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December 09, 2019 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Meet Tamara Harrington – Forum’s Associate Director!

Allison Reich

For years, the ABA Forum on Construction Law has run like a well-oiled machine, putting on national conferences in addition to regional conferences and programs; publishing written materials; and tackling diversity, inclusion, and other issues of importance to the construction industry and construction legal industry.  As Forum leadership and Section leadership change, the organization continues seamlessly through the efforts of our much-valued Associate Director of Programming, Tamara Harrington.  Tamara has been keeping the Forum moving forward for over five years, executing the programming and objectives; and she is the first Manager to remain longer than one year in ten years. Tamara is responsible for essentially every product coming out of the Forum, and is also the person behind the computer, responding to emails concerning membership questions, special rates, and discounts.  All of the various national and regional meetings keep Tamara traveling quite a bit, away from her children (her 19-year-old daughter is a sophomore at Howard University, and her 13-year-old son is in eighth grade) and her French and English bulldogs: Changa and Panda.  She travels between ten and twelves times per year for Forum-related events and travel—sometimes just for two days at a time, but others for a week. 

Tamara is the liaison between the American Bar Association and the Forum.  She attends programming calls for webinars, meetings, content, and others.  Tamara said that when she initially started, she tried to attend every single call and meeting and take notes, but it was not feasible.  She now reviews notes from the meetings and calls she cannot attend.  Tamara tries to be cognizant of what she can do herself and when she needs to ask for help.  Like most of us, Tamara is searching for the ever-elusive balance in her life, but, at the very least, she tries not to stay at the office past 8pm anymore.

Tamara recently said that lawyers’ careers move so fast that they need and want to get things done quickly, so Tamara and her staff make every effort to try to get things done quickly for them.  

Prior to starting at the ABA, Tamara enjoyed a career in nonprofit education, working with disenfranchised youth and mentally challenged individuals.  Allowing her faith to guide her, she mentored and planned full time after school programming for at-risk youth and wards of the state.  She developed and managed programs from life skills, employment readiness, to college/vocational preparedness for child and family services, writing grants to pay for her programs.  She transitioned from this work to the ABA when grants and funding ran dry.

If Tamara were not the Associate Director of Programming for the Forum, she would be consulting full time, which Tamara has done in the past.  Tamara enjoys strategic development and helping organizations manage what they have and where they want to go.  

Tamara would also like to travel.  She has her sights set on Tobago and Australia.  Tamara loves Hawaii, the energy, the people, and the water.  She has been to Oahu, the Big Island, and Waikiki.

Tamara is excited about the Forum and looking forward to seeing Forum membership hit 7,000.  Over the last 20 years, the Forum has grown to 6,000.  The Forum’s trajectory looks good, and Tamara has her sights set on 7,000 members.  One of Tamara’s favorite things about her job is getting emails and calls from new and/or unfamiliar members who have questions.  Tamara can make connections for them, give them information, and really promote the Forum.  She also loves to know that members are enjoying their memberships.  

So, drop Tamara an email or phone call, send her a “thank you,” or make a point to chat with her at your next meeting or event.  Tamara loves bowling and used to play in a league.  Whenever Forum events incorporate bowling—like a recent bowling event at the Philadelphia Fall Meeting—Tamara will be there.

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Allison Taller Reich

Frantz Ward, LLP, Cleveland, OH, Division 2 (Contract Documents), Division 3 (Design), Division 13 (Government Contracting)