Chapter Excellence Award Winners 2018

Below are the winners and finalists, by category, for the 2018 Chapter Excellence Awards.  




Northern Indiana Chapter Membership Initiative

Since taking over as Chapter President in 2016, the Chapter wanted to focus on two things: 1) building its current membership base and 2) provide great content in our membership events that would spur the local membership growth.

The Board nominated Allen Brouwer to head up the membership chair. Allen took initiative and started a recruitment plan. The recruitment plan was to establish a membership committee which was spearheaded by Allen Brouwer, Laura Getz and Tom Nowak. Allen was to start recruiting in the immediate Fort Wayne market and Laura was to focus on the South Bend/Mishawaka areas as that fits her territory. Tom, being a CPA, is focusing on the Professional Membership bases such as CPA's, Attorney's, and Insurance Companies.

Student membership was taken on by Curtis Metz. Curtis recently added a YP Chair in Justin Hayes of Lake City Bank. Justin is a graduate of a local university, Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne (JPFW). Justin received a BS in Finance with a Banking Certificate. This certificate was recently started within the last two years that focuses solely on students looking for careers in banking and tailor their course work around the industry. Justin's sole focus is to incorporate our local chapter into the curriculum in some fashion. For example, we discussed having the students, as a requirement to achieve the banking certificate, attend a local RMA function/event as part of its criteria. While this is not completed as of yet, Justin is in the process of meeting with the Dean to see how we can get the local business school to partner up our local chapter and promote student membership.

Social events have been held as ways to promote RMA and membership. The Board has held several mixers over the last few years at our local minor league baseball stadium as ways to casually introduce non-members to RMA. Each year we have our 9 board members focus on two individuals that are not members of RMA. We host them in a suite and provide food and drinks during games. It is during this time that the local chapter President and membership chair talks about RMA and its benefits. Last year we hosted 25 individuals and had a total of 8 join after that event. Our next social is tabbed for May 16 and we have another 25 non-members attending. We hope to have the same capitalization rate like we did last year.

We will be hosting a similar event in South Bend, which is being led by Laura Getz. We feel we can have a better turnout than our Fort Wayne events. We really want to focus on this geographic area as it is untapped in regards to membership. It is an hour away so it tends to go unnoticed even being in our "northern" area.

Numbers: Since starting this initiative in 2016 our 6/30/16 individual membership was at 54. Our latest membership as of 3/23/18 stands at 74 individual members. That is a 37.04% increase in membership. From 6/30/17 to 3/23/18, we saw a 16% increase. Individual members each period:

6/30/16 6/30/17 3/23/18
54 64 74

Networking Event Flyer (PDF)

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Charlotte Chapter Operational Risk Panel

One of the Charlotte RMA Chapter board members' strategic goals is to attract members beyond the traditional credit risk base membership. To further this goal, the board recruited partners from a local large bank (Wells Fargo) to help plan an operational risk panel event. Over the course of 8 months, this joint team procured a strong panel of experts, a desirable venue, and catering that led to ~125 audience members and 5 new members. This is a far greater attendance than the chapter's typical turnout which is around 50-75 people. Since the event, the Charlotte Chapter received repeated requests to host follow up operational risk events --the next of which is scheduled for May 24th.

Operational Risk Panelist:

  • Mark D’Arcy, Chief Operational Risk Officer, Wells Fargo
  • Elizabeth Janak, Chief Operational Risk Officer, Ally Financial
  • Deb Mitchell, Operational Risk Lead Expert, Large Bank Supervision, OCC
  • Hema Parekh, Principal Examiner, Risk and Policy, FRB
  • David Farrar, Financial Services Advisory, Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP


  • Dev Strischek Principal, Devon Risk Advisory Group

Event Flyer (PDF)
Event Photo (PDF)

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Pittsburgh Chapter Communication System

Starting in late 2016 and finishing in early 2018, the Pittsburgh RMA Chapter, lead by the efforts of board member Mark Buchek decided to implement a new accounting and communication system known as Wild Apricot. This system would allow the Chapter to invoice members for their annual dues, invoice members for general membership meeting fees, communicate with membership using a standard email address, and more efficiently manage the membership's email list. Furthermore, we were able to allow the payment of both general membership events and annual members dues to occur using Paypal; thus allowing payment processing to be completed much sooner. And the cost for this robust software was a flat $750 per year. Implementing the Wild Apricot software has really helped the group evolve with the billing and collection of payments. In addition, it has allowed us to facilitate communicate more readily, and stay up on changes to our membership email list more efficiently. This has allowed a chapter that cannot afford an administrator, to look and feel more professional. 

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New England Chapter Learn and Shadow Program

The New England chapter created a pilot "Learn and Shadow" program this year, for students at partner schools (Northeastern and Providence College), giving preference to those that have taken RMA's credit analysis class. We limited the L&S program to 8 students in this pilot phase, and ran the 5-afternoon program during spring break. The goal was not only to provide an opportunity for the students to learn about bank organization and career tracks, gain insights into the corporate lending process, and network, but also to raise visibility of RMA Academic Initiatives at the hiring manager/HR level at RMA member banks. Participating banks were Brookline Bank, TD Bank, Citizens Bank, Boston Private Bank, and Santander Bank. We wrapped up the week with an "All About Banking" Family Feud game, in which both credit analysts and L&S students participated. The L&S program was very successful. All five banks have indicated an interest in participating in the program next year. The students gave the program high marks. At least one student had an interview lined up at the end of the week! The "most liked" aspects of the program, were: 1.) learning about bank organization and different departments (middle market, specialty lending, private banking, capital markets), 2.) networking, and 3.) panel with bankers in various career tracks and at different career levels, from junior analyst to SVP. The students appreciated that the panel provided not only insight into careers in banking, but also practical advice about applying to banks and getting started on a career in banking. Based on feedback from the students, we are likely to consolidate the program into two full days next year, and add more "real banking cases" to the student experience. Please see attached materials: Flyer/Application (all parts), and "All About Banking" Family Feud PPT. A shout-out and thank you to the Long Island chapter for sharing their flyer and insight!

Learn & Shadow Program Application (PDF)
Learn & Shadow Program Family Feud Game (PowerPoint)

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Triad Chapter 7th Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Market

The RMA Triad Chapter held its 7th annual Toys for Tots Holiday Market on December 5, 2017 in Greensboro, NC. This annual event brings local vendors, primarily food, jewelry, and various crafts, together to provide associates of our member institutions the opportunity to purchase gifts for the holidays. Through donations and vendor participation fees, the chapter is also able to raise monetary and toy donations for Toys for Tots. This year our event raised $1,298 in cash donations, our highest monetary donation ever and more than double our donation amount from several years ago! Every single dollar collected is donated to Toys for Tots. We also collected three large boxes of toys to donate. This year's event also saw the largest number of participating vendors in 30, doubling the amount from a few years ago. Finally, we have seen attendance double from member institution associates over the last several years.

We are so excited to provide such an exciting and positive event to our members. It allows them to purchase gifts for the holidays for friends and family while also generating money and toys for a great cause!

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Oklahoma Chapter Membership Growth

The Oklahoma Chapter actively seeks to increase membership each year. The primary mode of "advertising" is through strategic Board Member selection. We utilize Board members to communicate to their respective banks the importance and benefits of adding new employees as Associate Members. This method allowed the Chapter to increase membership by 5% (17 new members) through 3/23/18.

Additionally, this year the Board hosted multiple functions within local universities as part of the Academic initiative. While at these events Board Members walked around with Student Applications encouraging students to sign up as a Student Member. This initiative increased student membership by 107% (31 new members) through 3/23/18.

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Orange County Chapter Board of Directors Membership Recruitment Incentive/Motivational Plan

During our Annual Planning meeting in May 2017 the Board of Directors was presented with an Incentive/Motivational Plan. The objectives of the Plan are not only a tracking system to engage each board member towards the goals of the chapter, but to reward those efforts. Focus areas relative to membership:

  1. Recruit at least one new board member
  2. Recruit an Institutional member

Each board member has not only been encouraged to identify and recruit new associate, professional and student members, but also identify and work towards recruiting a new institutional member in our chapter’s geographic area of influence.

As a chapter board, we strive towards excellence. We are driven to be the very best chapter we can be. To that end, that includes not only recruiting new members, but also enhancing their membership experience and expectations.

Every month the “Tracking Board” is present and updated. This has proven to be a fun exercise in encouraging complete Board of Directors support towards not only the growth of the chapter but encouraging and supporting participation in all the RMA offerings.

While we are blessed to live in California and can enjoy some of the best wine growing regions in the world, obviously other chapters can identify other incentives for their chapters and boards.

Tracking Board and Prizes (PDF)

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Programming/Educational Events

Maine Chapter Credit Analyst Networking Round Table

We held a credit analyst networking event which was moderated by Phil Hatch. This is a new affinity group we are starting and it was our first event. It went well for the first event and had approximately 10 attendees.

This was a good opportunity for credit professionals to discuss topics/challenges affecting credit departments from loan covenants to staffing and training needs. The success is it brought different folks that have not been regulars at our events and even generated at least one person to enroll in our upcoming lending school which they knew nothing about before this meeting.

Not only did this hit a new market it also opened our eyes up to the fact we need to do a better job in marketing and perhaps do a better job with social media. We will be able to build off this to not only grow this group but the entire Chapter. 

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New York Chapter Chief Compliance Officers Panel

The New York Chapter arranged a panel consisting of Chief Compliance Officers. This was the first time that the Chapter had a dedicated program relating to compliance. This program took place in February 2018 and was structured similarly to our Chief Risk Officers event, which is our flagship event that's held each spring. Traditionally the Chapter organizes programs related to Credit, Enterprise, Regulatory and Cyber Risk. By thinking outside the box and creating a panel of experts in compliance, the Chapter had a great turnout and attracted new members that would potentially go elsewhere for similar content. The program supported the Chapter's long term strategic initiatives to increase our Chapter membership and to further enhance the Chapter's recognition in the financial services industry. In addition to the CCO panel providing the opportunity to risk and compliance professionals to stay abreast of new regulations and industry best practices, this event added value for members by providing programming from industry experts on topics which are relevant to risk professionals but which they may not otherwise get access to.

The CCO program supports our long term strategic initiatives to increase our RMA membership and to further enhance the chapter's recognition in the financial services industry. We plan to make this an annual event involving senior level risk managers from a diversity of viewpoints (a community bank, a foreign bank, a domestic IB, and an investment manager).

There were 85 registrants for this event and the Chapter gained 16 new members who joined with the program.

Program Announcement (PDF)

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Kansas Chapter Newsletter

Our Kansas Chapter provides a newsletter called "BORROWED TIME$" on a semi-annual basis. Our January 2018 newsletter featured many events which took place during the first half of our current RMA year! They include:

  • Letter from Chapter President, Andy Watkins. This talks about our past, present and our future as an RMA Chapter.
  • Kansas Chapter Annual Kickoff. This features highlights including having Bob Mullen, one of our founding members, join us for the meeting along with Ed O'Malley, CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center.
  • Lending Horror Stories. Summary of the October event which featured a local title insurance employee, an attorney and a banker.
  • Steps of a Deal. Article about two attorneys we had speak about effectively understanding business evaluations, deal structures, risk concern, documentation and post-closing considerations.
  • P.R. "Bob" Mullen, Kansas Chapter - RMA Involvement Award. This article communicated the new award our chapter is providing which offers two open enrollment classes to banks who are the most involved over the previous year. The award is named after Bob Mullen, who helped start up our Kansas Chapter.
  • Other articles include our member appreciation event, our volunteer event and a board member spotlight.

Chapter Newsletters

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Oklahoma Chapter Newsletter

Our newsletter is prepared by Board Member Jaime Ortiz, Senior Credit Analyst at Arvest Bank. He's been preparing the Newsletters Semi Annual since Spring 2017. The Newsletters have far exceeded our historical quality and are top notch.

Spring 2017 Newsletter (PDF)
Fall 2017 Newsletter (PDF)

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Academic Involvement

Idaho Chapter Event with Boise State University College of Business - "Careers You Can Bank On"

On February 28th, RMA Idaho partnered with Boise State University - COBE (College of Business) to hold an event for BSU business students titled "Careers you can Bank on" which consisted of a panel of 4 professionals from the local banking industry. The panelists included a Region President, Wealth Management Officer, Regional Operations Manager and Commercial Lender. The purpose of the event was to educate students on the wide range of positions available in the local banking industry. The event was moderated by senior students and a number of questions were asked. The students were offered free RMA Memberships through the student program and RMA Idaho held a reception afterwards where the panelists and sponsors were available for students to network. This was the 2nd annual event and the interest continues to grow. There were about 70 students (ranging from freshman - seniors) in attendance this year and we anticipate this number to increase year over year. So far there has been one student interviewing with one of the local banks because of this event and another internship opportunity that will be made available. This event is being nominated because of the efforts RMA Idaho has made to partner with local schools to encourage students to consider the banking industry as a promising career option and to grow the young professionals membership.

Event Photos and Videos


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Toronto Chapter Student Risk Management Information Sessions and Event with Rotman School of Management

In 2017, our Chapter continued its commitment to excellence in the area of academic involvement. When it comes to putting on events, our Chapter’s mission is to establish quality events with regular cadence that meet the needs of current members and piques the interest of potential members.

This year, The RMA Toronto Chapter hosted two Student Risk Management Informational Sessions focusing on networking and careers in risk management and partnered with the Rotman School of Management on an additional event to host mock interviews. These sessions were geared specifically toward opening up the world of risk management to the students, with the secondary benefit of growing our student membership base. The sessions provided the students an opportunity to discuss the various risk management careers that are available and hear directly from the experiences of executives and young professionals in credit risk, market risk, operational risk and enterprise risk. The sessions also provided the students an opportunity to gain perspectives on the skills that are needed in risk management and where current opportunities reside. These sessions allowed students to build their industry network and risk management knowledge.

From a Chapter perspective, the benefits have been material. Following these 2017 Sessions, we increased our student members by ~1000% (~100 students) and as the events gains notoriety, we expect to see even greater gains in student membership. More importantly, the success of this event has resulted in a pivotal partnership with the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto (arguably the top business management school in Canada) moving forward. We expect to build further partnerships with other target schools that specialize in Risk, Finance, Business, Mathematics and Accounting over the coming years.

Hosting the foregoing sessions on an annual basis, and with thoughtful execution, has kept existing members excited to stay part of our Chapter and has tangibly facilitated growth in new student membership. We are leveraging the successes of these sessions to identify other potential events that support our student members and drive further growth.

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Community Involvement

Kansas Chapter Board and YP Committee Volunteer at the Kansas Food Bank

Each year, the RMA Board and YP committee partner to volunteer at a local charity or non-profit organization. On November 30th, several members volunteered at the Kansas Food Bank. The group packed an entire pallet of bags for the ‘Food 4 Kids’ program!

The Food Bank provides food and supplies to Food 4 Kids schools in Kansas, which are operated in partnership with community schools. This valuable program allows participating schools to receive food and backpacks from the Kansas Food Bank at no cost. Food is designed and packaged so that it may be taken home in a child’s backpack.

This is a great event as it allows us to not only give back to our community, but we also spend some awesome bonding time together as a group!

For more information see page 6 of our 2018-01 Newsletter, which can be found here

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Long Island Chapter Young Professionals Community Involvement

Community Involvement for the Long Island RMA Young Professionals is always an important goal. We strive for two to three events per year but this year we learned a valuable lesson by leveraging one of our socal events to help fund our charity intiative. In November, we hosted a joint networking event with our areas young lawyers and young CPA groups. our fall food drive and networking event was a success with over 50 attendees. From this event, we were able to donate over 150 pounts of food to Island Harvest a local food bank. We also raised approximately $500 from registration fees To ensure all proceeds were given back to the community, our committee contacted Ronald McDonald House and offered to buy and prepare a dinner. Twelve members of our young professionals group cooked a taco dinner for over 100 guests at Ronald McDonald House. We found cooking for Ronald McDonald House a great experience. We were able to both give back while buidling camaraderie. The Ronald McDonald House was such a great experience that we have decided this will be an annual event going forward.

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