Yesterday I attended the Rochester Business Alliance’s Top 100 Awards Luncheon along with MCBA Business & Office Manager, Kathy Fico. But when I walked into the room, I had this wild fantasy moment! There were 1800 people in the room, under a single roof, at the Convention Center. The energy in the room was electric, with music cranking, the room draped in billowy fabric and lights, and an incredible AV show happening around us. It felt like a mid-day dance party. In fact, at the pre-reception I did witness what appeared to be mimosa’s and women wearing some kind of trapeze costumes leaving as we were arriving since we did not attend the pre-party. Turns out, there was a trapeze show!
Taking it all in, I lean over to Kathy and say, “With 1800 people in this room right now, do you realize this is 200 people less than the MCBA membership?” Kathy paused, looked around and said, “You’re right!”
So while trying to focus on the remainder of the lunch, my mind did wander into this wild imagining of what it would be like to have all of our 2,000 members under a single roof. Yes, every single one of you. I found myself asking a series of questions in my head:
What kind of event would it take to get a commitment from all 2,000?
Is it a meeting?
Is it a social event?
What would the incentive be? A free CLE with a US Supreme Court Justice?
If we had all 2,000 of you in the room, what kind of energy would exist?
Would there be a sense of belonging to something great?
Would it give you a sense of pride in the profession?
Would you see old friends, and meet new ones?
Are we celebrating something, or debating something?
I am simply unable to get past imagining 2,000 of you in the same place at the same time.
In my 13 years, the biggest crowd we have had to date was the year we installed T. Andrew Brown as President, with our very special guest, the then NYS Chief Judge Judith Kaye. As I recall, we reached 430 attendees; many of whom are not members, or even attorneys, but family members and champions of award winners. So perhaps that year, we hit 325 actual members. It was a fun evening!
My secret fantasy does not have to take place at the Installation Dinner or even Law Day. I am completely open to suggestions. Think out of the box. Be creative. In fact it just occurred to me that in 2017, the MCBA will be celebrating it’s 125th Anniversary. Just over 2 years away. 125 years is a big celebration. Is that worthy of a gathering of 2,000 MCBA members? I think so.
Besides I am pretty confident I won’t be here for the 150th Celebration. So if you want to aid in making my fantasy come true, let me know, and we can talk!
Thanks for checking in,