Alumni Zoom-ins to ‘20 Years of Tech20’ celebration tell the story of peer helping hands.
By Joseph Neu.
One truly special aspect of last week’s Tech20 Treasurers’ Peer Group 20th Annual Meeting, sponsored by MUFG, was the Alumni cameo Zoom-ins. Former members stopped by to share their favorite Tech20 memory, yet what came through most memorably is how the group helped them while they were members in treasury roles.
- With the success they were able to show as treasurers, they each advanced further in their careers. This fits so well with the NeuGroup mission to connect members to share and learn to help them reach their full potential.
This potential might be realized in treasury or beyond it. Many years ago, we had a session at a Tech20 meeting about the desire to remain a treasury “lifer” vs. those who wanted to move beyond treasury to something more. Incidentally, this was at a time when members still accumulated significant equity wealth shepherding tech firms from the growth stage to mega-caps, so being a treasury “lifer” could make you unimaginably successful. It is interesting to see that we have alumni who have succeeded on both paths.
- As one treasury lifer alum noted, “this group was instrumental in helping me up my game in treasury, be it with our approach to cash investment and so much more.”
- A ‘new to treasury’ member, stated at our opening: “You made it easy to become a treasurer.”
- Another shared: “When I joined the group, I was new to treasury and members were extremely helpful, with one walking through what I needed to do on my first bond deal over lunch.”
- Still another, credited his predecessor, another group alum: “She was the smartest person I knew, and she prepared me well for the role; she and this group both contributed to a successful career.”
Several alumni have moved back to the tax side of the treasury-tax partnership, and gone on to become CFOs and have joined corporate boards.
- “If anyone wants to reach out, I am happy to assist,” as one such alumnus mentioned, who is now an Audit Committee Chair on the Board of a public tech company.
There was also more than one now-retired alum that offered to “advise on how to make the most of retirement.” Having been on the “growth company to mega-cap” treasurer path, he is well-positioned to advise on this.
Interestingly, one alum, who grew up in a small town, credited the group with expanding his contact with the wider world and the people who changed it, when he recalled the time he met Steve Jobs who walked by at a meeting hosted by Apple.
- “As someone who grew up in a small farm town, Tech20 exposed me to a new group of people with broader perspective and also to people who changed the world.”
These alumni anecdotes reminded me of a story another Tech20 alum shared when he was still a member. It was about how peers in Hollywood apparently keep in touch with one another in hopes that when an aspiring actor lands a role, they will help others land their first role. These partnerships extend throughout the business, and as one moves on to become a director or producer, they help pull others of their generation up and so on.
- The same should hold true for NeuGroup members, who wish to rise from treasury manager to AT and then treasurer, or move beyond treasury to become CFOs, board members or whatever else they aspire to.
Having heard from so many Tech20 alumni that our first peer group has served its mission so well over its first 20 years was incredibly inspiring and validating. Thank you all for telling your stories and continuing to be part of the NeuGroup mission.