Friday, November 30, 2018

Howard Pressman, CFP®
President’s Message

Wow, I can hardly believe this is my last President’s Letter. The year has gone by so quickly, I can hardly believe it. Someone recently explained to me that the older you get, the faster the years go by. As I sit here massaging my sore knees and grousing about time’s rapid pace, it all seems to make sense. Speed aside, this has been a truly wonderful year and the honor of leading our chapter will certainly be among the highlights of my career. I’ve met so many new people and talked to so many talented planners. There were so many great moments this year, but my favorites include hosting the Symposium in my Capitals jersey after their Stanley Cup victory the night before, joining fellow chapter leaders in Arizona for the Alliance Forum meeting, Metro Washington Financial Planning Day and addressing the student FPA chapter at Virginia Tech

As I entered the year, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, I had so many ideas for our chapter. But reality soon set in and I opted focus on two key initiatives that, in my opinion, will help to usher our chapter into the future. The new technology sponsorship package was designed to recognize the unique needs of this fast-growing segment of the financial services industry. We had our first tech sponsor this year, and I am confident this option will only grow. This year we also tested the technology to simulcast our chapter meeting to two locations. In efforts to reduce the amount of time required to attend monthly meetings, we aim to have a meeting location on each side of the river. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting initiative.  In addition to these, while many chapters saw membership declines this year, our chapter enjoyed a slight increase in members.

Looking beyond 2018, there is much that is uncertain. FPA National recently unveiled their OneFPA Network initiative which promises many changes to our association. For starters, chapters will no longer be independent legal entities, as they will be wrapped into the National FPA entity. Peggy Nelson will become an employee of FPA National and all chapter reserves will be turned over. According to the plans unveiled, local chapters will continue much as they have, with local leadership in charge, and we’ve been assured that we will have control over our budget. To be honest, I’m not certain how I feel about these changes. Primarily, my concerns center around the communication of these changes and the rapid pace at which National would like to dissolve the legal chapter entities. With many details left to be determined by new committees that have yet to be formed, I feel it will be a challenge to have sufficient details by the fourth quarter of 2019, when National hopes to move from 89 individual entities to only one. Moreover, I am having some difficulty in seeing how the chapter system stood as an obstacle to FPA’s broader goals as outlined in the OneFPA Network plan. The FPA NCA Board is reaching out to FPA National to have a conversation and to better understand how these changes will affect us. I encourage you, if you’ve not already done so, to visit the website to learn more about these changes. 

2019 will certainly be an interesting year for our association and will require strong leadership. I’ve had the pleasure of working on the Board with Chris Rivers for many years now and have tremendous confidence in him and the rest of our Board. These are the right people to make our chapter stronger than ever and to manage this transition. 

I thank you all for the support, encouragement, advice and inspiration you’ve given me over the year. You are the ones who make our chapter the vibrant and exciting community it is. Being President has been an amazing experience I will remember forever. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

All the best,
Howard Pressman, CFP®
2018 FPA NCA President