Bar associations are built upon professional relationships. And among the most important are the interactions between volunteer leaders—often the bar president—and the staff chief executive. At the 2018 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Bar Executives, a panel composed of both described how the relationship between presidents and executive directors can make difficult association moments easier. Of course, missteps may lead to the opposite result, too.
Attendance for “Presidential Perspective: What Bar Staff Can Learn from Volunteer Leaders” was over capacity, with more than 70 people packing the space. Clearly, professionals on both sides of the relationship equation yearn to understand the special combination that may assist in communications, operations and long-term vision. After all, organizations’ success and sustainability may depend on it.
Moderated by Jill Snitcher McQuain, Executive Director of the Columbus Bar Association, the dialogue shared the insights of Dana Tippen Cutler, past president of The Missouri Bar; Carl D. Smallwood, past president of the Columbus Bar Association and of the National Conference of Bar Presidents; Crista Hogan, executive director of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar; and Dave Blaner, executive director of the Allegheny County (Pa.) Bar Association and past president of NABE.