter visits. Clarify Travel National Board meetings…Council allows $500 per meeting plus the national director gets about $400 per meeting from Global which helps with the flight and hotels fees incurred.

Global VP Report (Nancy): A) Campus Influencers is an IMA student awareness program that Rob and Nancy are working on for a fall 2016 kickoff. Some council members have offered to be campus advocates. B) Global has created a media and print marketing program to increase CMA awareness. C) During 2015 – 2016Global offered webinar CLEW training in the areas of Communication; Administration; Membership and Education. Incoming offers have responsibility to experience each training prior to July 1. These training sessions are available on-line but no credit for the sessions after July 1. D) Global offering new Ethic Course at a cost of $295 per council or chapters to purchase. Need a local facilitator to coordinate the course. E) IMA Leadership Academy has an on-line list of 75 minute sessions with a variety of topics that local IMA members are trained as presenters. These sessions can be offered to businesses as well as IMA chapters. F) Global Director nominations due by 3rd Friday in October. G) IMA change website and encourage Chapters update their sites also.

Regional Conference

  1. Review Financial Performance… see statement for income/ expense.
  2. Review Survey.
  3. Discuss 2017 Seminar Budget: Estimate 90 attendees for 2017. Possibly change food selections thus reducing food budget so Nolan can spend more dollars on quality speakers. Discussed rooms set aside for attendees. Does Council pay if reserved rooms are not booked by members…some thought we request 10 rooms on Wed and possibly more than 15 for Thursday as 15 was not enough this year. The Council does cover speaker room fees. The seminar flyer will state a cutoff date for reserving rooms.
  4. This year we’ll create a seminar checklist with a time line so this can be passed along to future coordinators.
  5. IMA Natl Conference is a good source for seminar speakers. Tina mentioned an ethics case study from ND that we might consider for the Apr 2017 conference.

Chapter Reports

  1. Central Minnesota-Gary working on interest meeting to keep chapter going.
  2. Chippewa Valley-Larry said chapter offered a free ethics session to its members. They’re working on events, but don’t meet often in summer.
  3. Lake Superior-Nolan via web stated held a summer baseball event.
  4. Minneapolis- Sept: bus to new Vikings stadium/ Oct: open/ Nov: estate planning attorney working on Prince’s estate. Other topics: Fraud investigation & strategic planning. Consider moving meetings to different locations to stay on budget. Community Service: working with JR Achievement. Student chapter: Metro State & St Mary’s—Steve Hursh helped judge competition. IMA provided some student scholarship allowing for free CMA exam material and for testing for up to 3 years. (confirm Lianne).
  5. Red River Valley- no report… noted their chapter won an award at Natl.
  6. St Paul- Working on dates for upcoming year which will include some joint meetings with Minneapolis chapter.
  7. South Central- New board has had a couple meetings to discuss communicating with members to seek input on possible activities and speakers/ topics. Hope to have a fall 4 hour seminar and plant tour.
  8. Southern Minnesota- Sept 15 all-day seminar… $100 early bird/ $ 25 student/ $125 late registration or nonmember attendees. Budget for 60…hope for 50 attendees.

Communications Report- Shari working on LinkedIn page.

New Business

  1. Council of Excellence Award— In order to accomplish all requirements, we’d need to review & work on from beginning of the year. Amy reviewed a couple points and will ask for clarity on some points from Global. Decide not to go for this year, but rather consider it a long term goal to improve on different points each year.
  2. Global Conference: Several council members at Vegas…Denver 2017.
  3. Chapter Assistance Requests – MPLS: $1000 student chapter support and $1000 for two $500 student scholarships. St Paul: $1000 to newsletter.

2016-2017 Meeting Dates and Locations: October 15th Minneapolis at 10am Edina library.
January 21: Minneapolis at 10am April: Same date & location as Conference.


April 22, 2016

Attendees: Chippewa Valley: Larry Zorn; Central MN: Lisa Conway; Lk Superior: Nolan Koskela; Minneapolis: Liz Weninger, Rob Mlenek & Lianne Loeks; St Paul: Shari Nepper & Susan Edwards; South Central: Linda Olson & Christopher McMahon; Southern MN: Nancy Zaworski & Marsha LaFreniere.

Meeting Minutes: Review and approve February 6 th minutes. One correction: The new Global program Nancy mentioned is called “Campus Influencers” not “Chapter Influences”. There was an additional email vote to approve 50% Conference fee discount for students.

Treasurer’s report: Larry reviewed the financials. Anticipate a possible conference profit of $6000.

Global VP Report: Nancy Zaworski was part of the Global CLEW webinars offered this spring. Global is still looking at the idea of council consolidations. Global is also reviewing the award ceremony at the National conference as there >has been declining attendance. Nancy got a lot of positive comments about the new banner that was displayed at the Council conference. It was approved that a >second banner be ordered so chapters could borrow a banner for their IMA events

Membership/Campus Influencers: Rob & Shari are working to develop a contact and event list with chapters and colleges. This will allow IMA members to work as a team to attend events and network with students. Rob & Nancy intend to be part of MN State University Mankato career day in September and also the Minneapolis Student Conference this fall.

Regional Conference: It was agreed that we secure the same Holiday Inn for next year’s conference on April 20 and 21, 2017.

Chapter Reports:

Central Minnesota: Lisa reported Nancy is helping the chapter in determining interest to keep things going and develop a board.
Chippewa Valley: No report.
Lake Superior: No report.
Minneapolis: Board is established; there is a May event plus working on next year’s schedule.
Red River: No report.
St Paul: Joining Minneapolis chapter for May meeting. Working on next year’s schedule.
South Central: Nancy & Tina came to Mankato to meet with 7 chapter members to discuss the chapter’s future. It was agreed that the chapter should continue to exist. A new board was elected and will meet this summer to work on a schedule.
Southern Minnesota: Working on new board. They are planning a Sept 15 fall seminar with four speakers.

Communications Report: Global will continue to allow the Council to use their webex meeting connection for free next year.

New Business: Council Elections/ Positions approved: President: Amy Blaz; Secretary: Linda Olson; Treasurer: Larry Zorn; VP Communications: Sharri Nepper; VP Education: Nolan Koskela; VP Membership: Rob Mlenek; Past President: Tina Brown; and SCMS Rep: Liz Weninger.
The board members reviewed and signed the Core Value Agreement and Ethics Agreement.

Upcoming Meetings:

July 23, 2016 Rochester Twigs Tavern & Grill 11am – 3pm.
October 15, 2016 Minneapolis 10am.
January 21, 2017 Minneapolis 10am.
April 21, 2017 Bloomington 5pm.


November 22, 2014

  1. Welcome and Opening Remarks by Tina Brown.  Attendees: Central chapter: Gary Owen; Minneapolis chapter: Tina Brown, Liz Weninger, Karen Dallmann, & Brian Schoonover; South Central chapter: Linda Olson; and Southern chapter: Nancy Zaworski.

  2. Minutes from 07/19/2014 meeting: Approved with one spelling correction.

  3. Treasurer’s report-Larry not present. 2015 Budget discussed & approved:
    1. INCOME:
      • Professional Development $20250 (based on 90 attendees)
      • Potential Investment Dividends: $1280
        • Net Income: $21530
    2. EXPENSE:
      • Website Maintenance: $400
      • MN Student Conf & Promotional Items: $900
      • Professional speaker: $10000 (Higher Travel/Speaker fees)
      • Travel Nat’l Board Meetings: $1500 ($500 x 3 meetings)
      • Travel Nat’l Conference: $4000 (Summer conference in CA)
      • Seminar Catering: $8100
      • Chapter Assistance: $3000
      • Council meeting food: $200
      • Donate to Stuart Cameron-Student Conf: $1000 (2014 sent $0)
      • Office Supplies: $500
      • Awards / Plaques: $150
      • Insurance Bond: $400
      • PayPal: $750 (Based 3% of credit card charges)
      • Speaker Gifts: $400
      • School & Corporate Visits: $ 200
      • Promote CMA/IMA: $100
      • Survey Monkey: $200
        • Net Expenses: $31800

      There was discussion about replacing the council booth that is used for promotional events.  Gary thought the cost could be $750 - $1500.  Questioned whether we should change to one Council banner or produce a banner for each chapter to use.  Nancy will check with local companies.  No $ allowance in 2015 budget.

  4. Global VP Report: Karen said Member Relations committee has discussed potentially combining and reducing the number of councils.  Should our council look at the qualifications for the Council of Excellence Award? Last year only 6 out of 21 councils submitted an application.  There has been some talk of adjusting the chapter competition points and their relationship to dollar reimbursement to chapters.  Should activities that require more effort receive more value?
    Global suggested a goal of 80000 members by June 2015. A lot of efforts have been placed on international growth in membership. Currently a typical ICMA candidate is about 30 and not just out of college. The Asian/Pacific area does have a problem with retention.  Accountants attain their certificate, but don’t understand the need for continual education and an annual renewal.  Global is working on doing some translation on webinars. The Innovation Committee is seeking ideas for networking & social events on chapter and council levels.  IMA is developing mobile event applications for upcoming events. Global will try the concept at the student conference in November and possibly at the June Nat’l conference.  “E-learning” was established for IMA members to pay a fee and gain education points by viewing some of the Global annual conference presentations.  IMA offers a self-asset tool to help members know what they are interested in. The leadership profile is another tool available to members. Global will provide medallions for the various services the member is involved in.  The member’s service activity can be displayed for free in there LinkedIn account. Global will validate the info if a member wishes to provide the info to a new employer.

  5. Regional Conference Report: Location for 2015 has not been determined for April 16/17 or April 23/24.  Seeking a site near the Mall of America…Hilton; the Minnetonka Library or a Sheraton?? Tina will contact sites and inform the board of the chosen location.
    Gary said the goal for the April conference is 4 soft topics & 4 hard topics.  Possible topics and speakers: Economics; Ethics- David Schultz; Data Mining/ Big Data- access to data; Cargill speaker from 2014 Nat’l Conference; Look at speakers from the Speakers Bureau; and Global Leadership like Larry White.  We raised the speaker budget to allow for quality speakers that might have a fee or travel requirements.

  6. Minneapolis Chapter August 16 event: The chapter did a lot of advertising and work setting up the tours for the Guthrie Theater and the Mill City Museum.  These were two quality events but attendance was low. Some IMA members communicated they would have attended, but they had previous plans.

  7. Chapter Reports: Central MN- Held 1st meeting, set up a corporate tour, and will have a February and Spring event for the required 4 activities. Gary is reducing his IMA involvement next year.  He is concerned about the health of the chapter. Chippewa Valley: Nancy conducted an ethics seminar with 8 people attending.  Minneapolis: Held September & November meetings plus they have January and Spring meetings scheduled.  Metro State is working on a Student chapter.  Tara from the Global office is assisting them with setting up the chapter.  Red River: Borrowed the Council booth for a student event. South Central MN- Thanks to Nancy Zaworski who spoke at accounting classes at MN State University Mankato on October 21.  Linda reported she’s going to discuss dissolving the chapter.  Hard to coordinate events that only 4 or 5 members attend.  Southern MN: Chapter is struggling.  Person agreed to be president, but doesn’t respond to phone calls.  They will proceed to create a meeting schedule.  NO REPORT: Lake Superior and St Paul chapters.

  8. Communications: Karen Dallmann has emails for local people who attended the 2014 IMA National Conference in Minneapolis.  Be sure they get notice of the Northern Lights Council April 2015 seminar. l

  9. New Business: Student Conference Report: Opportunity to visit with students and instructors. Gary has visited the active accounting club at MN Southwest University Marshall following previous student conferences.  Other schools such as Bemidji have not accepted the offer for an IMA visit. Nancy found out Vitero University in La Crosse, WI is starting a student chapter.   We should keep an eye on the progress to see if they need assistance.  When contacting universities, Nancy suggested that letters rather than emails would be the best communication tool. 
    Three Northern Lights Council area names were submitted to Global for consideration.  Phone interviews will be conducted in January.  The final Global board selection will be made prior to the start of the new IMA year in June 2015.

Next Meeting- Metro Area, Feb 28, 2015 (Next Global Meeting Feb 21).


July 19, 2014

Welcome and Opening Remarks: by President Tina Brown. Attendees: Minneapolis Chapter: Tina Brown, Amy Blaz, Karen Dallmann, Liz Weninger; Central Chapter: Gary Owen; and South Central Chapter: Linda Olson.

Minutes: from 04/25/2014 meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s report: 2015 Budget Discussion: Increase Paypal to $750(fee is 3% of credit card charges); Increase chapter assistance to possibly $4000 as Mpls chapter may request about $2700; budget for Professional development based on 90 people attending. Questioned how some of the travel and hospitality expense were grouped so Amy will check with Larry for clarification.  Budget will be approved at the fall meeting in October.

Global VP Report: Karen provided copies of the Global definition of the regional council role and responsibilities. Improved global website is easier to navigate.  National Student conference is in Indianapolis in November.  Reminder that the Council needs to submit the Global position nominations in November.     

Regional Conference Report: Discussed the financials relating to the conference.   Survey Results were reviewed.  50% percent of attendees responded.  Most speakers were well received.  Requests for a separate Ethics certificate.  Location: Good service, but the meeting room was too small.  Remind attendees to show off phone and minimize conversation as it can be distracting during presentations.  Request to make available electronic speaker materials. Discussed potential speakers for next year… possibly contact some speakers from the National Conference.  2015 date will be April 23 & 24. Looking into hotels near Mall of America: Radisson/ Crown Plaza/ Marriott.

National Conference Report:  Hospitality Suite: $1800 room fee + food/ beverages: $700.  Tina Brown was also able to stay in the room during the conference.  The June Conference was one of the better attended in recent years.

Minneapolis Chapter is coordinating an August 16 event. The event will consist of a morning Guthrie Backstage tour and an afternoon tour the Mill City Museum.  The tours will be about $10 each.  Prepayment via PayPal. All IMA members are invited to attend. 

Chapter Reports: Central Minnesota: No summer board meeting.  Lisa will remain the chapter president with 5 board members.  The board is opting to not do an all-day seminar this year.  Chippewa Valley: No report.  Lake Superior: No report.  Minneapolis: Chapter is working on speakers for the year.  One meeting will be a joint meeting with St Paul.  The chapter will formalize a request for chapter assistance money to use toward written communications with its members.  Red River Valley: No report.  St Paul: They have scheduled a July meeting and are working on next year’s schedule.  South Central: No summer board meeting.  Southern Minnesota: No report.

Communications Report: New Chapter Boards: Council will request info from chapters.  The Global office was requesting info from a couple chapters that hadn’t summited 2014-2015 board info to them.  2014-2015 Council board positions were noted in the April 26 minutes.  The council will add a nominating committee to assist in determining what names to submit for the newly created global representative position. Nominations are to be submitted in November and the term begins in July 2015.  The Global seat made be filed by a council name or it may be filled by a person chosen by the Global organization.

New Business: Council CPE: Discuss whether council meetings would be better attended if we added an hour of CPE to the day’s event. Chapter Reports: Need better info from Chapters who don’t attend council meetings. Maybe someone from the council should being calling the presidents prior to the council meetings to request an email report if they are unable to attend.

Next Meeting- Metro Area or Eau Claire, WI, Oct 11 at 10:30am.


April 25, 2014

In attendance: Tina Brown, President; Larry Zorn, Treasurer; Gary Owen, Central Chapter; Nolan Koskela, Superior Chapter,; Shari Nepper, St Paul Chapter; Karen Dallman, Regional Vice President; Nancy Zaworski, Vice President-Membership/Marketing; Bud Kulesza, guest.

Minutes 1/25/2014: MMS, approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Zorn updated some information about the conference which will be in the next report. MMS to approve the treasurer’s report, approved.

VP Membership/Marketing: Zaworski reported that only about two individuals had signed up to be part of our member’s speakers bureau. Mary Stone should be invited to be on the list. We will put out another invitation to join, so as to build the list; and will also invite those on the list to join the Leadership Academy. A college visit was held in April with Concordia-St Paul in conjunction with a St Paul chapter meeting and Zaworski will be visiting with the UMD Accounting Club on May 5th.

National Committee Report: Karen Dallman reported that Global will be conducting a strategic planning meeting. Membership numbers are up to 71,000 of which 9,000 are students. The CMA website has been rebranded. The CMA exam content has been updated and there is a new webinar series. Karen is on the Member Relations committee and they are looking at compensation and competition. There is a new communications out about creating new IMA communities centered around common interests of IMA members, which are not necessarily related to their profession.

Annual Conference Report: Tina Brown indicated that we had about 71 registrants for this conference. The location was well received but it will need to be moved to a new location next year as we will need a larger space. Mystic Lake Casino is not able to accommodate us in 2015, so Tina will gather some location information. The Council determined that we will refund all but $50 for food costs to one individual who had paid but was not able to attend. We will not bill one individual who had said they would attend but did not come and had not paid. Treasurer Zorn said that the early bird date and deadline dates worked really well and that registration was much easier this year since so few had to pay at the door. Council reviewed the survey questions. Council deleted the question asking attendees whether or not they would attend next year, since the question was specifically meant for this year when the Global IMA conference would be in town. After some discussion, it was decided to add a question to the survey asking if the attendee would be willing to make available their name and company information for an attendee list for distribution at next year’s conference.

National Conference Update: The local corporations being honored will be 3M, Cargill, Medtronics, and Wells Fargo. We will host a hospitality room, sign up to come out later. We chose a regular 2-room suite, one side of which will be used by our president. We will bring in beverages and snacks. We will be open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings from about 6 to 11. Zaworski will look into walleye pins. Dallman suggested an August gathering of attendees, details to follow. Zaworski will request a list of Council attendees from Jenna.

Board Member Elections/Ethics and Values:
The slate for the coming year is as follows:
President: Tina Brown
Treasurer: Larry Zorn
VP of Communications: Amy Blaz
VP of Membership/Marketing: Nancy Zaworski
Secretary: Linda Olson
MMS to approve the slate; approved.
All signed the Ethics form and the Values form. The Director of Global nominations position has not yet been filled and we will have an email vote on this at a later time.

Chapter Reports:

Central: Owen reported that they had a recent technical meeting on identity theft that was well attended with 18. Amy Freidin is their new Chapter president. They will again be holding an all-day conference in October.

Chippewa Valley: Zorn reported that they are planning an upcoming meeting on sand mining and are trying to plan a baseball game outing. They will again be looking at an ethics offering.

Lake Superior: Nolan Koskela indicated that he will be the new president. They are planning an industry tour next Saturday. They are meeting with the UMD accounting club on May 5th, and are looking at a ball game in July or August.

Minneapolis: Dallman reported that their last technical meeting was a joint meeting with St Paul in January with the break in meetings intended to encourage chapter members to attend this conference and/or the Global conference. They will be submitting their website for the annual competition. The Minneapolis chapter will be offering activities at Twin Cities venues outside of conference hours.

Red River Valley: No report.

St Paul: Nepper reported that they’d just had a meeting with students from Concordia on Why CMA?, and also featured a presentation on Coaching. They have a new board and Susan Edwards will be the new President. During a discussion about chapters and their offering of technical meetings, Bud Kulesza offered that if Chapters “co-sponsored” the Annual Conference with the Council, that would count as credits offered. Appropriate communication of the event is needed.

South Central: No report.

Southern Minnesota: Zaworski reported that they had just brought a technical meeting on COSO, presented by Mayo internal auditors, to Hormel in Austin, MN. They also have a new president and a new board member from Hormel and they will be planning the upcoming year.

Communications: Tina Brown noted that the website had been updated. Tina will ask Amy to get updated Chapter information, and then we will review at the July meeting.

Other Business:

Leadership Academy: Bud Kulesza stated that he felt offering courses to non-IMA groups would very much fit IMA mission and goals.

Fall Student Auditing and Accounting Conference: MMS, approved to send in the registration as soon as received to take advantage of early bird discount.

Meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted,
Nancy Zaworski (subbing for Linda Olson)

Next Meeting- July 19, 2014- Eau Claire.