IMA’s “MyCMA” series spotlights valued members of the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) community. Learn about their journey with the certification—and get tips on advancing your own. This issue’s featured CMA is:

MyCMA: Mike Williams  Name:  R. Michael “Mike” Williams, CMA, CPA
Company:  Paragon BioTeck, Inc.
Title:  Director of Finance
Location:  Portland, Ore.


  1. How did you first come across the CMA and what made you decide to go for it?

    My boss at the time was the membership director of the Portland NAA chapter (precursor name of the IMA). Once I started to attend the meetings I realized that the best way to advance my career was to become a CMA. I was lucky enough to have a supportive company who helped pay for the study materials and paid for the test once I passed; and it took me a couple of times to pass.

  2. In what ways has CMA made an impact on your career or professional journey?

    My career path and any success I’ve achieved have in large part been a result of my certification. It is a competitive world and you need to be able to differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd. It’s no longer just enough to get an MBA and the alphabet soup after your name. In today’s work environment, you must constantly keep learning and growing.

  3. What is your proudest career moment or milestone as a CMA?

    I think it’s been watching former subordinates achieve successful careers in accounting. I’ve had the privilege of working with many great people in my career, and one of my colleagues becoming a CMA was a proud moment. Giving back to the profession is so important. I’ve also enjoyed being a part of the Campus Influencers program to help raise awareness of the CMA and working with the student chapters in our area to promote the CMA certification.

  4. What’s the best piece of advice you would give to CMA hopefuls?

    Becoming a CMA is not a destination. Passing the test and getting those three letters after your name is just the start of the journey. Continue to learn and give back to the profession so that the path you’re blazing can be followed by other people in the future is also part of that journey. Oh, and “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

  5. For those taking the exam, what study tip(s) can you share?

    I guess one tip would be that there is no substitute for hard work and preparation. I used to tape “3x5” note cards with test information to the bathroom mirror and review them while I shaved every morning.

  6. If you could have one superpower in the world, what would it be?

    It would be super-speed like the Flash…that way, I could get more work done in a day and still be able to relax on the weekends with friends and family.


Share YOUR Story
We’d love to hear your CMA story! Please contact Pearl Chen, manager of brand content and storytelling, at or (201) 474-1578.