Blog

The Last Word

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, Turningpoint Communications

In the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were forced to cancel Windy City Summit 2020. We could not move forward, however, without affording our gracious speakers the opportunity to have their voices heard on compelling industry topics at this unprecedented moment in history. We have decided to pass along our speakers’ thought leadership to our members, sponsors, exhibitors, and would-be attendees in the form of our first-ever “The Last Word” document. We hope our constituents will find this document provides insights into our speakers’ areas of subject matter expertise – and closure before we move and look forward to 2021.

The results of the “The Last Word” compilation were as diverse and varied as our speakers themselves: from professional development to treasury industry-specific mandates to regulatory requirements to faster payments. Some of our speakers even provided insights into freeing up cash and evaluating legal documentation in the wake of a pandemic.

Inside “The Last Word” document, find quotations from multiple perspectives about:

  • Modern Treasury metrics
  • Focus on maximizing cash flow and liquidity and minimizing risk
  • Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, and Application Programming Interfaces
  • Cybercrime and fraud
  • International treasury management and global trade
  • Faster payments: same day and real-time
  • Relationship management for internal business partners, including Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable
  • Getting back to basics with investment and risk management policies
  • Industry mandates
    • ISO 20022
    • Transition away from LIBOR
    • FASB Hedge Accounting
  • Personal branding and career advancement using LinkedIn

 

As always, our speakers are our industry advocates and present best practices. It is important to follow up with individual speakers for more information about products and services. While we cannot provide speakers’ contact information, we encourage you to use LinkedIn to search for speakers. Please note, speakers’ companies are included with their names.

Thank you again for your support during these tough times. We feel strongly that better days are ahead. Mark your calendar for Windy City Summit 2021 at Navy Pier from May 18-20, 2021. In the meantime, we will be once again seeking thought leaders on hot topics. The coming weeks and months will bring new ideas and insights, so too will our industry-leading presenters. Also, for interested speakers, be on the lookout for our Call for Proposals coming out soon!

CLICK HERE to download and view all nine pages of the “The Last Word.”

To sign up and receive updates on the Windy City Summit, please submit the form below.

What’s your Style?

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, Turningpoint Communications

When it comes to conference education, what style of presentation do you prefer? A keynote? General Session? A panel? A single presenter? A Big Idea Talk? Presentation type preference is a personal one – and has a great deal to do with learning style, comfort level, engagement level, knowledge of the topic and so much more. The best conferences offer a variety of styles to engage audiences of all kinds for different reasons. Which presentation style “speaks” to you?

KEYNOTES
Typically presented over lunch, keynote addresses are best “served up” light, funny or motivational. After all, who wants to be weighed down by a heavy topic and a heavy chicken over mashed potatoes meal before 1:00 PM? Though a dark story with an inspirational outcome can be uplifting, like a soufflé or chocolate mousse dessert. I’ve heard many different flavors of the motivational keynote – from Mt. Everest’s survival to rags to riches stories to accounts of overcoming severe illness, disability or other seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

A strong keynote is a powerful tool. The right speakers can “sell” a conference, particularly those with star quality or corporate leaders who represent a well-known brand. It helps when a famous keynote uses the story of their rise to fame to deliver poignant messages based on their experience. I also enjoy a good adventure story – chronicling an adventure through time, one where the speaker provides wisdom and lessons learned. I have had the privilege of attending a number of compelling keynote addresses at treasury conferences throughout my career. Most memorable were “Life is Good” co-founders Bert and John Jacobs, whose tale of homelessness inspired their whimsical t-shirts and ultimately their philanthropy. Even Former Boston Police Commissioner, Ed Davis, brought an audience from tears of pain to inspiration, just one year after the Boston Marathon Bombings.

GENERAL SESSION
A fit kick-off to any conference, the general session brings together all attendees in a grand and impressive gathering (of hundreds or thousands) to formally welcome them, establish/reinforce the conference theme and set the tone of a conference before they set off on their own or in small groups to their chosen paths. A general session presenter with mass appeal (fame, brand, do-gooder, even a mysterious, protagonist) will draw a crowd. General Session topics best are high-level, weighty, inspirational, thought-provoking, innovative – and delivered by a powerhouse speaker supported by a multimedia show complete with slides, video, interactivity and fully rehearsed (yet extemporaneous), authentic speech. Equally as effective are “fireside chat,” interviews designed to intellectually transport massive audiences in awkward chairs in a cold, cavernous function room to a warm, comfortable living room complete with soft couches and pillows – and a crackling fireplace, of course. Actor and activist, Michael J. Fox; Former President Bill Clinton; Colonel Colin Powell and Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were the most memorable general session speakers I can recall from my treasury management industry career. Breakout session speakers are wise to tie their presentation back to the general session and theme of the conference to reinforce their relevance. Conference organizers and leaders can enhance or detract from the power of a solid general session with their own performance. I favor a warm welcome by a relatable conference chair to a robotic, awkward, teleprompter, overly rehearsed speech by a figurehead any day.

PANELS
Panels, if they are done well, provide multiple perspectives on a particular topic. I have seen this done very successfully and I have seen them fail. In environments ripe for violations to the “No Sales pitch” rule, panels with representatives from both the sales and buy-sides provide balance. At treasury conferences, specifically, I find it helpful to have vendors bring a corporate / practitioner / buy-side client. This allows for a case study, successful storytelling format. Of course, no one believes a “super vendor man saves the day” story when it is one-sided and told almost exclusively by the vendor – with the client simply there as a figurehead. It is no surprise, I have also found the best panels are well-rehearsed so that each panelist knows what is expected of him/her – and knows what s/he and the others bring to the table, to avoid a choppy delivery or redundant information.

SINGLE PRESENTER
Subject matter experts are well-positioned to lead discussions and deliver education based on their skills, education, experience. However, a single presenter must “deliver,” not simply transfer information for his/her audience. In fact, when it comes to individual presentations, the sage words of the late and great Maya Angelou apply, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This means single presenters must subscribe to a higher burden of “edu-tainment” delivery. That is to be compelling, dynamic and engaging (in no particular order). It is imperative that the speaker involve the audience in his/her presentation. This comes in several forms. Instead of stating a fact, ask it as a question, then ask the audience what they think about that – or if they have had any experience with that. Also, it is imperative to cite sources. No one believes that a single person holds nor should one be expected to hold all of the information there is to know about a particular topic.

BIG IDEA TALK
Popularized by the famous “Ted Talks,” the “Big Idea Talk” is set in front of a smaller, more focused audience set to be amazed by an incredibly poignant 30 minute or less highly rehearsed presentation of a unique idea. Built as a bridge between real-life and podcast, these discussions are typically video recorded for use in other media. Treasury and payment conferences have started to incorporate this format into their repertoires to keep things fresh and to appeal across generations.

CONCLUSION
Education can be served up in different ways. Varied presentation styles offer advantages and disadvantages – and may or may not appeal to audience members with particular needs or tastes. General sessions and keynote lunches have mass appeal, while one-to-many (single presenter) presentations, panel discussions and “Big Idea Talks” together offer enough variety that audiences ought to be able to find a style that they enjoy. What is clear though, is that speaker name, reputation or brand may bring an audience, but delivery, content, engagement are what makes them stay. An ability to make the audience FEEL is what makes a presentation memorable.

Capitalize on your Thought Leadership

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, President, Turningpoint Communications

Treasury professionals don’t appreciate how much knowledge and experience they possess. I have been on a mission to help treasury leaders express their thought leadership to benefit customers, junior staff, communities and the treasury management industry. Thought leadership is the result of capitalizing on the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to get in front of a defined target audience on a particular topic in a compelling way – and on a schedule that works for the presenter/writer and receiver. Ira Apfel, Editorial Director of the Association for Financial Professionals defines thought leadership as, “Articulating your experiences in treasury and finance as original, innovative insights to further your profession, your employer and your career.”

Industry publications provide opportunities for whitepapers, byline articles or other features. So too does social media – namely blogs, vlogs, YouTube, LinkedIn Articles, Wikipedia. A conference provides a great opportunity for an expression of thought leadership. A call for presentations allows thought leaders to offer up their subject matter expertise. Windy City Summit is one example of a conference at which treasury leaders can present their ideas. Why present at the Windy City Summit? It’s Simple! Showcase your thought leadership to Chicago and beyond-based treasury and finance professionals.

 

Don’t believe you are worthy? Don’t believe your expertise is worthy of sharing? Think about your experience.

  • Present a case study, success story, timeline of events
  • Discuss best practices
  • Present ideas for innovation, change, efficiency, productivity
  • Answer frequently asked questions
  • Discuss successes, failures

 

Still don’t believe anyone wants to learn from you? Think about this! According to Ira Apfel, the national AFP relies on outside authors to contribute:

  • 418 articles, 1,024 pages, 500,000+ words for its quarterly international publication+
  • 140 Sessions at its annual conference

 

Windy City and other larger regional organizations require support from outside contributors to produce:

  • 40 to 90 conference breakout sessions
  • 6 to 12 educational meetings a year

 

So, have we convinced you that your thought leadership is needed? We will soon be sending out the Call for Presentations for the 2021 Windy City Summit.

Who is your Treasury Hero?

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, President, Turningpoint Communications

When I think of heroes, sure, I think of Wonder Woman and The Incredibles, but, when it comes to MY heroes, I think of cape-less people who inspire me to be the best version of myself. I have people like that in the treasury world.  They are my mentors, supporters, educators, my inspiration. The world of treasury management is a small one, with colleagues serving 10 to 30 years or more, moving from one role to another and from one employer to another – even one region to another. Career paths are often well defined and chronicled, with insiders well aware of colleagues’ roles – present, past and future. Connections are essential if one is to maximize a treasury management career. I hope my industry colleagues are lucky enough to have admirable colleagues who, support, educate, mentor and inspire.  Do you have these “actors” in your treasury management life? Why not call them out or call them up today to say thank you today?

A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. Do you have someone like this in your life? My mentor, Patricia Mullin, Cambridge Trust Company, took me under her wing, as I got my start in treasury management at State Street corporation’s Global Cash Management division in 1998. As a very young professional, I was charged with building out a marketing discipline which required a great deal of content development for executives and clients – not an easy feat, when the world of treasury management was foreign to me. Patsy took me aside, took me to lunch, and took the time to not only tell me, but show me, how treasury worked – and how our solutions solved operational problems our customers were facing. Decades have passed and Patsy still answers my calls for ideas, clarification and even a request to present or train with me. She remains my calming force, motivator, educator.

A supporter is a person who approves of and encourages someone. Do you have a supporter with no agenda in your life? My supporter, Lee Ann Perkins, Assistant Treasurer, EON Corporation works 1600 miles southwest, but is never very far – always reachable – here for me – and most of the time, I don’t even need to ask. She is always willing to help, no matter the ask or the task – whether presenting, serving as a panelist, starring in a webinar, providing treasury perspectives. She always has a kind word and is often the first one to like just about anything I post on LinkedIn. She also has a great sense of humor, pranking me on occasion. Her smile is infectious and she welcomes new experiences. She is an industry leader, champion and advocate.

An educator is a person who provides instruction or education; a teacher. Do you have someone who passes along his/her intelligence, experience, without judgement?  My educator, Raymond Vines, has served in a corporate treasury leadership capacity for 30 years. His perspective is invaluable to me. He also has a great way of explaining highly complex ideas in layman’s terms, and no question is ever “dumb.” Ray is never short on opinions on just about anything – and never afraid to share those opinions! He shares his treasury goals, realities, his wish list so I feel like an insider into the corporate practitioner side of the business. This comes in handy as we train together, bringing a day in the life of a treasury team to treasury teams from back office to front line professionals.

An inspirer is someone who fills another person with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Ginger Gidden, Senior Vice President, Treasury Management Sales, Wells Fargo, inspires me. She epitomizes grace under pressure, eloquence and intelligence. When others send a text, Ginger picks up the phone, delivering good or bad news in context. This style has earned her trusted advisor status among her clients and as a result, she engages in deeper conversations with these clients – and gets her job done more efficiently and effectively than most people I know. As an industry advocate, Ginger is not afraid to share her experiences (with the appropriate levels of confidentiality, of course), presenting with me at national and regional treasury management conferences.

Go Out of Office

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, President, Turningpoint Communications

When there is too much to do, we are short-handed, and we are looking to cross items off of our ever-expanding lists as treasury leaders, it is difficult to even think about getting out of the office for an hour or two, never mind two and a half days.

“There is no time!” “Who will set the cash position?” “How will we approve wires?” “Who will sign for….”

But, getting out of the office for professional development purposes may be exactly what you need!

First, there are people who are performing very similar roles for other companies, all across the Chicago area and beyond, come together as part of TMAC monthly and for the Windy City Summit once a year. While companies may compete for market share, market position, sales, customers, treasurers and their teams are not “competing” with other treasury teams. Seek them out. Get to know them. Talk to them. Confide in them. Tell them about your struggles. Ask them about solutions. Ask them what worked, what failed?

Secondly, treasury solutions providers attend Windy City Summit. The best ones would be more than happy to have a discussion about your business challenges and discuss industry best practices and solutions. They are highly knowledgeable about industry trends and mandates. They may even provide demonstrations of how their products and services work. They may also connect you with current customers with similar situations to discuss how the product or service works in their environment.

Thirdly, work shouldn’t be ALL work! If you can escape for a few hours every month or even every other month or so, TMAC will set you up with a great meal, even better conversation, and a highly relevant topic and an engaging thought leader. If you can escape for a couple days each year, Windy City Summit provides a number of social opportunities from keynote lunches to cocktail receptions to exhibit hall breaks. Odds are, with 1200 treasury and finance professionals attending, you will find some new friends – or connect with “old” ones.

Fourthly, who better to present topics of interest to other treasury and finance professionals than you? TMAC – Chicago (monthly) and Windy City Summit (annually) are looking for experts just like you to lead discussions and contribute to panels to promote the treasury industry and take deep dives into topics of interest. Reach out to a TMAC – Chicago leader for more details.

Fifthly, (is this even a word?), you may be inspired to “step up” or take the next step to become part of the organization. TMAC (including our WCS team) is/are always in the market for active committee members who may one day step up into a director or officer position.

Last, but not least, you are in a great position to identify educational and networking opportunities for your team. As an active and engaged member of the TMAC community, you and your team will be notified of upcoming events by email – and of course, you can always find information on our website and via social media networks.

So, mark my word, it is worth it for you to mark your calendar to go Out of Office for the third Thursday of each month for TMAC-Chicago Meetings for treasury and finance practitioners – and 5/19/2020 to 5/21/2020 for the 34th Annual Windy City Summit. See you soon!

Advice for the Young Professional

Written By: Windy City Summit

As a young professional entering the field, have you defined your treasury focus area? Windy City Summit is here to help you explore and grow your treasury knowledge now and throughout your professional career in the treasury and finance industry.

This year’s Summit consists of over 100 educational sessions in 17 different treasury and finance session tracks. The knowledge these sessions offer will assist you in nurturing your career today and in forging your profession down the road. Windy City Summit speakers will present ideas on how to complete day to day tasks more efficiently and effectively and new ways to make your job easier. At no additional cost to you, these classes can be used toward the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) accreditation. As someone just entering the industry, you won’t want to miss out on these opportunities.

Windy City Summit offers ample networking during luncheons, exhibit hall events, sessions and breaks. Utilize this time to create new connections and develop existing relationships. Connect with CEOs, CFOs, business leaders and peers in the industry while you bolster your LinkedIn and Twitter networks. These connections can assist in advancing your career.

The Windy City Summit is two and a half days of education and networking with industry peers that will help you define your treasury focus area.  Use your time at this event to maximize your potential, streamline your processes and strengthen partnerships to excel in treasury management.

Solidify Your Company’s Industry Presence

Written by: Windy City Summit

We still have a few exhibit booths available at the Windy City Summit, one of the largest treasury management conferences in the country.  Exhibiting at Windy City Summit opens a multitude of doors to expand your industry presence. As an exhibitor, you can showcase your company’s latest products, meet new customers, catch up with your existing clients, build your brand and showcase your company as a legitimate resource for treasury management solutions.

Collect leads onsite from attendees that could keep your team busy for months connecting with prospects and closing deals. Being on the Windy City Summit exhibit floor gives you direct access to attendees, many of whom are seeking solutions for issues they encounter on a regular basis. Add the Passport option to your booth! This will ensure that attendees will stop to get their Passport stamped which gives you the perfect opportunity to showcase your products.

Exhibiting at the Windy City Summit also allows you to get a pulse on the treasury management industry and see what your competitors are doing. Take the time to walk the exhibit hall floor to see what attendees are talking about and what products get the most attention.  This year we have added opportunities for exhibiting companies to present 25-minute educational sessions in the Learning Lounge and provide 10-minute technology tips showcasing your products in the Technology Lounge.  Make the most of your time at the Windy City Summit by adding these options to your booth as well.

We want you to be part of the excitement we have in store for 2019!  You can review our exhibit floor plan and purchase a booth online using this link. Reserve your booth today!

An Invitation from Robert Gosma

Written by: Robert Gosma, 2019 Windy City Summit Conference Chair

On behalf of the Treasury Management Association of Chicago (TMAC), I am honored to invite you to attend the 2019 Windy City Summit at the Navy Pier Convention Center in Chicago. Designed to be an exceptional networking and educational opportunity for all treasury professionals, this two-and-a-half-day meeting is one you do not want to miss.

This year our educational offerings include 100 breakout sessions in 17 different educational tracks. Whether you are an industry veteran or just starting your career, there are sessions available to help streamline your daily operations. We have added a Treasury Technology track this year and will offer presentations on topics including blockchain, digitization, biometric authentication, robotics processing (RPA), fintechs, artificial intelligence and more.  Additionally, we will offer shorter Learning Lounge sessions in the exhibit hall to increase your learning options and your ability to earn continuing education credits! Are you taking the CTP Exam this year? Attend our CTP Preparation courses at no extra charge. Three amazing featured speakers round out our educational component:  Chicago’s own personal finance guru, Terry Savage; Emmy Award winning journalist John Stossel; and original Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel.

Networking opportunities are abundant at the Windy City Summit. We brought back our opening reception so you can connect with more than 1,200 of your peers on the first night of the meeting. We also offer an optional tour of the Money Museum, two lunches and two continental breakfasts in the exhibit hall. All these social events are great opportunities to catch up with friends and meet new colleagues.

Treasury professionals of all experience levels should plan to attend the Windy City Summit to maximize their potential, streamline processes and strengthen partnerships to excel in treasury management. I look forward to seeing you at the Navy Pier Convention Center in May!

Register here.

Sincerely,

Rob Gosma, CTP, MBA

Vice President and Treasurer, Donnelly Financial Solutions

An Experience You Can’t Afford to Miss

Written by: Windy City Summit

 

Treasury professionals of all experience levels are invited to attend the Windy City Summit to maximize their potential, streamline processes and strengthen partnerships to excel in treasury management.  Windy City Summit is one of the largest treasury and cash management conferences in the country.  We consistently offer outstanding education, the newest tips and trends in the industry and an exhibit hall full of treasury management experts with information that benefit attendees and their companies.

We have three amazing featured speakers this year who will offer valuable knowledge that can be applied to your business and personal world.

TERRY SAVAGE: Author and expert on personal finances, the economy, and the markets. She was named a Top 5 Speaker of the year by Speakers Platform. She also frequently appears on TV and radio programs.

JOHN STOSSEL: Host @ Fox Business Network, is a 19 Emmy Award-winning journalist who has been honored 5 times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club.

ALAN ZWEIBEL: An original Saturday Night Live writer and best-selling author. Alan has won Emmy, Writers Guild of America and TV Critics awards. He is an author, playwright, screenwriter and producer.

This year Windy City Summit added the Technology Track to our breakout sessions including presentations on fintech, digitizing B2C payments, faster payments, blockchain and more.  We have 100 educational sessions to choose from including CTP exam review classes at no additional cost.  We are also an affordable way to earn continuing education credits for CTP, CCM, FP&A (Association of Financial Professionals), C.P.E. (Illinois Board of Public Accountancy) and AAP (NACHA).

We are also excited to announce the new Learning Lounge in the exhibit hall featuring short sessions on the latest innovations in treasury management.  These sessions will be another opportunity to earn continuing education credits.  While in the exhibit hall, attendees can speak with more than 60 exhibiting companies to review their products and decide which one will be the best solution for their company.

As you can see, Windy City Summit is planning an incredible meeting right here in Chicago offering affordable education and the chance to network with more than 1,000 treasury professionals and the best companies in the industry. This year’s summit is more than a conference, it’s an experience you cannot afford to miss. Register today!

 

Treasurers to Focus on Interest Rates, Strategic Alignment in 2019

Kevin Kane | Manage Cash Flow | Jan 15, 2019

Despite the prevalence of fraud, many companies still have not taken advantage of the tools to manage that risk and exposure. According to a recent AFP survey on fraud, it showed that 78% of respondents either were impacted or had a fraud attempt in their business last year. And, that’s the highest it’s ever been. There are things you can do in terms of specific tools. Interest rates, shifting trade policies and stock market volatility are among the issues CFOs and treasurers will face in 2019 and beyond. He also discusses the importance of strategic alignment and cross-border opportunities.

To learn more, check out this video featuring Kevin Kane, Managing Director, U.S. Head of Commercial Banking, Treasury and Payment Solutions.

 

Treasurers to Focus on Interest Rates, Strategic Alignment in 2019