This year had some interesting challenges, as they all do, but we always find a way to make it through them with our experience, knowledge and sometimes … just our persistence as investment recovery (IR) professionals.

That’s one trait we all share or we wouldn’t be in this business. It may seem as if our accomplishments go unacknowledged, and it sometimes feels like we’re crazy to keep on doing it. But remember the deep satisfaction of doing a role that many wouldn’t (or couldn’t) do! Week after week, year after year, redeploying, reselling, recycling and disposing of surplus assets and materials. It’s crazy, but I love it, and I know many of you feel the same way or you wouldn’t be reading this message right now. Realize that the sudden interest in sustainability is something we’ve been professionally managing for decades before it became the latest buzz.

Most of us in the Investment Recovery Association have similar drives and interests, and that is why the seminars and conferences are so enjoyable. From my own experience, I can recall many great conversations with (then) new and (now) old friends. When you attend one of our seminars and then look at photos of the conference in Asset 2.0, all you see are smiling faces and people talking. What a concept—networking with hundreds of your fellow IR professionals!

To further that education and enhance the networking to its fullest, the Conference Committee is immersed in the final touches of planning for the 2015 Investment Recovery Seminar & Trade Show schedule. We will have exciting, cutting-edge speakers and a new format for more networking opportunities. Please make the time to join in on the fun and learning. Our 81st IR conference will be held in Chicago from March 29-April 1, 2015.

By registering early you can get a great hotel rate (just $179 a night at Chicago’s world-class Palmer House Hilton, plus applicable taxes.), while also saving on the early bird registration! Go to

RegOnline.com/IRA-Chicago to learn more and register online.

As we head into a new year, I want to thank all of you for your contributions to our profession. In particular, we all owe thanks to members of the board of directors for the hard work and dedication they put forth in our scheduled calls, meetings and tasks behind the scenes all year. Additional thanks to the committee chairs and members for their diligent work in between the conferences that keep our association strong and moving forward. And last, but certainly not least, I want to say thank you to a personal friend and woman I admire dearly: Jane Male, for all the work and effort you put forth tirelessly for our board and the association and in preparing for our next conference. It does not go unappreciated.

To all of you in the IR family, have a great holiday season. Be safe and enjoy time with your own families and loved ones. I will see you in Chicago!

Todd Thompson, CMIR, Colorado Springs Utilities President, Investment Recovery Association tmthompson@csu.org