There is a whiteboard on my office wall that lists the areas I am focusing on as I begin serving as the executive director of your Bar Association.
First is fiscal responsibility and sustainability. Your Bar can’t do anything if it doesn’t have resources. Members should feel confident that the Bar is working as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Board of Governors and members are entitled clear information about revenue, expenses, reserves, and other needed information.
The whiteboard includes other items needing immediate attention: Court Assigned Counsel (“CAC”) policies and procedures, organizational structure and procedures, support for sections and committees, and others. And it includes larger goals, like improved communication, community outreach, branding, member surveys, and program enhancement. In the weeks and months to follow, your Bar will work to be more visible, promote the legal profession and its members, and become an integral part of the larger community.
Over the last year, the Board of Governors made difficult decisions to keep your Bar working for you. A new CAC contract took effect, new office space that saves money and is closer to the courthouse was leased, and new staff was hired. That foundational work positions your Bar to grow. There will be growing pains and as-ofnow unknown challenges. If we act in the best interests of your Bar, and honor our duty to its members and purpose, your Bar will thrive.
The members have a dedicated Bar staff, an engaged Board of Governors, and committees and sections that give meaning to a professional organization. My directive to Bar staff is clear. Everything the San Joaquin County Bar Association does or proposes to do must answer this threshold question: how does this add value for our members?Going forward, some of that value will be tangible, some intangible. All of it must be meaningful.
Never hesitate to reach out to me to discuss anything related to the Bar and how it can better serve its members, promote the legal profession, and be a valued community asset.