To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:
On November 16, I had the bittersweet pleasure of introducing the new President of NJCCA, Kristi Vaiden, at our Annual Dinner and General Meeting.It is bittersweet because I have enjoyed the time served as President but I know that the organization is in good hands with Kristi and our new President-Elect, Lee Braem.I am happy for Kristi and wish her well in this new and challenging role.
When I took on the job of Chapter President, I thought of the job as keeping a good organization on the steady course, but as I looked forward, I realized that I wanted, and we needed, to do more to honor our missions and vision to help our members be the best in-house lawyers they could be.
We increased the variety of membership services, particularly in continuing legal education.We not only maintained the level of short-form seminars, we retooled the focus and have seen a reversal of declining attendance at our morning programs.We co-hosted two full-day conferences, leveraging combined resources through partnering with other organizations to deliver more variety of CLE and in more locations.
We also hosted two full-day CLE conferences on our own, a "rapid fire" format in May in New Brunswick and a full-day longer form, multi-track set of seminars in September in Hanover.
We managed to keep costs level through better use of planning and technology tools to increase communication with our members and yet saw an overall decrease in the cost of communication.
We have increased our interactions with other associations such as the New Jersey State Bar Association, the New Jersey Defense Association and have held joint programs with other groups such as the Licensing Executives Society and the American Arbitration Association.These programs not only leverage CLE resources, they increase the visibility and importance of the in-house bar in New Jersey, an original and continuing goal of NJCCA and ACC.
Our successes, which are the result of hard work by the chapter officers, Board members, committee leaders, members and our Executive Director, have had their effect.ACC awarded the 2005 Chapter Challenge Award (Large Chapter Category) to NJCCA, reflecting a membership retention rate in excess of 90 percent and 114 new members during the challenge period.ACC also awarded NJCCA an Honorable Mention in the Chapter of the Year competition.That so many members renew their memberships is the best, and most rewarding, evidence that we are on the right track to fulfilling NJCCA's mission of providing support to our members to be the best in-house lawyers they can be.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as President of NJCCA.Thank you and best wishes to you the members and NJCCA for continued success.