Milestones are great times to celebrate and to reminisce. I can’t believe it was five years ago that I wrote

my first article for G&L Magazine. It was for the 10th anniversary issue, and I wrote a retrospective on the changes in accounting and auditing since G&L was formed in 2001.

Now it’s been 15 years for G&L. It got me thinking about how strong this community is, some of which resonates personally with me. Let’s look at a few factors that have contributed to this strength.

Sharing With The Neighbors

The best communities are made up of members who look out for each other’s success. I have been a member of several great communities in my past career stops. Finance and accounting professionals are usually a generous bunch who are not too worried about competitive issues and also understand where there is benefit to all members succeeding.

I have seen this with G&L – efforts around security strike me as an area where we all want each other to be protected, and in fact we may only be as strong as our weakest member. So it behooves us to work together. I saw that in shared services and in financial reporting over my 20 years in those fields. Having just recently moved to an entertainment leadership role, I see it in this industry also; though hyper-competitive, some of the rivals are each other’s friends and mentors.

New Kids On The Block

G&L is an IT-focused community. But we understand that life doesn’t end at the firewall. So we have included others from other disciplines, like me. We look for diversity in size of company represented, type of company (tribal versus commercial, etc.). We also use the community as a way to ensure the next generation takes the reins and allow previous generations to move on. A growing membership combined with traditional events that allow connections to be made allow the stories of the generations to pass down.

For me, this has allowed me to learn things I wouldn’t have otherwise learned, and make friends I wouldn’t have otherwise made. So I thank you all for that. Now we can put this one to the test to see if you let me stay and pontificate about entertainment topics.

Leadership At All Levels

Communities that work take even more leadership than normal organizations. Especially, again, if they are to be long-lasting where they have to outlive their founder. We all know a strong leader can push an organization to great success. But even the strongest leaders cannot convince entire communities to come together, to make themselves better, to refine their processes and continually adapt to new members and changing issues. Members of the community have to step up, make those calls to their peers, take leaps of faith and help out. We certainly have had that at G&L through the years, starting with a super strong leader in Jeannie, but supported by leadership throughout the community. At different times many have stepped up and ensured that G&L kept moving forward.

It feels to me like the community is stronger now than ever. I wish us all another 15 years as a tight-knit and successful community.

Rick Arpin is the Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller at MGM Resorts International. Mr. Arpin’s responsibilities include oversight of the company’s Finance Shared Services Center and all aspects of external reporting, along with assisting in corporate finance matters. He was recently named to Treasury and Risk Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list.


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