President's Message

Posted by: Heather Culp on May 31, 2018

This is the question most frequently asked of me over the past year. The quick answer is: the MCB President (1) chairs the MCB’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee; (2) discharges the duties set out in the MCB bylaws; and (3) serves as an ambassador and cheerleader for the Mecklenburg County Bar. It has been a privilege to work with this year’s engaged and thoughtful board. Sincere thanks to the board members completing three-year terms this month:  Andrew Lopez, Reggie McKnight, Shalanna Pirtle, Judge Lou Trosch, Jr. and Jameson Wells. Tony Taylor has been a great Young Lawyers Division chair. Additionally, Timika Shafeek-Horton, Chris Lam, Fred DeVore, Heath Gilbert, Lane Williamson and Russ Ferguson complete one-year terms on the MCB Executive Committee this month, and have gone above and beyond in supporting the Bar. The MCB and the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation (MBF) have enjoyed a strong collaborative relationship thanks to the good leadership of MBF President (and fellow Kentucky Wildcat) Jon Adams.

I will skip the bylaws lesson and go straight to the fun part: being an ambassador and cheerleader for the MCB. Our Bar is nationally recognized because the staff and volunteers do so much for our members, the public and the profession. They live by the words I have framed in my office: “Work hard and be nice to people.” It is a joy to be closely associated with this first-class professional organization. MCB’s committees, sections and Young Lawyers Division have planned and executed dozens of events, socials, CLEs and service projects over the past year. They do the real work of the Bar, hand-in-hand with Bar staff.

For every opinion you have about the MCB, there is a member with an opposing opinion. Together, we make good decisions when we factor in divergent viewpoints, so please continue to be vocal and visible. 

There are a few things to highlight for you during this last month of the fiscal year:

  • Sign up for free member headshots in June and July. The MCB will be offering free headshots to MCB members on four different days in June. Headshots will be taken at the Bar & Foundation Center. Members are invited to sign up for a 15-minute slot on one of the following dates:  Thursday 6/7, Wed. 6/13, Thur. 6/21, Wed. 6/27 and Thur., 7/26. Digital copies of all headshots taken will be provided free of charge. Sign up at
  •  Mecklenburg County judges and court staff want you to upload your headshot to your electronic profile in the online MCB member directory. Log in here, click on “MyMCB” in the upper right corner and then click on “Update My Photo”.
  • Want to save on MCB CLE? Purchase an MCB CLE Annual Pass. At $365 for 365 days, you can earn up to 12 credit hours with few restrictions. Find details here
  • June 16, 2018, is Nancy Roberson’s 15th anniversary as MCB and MBF Executive Director. We are fortunate to have her expertise. Read more here.

Bar associations succeed because of relationships. This month I wrap up my year as MCB President and a three-year term on the North Carolina Bar Association Board of Governors and the North Carolina Bar Foundation Board of Directors. For me, the NCBA fills a different niche than the MCB. As the only bankruptcy lawyer at my law firm, I rely on fellow NCBA Bankruptcy Section members to brainstorm, get second opinions and share practice-related news. I’ve made friends statewide through my volunteer work over the past 16 years. If you’re not an NCBA member, I encourage you to consider joining. You will get a lot of bang for your buck.

It is our good fortune that Timika Shafeek-Horton will serve as MCB President in the coming year. Please support her. Being MCB President is a demanding volunteer role, one that we squeeze in while making our livings and juggling our friends and family. Your encouragement and enthusiasm make the job easier. Finally, thank you to my husband and favorite MCB member Chris. I look forward to spending more time with you and with my colleagues at Essex Richards. Enjoy your summer!