ACC Focus on the Colorado Chapter - December 5, 2005 (Print All Articles)
With less than a month left in my year as your Chapter’s President, one might expect this Newsletter would be devoted to a reflection on all we have achieved this year. To the credit of your Board of Directors and Committee Chairs, however, there is no pause in the work underway and our progress toward goals. In fact, your will note a bright thrust in our outreach for new members and pursuit of the renewal of all existing members. Membership, of course, is the life blood of any organization and it is certainly true of ACC Colorado. Happily, there is very good news for renewing as well as new members. First, local chapter membership will continue to be included at no additional cost with the dues paid to ACC of America. Second, the 2006 annual dues amount is $225.00; only modestly above the annual dues rate for 2005. Third, ACC continues to offer substantial dues discounts for larger legal departments that renew together on one group renewal form. You are all encouraged to renew your membership in ACC for 2006 and to join us in our quest to substantially expand our membership base in
On another important front, we are progressing with the development of s special organization for
Of special note is our monthly program schedule, including a double track CLE program in November featuring separate breakfast and luncheon meetings to accomodate members across the Front Range. On December 14, please plan to join us for our Annual Meeting and CLE luncheon, scheduled to be at a downtown location. And, on January 7th, 2006 don't miss our 2nd annual ski train to Winter Park, Colorado featuring a CLE program on ethics. Visit the chapter website for updates and registration details.
The first ever Gala hosted by your Chapter took place on October 8th and was a tremendous success. More than $12,000.00 was raised for the Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (“DDVCC”) and we can be sure the public image of our Chapter as community service minded organization was significantly elevated. Plans are already in the works for a repeat event in 2006 with great enthusiasm already evident among those who want to continue in 2006 to serve on the ad hoc Gala Committee. For access to photos of this event and a report on the highlights, see the article in this issue entitled Gala Success Story.
And with another forward looking vision, those heading up our pro bono and community service have developed and are announcing a new award that will be conferred in the future upon members who make a significant difference by giving unselfishly of their time, talents and skills to the benefit of others. This developing area is discussed in the article entitled “Pro Bono Achievement Award.”
Many of you have not yet taken advantage of the ACC Chapter opportunities for involvement in the organization-building efforts that will be continuing for at least the next three years and the many related opportunities for networking, enjoyable gatherings and professional achievements with new friends and peers in the practice. I would again like to encourage you to come forward and experience what you have been missing. We have a number of openings on our standing committees, including Public Relations, Membership, Operations, Career Development, Programs, Diversity in the Practice and Pro Bono Practice. We also expect to have one or two openings on the Board of Directors. Please call me or our Chapter Administrator, Maita Lester at 303-831-4133 to express your interest in being a part of unified commitment to evolve of our
Membership, Our Life Blood
Emerging Forum for Colorado GCs
The organizational meeting of the steering committee for this new group met over dinner at the Wellshire Inn on September 27th. Various goals and purposes to be served by this new organization were discussed. The first order of business will be the selection of an original or unique name for this group and the promotion of ACC membership for all lawyers within
“It was gratifying to find others sharing the same level of enthusiasm I have for an organization through which I can reach other General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers here in Colorado,” said Stephen E. Smith, General Counsel at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. and member of the steering committee. Mr. Smith added, “The prospect of being able to informally share information and discuss legal developments and issues directly with others with similar responsibilities is exciting. But I also want to see this group acting in unison to see what kinds of discounts and ancillary benefits we might secure in the name of our ACC Chapter for all of our
Also noted at the meeting was the pivotal roll played by General Counsel in the decisions of Corporations to approve or disapprove of the costs of ACC annual membership for attorneys within their legal departments. Testimonials offered suggest there is a strong argument that, for in-house lawyers, the value of membership in ACC and the access such membership provides to the full spectrum of ACC’s services and practice support may be far greater than the value of the membership benefits provided to in-house lawyers by the American Bar Association. Members of the steering committee were invited to make cost comparisons between turning to ACC’s web site as a starting point for a given project, such as developing a SOX compliant ethics program, versus turning to outside counsel for an initial draft.
“The composition of the steering committee in terms of the size of the legal departments and business entities members represent appears to be reflective of the Chapter’s membership as a whole,” said Chapter President Sam Cheris. “I think it’s particularly encouraging to see this come together and get off to such a positive, promising start.”
Because of scheduling problems and travel conflicts, a number of those interested in serving on the steering committee could not attend the initial organizations meeting, but the content and tone of their regrets reveal strong support for the effort and a firm commitment to the steering committee work ahead.
Those in attendance at the initial steering committee meeting include: Susan Keesen (CIBER, Inc.),
“Because it’s going to be very difficult to select meeting times convenient for all steering committee members,” said
The next meeting of the steering committee is expected to be in early December or the first half of January.
Gala Success Story
Hosting a first class, formal event to raise funds for the benefit of a worthwhile charitable organization is a bold endeavor for any organization. And if it’s done successfully, it’s sure to give the host organization a new level of community recognition and respect. Thanks to the generous sponsorships of a veritable “Who’s Who” cast of
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the charity benefited was the Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (“DDVCC”), a 501(c)(3) organization committed to the prevention of domestic violence and assistance to victims of domestic violence.
This Black Tie Gala took place at the beautiful
The keynote speaker for the event was Colorado State Gubernatorial candidate and former Denver District Attorney, Bill Ritter, a long-time advocate of the rights of victims of domestic violence. Representing DDVCC was Dora-Lee Larson, Executive Director, DDVCC. Serving as master of ceremonies for the evening was Susan Hammerman, chair of the chapter’s ad hoc Gala Committee. Susan is also a Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of the
There are many clear indicators of the success of this first-of-its-kind Gala event for your chapter, including the amount of money that was raised for the charity—well over $10,000.00; the accolades expressed by representatives of the sponsoring entities on hand and the full capacity attendance of some 240 members and friends of ACC. But perhaps the best measure was the infectious laughter and smiles that so continuously revealed through the evening the fun being had by all. For additional photos of this event go to: http://www.acca.com/chapters/colo/photos/gala05/gala05.php.
We want to again express our sincere appreciation to our Gold and Silver level sponsors:
Members of the ad hoc Gala Committee were L. Shawn Cheadle, Samuel Cheris, Karen Shoresman Frame,
Pro Bono Achievement Award
BY KAREN SHORESHMAN FRAME
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT AND PRO BONO CHAIR
As in-house lawyers, we have a professional responsibility to volunteer our services free of charge for the betterment of the community. The Colorado Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel wants to learn more about our members' pro bono activities and to encourage and support our members to give their time and talentsto the community. We also want to recognize those members and teams who have shown special dedication to providing pro bono services, whether by providing legal services on a pro bono basis or through other volunteer work. Towards that end, the Pro Bono Committee is pleased to announce our Chapter's first annual Pro Bono Achievement Award.
Please consider candidates for this Award and watch for an e-mail in the near future asking for submittal of your nominations. In selecting the Award, ACC Colorado's Pro Bono Committee will be asking for and evaluating statements on how the pro bono work has made a difference.