By Thomas L. Armstrong, CPA, CFO, MSBO Immediate Past President
The title is a lyric from a Grateful Dead song. I know people who do not like this lyric because they believe that it refers to a trip on drugs. I prefer to think of it as the long trip of life. A long strange trip for all of us in our own right. An astute reader might have noticed a theme in my recent newsletter articles. Some might say they have been introspective or addressing closure or just plain maudlin.
As you read this, I have retired from my positions at Fulton Schools. I have also resigned from my position of Immediate Past President of the MSBO Board, and I have taken a job as a Marketing Representative with PFM/MILAF. The compliance department at PFM felt that even an appearance of conflict of interest was too great, hence my resignation from the MSBO Board.
With all of that said, serving on the MSBO Board has been among the most rewarding things I have done in my professional life. I have been an MSBO member for over 20 years and I always knew that it was a well-run, member centered organization. I did not know how well run and member centered it really is until I was elected to the Board. I am here to tell you that the staff and leadership at MSBO takes member input, impact and service into account in every decision they make. They are a textbook example of a membership organization striving to serve their members.
Some of you know that, while I am easily surprised, I am not easily impressed. Yet, I am extremely impressed by the staff at MSBO. It is amazing to me what gets accomplished by a staff of, give or take, twelve people every day, week, month and year. The annual conference when it can be held, continues to grow. After the record setting attendance at the 2019 conference, I asked Deneen Hansen if there was a limit on the size of the conference that they could competently pull off. Her answer was, no, that they can, and will, continue to provide a quality conference experience no matter how large the attendance. What a wonderful answer from just one of the staff members who work long hours leading up to the conference and, then, put in 60-70 hours in the four days of the conference. Do you see why I am impressed?
My new job, servicing school investment accounts, ensures that I will continue to see many of you going forward. Until then, I plan to keep “Truckin” on this long strange trip.