On October 1, 2020, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) lost an exceptional volunteer leader: Carolyn Reis Gove. Carolyn served IMA on many levels, including as a member of the IMA Global Board of Directors, an IMA regional vice president, and a member of numerous ad hoc and standing committees. She was a long-time member of the South Bay Chapter, where she served as president, and an active representative to the Wild West Council, where she also served as president. She was a member of the Stuart Cameron McLeod Society (SCMS) and in 2016, she received IMA’s highest volunteer honor: IMA’s Exemplary Volunteer Award.
In noting Carolyn’s passing, fellow Wild West Council and Global Board member Pem Smith, CMA, CFM, offered these words:
"Carolyn seldom missed a Council or her local chapter meeting. Her vast experience in IMA brought valuable perspectives to board meetings and projects. For me personally, as I progressed through my volunteer service career, Carolyn offered constant support, friendship, and candid feedback. I also deeply appreciated Carolyn’s clear vision of the role of chapters and councils in IMA’s organizational structure. I know that many of my peers on the Wild West Council felt the same way. Her consistently high level of passion and commitment was an inspiration for those of us who remain dedicated to volunteer service in IMA.
"On a lighter note, Carolyn and her husband, Bob Gove, had several distinctive practices and traditions woven into their volunteer service. At every meeting, Carolyn and Bob would attend wearing identical outfits and accessories, whether matching SCMS shirts or vests and bolo ties. They carried a rolling suitcase for picnics, happy hours or hospitality that included fine china plates, silverware, a vase, and wine glasses. This practice inspired several copy-cats within the Council (sometimes referred to as 'picnic wars').
"Carolyn recognized that part of the reward in volunteering with an organization like IMA is the friendships and bonds that are formed in sharing work toward a common goal. Every December, she and Bob opened their home to local, regional, and occasionally national volunteers as well as other friends and neighbors for a two-day holiday open house. Carolyn also would host working groups at her house to review by-laws or work on other projects, and she and Bob would make a point of visiting friends in every city we held meetings in. And she enjoyed attending SCMS events to connect with friends from her lengthy committee and Board service."
As former Global Board member Nancy McCleary put it, “Carolyn held almost every volunteer leader position in IMA at one time or another. Her contributions were vast. I’d also like to say that we need more people like Carolyn and Bob to help us keep our community together and continue to make it a leading accounting society as we move into IMA’s Second Century.”
Words from Bud Kulesza’s letter nominating Carolyn for the IMA Exemplary Volunteer Award sum up her impact:
“Carolyn’s tireless and selfless support is to be commended especially when you consider her sustained active involvement with IMA at all levels.
“Most importantly, she develops and encourages members to become active leaders within IMA. The name Carolyn Reis Gove is synonymous with IMA service and volunteerism and many leaders, past and present, of the Wild West Council have learned from her example. Without a doubt her actions are consistent with the IMA mission and core values, as she truly exemplifies the sustainable nature of volunteerism within IMA.”
The South Bay Chapter has established a memorial scholarship account in Carolyn’s name. Donations may be sent to IMA South Bay Chapter, P.O. Box 144. Los Alamitos, CA 90720.