Transforming CFA Society Boston with Bostrom Consulting

Written by Anastacia Barbosa

Content Marketing Manager, Bostrom

In 2018, CFA Society Boston stood at a crossroads. Under the leadership of CEO Jeanne Wolf, CAE, this key society of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute was buzzing with activity, but behind the scenes, they faced the all-too-common challenge of balancing an expanding range of services to members with efficiency and technology. It was time for a fresh perspective, and that’s where Bostrom Consulting stepped in.

Jeanne Wolf, CEO of CFA Society Boston

Jeanne Wolf opens up about the exciting, sometimes challenging, but ultimately rewarding journey of reshaping CFA Society Boston with the help of Bostrom’s team, including insights from Bostrom’s Chief Consultant, Dede Gish-Panjada.

Starting the Transformation: Initial Engagement with Bostrom

Q: Can you describe your initial thoughts and expectations when CFA Institute in Charlottesville, VA, approached Bostrom’s consulting team in 2018?

Jeanne Wolf: Our mutual approach was driven by a need to evaluate our staff’s skills and our internal processes. While we felt confident in governance, we were open to outside perspectives. CFA Institute sought a more standardized society structure, and we were proud to be seen as a model for CFA Institute’s U.S.-based societies.

In-Depth Analysis: Assessing CFA Society Boston’s Operations

Q: What was your experience with the Bostrom team’s assessment of CFA Society Boston’s structure, governance, and leadership? 

Jeanne Wolf: The assessment had some initial hiccups, but soon everyone jelled. The process showcased our operational strengths and helped us redefine roles, a pivotal move that led to significant staff transitions.

Blueprint for Success: Bostrom’s Game-Changing Recommendations

Q: Could you share some key recommendations made by Bostrom for organizational changes?

Jeanne Wolf: We implemented many of Bostrom’s recommendations, including shifting roles to enhance senior leadership’s value and integrating new technology. These changes have been particularly impactful, like my position’s title change and promotion from Executive Director to CEO and the implementation of integrated, upgraded technology solutions.

Q: Did you encounter any significant challenges while implementing these changes?

Jeanne Wolf: Staffing changes were a major challenge. We focused on hiring self-directed individuals, a process that was both emotionally and physically draining but ultimately successful, thanks to our agility and commitment to training and technology.

Words of Wisdom: Jeanne’s Advice for Future Pathfinders

Q: Could you share some examples of changes that were particularly successful?

Jeanne Wolf: Our success stories are numerous thanks to a supportive, open Board of Directors and a well-compensated, intrinsically motivated staff. Increased member engagement and increased member renewal rates are tangible results of these successful changes.

Q: Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other associations considering a similar consulting process?

Jeanne Wolf: Be bold and don’t let a crisis go to waste. Embrace transparency and flexibility. Our experience shows that being ready for change can lead to significant organizational improvements.

Q: In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently during the consulting engagement?

Jeanne Wolf: Looking back, our decision to increase office space to create a welcoming environment for members stands out. This move, contrary to the current trend of reducing office space, has reinforced our successful position as a keystone local society.


Jeanne Wolf’s story with CFA Society Boston and Bostrom Consulting is more than just a success story; it’s a lesson in embracing change and harnessing the power of collaboration. CFA Society Boston’s experience shines a light on the path forward for organizations facing their own set of challenges. It’s about turning stumbling blocks into steppingstones and transforming an organization’s operations to benefit its current and future members. This journey, marked by strategic shifts and guided by expert insights, showcases how proactive leadership and a willingness to adapt can create a thriving, efficient environment, setting a benchmark for others in the world of association management.

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