IMA Meeting Focuses on Sustainability

April 27, 2013  |  by Lauren Agnello

  • Daniel Pratt, president of the Niagara chapter of the IMA, and Tyra Johnson, presenter and president of Blue Sky Design.

  • Tyra Johnson

  • Prof. Chris Aquino with students Sarah Doucette and Rhiannon McDonell, president and vice president elect of Beta Alpha Psi.

On Wednesday, April 17, the Niagara chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) held its spring semester dinner meeting at Niagara University in Bisgrove Hall.

IMA’s mission is to provide a forum for research, practice development, education, knowledge sharing, and the advocacy of the highest ethical and best business practices in management accounting and finance. This well-attended meeting was also sponsored by Beta Alpha Psi, the honor society for accounting, finance and information system students, and was open to BAP and IMA members as well as interested students. The speaker for the event, Tyra Johnson, presented her topic, “Sustainability as a Game Changer.”

Johnson is the founder and president of Blue Sky Design, a company that generates an enduring enthusiasm for sustainable building techniques and products that can help clients feel good about their eco-friendly choices. She is also an accredited Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) professional and serves on the board of directors for Gateway-Longview and Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM).

Daniel Pratt, president of the Niagara Chapter of the IMA, stated, “Our guest speaker, Ms. Johnson, is an outstanding local leader in her field and I would very much like to express my profound gratitude to her for coming to Niagara University and inspiring all of us (students, faculty and professionals) with her message. Ms. Johnson is clearly dedicated to her profession and did a fantastic job of analyzing and sharing the relevant, real-world application of all aspects of sustainability.”

Accounting Professor Chris Aquino also praised Johnson’s presentation stating, “The topic of sustainability was both current and relevant and Tyra Johnson was very engaging. All told, it was an enjoyable and enlightening evening.”

Johnson focused on how fostering sustainability in a company can create a competitive advantage. She discussed the basic principles in sustainability, the motives for being more sustainable and the benefits for a company. This was supported by examples of well-known companies and their integration processes. Lastly, she discussed a “starting point” for businesses creating a sustainability plan.

Sustainability is a topic that encompasses all aspects of a business and the presentation was relevant for both the students and professionals who attended. Sarah Doucette, president of Beta Alpha Psi, stated, “It is great to attend IMA meetings. The presenter, Ms. Johnson, was very well spoken and provided a good insight on sustainability that I think many students are unaware of. It is definitely something that I will keep in my mind when deciding where to work in the future.”

The IMA is a resourceful link for accounting students, and Niagara University looks forward to many more collaborative events. Daniel Pratt, ’98, added, “I would like to thank the Niagara University College of Business Administration, the Accounting Department, and particularly Professor Aquino for fostering such a strong relationship with our local chapter of the IMA. Many of our members, including myself, are Niagara alumni, and we feel an obligation to Niagara and the future of our profession to present guest speakers who will make an impact.”