I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and your 2012 is off to a great start. During the holidays, many of us take time to reflect upon those things in our lives for which we are thankful. Maybe this is because we are likely surrounded by friends and family, or because we are turning the page on the past year and moving into the new year, where hope springs eternal.
In any event, as I watched my daughters open their gifts from Santa this year, I could not help but think about all of the things in my life for which I am thankful. As I reflected on those things, I realized that many of them outside of my family are linked to the Forum on Franchising in one way or another. Whether it is the education I have received, the friends I have made, or the mentoring that has been provided to me on how to be a lawyer, I realized that this organization and its members have had and continue to have a profound impact on my personal and professional development. This got me thinking about all of the things related to this organization for which I am thankful. In no particular order, I have listed some of them below. Although this is my list, I am sure that many of you would have a number of these same items on your lists. So without further ado, I am thankful for:
- The Forum’s approximately 2,000 members, whose passion for what they do is evidenced by their attendance at the Annual Meeting in near record levels, even in a tough economy;
- An organization where competitors knowingly spend time educating each other on the finer points of franchise law;
- An organization where adversaries check their differences at the door of the Annual Meeting and respectfully exchange views on various topics on which they may vehemently disagree;
- Those Forum members who speak their minds about ways to improve the Forum and its programming, even though sometimes it may be hard for leadership to hear;
- Those Forum members who generously give of their time and knowledge to answer questions on the Forum’s ListServ or write scholarly articles for publication in The Franchise Lawyer and the Franchise Law Journal;
- Those Forum members who may never have been involved in formal Forum leadership, but who have nonetheless contributed to the success of the Forum in various ways, including mentorship of its new members;
- The Forum’s past leaders, who have for the last thirty plus years guided the organization on a steady course of growth;
- The Forum’s current Governing Committee members and Senior Leadership who give selflessly of their time and talent, many times without public acknowledgment;
- The Forum’s youngest members who are truly the future of the organization; and
- Last but never least – Kelly Rodenberg and Kim Nelson, our “ABA Angels.” Without their help, we would all be in deep, deep trouble.
Here is to another successful year for the Forum and to all of its members in their practices.