When I took over the presidency of ACG Indiana last year, I was reminded of The Second Law of Thermodynamics: the total entropy of an isolated system increases over time. Since it is doubtful any ACG members majored in Physics (or even took Physics), here it is in English: “Rust never sleeps.” The natural state of all things is not to grow, it is to decay.
Thanks to the hard work of my predecessors, the state of the Indiana ACG chapter handed to me last year was outstanding. However, the Second Law of Thermodynamics holds: if we did nothing, the Chapter would fall behind.
Not only has our chapter not fallen to the forces of entropy, we had some extraordinary achievements in 2017. Our membership numbers continue to be solid thanks to the extraordinary effort of Sandy Wilcox and her membership committee. Paul Count and Michael Milliken have re-vamped our programming calendar for 2017 to bring us both more networking opportunities and higher quality speaking events. We have also formalized our calendar to include four special events: Capital Markets Showcase in January, the Corporate Value Awards in April, our Golf Outing in August and our special holiday event in December. Sponsorship remains a strong suit of our chapter under the leadership of Brian Sullivan. Thanks to our Platinum Sponsors, Krieg DeVault, Katz Sapper & Miller and Cortland. Finally, Jeff Pratt and Mark Hollis are busy laying the groundwork for the Great Lakes Capital Connection, which we will host in 2018 and which has become the chapter’s largest and most important event.
We have also invigorated our Young ACG group, which addresses our largest long-term strategic challenge: staying relevant as a face-to-face networking organization in the age of social networking. In the deal making environment, where trust is critical, face-to-face interactions are still important, maybe increasing so. It is how deals have always been done and will continue to be how deals get done. Please send the young folks in your organization to Young ACG. You will not regret it.
If we are not growing, we are falling behind. We should know this. We are, after all, the Association for Corporate Growth. Let’s go make “growth” happen in 2017: for our chapter, for our firms and for ourselves. Science tells us it is not going to happen on its own!