IIA President and CEO Richard Chambers has a wicked sense of humor. I discovered this when my office was moved just outside of his. Often, Richard would stop by and comment on the magazine's cover. "So, what were you going for here?" "Are you sure this is what you want to go with?" "I could draw that better." And once, he tried, presenting me with a cover of stick people that he had drawn, himself. At the end of March, Richard and his sense of humor will depart The IIA after leading the organization for 12 years.
Richard's time with The IIA hasn't been all fun and games. Indeed, he helped steer The Institute and the profession through not one, but two global crises. When he took the helm in 2009, the world was facing the onset of a global financial crisis. Richard worked closely with staff and the Board to keep The IIA afloat. I wonder if he thought that was the biggest challenge he would face during his time at The Institute. As we're all painfully aware, it wasn't. Over his last year, Richard guided The IIA through a global pandemic, again working tirelessly to ensure employee well-being while continuing to provide the services our members depend on.
In "A Voice for the Profession," Richard discusses the next chapter in his career and offers insights on the internal audit profession's continuing evolution. He tells IIA Content Development and Delivery Director Robert Pérez that in the decade ahead, "people aren't going to wait for internal audit to tell them what was or what is. They're going to be anxious for us to tell them what could be."
While Richard has always advocated for The IIA and the profession, he also has shown unwavering support for the magazine and our team. He regularly applauded our accomplishments, as when Internal Auditor won the Florida Magazine Association's Magazine of the Year award in 2013. The magazine team was so proud, and prouder still because Richard celebrated with us at the awards ceremony that year.
Yes, he was always supportive, but, as noted earlier, he also never missed an opportunity to tease. I once made the HUGE mistake of rising to Richard's challenge when my alma mater squared off against his beloved University of Alabama in the college football playoff semifinals. In the mornings, I would come in to find Alabama signs outside my office, so, of course I had to retaliate. Needless to say, I, and my team, were out of our league. Alabama crushed Michigan State University 38-0 en route to winning the National Championship. To his credit, Richard didn't gloat — too much.
Richard, we wish you a fond farewell, and we look forward to seeing where your passion for the internal audit profession takes you next. Although you're leaving The IIA, we know we will continue to hear from you in the pages of the magazine.