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The Procurement Lawyer Fall 2023

News from the Chair, Fall 2023

Eric Whytsell


  • Describing excitement and optimism about the future of the ABA Section of Public Contract Law.
  • Discussing Chair's three main goals for the coming year: (i) growing membership; (ii) improving engagement; and (iii) ensuring long-term sustainability.
  • Thanking Section leadership and inviting members to get involved.
News from the Chair, Fall 2023 University Images

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As we begin this new ABA bar year, I’m very excited about the future for the members of the Section of Public Contract Law. Reflecting on conversations I shared with attendees at our recent Annual Meeting, I believe there is a shared optimism for the coming year. I also think such positive vibes are well-founded. Section members are eager to attend in-person meetings and other opportunities to interact with one another. Everyone’s desire to reconnect—and their giddy appreciation for the opportunity to do so—seemed palpable to me at the Annual Meeting. What’s more, I felt it too.

In preparing for my role as Section Chair, I have been thinking quite a bit about what the Section means to me. No matter how I approached the question, the same answer always came to mind—the Section is a valuable and beloved community. I suspect that many of you feel the same way. This community underlies my love for the Section and it’s what keeps me participating in Section initiatives and meetings. I’d like all of us to work together to make sure all our members feel the same way.

Whether you are new to the Section or a longtime member, I invite you to join me in thinking of the Section as a community and participate in the benefits we provide. In a strong community, members teach and learn from one another; grow together, both individually and collectively; and support one another’s success. This is exactly what occurs on a regular basis in the Section of Public Contract Law.

My overarching goal this year is to work with our Section leaders and members to further strengthen the Section and provide greater value to each of you and the broader government contracting community.

Several factors will be key to our success.

  1. Membership—We will continue our outreach to the broader government contracting community to increase membership in the Section, both in terms of the number of new and returning members, and the diversity of experience and perspectives each of our members bring. The larger and more varied the membership of the Section is, the more we all benefit from teaching, working, and learning together—and the more the Section can support our successes.
  2. Engagement—Many people become and remain active Section members because membership provides so many opportunities to meaningfully participate in Section activities that benefit themselves, other members, and the broader government contracts community. Our members regularly author articles and contribute to Section publications, participate as speakers and discussion leaders at our numerous committee meetings and conferences, and draft Section comments on proposed rules. We will expand these opportunities for members to participate and collaborate with one another.
  3. Sustainability—To ensure that our community remains vibrant for many years to come, we will continue to adopt and refine stable and sustainable methods for delivering meaningful opportunities and activities to our members. This may require some hard choices to adjust to new economic realities, but it also means we have the chance to adopt new practices to keep the Section on the right course going forward.

I’m confident that, together, we can make the Section even stronger than it already is.

We have an excellent team of officers to lead the charge: Chair-Elect, Jason Workmaster; Vice-Chair, Dan Chudd; Secretary, Sheila Armstrong; Membership Officer, Brad Jorgensen; Budget & Finance Officer, Patricia Becker; Immediate Past Chair, Annejanette Pickens; and Previous Past Chair, Jennifer Dauer.

Together with the Section Council, we’re excited about the coming year and look forward to working with you to achieve these goals. If you’d like to become more involved in the Section, please email Section Director Patty Brennan. We welcome your participation.