The list exceeds 10, but I figure I may only have your attention for the top 10…
#10 – I am never bored — Throughout any given week, I meet with a variety of attorneys, judges, and community leaders, and work on various projects. While it means I need to keep organized to do lists, it also means I am never bored. I have never been a clock watcher, in fact, the wall clock in my office had a dead battery in it for over 2 years till one of the team changed it, because it was driving them crazy. I’m not sure how I would do with the same task, day in and day out. Luckily for me, that is one aspect that I don’t have to worry about while working here.
#9 – My office — I have a great office. I have always made it a point to ensure my space is bright, and inspires creativity for me. I need artwork, photographs of those that I love, photos of those that inspire me, resource books and magazines that I am always tapping into for inspiration. Latest addition, and the first desk that the MCBA has ever purchased for me in all these years, a standing desk. Spending more than 1/2 of my days in meetings in a seated position, it was time to start standing more, per some people that love me and care for me. If you have not stopped in recently, please do. When members and visitors to my office remark about the view, I respond, “What view?” I rarely have time to look out the window.
#8 – Meeting extraordinary people — ABA, NYSBA, NABE, COMBA, GRAWA, RBBA, RDDC & RBA — I have had the luxury over the years to attend conferences and meet with other fantastic bar executives and community leaders from around the county, city, state and country. It is often a great melting pot of creativity, venting and productivity. After attending one of these conferences, I always return to the MCBA inspired and full of great ideas, and solutions.
#7 – T. Carl Nixon Board Room — I have seen many beautiful board rooms over the years, but I have to tell you, I think we have one of the most beautiful in town. I love walking in with someone that has never seen the room before, and listen for their response, “Oh Wow!” “This is incredible!” “That is one BIG table!” The best part of the T. Carl Nixon Board Room is that it is the Board Room for all of the legal service partners in the building as well as various committee and board meetings for our members.
#6 – Love working downtown — I am a believer in downtown Rochester! I love the energy of downtown, I love the ability to walk to various meetings or other events. I love engaging with members on the street as I walk. I love the smells, especially the Zweigle hots in the summer), and the diversity of the people on the streets. I make it a point of saying hello to everyone I meet. Some do not expect a greeting, and it seems to bring a smile to their face as they respond to me. Others don’t respond at all, but maybe they will next time. Perhaps I will spend more time at Main and State this summer during lunch so I can catch up with more of you. I sit on the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation Board of Directors, where I am a broken record on the topic of appreciation to the legal community in downtown Rochester. If the lawyers continue to leave downtown, the impact will be devastating and fatal to our Center City. There are exciting developments underway in our city, and I am confident they will happen and our DT world will be the hot, happening place to be. I have thought about moving downtown to one of the increasingly popular lofts, but I need to be able to buy, not rent (as I am WAY too young to give up a mortgage) and I need outdoor space to replace the porch. I don’t think a new owner of my house would appreciate finding me out on their porch nights and weekends. I should get a legal opinion on whether or not we could write that into the sale contract.
#5 – Engagement with the Judges — We have terrific judges in all of our courts in Rochester and Monroe County. I really appreciate those that demonstrate their dedication to the MCBA by joining the Association, and being actively engaged with the bar. I also appreciate the open dialogue that I have with those that may not be members, and wish to discuss the reasons. Our dialogues are always open and honest.
#4 – Telesca Center for Justice — After 10 years of co-location I still get a thrill when I walk into the incredible lobby, where I no longer have to stare at the broken and dusty escalator. I used to think about how I could fill the esclator with plants in an effort to hide the multi-ton eye-sore. So nice to now have my mind at ease on that topic. I still get a thrill coming off the elevator on 10, and walking into our beautiful space, and on 5 as well. We are all very fortunate!
#3 – Great Team — We have a great group of dedicated people that work at the MCBA. Diane Hill, Mark Swail, Dianne Nash, Dajaneé Parrish, Ginny LaCour (for 4 more months only as she is retiring), Merritt Smith, Louise Spinelli, Liz Novak and Kathy Fico. They are hardworking, they are fun to be with and all have a sense of humor (see today’s email exchange from me), they are dedicated to our Boards and to all of you, our volunteers. We ask a lot of them, over many hours, and they deliver.
#2 – The Presidents — I am often asked by those that don’t understand bar associations, “Why do they only serve for 1 year?” What the presidents take on in a single year is extraordinary, while maintaining their practice, and trying to be present to their very patient families. One of the tips I give every new president is, let’s not fill your dance card, as “stuff happens” and your dance card will be filled automatically. Some listen, some don’t. That is where I build on my flexibility skill set!
#1 – The ability to be creative — This job is challenging, and associations are evolving. The trends in the practice of law are dynamic and evolving at an amazing pace. With four generations of members, and new leadership each year, my mind does not rest as I am constantly thinking of ways to increase our value to you as members, how to engage you with your colleagues, how to make it impossible for you to work, live and practice without us. I also appreciate that you, our loyal members, are always up for some creative dialogue and brainstorming.The challenge is daily, and it is what drives me. Some days I actually think I dream that I sent emails, as I will ask Ginny in the morning about the email I sent her last night. She will look at me and raise the eyebrow, doubting me, we will both go in search of the mystery email that does not exist, and I will then begin to wonder — did I dream that email? How powerful would it be if we could transfer those dreams to accomplish items on our task list? I know, this is sad. I am working at putting down technology earlier in the evening, and picking up a book. Right now I am reading, Dead Wake by Eric Larson.
Whether you are celebrating Passover or Easter or just a quiet weekend, enjoy these early days of spring. I plan to be on the porch tonight, after the gym and a meditation class with GRAWA, even if I am sitting under a fleece blanket, and with the outdoor heater on, and a nice glass of red wine, the porch will be open this evening by 8pm. Feel free to pop over, but knock hard as the door bell is broke. I really need to get that fixed.
Thanks for checking in…