ATLANTA (3/12/21)–The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) has named ProNovos founder and Chief Data Scientist Bruce Orr the incoming Chair of its new Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Princeton, N.J.-based CFMA is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the educational needs of today’s construction financial professionals. This past December, the national organization’s Executive Committee unanimously voted to develop its D&I Task Force into a Committee, effective April 1, 2021. Orr has been part of the Task Force since its inception last year.
“Since joining CFMA’s Georgia chapter five years ago, I have developed strong personal and professional relationships with many CFMA members, so I know well the positive values and intentions of this organization,” Orr said. “It’s why I was so glad to give my time and focused energy to CFMA’s D&I Task Force. As we take those efforts to the next level, I’m excited and honored to be of further service, along with my fellow members of the Committee.”
This past January, Jason Myers, CPA, and a Partner of BKD, LLP, cited Orr’s work with the Task Force in announcing Orr’s selection to receive a 2020-21 Chairman’s Challenge Coin. “[Bruce] is always thoughtful and intentional with his perspective and has been very engaged,” Myers said during a “Chat with the Chairman” podcast in which CFMA member Kevin Booth, CCIFP and CFO of WestCor Cos., interviewed Orr.
Both Orr and CFMA have committed to the CEO Action Pledge, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advancing D&I in the workplace. At last count, the pledge had garnered 1,600 signatories in 85 industries, representing a total of about 13 million employees.
In his role on the Task Force, Orr’s contributions have included writing articles and blog posts on the topic of D&I, such as his just-published article about Andrea Williams, Controller of Brookstone Construction, as part of National Women in Construction Week (March 7-13).
Another example is “DIVERSITY DIALOGUE: Shining Light on Necessary Conversations,” published in the January/February 2021 issue of CFMA Building Profits magazine. In the column, Orr recounts some of his own difficult experiences as a person of color in construction, including being exposed to extremely offensive jokes and language at a roofing job as a young man.
His co-author was J. Wickham (Wick) Zimmerman, CEO and Co-Founder of national design-build contracting firm Outside the Lines, Inc. (OTL). The longtime CFMA member, who has worked closely with Orr on analytics projects, shared the outrage and sadness he felt upon reading Orr’s account; he also provided some reflections of his own.
“We, as an industry, must continue to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to the realities of racism that still exist after so many years,” Zimmerman wrote. “In the months and years ahead, may each of us ask more questions, listen more intently, and above all else, continue this tremendously important conversation with people from all walks of life.”