I was first introduced to RMA in 2002 by my former manager at Wachovia. Since then, RMA has helped me in countless ways from its risk-dedicated educational opportunities; to networking with peers across the country; to furthering my leadership and public speaking skills; to strengthening my multi-tasking/organizational skills. RMA has provided me with a platform to truly understand the risk industry.
RMA’s educational classes and quality of programing are unsurpassed. The monthly RMA chapter luncheons, education classes, and online forums and exchanges foster deep discussions on relevant topics within our industry. Every day I look forward to seeing the discussions on RMA’s Member Forum, RMA’s CRC Forum, and RMA’s Chapter Board Members Digest. RMA does a phenomenal job of providing multiple platforms for peer exchange. If there is something I have a specific question about, I can be assured that someone else has already asked that question and received an answer. I find it very inspiring to see how willing my peers are to share their knowledge. Additionally, my CRC designation, which requires 40 hours of continuing education every three years, ensures that I stay engaged in the industry.
As a relationship manager balancing the dual roles of managing risk as the first line of defense, while growing revenue for my institution, RMA has helped provide me with an incredible foundation in credit risk principles. Today, most credit training programs are no longer in-house; RMA serves the purpose of helping build a risk foundation for its members, by continuously engaging discussion on topics that are relevant within our industry.
While RMA is known for its networking and education opportunities, I don’t think it’s widely known how dedicated RMA is to the research of risk within banking. The national councils and committees are comprised of small focused groups of individuals dedicated to researching the hot topics in our industry; from broad regulatory issues, to enterprise risk management, down to specialized committees working on specific accounting topics for example. Having the opportunity to volunteer for these committees, being surrounded by like-minded peers committed to understanding and implementing sound risk principals, fuels my desire to truly understand risk concepts. Having a solid foundation in risk gives me confidence when evaluating a transaction; it helps me better structure a transaction in less time, because I can more easily identify the risks.
My involvement with my local chapter also helps me grow professionally. I’m the current President of the Atlanta Chapter. Over my 13 year involvement with RMA, I have served in various capacities on boards in Jacksonville, FL and Atlanta, GA. I have also been fortunate to serve on the Chapters & Membership Council Steering Committee and as the Chair of the Chapter Leaders Conference in Atlanta, GA.
Serving in the local chapter and on national committees provides me with the opportunity to engage with like-minded peers that are focused on the integrity of our industry. Being involved with the chapter not only provides leadership opportunities, but also provides opportunities for teamwork and mentoring. Lastly, there are many opportunities supporting the chapter that help develop personal skills: writing newsletters, navigating and communicating on social media; event planning, negotiating, and public speaking at general membership luncheons, or other public venues. I’ve always said that if you are passionate about the risk industry, then you can’t pass on an opportunity to be involved with RMA. It’s rewarding, you will make lifelong friends, and it will set you apart in the industry because you will have the tools to become an expert in your field.