The new officers of the Board of Governors officially take office on July 1. My first official duty is to write this column. I started by looking back at prior Kansas Bar Journal articles. In his first column as president, Jerry Green promised to be informative, enlightening, thought-provoking, and yet entertaining. He has fulfilled his promise. Jerry, thanks for a great year and your true commitment as members of the Kansas Bar, as well as the Kansas Bar Association. This is a tough act to follow. Like Jerry, I will do my best to keep you informed and to listen to your ideas. As in-house counsel, I spend a lot of time explaining legal concepts and requirements to non-lawyers. Due to the attention-span challenges that come with reading long legal explanations, I often break up the subject matter into small topic areas or focus points to help my internal audience grasp the concepts. Please accept my apology if I slip into that writing format over the next year.
What is ahead for the KBA?
This next year will be one of exploring options for the future of the KBA. As with lots of membership organizations, the KBA is constantly trying to validate its relevance to lawyers and determine what needs to be done to retain and grow membership. The basic questions haven’t changed in the last 10 years or so. How do we make our organization relevant to members? How do we attract the younger members of the profession? What services do our members want us to offer?
The KBA has started a strategic planning process chaired by Greg Goheen. We need your input. Please send ideas to Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Part of this process also involves an Annual Meeting Task Force lead by Gary Ayers. We really need to hear from those who don’t regularly attend the meetings. Gary can be reached at email@example.com.
Did you miss a wonderful event? The 2015 KBA Annual Meeting with a twist!
This year a great committee worked to shake things up and create a new KBA Annual Meeting attraction. If you didn’t attend the KBA Annual Meeting you missed a fun time. Thanks to the Annual Meeting Planning Committee for a fabulous and innovative job and for all your hard work to pull together this meeting: Chair Greg Musil, Doug Patterson, Peter Simonsen, Todd Thompson, Sarah Warner, David Waters, Lisa Renee Westergaard, Amy Winterscheid, Christi Bright, BreAnne Hendricks, Chris Pickering, Geri Hartley, Harry Wigner, Judge Brenda Cameron, Judge Christina Dunn Gyllenborg, Judge David Cahill, Linda Coffee, Mark Dupree, Mike Sexton, Mira Mdivani, Mitch Biebighauser, Scott Gyllenborg, Tiffany McFarland, Toby Crouse, Andrew DeMarea, and Tracy Fredley, as well as KBA staff, Deana Mead, Anne Woods, Meg Wickham, Cassandra Blackwell, Danielle Hall, Joe Molina, and Jordan Yochim.
So what did you miss? A wonderful dinner for the Foundation, the diversity breakfast recognizing Zack Reynolds for his vision on the diversity issues, a lovely awards lunch, interesting speakers like Darryl Burton and Daniel Bowling with, of course, important CLE opportunities. In the evening the meeting took a new twist.
Check out the photos—as you can see, there was something for everyone. We enjoyed mingling with the judges and justices among the dinosaur exhibits at the Prairiefire Museum followed by fun at PinStripes. There was crazy bowling. A couple locations for bocce—inside and out on the porch. If you wanted to avoid physical activity and just talk to friends there was a quiet room full of food and drink. This was a great opportunity to network with plenty to eat and drink while enjoying friends from across the state. The young lawyers rocked the party and showed up in matching shirts. What more could you ask for in one evening? And, by the way, who knew that the Johnson County judges can really bowl! It was a great evening and I look forward to a full year of educational and fun activities with lawyers from across the state.
Originally published in The Journal of the Kansas Bar Association, vol. 84, no. 7, pg. 6 (July/August 2015).