It is a privilege to greet you as the 28th National President of the Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC). Standing on the shoulders of founders Nathaniel Harris and Robert Samuels is a daunting task that I take seriously and plan to fulfill with the skills and experiences I have gained from 32 years in the financial services industry, 6 years as an entrepreneur and 19 years as a leader of the Greater Kansas City Chapter. Working alongside National Vice President Melanie Lee-Kasuyi and seeking and incorporating feedback from our members and outstanding teams of directors and advisors will be invaluable.
A lot has changed since our inception in 1974 and the stakes are higher than ever before. There is no more “business as usual”. More of the same will produce more of the same. To maintain our viability, we must be more strategic about how we generate funding; attract, retain, develop and engage our multifaceted members; hold each other accountable for individual and collective performance; and measure our results. Our national board of directors created and adopted a national strategic plan during the 2017 Leadership Summit that will serve as our roadmap for the foreseeable future and our new scorecard will be our primary measurement tool. These documents will be transparent to all of our stakeholders.
All hands on deck are needed as there is much to do. As members, I ask you to embrace the opportunities that will be provided to lead or serve on working committees in conjunction with your work schedules, personal lives and other community service roles. If you have questions, ask and if you have ideas, share constructively. Also, spread the word about the value of our organization to those who may be entering the financial services industry and those who may be in the industry but have not heard about us.
The Urban Financial Services Coalition is “our” organization and will only be as good as we make it. Remember, our vision is to become “the recognized leader” in promoting economic empowerment for our members and communities, not just one of many.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”
Debra L. Bronston