Letter From The President Of The Association Of Corporate Counsel

2011-11-22 10:20

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

When you work in a leadership capacity for a bar association, your calendar is especially busy in the fall. That’s the time of year when most associations host an annual meeting, conference, awards dinner or special event. At ACC, I have been fortunate not to suffer from a lack of invitations. In fact, managing my schedule is one of the more difficult parts of the job. As a new leader, I am especially interested in meeting as many ACC members and key constituents as I can. As a result, it is not unusual for me to visit three or four different cities in the span of five business days.

The demands of such an ambitious travel schedule can take their toll; however, when I arrive at my destination and have the opportunity to interact with ACC members and constituents, my energy level surges. Their levels of enthusiasm and engagement are contagious.

Although I have had the pleasure of being ACC's president for only about five months, since Labor Day I have spent a good portion of my time traveling to represent ACC in a variety of venues and to assist with presenting several awards. Here is a sampling of some of the in-house events at which I have had the honor of representing ACC during the month of November:

  • The ACC Greater NY Chapter held its annual meeting and election of officers on November 3. I was pleased to attend and have an opportunity to present the chapter with the ACC Raising the Bar Award. This award recognizes chapter leaders’ outstanding efforts in the advancement of high-quality programs, networking opportunities and good governance practices.
  • The Pro Bono Institute Awards Dinner was held in New York City on November 5. I had the honor of joining Laura Stein, Clorox general counsel, to present the Corporate Pro Bono Partner Award to Verizon Communications and DLA Piper in recognition of their collaborative efforts to address veterans’, education and domestic violence issues through pro bono service. It was quite impressive to learn that more than half of Verizon’s 400 U.S.-based attorneys have participated in this pro bono effort.
  • The 2011 Western Canada General Counsel Awards Dinner was hosted in Vancouver on November 7. Peter Rozee of Teck Resources Ltd. was named General Counsel of the Year; James Ludlow of True North Sports & Entertainment Ltd. received the Business Achievement Award; Curtis Serra of Suncor Energy Inc. was recognized with the award for Commodities Deal of the Year; and Lisa Skakun of Coastal Capital Savings Credit Union was recognized with the Tomorrow’s Leaders award. Jim Emmerton also received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • The ACC Central Ohio Chapter hosted a new member breakfast followed by a half-day CLE program on November 9 at Nationwide Arena. I joined them to present the chapter with the 2011 ACC Chapter of the Year Award (medium-size category).
  • The ACC DELVACCA Chapter held its Corporate Counsel Excellence Awards on November 17 to recognize an accomplished group of in-house counsel. The following awards were presented: Outstanding Chief Legal Officer – Michael Korniczky of Graham Packaging Company; Outstanding In-House Counsel – Todd Longsworth of Cephalon Inc.; Outstanding Community Service by an Individual – Sophia Lee of Sunoco, Inc.; Outstanding Large Law Department of the Year – SAP; Outstanding Small Law Department of the Year – Dollar Financial Group; and Outstanding Commitment to Diversity by a Law Department – GlaxoSmithKline.
  • The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Annual Meeting took place in Atlanta. On November 18, NAPABA recognized several outstanding lawyers for such exemplary records of professional achievement as the 2011 Trailblazers. The distinguished group of honorees included former ACC board member Don H. Liu, the general counsel of Xerox.

Service to the in-house community is the reason the ACC exists. So I look forward to helping the ACC expand its outreach to diverse bar communities and to engaging with more in-house counsel as part of my new “ambassador” program. As part of this new program, ACC designated a group of diverse bar associations as our key ally bar associations; these include the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), NAPABA, National Bar Association (NBA), National LGBT Bar Association and the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA). In time, we may add to this group of allies, but these five associations will form the initial core. ACC staff will travel to attend the annual meeting or key events hosted by our allies. We will staff a booth at which information about ACC will be distributed to raise awareness regarding the many practical services, substantive resources and outstanding programs available to ACC members, and we will encourage those who are not members to join ACC. 

So the next time you attend a bar association educational forum, please remember to look for ACC staff members who are in attendance sharing information about the ACC. We look forward to seeing you there!

Best regards,

Veta T. Richardson