IMA Announces Winners of 2020 Annual Global Awards and Lifetime Achievement Award

Marc Gerrone
(201) 474-1502


Montvale, N.J., July 17, 2020 – IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) today announced the winners of its annual Global Awards program and Lifetime Achievement Award. These honors acknowledge the accomplishments of IMA members and accounting and finance professionals who exemplify IMA’s mission and core values. 

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 awarded Tanya N. Thirlwall, from the Houston Chapter; and Gaby A. Lahoud, CMA, CSCA, from the Lebanon Chapter.  

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

“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.

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA, named the 2017 and 2018 Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 125,000 members in 150 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit