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Ray Killam, CFSP
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Profile: Ray H. Killam, CFSP, CFC
Job Title: President
Company: Essociates Group, Inc.
Stats: Married; 3 (adult) kids, 4 grandchildren,
Education: BBA-Washburn Universiy; MBA-George Mason University; Certificate, eCommerce-Creighton University 

How I Got Started: After college, I was assigned to the process study team at a large mid-western insurance company, managed by McKinsey and Company. We eventually studied the forms department and it happened to be my turn to present the results to senior management. The next day, I was assigned to manage the forms department and implement our recommendations. We established a computer-based forms management system called FORMS (Forms Ordering, Reporting and Maintenance System) and restructured the department, assuming control of purchasing of forms, among other duties. I eventually left to sell forms with a small company that specialized in carbonless forms (way before carbonless forms were popular). I went through the ranks, eventually becoming Eastern Region Sales Manager. After a few years, I joined Data Documents as Region Sales Manager, then Vice President - Marketing. I retired in 2001 (it was then Corporate Express) and formed Essociates Group as a professional forms consultancy.

Current Professional Duties: I work closely with Carl Brannon, CFC, CFSP and Margaret Tassin, CDC, CFSP. The three of us have been involved in a number of interesting projects, all forms related. We help customers develop forms strategies, implement forms management programs, design forms, and more. We developed an automated solution for traffic accident reporting called STARS (working with Amgraf, Inc.). Today, we are working on Version 2.0, a major upgrade.

How Being a CFSP Has Helped My Career: Professional certification means a lot to people interested in hiring a forms person or hiring us as a consultant. It shows that we care about our profession and have the expertise and experience required. To prospective clients, it is frequently the difference between winning and losing a project. They tell me they respect the effort we have put into the certification process and are comfortable that effort will carry over into the projects we do.

Recommendations to Future CFSPs: If Forms is your profession, become one of the best at what you do. Certification is a great way to continue your education and education is the key to success. Things continue to change rapidly, which is a good thing. Get involved with other forms professionals at every opportunity. Keep up with technology. Become the "go to" person in your organization for all things "forms".

Favorite Movie(s): I like a wide variety of movies as long as there is no senseless violence. I like romantic comedies, films based on history (Dances with Wolves and Cold Mountain come to mind) and films based on old comic book characters.

Passionate About: Grandchildren and family, geographic trivia, friends, and BFMA. I like to exercise regularly and compete in 10K races.

Personal Statement [Personal and/or Professional]: I believe that forms as a profession holds great opportunity for those serious about learning the entire spectrum of products and processes involved. It is a great time to be a Forms professional. Every company, large and small, uses forms. Many do it badly. We can help. We need to sell our value throughout the company and the entire business and government community.

Continuing education is extremely important. Invest in yourself. Learn the technologies involved. Keep up by reading and through involvement in the industry with BFMA. Understand related services such as document and records management.

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