GPSolo Magazine - January/February 2004

Moving Forward Through the Fog

It is early morning on a cold January day. I am sitting in my office looking out over Boston Harbor and I can see large patches of fog rising from the water. The water temperature is between 38 and 40 degrees and the outside temperature is minus 5 degrees—the effect on the harbor is amazing. I am watching a commuter ferry make its way down the harbor, and it appears to be gliding on a sea of clouds.

This setting gives me the opportunity to reflect on my year as Chair of the Section. The bar year is approaching its midpoint, and the Section is in great shape. The Section’s membership is at an all-time high—with more than 30,000 members—and we continue to grow. An initiative that I am very proud of is our sponsorship of 100 JAGs deployed overseas. The Section continues its commitment to our military lawyers. We have attracted many new members, we are producing written materials and CLEs, and many new members are becoming actively involved in the Section.

As I think about where the Section is today and, more importantly, where it is headed, I am reminded of the contributions of our Section’s staff. Our staff is led by our Section Director, Alexa Giacomini. Alexa joined our Section in February 2003, and in less than a year she has transformed our staff to the point that many members have gone out of their way to comment to me about her successes. We are indeed fortunate to have Alexa’s leadership and talent. Lara Trujillo, our Assistant Director, is responsible for directing the activities of committees and coordinating the meetings for the Section. Lara did a great job assisting us during the transition period between Section Directors. Dee Lee, our Section Administrator, is the veteran staff member. In addition to her support of the overall administration of Section activities, Dee develops and monitors the Section’s budget. Laura Ramirez, our Committees and Meetings Services Assistant, is primarily responsible for coordinating meeting and program logistics. Doug Knapp, the Section’s Technology Coordinator, is responsible for development and implementation of the Section’s technology plans, including work on the Section’s website and e-newsletters. Marianne Kaplan, the Section’s Membership Coordinator, is responsible for recruitment and retention efforts for Section membership. The Section staff are also aided by a well-versed publications and periodicals staff. Tom Campbell is the editor of the GPSolo NewLawyer and Technology eReport. MaryAnn Dadisman is the editor of Solo. Rob Salkin is the editor of GPSolo. Jean Iversen is the executive editor of book development, and Jill Nuppenau is the director of book advertising. Beth Akins handles media relations.

I am pleased to have this opportunity to introduce our staff to you. They are a wonderful group of professionals, and their commitment to the Section and, most importantly, its members is the best within the ABA. It is important for us to understand that these people work with us. They provide tremendous resources and support for our membership. The fog is still rising on Boston Harbor, and commuter boats are coming and going freely. With the help of our staff, the work of our Section is moving forward. Please feel free to communicate directly with the members of our staff, and in the course of your communication please do not forget to thank them for their efforts.


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