“A brand is a promise. A product or service is an artifact of a brand. A brand is a promise, what’s yours?” – Watt Wacker – futurist at MACPA’s centennial in 2001

 I still remember Watt’s words when he addressed our Centennial meeting in Baltimore.  That was the era of the CPA Vision 2011 (we now have CPA Horizons 2025) and the refinement of MACPA’s own strategic plan. Since then we have continued to refine our strategy on how we serve our members, but our promise remains the same:

 We will help CPAs thrive in a rapidly changing environment by: 1) Connecting them to their profession, each other, and the business community; 2) Protecting and promoting the CPA license and brand; and 3) Achieving success through technical excellence, thought leadership, best-in-class professional development, and being their trusted filter for information. Download a copy of our Strategic Plan on a page here.

 This year has been an exciting year as we refreshed our brand in light of the changes from the Great Recession of 2008 (and many say 2009, 2010, 2011 and even 2012!).

 What does that really mean?

 It means business as usual doesn’t cut it anymore and we had to figure out what the “new normal” meant to our association and you our members.

 It means that we had to add new ways to help you address the changing landscape of our Profession and business. It means we had to find new ways to help you find what you were looking for.

 While it is way too soon to say we figured it out. We have been working on lots of new ways that can help us serve you.

 One of our “new” ways is our strategic alliance with our new marketing team, Blue Ocean Ideas and their CEO (also a CPA), Greg Rittler. I had to share his message to one of our early groups of volunteer members who were testing the beta version of our site,

 “Helping CPAs thrive means always innovating. The CPA profession is experiencing unprecedented change and complexity. And keeping up with that change, being the filter, is an important role for MACPA, one we take seriously and we know members value. Expectations for the best online experience have changed dramatically too and it is clear that now is the time for a new macpa.org The CPAs we serve deserve a better online home for their professional association.

 What have we improved? The entire user experience. No stone was left unturned as we designed macpa.org to be a better and more helpful experience for our members. It’s a simpler, more intuitive site. The site has a “flatter” navigation with a clearer organization of information. And we’re now more suited to highlight the content that matters most to our members.

 For the MACPA as an organization, we’ve also created a site that’s more friendly to our advertisers and sponsors, and does a better job connecting our members to these vendors.

 Our mission is to help CPAs connect, protect, and achieve. These categories serve as the primary navigation framework of the site. And when it comes time for each of our members to engage with any of those activities or services, they will know exactly where to look.

 The MACPA is a stronger association and CPAs in Maryland will achieve greater professional success because of the new macpa.org.”

 And so today we “turn-on” the new website – Welcome to MACPA’s new website and my first offical blog post on our new platform!

 You will see that we have “integrated” all of our resources from the social platforms like facebook, linked-in, youtube, google +, and added felxibility for RSS feeds to help you keep up with the rapidly changing world we find oursleves in.

 We still have lots more to come but we hope you like our start and would love to know what you think?

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