Thank you for the privilege of serving as this year’s MCB president. As last year’s president told me, it’s a big job. It’s big because we’re 5,000+ members strong, there are many moving parts and it’s a volunteer gig and you need to continue to do your day job as well. That said, I’ve had a great time meeting and getting to know many more of you and working to advance the ideas and issues you said are important.
Although it may not be readily apparent to you as Bar members yet, I believe you will see evidence of the work we’ve done this year unfold over the next year as Bradley’s Charlotte Office Managing Partner Chris Lam serves his term as president of our great Bar.
As this article goes to print, it’s too early to name specific changes to CLE, but I think you will see changes that go to our value proposition. There will also be greater focus on meeting our members where they are – like Ballantyne and Davidson; and, we will evaluate how we communicate with our members. We can thank the Membership Value Task Force and the CLE Audit Task Force for recommending these, and many more, improvements. Each task force has written a report that you will be able to review in its entirety on the MCB website. You also will find on the website the action the Board has taken on all of the recommendations the task forces made. Look for our meeting minutes.
Our Board will continue to focus on being good stewards of your dues. We do that by having good controls and processes over how your money is spent and spending your money wisely. At the beginning of the year, I asked our treasurer to review our spending and recommend areas in which costs could be cut without impacting member service. We all work in businesses that challenge our budgets each year; should our Bar be any different? I don’t think so. Baucom Claytor’s Heath Gilbert, our treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee, asked each MCB committee and section for their suggestions. Ideas included restricting or limiting the printing of certain documents, such as bulk CLE materials, newsletters and directories and maximizing our use of sponsorships. Those ideas, and others, have been implemented and are saving us money. And as I write this, my last newsletter article, the Finance Committee is working on next year’s budget. I expect the proposed budget will reflect their additional thoughts and ideas on fiscal responsibility.
And we’ll be sure to recognize the good work of our leaders and volunteers. There are too many people to thank and recognize for their service this year, but I will single out the YLD’s leadership and their volunteers for a stellar year. Led by Chair Barrett Morris from Bank of America, they had a year of record attendance at their events. If you can get busy lawyers to show up and participate, you’re doing something right.
From my perspective, it has been a good year; and, with Chris Lam as our president, next year will be good too.