I can’t tell you how much I have
enjoyed writing this column. Frankly,
it was like therapy for me. To have also
gotten positive feedback from you, the
readers, over the years—well that has
been the icing on the cake (and I really
like icing). Of course there are some
wonderful people to thank. First, my
deep gratitude to Meg Sczyrba who back
in 2009 (on behalf of the magazine’s
Editorial Advisory Board), thought of
me when a humor column was being
considered. I was so excited that I wrote
three sample columns in as many days
for the board to review, and happily
these became my first three columns
published. I can hardly believe I’m now
writing my 48th and final one.
I also have to thank Mike Maher,
who along with Meg, has been my unofficial “test audience” for each of my
columns. Not only did they often offer
some great suggestions, they always gave
me their support and encouragement.
It is no wonder that long ago these
two amazing people went from being
professional colleagues to my “dear and
forever friends.” They truly are the wind
beneath my wings (although with Mike
you can never be sure just what kind of
“wind” it might be…)
Many thanks to Larry Price, this
magazine’s publisher. I know he laughed
at my columns, but I’m also quite cer-
tain he shook his head sometimes. He’s
been a good sport about it and only one
time did he tell me a column couldn’t be
published. Larry explained that while
he thought it was funny, he didn’t want
to risk offending anyone (even uninten-
tionally) and he feared that this particu-
lar column came too close to the line.
While I did understand (and had a substitute column ready) I was still disappointed. It was titled, “COMPLIAGRA™”
(email me and I’ll send you a copy—if
you dare to read it).
Enough cannot be said about a good
editor. I’ve had the great fortune to have
had three of them. First Joe Kelly, then
Les Shaver. But a special hats-off to Laine
Crosby, who for these past few years has
not only been a great editor but also a valued mentor (even a cheerleader at times).
Graphics too have been a key part of each
column, and I have to thank Ken Cec-cucci for the creative and funny visuals.
Of course I also have to thank my
husband, Jim Elliott. Not only for his
encouragement of my writing (he loved
to read my columns despite not getting
all of the “compliance lingo”) but also for
over 30 years of love and support. More
times than I care to admit, he sacrificed
his career so we could relocate for me to
pursue advancement in mine.
That brings me back to you. For
those who have emailed me, or come
up to me at a conference or a school
to tell me that I gave you a laugh or
two…I’ll miss you. In fact, I’ll miss all
of you reading these words right now.
Sure…I may not know you personally,
but I know the kind of person you are
because you are in this profession. As
I stated in a 2009 memorial I tearfully
co-wrote with Mike honoring the legendary Margaret Causby, “…compliance
people are good people.” She absolutely
I still miss her, and I’ll miss you too. ■
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
STU LEHR, CRCM, is an
industry principal for Finacle,
at Infosys Technologies Ltd.
For 20-plus years prior to this,
he developed and led
compliance programs for a number
of banks and an online payments provider.
In addition, he has served on the ABA
Compliance Executive Committee, the
ABA Regulatory Compliance Conference
Planning Committee, and still serves
on the faculty for the ABA Compliance
Schools. He earned the 2002 ABA
Distinguished Service Award and is a
Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager
(CRCM) through the ABA Institute of
Certified Bankers. Reach him at
I’ll Miss You Too
IN MY VERY FIRST COLUMN I posed the question, “is compliance-humor an oxymoron?” That was in the January/February 2010 issue, an unbelievable ight years and 47 columns ago. My hope is that during this time I’ve succeeded in showing that compliance and humor is not a contradictory pair.
If I didn’t? Well, my time is up and I’ll just have to leave it to someone else. After
30 years of this crazy compliance career, it’s time for me to pack it in and head
for the Regulatory Retirement Home.