Treasurer’s Message

Marcelo Blanco
PORAC Treasurer

Our Investments

Prior to completing this Conference financial report, I spoke with Mark Sikorski of UBS Financial Services, and he told me that our investments were down 0.24%, and that is with 25% of our monies in fixed income/bonds. The S&P for the same period is not doing much better, which is a difference from last year when our investments were up 19%. Obviously, we would be doing much better if all of our monies were in stocks; however, there needs to be some security built into our investments. Since Mark and I began managing these accounts, our reserves have increased from $2.05 million to just shy of $6 million.

The Audit

Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman was very busy this past year. We did very well at the closing of last year’s books by realizing a savings.

The auditing firm identified certain areas of our financial practices that may be of concern. Fortunately, this year they did not attack the issue of us having just one person predominantly dealing with all of the financial transactions. One of their major areas of concern pertains to an individual’s ability to defraud the organization, and they want to make sure that we are aware of the issue and that we establish mitigating or corrective measures. We always heed the auditors’ warnings and therefore have established numerous checks and balances to prevent such an occurrence. The president, vice president, Budget and Fiscal Management Committees and I are on hand to review Kim’s work and prevent opportunities for wrongdoing.

Consequently, this year the auditors were still concerned about the amount of money being held by PORAC chapters, with varied methods of oversight for disbursement.  However, they were a bit more at ease based on the new reporting format established to show how PORAC is managing the funds. The auditors suggested PORAC continue monitoring the use of chapter funds. Please keep in mind that the intent of the chapter reimbursements is to help chapters run their local business and benefit their members. Chapter funds should be spent in furthering the goals of PORAC and its members.

The Budget

PORAC’s Budget Committee, composed of Executive Committee Directors Barry Donelan, Randy Beintema, Anthony Sanders, Gary Moore and me, has been very busy through this budget cycle. The committee decided to take a look at portions of the budget where it felt the organization could be more efficient. The Budget Committee has taken its fiduciary responsibility very seriously and is not afraid to ask tough questions and make tough budgetary decisions. The committee’s budgetary decisions and directions are always based on doing what’s best with your money. As such, the committee targeted some areas for potential cuts based on PORAC utilizing its money wisely and efficiently. The committee delved into an area that is very hard to overcome, changing what is known as “business as usual.” The committee looked at areas of the budget that could be streamlined, in addition to areas where we could increase efficiency and reduce potential unnecessary expenditures.

That brings us to next year’s budget. Over the past few years, I have presented the members with an unbalanced budget. The reason for taking such an action is based on the practicality that, as a private business, we are under no legal requirement to have a balanced budget. In addition, our budget is a road map of where we plan to navigate throughout the year, with a calculated financial ending point. Sometimes things change throughout the year — some roads become longer than we thought, while on others we find shortcuts or realize we don’t have to travel in that direction. Obviously, the shortcuts and roads less traveled save us money. Last year, we found several opportunities to save money, but there were also a few longer treks than expected. Unfortunately, once we tallied the entire trip, we were a bit overextended on our projected income; however, we are going to stick with this roadmap, make the necessary adjustments along the way and curtail costs whenever possible.

Fiscal Management Committee

Your Fiscal Management Committee (FMC), composed of board members from each region, met in May to review PORAC’s vouchers from last year’s Conference through April 2018, and in August to discuss the results of the audit and how to address them. Upon review of the vouchers, the committee did not find any discrepancies as to how PORAC is reimbursing its directors. Besides reviewing the vouchers and contracts, the FMC is in place to deal with any other issues that may arise that affect how PORAC manages your monies. In addition, the committee reviewed the contracts and other information from the past Conference. Aside from realizing that the cost of a gallon of coffee at hotels is outrageous, all other matters were consistent with providing the best training venue for our members while keeping our finances in mind.

PORAC Assets

The PORAC building continues to show its age. As such, the business complex association decided to ensure everyone painted their respective buildings.

From Your Treasurer

This has been a busy year with the normal PORAC events, along with Conference planning for 2021. Kim and I have secured our Conferences for the next three years. Future Conferences will be held at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa for 2019; Disneyland for 2020; and the Hyatt in Monterey for 2021. I can speak with certainty that our members, guests and vendors will have a distinct and remarkable experience at each of the upcoming locations.

Finally, I want to thank everyone for the support I have received as your treasurer for the past nine years. I know Tim Davis will do a remarkable job as your next treasurer. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year.