The AGA – Chicago chapter is in the process of archiving our rich Chapter history; however, we need your help! In particular, we are seeking information on past chapter activities, memorable chapter events and speakers, chapter documents (such as old newsletters / communications), and even personal chapter memories. If you have any information/documents you wish to share, or would like to assist in the archiving of our chapter’s history, please contact our Chapter Historian Tiffany N. McCoy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT OUR MEMBERS TOLD US (THANK YOU VERY MUCH!)
Mark wrote: “Back in the 90’s, we used to have a Newsletter Editor, and Publisher. I was the Newsletter Publisher. I carried a box of Newsletters around the Downtown area delivering newsletters each month to the big agencies, such as, HUD, ED, DOT, EPA, etc. I think sometimes I was given a break because of the snow…lol. This was done to save postage and to provide a personal touch. Thank goodness email came out.
We also participated in the WTTW drive one year. We got sweatshirts (can’t remember who paid for the shirts) that said AGA Chicago Chapter before going. When we got there, we answered phones and received a free dinner. The camera even caught some of us, including me, talking on the phone. A good time had by all there. I think about 10 of us went…”
Stu e-mailed us a great story: “I was elated to read of the interest in the Chicago Chapter’s history. I can’t list the last five chapter presidents, but the chapter presidents for Fiscal Years 1969 through 1973 were Daniel Sullivan, Harold Palone, Norman Buchwald, Herbert Bates, and Howard White [Stu also shared the list of AGA Chicago Chapter Officers from 1969 to 1991]. Of course during that time period the organization was called the Federal Government Accountants Association.
The most memorable year that I can remember in the Chapter’s history had to be the 1979 to 1980 chapter year. That was the year that the Chicago Chapter won top honors in the national awards competition. These awards were: Best chapter in group B; greatest percentage competition point increase in group B; best newsletter in group B, membership goal attainment; and five individual sponsor awards. To my knowledge, his feat was never subsequently duplicated by the Chicago or any other chapter in the Association of Government Accountant’s (AGA) history. Sadly, the chapter’s subsequent president discarded the ribbons that the chapter was awarded instead of displaying them on the chapter’s banner as is the custom.
The awards given to the chapter do not even begin to address the Chicago chapter’s successes that year. Our membership that year grew to 283 people, with many of them active in the chapter’s programs. Forty one of our members contributed directly to the chapter’s programs. We had two chapter meetings a month, one in downtown Chicago and another in the suburbs, with attendance during the second half of the year averaging close to 100 persons a month. We put on a very successful Minority Business Men and Women’s Training Program with both a Fall and Spring Session. We also co-hosted with the national office two training symposiums in Chicago, one in November and the other in the following March. In addition, our chapter’s suburban auxiliary hosted a Cost Accounting Standards Board Symposium.
We were able to announce our chapter meeting schedule ahead of time with a complete list of topics announced in August for our September to May meeting cycle. We, for the first time, emphasized diversity in our speaker selection as well as topics—this was a decade before diversity was a government buzz word. We were also one of the first, if not the first chapter, to feature a speaker on business use of microcomputers complete with a live demonstration. That was in April 1980, more than a year before the IBM personal computer was introduced in August 12, 1981.
Our chapter was later to host two of the Association’s annual professional development conferences (PDC). Our president during the first of these PDC’s was later given an impressive award for his service by the AGA at his retirement. He was chapter treasurer during our most successful chapter year and later became chapter president in 1983 when Chicago hosted the PDC. Chicago’s 1979-1980 chapter president was regional vice president in 1983.”