Jennifer Briggs, CAE, MBA
New INCPAS President & CEO
Jennifer Briggs, CAE, MBA, talks about her history with the Indiana CPA Society and her new role as President & CEO.
"The most effective way to do it, is to do it." -Amelia Earhart
How did you get connected at INCPAS?
I was in a Certified Association Executive study group through the Indiana Society of Association Executives which was facilitated by former INCPAS staffer Jill Doyle. Jill brought Gary Bolinger in as a guest to one of the study sessions, and he and I argued about something. Then later he offered me a job! I had worked in associations for 12 years at that point and knew it’s what I wanted to continue to do; joining the highly-regarded Indiana CPA Society seemed like a good next step. I never, ever, imagined I’d stay longer than three to five years (my usual tenure at a job). But the culture here has always been one of continuous improvement, and that has kept it exciting.
What do you think is most valuable to provide for Society members?
An eye toward the future. Even though what we provide, our major initiatives or what’s important to members changes over time, we are reliably available to members to help them find answers, speak on their behalf, connect them with who they need to be connected to and provide the innovative resources they need to be successful. We have a committed staff and truly fantastic volunteer leaders who work hard to make sure the Society is around for the next 100 years making work and life better for CPAs in Indiana.
What is the top soft skill shift required from moving from VP to a CEO?
For me personally, it’s confidence. I’ve worked in associations a very long time and at the Society a long time, but when you are only the fifth CEO of a 103-year-old organization, you are following a 30+ year leader known throughout the country as an innovator, and when your role is changing in front of peers you value deeply – well, it can be daunting. But when I question myself too much, I stop and remember one of the things I’ve tried to instill in my kids: the difference between success and thinking about success is doing stuff. That’s right, I said do stuff. Don’t talk about it, don’t just think about it, but actually do it. And work on it until you get it right. I truly believe if you show up daily with the attitude that you want to be better than you were the day before, and you keep learning, you’re going to make progress.