Gratitude…according to Webster’s Dictionary means….a feeling of appreciation or thanks. It’s a short definition that means so much, as I am grateful for much.
I am grateful for my president, Diane Cecero. The president is never quite ready for the demands of the job, and, frankly, how could one be? It is very demanding, but I also like to think that it is very rewarding as well. Diane is doing a great job of keeping up with the many demands of her MCBA leadership position, asking good questions, all while serving as Counsel to the President of Monroe Community College.
I am also grateful to the president-elect, Steve Modica. Steve is a steady supporter of myself and the president, always willing to jump in and assist. He is spending much of his “learning year” as Chair of Strategic Planning. What better role for an incoming president?
Grateful for present and future, I’m also grateful for those who have come before them, such as Connie Walker, who is chairing our Nominating Committee, and Richard Rosenbloom and Mary Ross, who chair our Past President get-togethers like tomorrow’s luncheon.
I am also grateful to the MCBA Board of Trustees for their active and thoughtful engagement at the monthly Board meeting, and at the many requests for participation that we put them through. This includes a special call-out to our current Treasurer, Amy Varel, and her wonderful House Finance Committee that keeps us fiscally strong, and MCBA Secretary, Neil Rowe, a master at taking minutes.
I am also grateful to all the committee and section chairs who dedicate their time and energy to this Association.
Thank you to Beth McDonald, chair of the Awards Committee, and her committee for focusing on celebrating the accomplishments of our members by nominating them for not only MCBA and Foundation awards, but also ABA, NYSBA and many community awards. We are so grateful and proud of the work of this committee.
I am also very grateful for the Hon. Frank Geraci and his Memorial Committee that just last Friday celebrated the lives of 22 attorneys and judges who passed away over the past year. Some lived long and rich lives, and some were taken from us way too soon. As always, it was a touching ceremony, and at the end, each family member was called up to accept a rose and a copy of the tribute book. Always a profoundly touching event, reminding me how grateful I am for my family, while reminding me of the sadness for those gone too soon.
I am also grateful for Wende Knapp and the entire Young Lawyers Section for allowing me to feel young at heart and for showing all of us the bright future in store for this Association.
Special thanks to the Academy of Law for striving for and delivering excellence in the educational offerings we bring to our legal community — both in breadth of subject and high quality of programming.
I am grateful to the Foundation and its President Audrey Peartree and President-elect Bruce Lawrence for the support they provide to the MCBA and legal community through the many grants they award to various programs, like the A.C.T. For the Children Program (celebrating 15 years!), Rochester Diversity Clerkship Program, Rochester Teen Court, and more. I am also extremely grateful to the Foundation for its leadership role in the Telesca Center for Justice, from start to finish.
I am grateful to members of the Judiciary, past and present, whom we will be honoring on December 5 at the Bench & Bar Holiday party, for providing a unique perspective on how we can be a better Bar Association and for their daily work in administering justice for all.
Thank you to my staff, who show up every day ready to serve our members.
And last, but oh so not least, I’m grateful to all of you who proudly call yourself a member of the Monroe County Bar Association. You dedicate your time, your dollars and your wisdom to this organization and the legal community. As members, you are a diverse group of people, with diverse backgrounds and varying opinions on so many things, but we also have our commonality.
On the eve of his assassination, I’m reminded of one of the many wise and particularly poignant quotes from President John F. Kennedy:
“For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.”
For all that you do, every single day, I am very grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!