In my final President’s message to you, I want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your President this past year. It is said that true wealth is measured not in dollars, but in the people we meet, acquaintances we make, and friendships we form. I believe that is true and therefore, I believe that I received much more from the experience of being President than I put into it.
The Denver Bar Association is alive and well and quite vibrant, thanks to the efforts of so many members and bar staff. I want to use this last message to highlight and thank those who contribute. The core of any successful organization is its staff. The Denver Bar Association is blessed with an outstanding Executive Director, executive staff, and staff. I have worked with a lot of organizations over the years and I can say that the bar staff are some of the best I have ever seen. They keep everything on schedule, they are always on top of any issues that may arise, and are always willing to help out in any way they can (and with a smile). I was truly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with them.
There are so many who contribute their time and energy to the Bar Association and who are passionate about the work they do, including the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors representatives, committee chairs, section chairs, committee members and section members, young lawyers, and task force members just to name a few. I have been particularly impressed with the leadership coming up through the Young Lawyers Division. Their level of energy and enthusiasm is infectious. The bar association is in good hands for years to come if this group of young lawyers continues to carry on and assume leadership positions in the bar.
As President, I also had the opportunity to interact with many of the specialty bar associations, and I witnessed many of the great things they are doing. Seeing so many of our fellow bar members giving in countless ways simply underscores just what a special profession we have.
One of the things I strived to achieve through my Fireside Chats this year with prominent and successful members of the profession was to highlight issues of social and professional importance. If you are one of our members who has not yet become very involved to any great degree in bar activities and matters, it is never too late. I think you will find that the enrichments you experience in your life as a result will far exceed the amount of time and effort that you actually contribute.
Other issues I strived to highlight in the Fireside Chats included the importance of diversity. Discrimination, whether it be race, gender, or other, still exists in our legal community, and our vigilance is still required to guard against it.
I am particularly proud of the efforts and accomplishments of those involved with the Fit to Practice Task Force. You may recall that my goals this year included raising awareness of the importance of health, nutrition, and fitness, as well as finding ways to assist our members who are new to the practice and those who are under employed. The team of people who came together to implement those goals are nothing short of amazing. The Task Force was divided into two committees: the Career Enhancement Committee and the Health and Wellness Committee. Thanks to the efforts of the Health and Wellness Committee, we were able to provide nutrition classes, yoga classes, a wellness page in each Docket issue, spinning CLE classes, a health fair, bicycling socials and training runs, to name just some of the accomplishments. As a result of the efforts of the Career Enhancement Committee, we now have a renovated bar office that provides working space and support for members, whether they just need a plug-in to work for a few hours, space to meet with a client, or access to a courtroom in which to train or prepare for a trial. Thank you to all of you for your many fine efforts.
I now realize that the most difficult challenge in being President of the Denver Bar Association is leaving. Rest assured, however, that your organization will be in good hands in the coming year under John Vaught’s presidency. I have had the opportunity to work with John over the last year and have witnessed firsthand the strong leadership he will bring to the table.
Thank you again for letting me serve.