I attended my first Employee Benefits Committee (EBC) midwinter meeting in 2002, as I was on the cusp of graduating from UC Berkeley School of Law. Beth Lishner was my assigned mentor, and she remained in that role for many years after that first conference. I have developed deep and lasting friendships through this committee, and it is my honor to serve as the EBC’s 2019-2022 Plaintiff Co-Chair. One of the friendships I have made through the EBC is with Denise Clark, of Clark Law Group, who is the outgoing EBC Plaintiff Co-Chair. Denise is a powerhouse of ERISA knowledge and it’s a both challenge and a privilege to follow in her footsteps. I thank Denise for her leadership of our committee for these past three years and am thrilled that she will continue on as a co-chair of the midwinter’s Programming Committee, along with another esteemed former EBC co-chair, Russell Hirschorn.
Through my work with the Labor & Employment Law Section, I have come to appreciate what an extraordinary committee we have. We have the highest midwinter attendance of all of the LEL Committees, and I believe it is not only because of the quality of our programming, but the camaraderie of our members. In my role as Plaintiff’s co-chair, I will continue to work to increase and diversify our membership, ensuring that everyone who joins the committee feels a sense of belonging. I also will strive to ensure that everyone who desires a volunteer opportunity within the Committee, whether through editing, speaking, writing, pro bono work, diversity initiatives, or any other opportunity, has that opportunity.
I have already enjoyed working with my fellow Co-Chairs Joanne Roskey, Benjamin Eisner, and Aliya Wong, whose amiable natures and natural leadership make committee work harmonious. I am also grateful for the input of our LEL Council Liaisons, Ruben Chapa, Eunice Washington, and Joe Torres. And without the ABA guidance of Brad Hoffman and Christopher Meecham, as well as JCEB’s Mary Karounos and Karen Case, we could not pull off all that EBC aims to accomplish.
I look forward to working with all of our volunteers throughout the year and am available to talk to any ERISA-enthusiast in our ranks. I hope to see many of you February 5-8 at the midwinter meeting in lovely Rancho Mirage, California!