Thank You for the Honor
Karen A. Mignone, chair, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER)
Well, the end is in sight for my year as Section chair, and although I wasn’t able to accomplish everything I had planned early on, we did get a great deal done. Happily, there is enough left to keep my successor, Howard Kenison, and his successor Michelle Diffenderfer, and Jonathan Kahn after her, and the rest of the future officers, busy for years to come.
Much as I started the year, I think I should also end it with expressions of gratitude to those who helped in various ways since last August. First, my husband Jeff Miller. He has been unwavering in his support, subjected to numerous conference calls while we are in the car, and Zoom calls at home, without complaint. I am truly grateful for all he did to make the year a success, and for the maintenance of my sanity.
To the Council members, you have all done a great job and have lowered my stress level because I knew I could count on each of you to carry out your responsibilities. I also thank you for your ideas, your feedback, and your willingness to travel to Mexico City for the Winter Council Meeting. Who knew it would be our last in-person meeting for a long time?
There are lots of other Section leaders to thank, including the chairs and vice chairs of the Section’s administrative and substantive committees and the chairs, editors, and members of the publication boards. There simply isn’t room to list you all, but you know who you are.
I am grateful to those of you who contributed to our programs as moderators and speakers and to our publications as authors and editors. We couldn’t have done it without you.
And most important of all, thank you to our Section’s membership. You are the reason the Section exists, and your support and interest are what keep us going.
We had a great year of programming starting with the Fall Conference in Boston. It was a success in large part because the planning chair, Shelly Geppert, poured her soul into leading that conference. I know Shelly got a lot of support from her committee and from staff—so thanks to you all.
There is someone I have to recognize for his extraordinary efforts on behalf of the Section—Norm Dupont, planning chair of the 49th Spring Conference. Norm got the unenviable job of taking my inchoate idea for a new format for the Spring Conference, and turning into exactly what I had hoped, only to have the conference cancelled on short notice. That didn’t slow him down, as he led his planning committee to transform a multi-day, in-person event into a successful webinar series of extremely high quality. Norm and his committee didn’t hesitate to transition the program, nurture speakers, and then pull the whole thing off, with excellent feedback from participants. Thank you for navigating into the unknown for us.
To all who helped plan and execute our two one-day conferences and the Second Annual Environmental Summit of the Americas, thank you. Those programs were well attended and well received.
And of course, staff. Dana, you have collected a group of people that are smart, dedicated, and committed to their jobs of making our lives easier. Thanks to all of you, for your positivity, your ideas, and your execution. You keep us running on time and on message, so thank you.
I have no doubt Howard will far surpass me as our incoming Section chair. He is well prepared and anxious to take over the reins, and I am confident that everyone will step up to provide Howard with the same level of support as I received.
Thank you for the honor of being your chair. I hope to see all of you in person at our 50th Spring Conference in 2021 in Denver. Let’s all work toward successfully managing the pandemic so we are able to gather together once again. In the meantime, please take care of yourselves, stay safe, and be well.