Although it wasn’t possible to celebrate in person the winners of the IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) 2020 Global Awards and Lifetime Achievement Award, the following members were recognized (at the virtual Annual Meeting of Members in June) for exemplifying IMA’s mission and core values:

In the category of Exemplary Global Board Member, which recognizes a member of the IMA Global Board who demonstrates excellence as a board member through preparation, participation, and service, IMA recognized Derek A. Fuzzell, CMA, CSCA, CPA, current Global Board member and chair of IMA’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee. 

In the category of IMA Champion, which recognizes an IMA member who has shown volunteer and leadership skills above and beyond what might be expected, IMA recognized four individuals: LeRoy E. Pennock, CMA, from the Houston Chapter; Roopa Venkatesh, Ph.D., CMA, from the Platte Valley Chapter; David L. Eichelberger, CPA, from the Dayton Chapter; and Sunil S. Deshmukh, CMA, from the Mumbai Chapter. 

IMA bestowed this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously to the late James (“Jimmie”) C. Smith. The Lifetime Achievement award recognizes an IMA member who has demonstrated sustainable, extraordinary leadership and dedication to IMA over a lifetime of service. 

A member of IMA for more than 45 years, Smith served on the Global Board of Directors, the D&I Committee, and the Member Relations Committee, among other roles. He developed IMA’s Campus Influencers program, which has reached thousands of U.S. college and university students on campuses across the U.S. In 2013, Smith received IMA’s Exemplary Volunteer Award and in 2017, he received the Distinguished Member Award for his dedication and service to the organization. 

In the category of Exemplary Young Professional, which recognizes an IMA young professional with creative approaches to problem solving within the accounting and finance profession, IMA recognized Tanya N. Thirlwall, from the Houston Chapter; and Gaby A. Lahoud, CMA, CSCA, from the Lebanon Chapter.  

Thirlwall is a dedicated and innovative young professional IMA leader. She currently serves on the D&I Committee, is a member of the Chapters and Councils Roundtable Committee, and is the incoming president-elect of the Texas Regional Council. She’s also a member of the Stuart Cameron and Margaret McLeod Society (SCMS). Among her most recent activities, Thirlwall was involved in the creation of the Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit.

"It’s been such a valuable experience to serve as a volunteer within IMA,” Thirlwall said. “In my service roles, I’ve been a strong advocate for increasing transparency and ensuring that the voice of the member is heard. I’ve been fortunate to work with some other amazing volunteer leaders like Ashley Gibson, Karmin Bailey, Bud Kulesza, and the late Jimmie Smith, all of whom have inspired me to advocate for change, which at times can be uncomfortable. I look forward to many more years of involvement as IMA and the profession continues to adapt and evolve.”

“Volunteerism is deeply embedded in IMA’s culture and is evidenced by the efforts of our Global Awards winners. We’re pleased to acknowledge these individuals for their outstanding commitment and service to the organization and our members,” said Paul E. Juras, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, IMA’s 2020-2021 Global Board Chair. 

Each year, IMA recognizes the efforts of the association’s volunteers, and local chapters and councils through different types of recognition, commending outstanding programs in community service, communications and marketing, education and training, and membership development. IMA Global Award winners demonstrate a strong commitment to both the IMA organization and the accounting and finance profession. For more information, visit IMA Global Awards