History of TMAC
It all started on March 14, 1974 at the Studio Restaurant in Morton Grove, Illinois.
Howard Heyer of Allstate was the person most responsible for starting the Treasury Management Association of Chicago (TMAC). The initial TMAC members consisted of local treasury practitioners who attended AMA seminars on cash management. As time went on, they all decided to meet amongst themselves rather than attend the large and expensive AMA seminar. Howard Heyer (TMAC's first president), John Howland (TMAC's second president ), & Tom Porter initially met to share cash management ideas with each other on a monthly basis.
TMAC's first organizational meeting was at Henrici’s near O’Hare. Initially, TMAC was named the Cash Management Practitioners Association (CMPA). Since TMAC inception, the organization has been open only to corporate treasury practitioners so that members can have unfettered forum for cash management conversations. TMAC's founding members knew about treasury management sales techniques well as each of them were former bankers! (Howard Heyer-Continental, John Howland-Citibank, Robert Braasch-Lasalle.)
In 1977 the predecessor to the Windy City Summit was created, called Confab. Initially, Confab used only TMAC members as speakers and each company was limited to two attendees. There were no exhibitors and the event cost $25 to attend. Confab was held at Harris bank's facilities. In exchange for Confab's facilities, TMAC allowed one Harris banker to lunch that day.
During the late 70's the interest rate was climbing towards 4%! TMAC's meeting generally had 10-12 people (not bad for a membership of 16!). Membership dues were $100 per year and each meeting had one menu option: Prime Rib. Meeting started at 6:00 PM with “refreshments”, dinner was served at 7:00 PM, and finally the cash management presentation was at 8:00 PM. Generally, there were eight to nine meetings per year.
Over time, TMAC meetings became popular. As a result, one committee was referred to as “Committee for Controlled Growth” and their role was to limit the membership so that everyone could easily interact with one another. Once TMAC membership grew to over 25 people, the group became unmanageable. When TMAC grew to 25-33 people, the group became unruly! Therefore, TMAC limited membership to 25 people and each member was required to be employed by an organization with more than $100 million in revenue. Ultimately, TMAC's realized that membership growth was a positive function of a healthy association so all membership limiting functions were abolished.
In the spring of 1979, John wrote a letter to all of the regional treasury management associations with the idea of holding a national treasury management association officer's meeting. Everyone thought this was a great idea so John organized a regional TMA officer's meeting in St. Louis. At the meeting the officer's agreed to form a national treasury management association which would help support and coordinate each respective association.
The national TMA (now the AFP) was started in September, 1979. John Howland was largely responsible for starting TMA by originally helping to form other regional's treasury management associations. John & Robert Braasch would attend AMA meetings and encouraged participants to start cash management organizations in their city. John went across the country proclaiming the benefits of forming a regional treasury management association. To help other associations grow John spoke at TMA meetings in St. Louis, Dallas, Milwaukee, Houston, Atlanta, New Jersey and Cincinnati.
All of us who have followed TMAC's founding members have sought to maintain the “unfettered forum” of discussion. In addition, we have also continued to demonstrate a high degree of creativity as evidenced by our decision to sponsor the Windy City Summit. The Windy City Summit continues to be a tremendous success which provides TMAC the resources to award significant scholarships to local Finance students and helps educate our members so that they can progress in their treasury management career.
The founders of TMAC not only recognized the need to communicate ideas but they also took the initiative to contact their peers in other major cities which eventually led to the formation of the national organization now known as AFP. This foresight by those visionaries provided the solid foundation that has enabled TMAC to become the strong organization that it is today.