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Past Issues: CEO's Message—First Quarter 2015

NACVA Association News

Always Changing, Always Improving
(Updated Message from the Second Quarter 2013)

By Parnell Black, MBA, CPA, CVA
Chief Executive Officer
A lot has been going on with NACVA over the last three years, and, yes, we have made many changes. So much so, I continue to receive comments/queries like: “Is something going on at NACVA—it seems like every time I turn around, something new is coming at me?” “I can’t keep track of you guys anymore; I don’t know what’s going on!”

One must ask, why change? Change is necessary for growth, it prevents stagnation, and it fuels creativity, innovation, and promise for the future. It is required to stay ahead of our ever-changing business environment. And with it brings new life, new energy, and prosperity, especially for our members. We change because we believe it is in our members’ best interests.

There are many reasons for change—it can be a reaction to warranted or unwarranted pressure; it can be in impulse, fixing problems as they arise; or it can be a result of a well thought-out plan, incorporating a series of steps within a longer-term strategy. And those that know me—know I am not reactive or impulsive, and put considerable thought and careful planning into every decision. What you may not know is every major decision at NACVA is made by committee (i.e., Board, team, or task force). And often, we seek unanimous agreement before proceeding, because if there is a hold-out in obtaining a consensus that suggests the plan may need further refining.

There are two drivers behind the decisions we make: one is NACVA’s Boards and Committees, which are comprised of members who are elected to the Boards and volunteer to be on Committees. The other is internal—these decisions are made by staff members at Headquarters (HQ) who are a part of a team. Almost everything we do at HQ that is of any significance, affecting either our service to members or operations at HQ, is discussed, analyzed, and vetted extensively by a team before a decision is made. Teams at HQ can have as few as four staff and up to 15. The size of the team depends on both the size and needs of the project, and the effect/impact of the decision being made. And we have as many as two dozen teams at work each year. Once in a while, teams will be comprised of both HQ staff and members; one example of this is our Conference Planning Committee. It is important to clarify that HQ has one or two staff represented at all Board and Committee meetings; their role is to participate in discussions and to bring back decisions to HQ to be acted upon.

I know my staff sometimes express that we have too many meetings, but the fact of the matter is (and they know this), we make better decisions because of this collaboration. Plus, I doubt many organizations feel the team spirit we do. Everyone at HQ has a voice that is heard. This rule, if you want to call it that, also applies to our Boards and Committees. They have a powerful voice. I suspect that most people who have served on a NACVA Board or Committee would likely agree.

So, be it known, I do not work in a vacuum. Every decision, every change of significance implemented practically since our inception 25 years ago, was made by a Board or HQ team, and was done for good reasons based on a plan within a strategy that in the short- and long-term is in the best interest of our organization, and, more particularly, our members.

Here is a summary of changes, new products/programs/services, implemented in the last three years for the benefit of our membership:

Approximate Date Change/Program Implemented Reason Why
May-2015 (Anticipated) Roll-out with member-friendly website known as Practice Support Headquarters, which is designed to quickly point members to services, products, and programs based on specific needs.
Direct members to solutions for their needs more quickly/ effectively.
Mar-2015 (Anticipated) Implement new model for State Chapters to employ in setting up an event. Make much simpler, and assure greater participation and member attendance.
Feb-2015 Rolled-out with new KeyValueData® levels to now include: EconAssist, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium.  It is through these five subscriptions that members can obtain, at greatly discounted prices, all the databases needed to perform a valuation. Provide more services at a lower price.
Jan-2015 Restructured CTI program to reduce locations from 12 in 2014 to five in 2015, without reducing the number of live course offerings by packing more into these five CTI weeks.  At each of the five, we will concurrently hold a two-day conference with all the trimmings including keynotes, luncheons, networking socials with free drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and entertainment. Enhance training venues with more options and improve experience for attendees.
Nov-2014 Rolled-out with CPE On-Demand, a library with hundreds of pre-recorded webinars, cataloged by topic, accessible to members 24/7.  We add dozens of webinars to the library monthly. Instant training on just about any topic. 
Aug-2014 Signed agreement with European Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts to formNACVA's first international Chapter. Expand global prominence and recognition for members.
May-2014 Redesigned our MAFF training program to a three-day live training, teaching the financial forensics body of knowledge.  The MAFF’s seven specialty tracks are now taught in a series of webinars with one series for each specialty. Make more accessible/ convenient to members.
Mar-2014 Made further significant changes to CVA® recertification requirements. Greatly simplified, and easier to understand and report; now takes less than 30 minutes.
Jun-2013 Rolled-out with weekly webinar series, where each week has a different theme. Make more accessible and simplify training selections.
Mar-2013 Merged the AVA® into the CVA. Unify membership.
Feb-2013 Modified, for the second time, the MAFF prerequisite criteria. Greatly simplify the application process.
Jan-2013 Rolled-out with customized Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance. Fill industry need.
Nov-2012 Redesigned the NACVA, CTI, CVA, MAFF, and ABAR seals. Polish professional image.
Aug-2012 Rolled-out a monthly webzine—Around the Valuation World®. Facilitate learning of current events.
Jul-2012 Merged the IBA into NACVA. Unify, streamline, and synergize operations.
Jul-2012 Created new subsection—Appraisal Database and Mentoring Services (ADAM®). Expand product offerings.
Mar-2012 Converted QuickRead from a monthly to weekly e-publication. Increase options for practice development.
Feb-2012 Made substantial changes to our MAFF prerequisite criteria. Make more transparent.
Jan-2012 Rolled-out the Pacesetter® Awards program. Reward loyalty.

And this summary is just what you see on the surface. At HQ, we have redesigned all of our websites, rebuilt our CVA exams two times, rebuilt our MAFF exam, overhauled numerous internal processes, promoted and repurposed staff, completely redefined our marketing and public relations strategy, rolled-out with a few dozen new products, hired many new staff, and relocated our offices.

As you might expect, this is not the end of our evolution. We have set in motion more changes that will carry through 2015, and it all can be summed up in one phrase—We are always improving. I will add, we are slowing down, but this is all part of the plan. Three years ago, we set forth a strategic plan for changes necessary to improve and posture NACVA for the next decade. Most of this plan has been executed. I welcome your comments. Thank you.

Parnell Black, MBA, CPA, CVA
Chief Executive Officer