My son, Brian, is a golf assistant at Richland Country Club in Nashville, Tennessee. The course is beautiful and historic, as it was built on an old Civil War Battlefield. The course is amazing, and their members take great pride in it. As an assistant golf pro, working on his PGA certification, Brian’s day is managing day to day operations, their frequent tournaments, interacting with members, and giving private lessons to members, their spouses, and in some cases their children, because, according to Brian, every golfing parent believes their child may be the next Tiger Woods. I listen to him as he shares about his interactions with members that may be upset about something, or the Club President that has an issue that he brings to Brian to solve. And I am impressed that at 23, he has developed such a solid management style, an intuitiveness about matters . He reports that he really likes his membership, and his presidents, and that he enjoys the many personalities he engages with daily.
I can so relate to Brian’s experiences. The other night we held our annual dinner of the Association’s Past Presidents at the Strathallan. We have 34 living presidents, 35 until the recent passing of Judge David Boehm. On July 1st, they will be 35 again when President Connie Walker joins their ranks. This is an annual dinner held every spring and it served as an opportunity for them to celebrate Connie, while welcoming the incoming president, Diane Cecero, as well as incoming president-elect, Steve Modica.
The presidents pay their way for this annual gathering and really cherish this wonderful tradition for many reasons. They love to determine who is the oldest living president, and also simply the oldest. Turns out Jim Hartman is the oldest, as he turned 85 on that night. But it is Tony Palermo that holds the title of oldest living president. Tony served in 1973! His passion for the profession, the law, and the bar world is as strong as ever.
As they began to arrive, and secure a glass of wine, the friendly- banter and story-telling also began. It really is one of my favorite events of the bar year. Following dinner, the Past President Co-Chair, Dick Rosenbloom, (sadly his Co-Chair side-kick Mary Ross was unable to be with us due to illness caused by the grand kids visit over the long weekend) began the short program with an invitation to Connie to provide some brief remarks about her year. Connie did a great job sharing some of the highlights, but acknowledged that she is looking forward to entering the Past Presidents Club. Then Diane Cecero was introduced as our new incoming president and spoke about feeling welcomed into this group of colleagues, many of whom she has known for years. Diane’s plan is to focus on a successful development and implementation of the MCBA Strategic Plan, and like all the presidents that came before her, to ensure a good future for the bar.
And then I shared a few brief comments about the great year I have had with Connie. We accomplished so much more than she had time to share. But all agreed, the biggest accomplishment for all of us was the completion of the Telesca Center for Justice lobby. If you have not seen it, stop in. Special thanks went out to Justin Vigdor for his 8 year leadership on the Partnership Campaign, and to Harold Kurland, who was a tireless supporter of the Campaign and determined to see the lobby renovated.
I drove home wondering where 2012-13 went. It seems as though only yesterday it was Bryan’s farewell, and Connie was coming into her term, and now a year has passed, and Diane is coming, and Steve will follow closer than he thinks.
A great quote I appreciate is,
“The lawyer is the fellow who evens things up, the champion of all those who…must bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong…the law’s delay…S(he) fights fire with fire, meets guile with guile, and rights the legal wrong.”
Arthur Train, Mr. Tutt’e Case Book (1936).
As I took my final glances at this roomful of remarkable bar leaders from the past and the present, I saw a room full of passionate fire-fighters that have built this incredible association. We should all be proud.
With that, I invite you to join us on Thursday, June 13th for the Installation of our 118th President, Diane Cecero. This is also an opportunity to celebrate our out-going president, Connie Walker. Click here to register.
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