Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Richard Chambers, CIA, CGAP, CCSA, shares his personal reflections and insights on the internal audit profession.

I had an incredible experience today while preparing to unveil The IIA’s new Hall of Presidents. I was reflecting on the contributions made by The Institute’s past presidents, and it was literally overwhelming to realize just how much difference these eight individuals have made on internal auditing since Bradford Cadmus was appointed the first full-time managing director in 1947.

To me, Brad is a personal hero because he represents the joy that can be found in working at The IIA. (Yes, it really can be a joy to work in your chosen profession.) Imagine assuming leadership of a new association, holding its first conference, growing membership to more than 5,000 people. … Brad thrived on it. He eventually retired from the position of managing director in 1962, but he continued working at The IIA until his death in 1964.

While Brad reminds me of what a pleasure it is to work here, The IIA’s second managing director, Archie McGhee, reminds me of the spirit of professionalism. Under his watch, the first Code of Ethics was developed, and the number of chapters increased from 25 to 97.

John Harmon was the first (and only) nonauditor appointed to the position. He was a master at association management and was the perfect person to run The Institute in the 1970s. On his watch, The IIA moved from New York to Florida and the Research Foundation, the CIA, and the first standards were all established. In 1976, he received the American Society of Association Executives’ highest honor — the Key Award.

Robert Richmond ran the association for only two years, but he always exemplified service to the profession. He had served as chairman of the board and was a recipient of the The IIA’s Cadmus Award even before his tenure as president.

Stanley Gross and Pete Wilson remind me of the importance of representing the profession. Stan appeared on behalf of The IIA before the U.S. Senate regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Under Pete’s leadership, the United Nations granted consultative status to The Institute. Strong relationships were established with the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, and The IIA gained the position of official observer.

Bill Bishop, president from 1992 to 2004, holds a special place for me as a personal and professional mentor. Bill had a truly international vision. The first Global Forum for Institute leaders from around the world was held under his watch, and the Global Auditing Information Network (GAIN) was established. During 2000 and 2001 alone, new international affiliates were approved in Cairo, Cameroon, Curacao, Estonia, Guyana, Honduras, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Moscow, Slovenia, and the Ukraine.

Dave Richards was appointed president in 2004, and he continued The IIA’s remarkable globalization progress. Dave led The IIA through an incredible period of growth fueled by Sarbanes-Oxley in the U.S. and the adoption of similar legislation and regulations around the world.

Professionalism, international vision, the joy of a job well done — each of our past leaders gave us unique contributions. As I continue forward in my tenure as IIA president, I can only hope that I’m remembered with half the gratitude and appreciation that I feel toward them. I am standing on the shoulders of giants.
 

Posted on Sep 16, 2011 by Richard Chambers

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