July 14, 2017
Lance Lewis, chief operating and financial officer for the California Medical Association (CMA) was honored as one of the Sacramento Business Journal's CFOs of the Year. Lewis was recognized because his innovative leadership over the past 18 years has helped transorm CMA into a thriving organization that cultivates and values talent, systems and processes that support a diverse, high performance workplace culture.
Lewis oversaw the complete transformation of the association’s financial processes, revamping the budgeting process from a traditional accounting method to an activity-based costing model tied to the strategic plan. He also orchestrated the sale of a subsidiary company to create a $20 million endowment, and terminated a historically underfunded defined benefit pension plan and restructured CMA’s long-term debt to take advantage of the low-interest-rate environment.
“What makes Lance such an integral part of CMA is that he puts the team before himself,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Dustin Corcoran. “His ability to make the CMA budget an active part of the strategic planning process is incredibly important.”
Lewis reengineered the human resources employee recruitment process to inculcate diversity and inclusiveness initiatives that resulted in more women and minorities being placed in senior management roles. Faced with an expensive and sprawling governance process, Lewis also helped usher in a new era of proactive rather than reactive decision-making for the 160-year-old organization.
“Utilizing technology, we transformed our 160-year-old governance procedures to create a proactive decision-making process to develop policies that keep CMA a political force statewide,” said Lewis.
Probably the most transformative action he took was to implement a new $3.6 million integrated Association Management System (AMS) connecting CMA to 42 component medical societies, subsidiaries and affiliates throughout California to share real-time information about physician members.
Results have greatly benefited CMA and its component societies. By integrating membership information across the state in a real-time, centralized AMS, CMA is better able to reach its members with information and campaigns relevant to their region, specialty and an array of other demographic groupings. CMA has enjoyed sustained average membership growth of 3.50 percent annually since 2011, and most recently 6.20 percent growth in 2016, the highest growth year on record since 1962.
His record of prudent investment choices and leveraging existing assets has resulted in big gains for CMA. CMA's investment portfolio posted a 10.17 percent return in 2016 and averaged 9.27 percent in the last five years. Lewis' keen understanding that there is a time for saving and a time for investing, he has grown CMA in resources, staff, physician members and acclaim.
"Thanks to record membership growth and prudent investment decisions, CMA has the financial strength to further its advocacy interests," said Lewis. "We've managed our resources and taken on prudent financial debt such that we've been able to leverage CMA's influence to win tough fights for our members."