Over forty years ago, two active members of the IMA Akron Chapter wanted to start something positive at Kent State University following the shooting of unarmed college students by the Ohio National Guard in 1970. Its two founding members, Glen "Woody" Woodson (who passed away in April 2006 at the age of 81) and Dr. Norman R. Meonske (professor emeritus at Kent State University) held the first conference in March of 1976. That initial conference focused on the topic of ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act of September 2, 1974), which was a very hot subject at the time.
Since then, the Conference organizers have tried to tackle subjects that were groundbreaking and offered broad appeal. Over the years the Conference has invited leading national authorities from the FASB, SEC, academia, public accounting, corporate America, government, college and professional sports, and other experts to discuss the latest external financial accounting, regulatory and corporate governance issues. Recently, the popular Financial Reporting Panel has provided the backbone of the Conference activities.
The Conference has always been held at Kent State University, except for a Replacement Cost Seminar in October 1976 (held at Tangier Restaurant in Akron, OH) and the 6th Annual Conference in 1980 (held at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH).
In January 2004, the IMA Ohio Regional Council named the Conference in honor of Dr. Norman Meonske, recognizing his "outstanding contributions to the field of management accounting education through his (then) 30 years of continuous meritorious service as the Program Chair."
Today, the Meonske Professional Development Conference is recognized as one of top five accounting conferences in the country.