There are three reasons I wanted to attend the 2019 Midwinter meeting this year: the networking, the programming, and getting out of the Midwest in the middle of the winter. This year, at the end of January, the middle of the country was dealing with its own sort of miserabilism (more on that later) in the form of the Polar Vortex. I explained to my wife and young daughter that, while I would miss them greatly, it was essential that I go to the meeting in Los Angeles. When I got in my Lyft to the Omaha airport, it was 13 below 0, and no, I was not waiting outside for it to arrive. When I arrived in sunny California a few hours later, I knew that I had made the right choice to attend this meeting.
As the only in-house attorney at Paxton & Vierling Steel Co., a steel fabricator in Omaha, Nebraska, I typically do not have a lot of contact with other attorneys unless an issue arises. Luckily, our outside counsel introduced me to the Forum and suggested I get involved as a way to connect with construction attorneys locally and across North America.
Over the past few years, the Forum has opened many opportunities for me to get involved and develop a network of construction attorneys. I began, as many in the Forum have, by participating in the YLD monthly calls and eventually becoming the YLD liaison with Division 11 (Corporate Counsel). Currently, I am serving on the Membership Committee as the Chair of the Law School Outreach Subcommittee. Participation in the monthly calls is a great way to get introduced to the Forum with a small commitment of time and cost, but the way to experience the best opportunities to learn and network is through the Forum meetings.