ACC Focus on the Colorado Chapter - 12/28/2006 (Plain Text Version)
2006 ─ A Year of Extraordinary Achievement and Chapter Growth
As I look back on my year as President of your ACC Colorado Chapter, I see many outstanding achievements ─ the kinds of things I'd love to take credit for ─ but I must give credit to all members of an incredible team of volunteer leaders that joined me in taking the risks to bring us to a new, much higher level of membership and financial stability. We have also extended our involvement into rewarding new areas with very promising first year successes. Overall, I am proud to report that your Colorado ACC organization is now poised not only to provide you with much greater value in the Colorado arena for your dues dollars, but also to compete head-to-head with other ACC chapters for recognition on the national stage.
One of our most important accomplishments for the year was the creation of a comprehensive annual sponsorship program ─ a new solid foundation for financial stability and expansion of activities and CLE program offerings. Shepherded to success by the resolve and tireless efforts of Jean Robertson, this development immediately made possible a three-fold expansion of our CLE program offerings as well as excursions into new areas of involvement. The scheduling challenges and program topic sequencing are being ably handled by our Programs Committee under the leadership of its chair, Erin O'Brien, another dedicated member of the Board. Thanks to these efforts, you can now look forward to late-afternoon, half day and full day CLE programs designed specifically to meet the needs of in-house lawyers, in addition to the continuation of our highly successful monthly CLE luncheon program series. Given your strong interest in more networking opportunities, we are encouraging all of our program sponsors and presenters to include informal cocktail hours either before or after these new CLE programs.
These expanded educational offerings are set to cover a wide range of high priority topics that you selected and prioritized through your survey responses. To make more of our programs available to our outlying members and those unable to attend the live presentations, we have begun the recording and production of selected courses in both DVD and VHS formats. The first such recording was made of the ACC Website Update and Training Course presented by President-Elect Shawn Cheadle. This invaluable CLE program was presented at our first-ever Fall Social, a networking evening event that featured a wine tasting and culinary sampling held in the new school of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Denver.
Among other highlights of 2006, Len Segreti, chair of our Pro Bono Committee, positioned our chapter as one of Colorado's premier forces in support of pro bono involvement by in-house lawyers ─ thereby achieving our community service and citizenship goals. Len's team has worked extensively with various state and national organizations to provide you with numerous opportunities to become involved with pro bono efforts. Check out the accompanying articles to review this committee's efforts.
Trouble convincing your corporate client to give you the time off? Here's some information that may assist - many of our pro bono events include opportunities to earn valuable CLE credit at no additional cost. In addition, our ACC Colorado Chapter has a high profile recognition program for corporate client support of pro bono programs, so this might be a means for you to bring some good citizenship recognition to your employer. Please keep in mind that the Colorado Supreme Court guidelines include in-house lawyers in the admonition that every Colorado lawyer should donate a minimum number of pro bono service hours each year.
On the subject of promoting diversity in the in-house practice of law, your ACC Colorado Chapter joined this year as a sponsor of the Pledge for Diversity, which is dedicated to expanding legal opportunities for all minority members of the bar. Teresa Casillas and Rebecca Askew are both involved with the joint CBA/DBA Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee and are assisting in the innagural Diversity Conference to be held in Denver in September 2007. President-Elect Shawn Cheadle has been named to serve on the Deans' Diversity Council, a gathering of state and local legal leaders, including judges, leaders in the legal community, and the deans from both Colorado law schools. This Council has been tasked with focusing on diversity in the legal profession in our state and will be working on topics such as providing awareness in diverse populations of the legal profession, increasing applications of diverse students to law schools, retention during and after graduation, promotion and other key issues.
Last, but certainly not least, I am very pleased to advise that we have experienced a fantastic surge in membership growth. This is the result of our focus on membership growth and networking, a natural result of our new directions and higher profile, coupled with the ever-growing value of the ACC web site resources and the many other benefits of membership. Steve Smith, Membership Chair reports that as of October, we had experienced a jump in membership of nearly 25%. By the final 2006 membership count, we're shooting to make it a 30 to 35% increase; surely one of the healthiest membership jumps of any ACC chapter in
The best news of all, however, is that our expanding programs and ventures into new areas means more opportunities for new people to come forward and join in the fun and rewards of volunteer participation. We have openings for committee leaders ─ second and third chairs and at least one first chair opening. And we also have openings on the Board of Directors ─ a three year commitment ideal for those with pent up enthusiasm and a willingness to roll up their sleeves and dive into the important work of bringing our chapter to its maximum potential.
In closing, I want to express my appreciation to President-Elect Shawn Cheadle and to those Directors and committee leaders and task force participants who, through their loyalty and dedication, have helped make 2006 one of the most successful years in our ACC Chapter's history. I want to also express my sincere appreciation to our fine annual sponsors and special event sponsors for their support and help in making our chapter much stronger and more valuable to you, our constituents. Most importantly, I want to thank you, our members, for the opportunity to serve as your President for 2006. It has truly been a most rewarding and unforgettable experience ─ a year of memories I will always cherish.
Now, with highest personal regards, a true sense of optimism and absolute trust and confidence, I symbolically pass the baton of chapter leadership on to President-Elect, Shawn Cheadle, one of the most loyal, talented and dedicated chapter leaders you will ever come to know.
John R. Linton