|A Note From Our CEO|
By: Joel Stern, NAMWOLF
It’s been another great year for NAMWOLF. At our Business Meeting in February, I will highlight our 2015 accomplishments as well as our goals for 2016. The key in 2016 is to keep the momentum going and that’s going to take a lot of effort and hard work from all of us.
In September, we held our Annual Meeting in Hollywood. Thanks to many including our great co-chairs Mark Tarrango and Will Delgado who not only played a large role in planning the event but also were the stars of the gala. It was our largest meeting attended and the post-meeting comments were overwhelmingly positive. We are working hard to make our 2016 Houston Annual Meeting even better and the bar has been set very high. Thank you to those of you who provided responses to our survey. We spend a lot of time reviewing the comments and focusing in on areas we want to improve and that process is underway.
Our Business Meeting planning is well underway with registration already open. The meeting will be in NOLA from February 21-23 and our two co-chairs, Valerie Matherne (Courington, Kiefer and Sommers) and Rachel Milano (BP) are working hard to create a very positive experience for everyone. We are again having a Practice Area focus but this time several of the sessions will be CLE accredited. We also have two great keynote speakers and several other meetings planned for in-house, our law firm members and combined sessions. The popular “dine around” is also back. The Business Meeting is a smaller, more intimate version of our Annual Meeting and many in-house and law firm members prefer it over the Annual Meeting for exactly that reason. Please plan on attending February 21-23 and see NAMWOLF, our firms and our in-house counsel in action.
In 2015, I made over 50 visits to in-house counsel to talk about NAMWOLF and our compelling value propositions. I also had the opportunity to speak at several events focused on diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. In 2016, I plan to make a similar number of in-person visits. Thanks to everyone who helped arrange meetings for me. If you know of companies and/or bar associations that would be open to meeting with me, please let me know.
Thanks again to those of you who actively and passionately support NAMWOLF. This includes our very hard working Board led by Robin Wofford, our in-house Advisory Council, all of the committee co-chairs and members of committees, our Member Firms, in-house counsel and my great team of Jane, Sherisse, Renecca and Yolanda. It is an honor and privilege to serve this organization and the amazing group who are part of NAMWOLF.
I also want to express my thanks and gratitude to Marci Rubin (CMCP Executive Director) and Joe West (MCCA CEO). Both have recently left their positions to take the next step in the business journey but only after making positive and demonstrable changes in diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. While they were always focused on their respective organization’s mission and vision, they understood the importance of working with other organizations (including NAMWOLF) to effectuate change and were always there for me. I hope they continue doing great things in this space. I also hope their replacements have a similar razor focus and teaming perspective.
In closing, I wish everyone a very happy holidays and a great New Year. I hope all of you get the opportunity to spend time with your loved ones and friends before we start another very busy business year. I also hope to see many of you over the course of 2016. If there is anything NAMWOLF can do for you, please let me or any of the NAMWOLF team members know.