To say that I am honored to serve as the Bar Association President for the 2017-18 term fails to capture what this organization means to me. It has greatly enriched my experience as an attorney, and so many people that I would have not met in my normal practice areas have become not only my friends but a source of inspiration. I want to especially thank my dear and long-time friend, Liz Garcia, for her always stellar service to the Bar and her past year as President.
This year I will be highlighting attorneys in our organization who do more than just practice law, they find ways to give back to their communities. Whatever obstacles we have faced to get to this point, we have achieved much and have been given much. With these gifts come a responsibility to give back. There are many examples among us. People like Carolyn Chang (public service), John Gillespie (Samaritan Hospice), my own sister, Janice Heinold (Rutgers Alumni), and many more that I hope to discover and tell you about throughout the upcoming year. We have families, work, and daily obligations, but I promise you this, if you find time to give back with your time and talent, it will greatly deepen your sense of purpose and add to your professional career. The world, quite frankly, needs us.
One other goal. As the former Chair of the Bar Headquarters Subcommittee, I stood before this organization and told you that if each one of us gave $300 we could pay off the Bar Headquarters. That number is now $150, and I’ll be making another push towards the goal of making that number $0. In this organization, we are standing on the shoulders of giants. One of the greatest things we can do for the future of this organization is to remove that monthly carrying cost from our bottom line and allow those funds to be put back into Association programs and services and Foundation charitable events and grants.
My congratulations to Stephanie Shreter on her installation as Bar Foundation President. I have worked with Stephanie on the Foundation over the past few years, and appreciate the positive energy and creativity she has infused into the organization.
Thanks in advance to my partners, Steve Raymond, Tom Coleman and Jan Heinold, for covering for me at the firm this coming year so I can spend the time needed for this office. Thanks to my parents, to whom I am eternally grateful. Finally, I would like thank my wife, Tracy, and kids, Chance, Grace, Daniel and Julien. Our gratitude should be extended to all family members who are in attendance. Without their support, we could not do what we do.