Sandra Richtermeyer, who heads the accounting department at the Williams College of Business, is serving as chair of the Institute of Management Accountants, a professional association with 60,000 members.
Richtermeyer is the top volunteer leader for the international group that helps chief financial officers, controllers and other accountants who are in management roles develop themselves professionally. She’s working closely with the Institute’s chief executive officer, who on a day-to-day basis runs the 65-employee staff based in Montvale, New Jersey.
It’s rare for someone from academia to chair the Institute. Only several times in the institute’s 91-year history has someone from higher education led it. Most chairs come from private industry.
Richtermeyer also is only the fourth female chair. She hopes her leadership will encourage other women to become involved in accounting professional organizations. “It’s an opportunity to develop your leadership skills,” she said.
As one of the three largest accounting professional associations in the United States, the nonprofit Institute is influential in the accounting profession. Certifying accountants to work in accounting management roles is a primary duty of the Institute. Once they pass exams, they are designated as Certified Management Accountants.
As the Institute’s chair, Richtermeyer, 45, of Mason, is traveling widely, making speeches about professional development and financial leadership as well as building relationships for the Institute with companies and other professional organizations.
Richtermeyer credits the Institute with helping her develop leadership skills early in her career. For 15 years, she has served in Institute leadership roles, including at the chapter and national levels.
“Early-career professionals need to understand how active involvement in a professional organization can make a dramatic difference to lifetime career success,” she said.
“Our professional development and our certification programs dramatically enhance career potential and keep members well equipped with relevant skills for a complex business environment,” she added.
By being chair of the Institute, she’s shining a spotlight around the world on the Williams College of Business and Xavier University. For instance, when she’s introduced before a speech, her role at Xavier is mentioned. “It gives us global exposure,” she said.
“I am truly honored to serve as chair of an organization that represents such a vast global network of accounting and finance professionals. IMA’s membership includes professionals from all major industries who work in a variety of organizations from small businesses to large corporations,” she said. “IMA has always inspired me by the many benefits it offers it members.”
Her one-year term, which ends in June 2011, follows a year in which she served as chair-elect. After she finishes her term as chair, she’ll serve as chair-emeritus.
At the Williams College of Business, Richtermeyer is an associate professor of accounting as well as the chair of the College’s accounting and business law departments.
She has a Ph.D, MBA and M.S. from the University of Colorado and a B.S. from the University of Wyoming. She is a Certified Management Accountant and Certified Public Accountant.
Her teaching interests include management accounting, corporate governance, nonprofit accounting and information systems.
She began her career in management accounting as a staff accountant for a John Deere dealership in the state of Wyoming. Then, she worked as a CPA in the Denver area, focusing on management advisory services and specializing in accounting systems design, customization and implementation. She also has several years of experience in corporate taxation and financial statement preparation.
The Williams College of Business is one of three colleges at Xavier University in Cincinnati. The College grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in business. It is especially known for being an outstanding place to study management, entrepreneurship, ethics, corporate strategy, international business, marketing management, accounting, business sustainability, finance and financial management. It has one of the nation's best part-time MBA programs.