President's Message February 2019

By Mary Beth Donoghue

As I sit down to write this month’s message, Punxsutawney Phil has left his burrow to look for his shadow for the 133rd time and predicted an early spring.  A little more than one week later, the NJALA decided to cancel the February monthly meeting due to inclement weather!  It is a decision the board does not take lightly, as there are many components involved with cancelling our monthly meetings, including working with our venue, notifying our membership and business partners and, most importantly, working with our planned speaker about possibly re-scheduling the program.  Daniel Sean Kaye’s scheduled February presentation, “A Delicate but Crucial Conversation: Talking About Depression and Suicide in the Workplace”, looked to be a relevant and well-attended session based on our registrations. Unfortunately, we are not able to reschedule this session for this program year, but we look forward to hopefully scheduling Daniel to speak in the future.
So, as we ideally move closer to spring-like weather, I hope you all will join us for our March monthly meeting on March 12, 2019.  The March meeting will be held at a new location, the Bridgewater Marriott.  Our topic is “Ch-ch-ch-Changes: Taking the Challenge Out of Change”,presented by a fabulous speaker, Judy Hissong of Nesso Strategies.  If you have been lucky enough to hear Judy speak at ALA conferences or past NJALA events, you know that this will be an engaging meeting.  You may be wondering why we are having this meeting at the Bridgewater Marriott.  Let me tell you why.  The NJALA covers the entire state of New Jersey, and, if you did not notice, New Jersey is a long state.  The NJALA is very grateful that individuals from firms located in the middle and southern parts of the state have joined the chapter to receive many of the benefits that come with our membership, even if they cannot always physically attend our meetings in West Orange.  In past years, we have hosted some monthly meetings and educational sessions at locations closer to the middle of the state.  By choosing the Bridgewater Marriott, we hope that more members geographically located in the middle and southern parts of the state will join us for this terrific presentation.  If you have not yet registered for this meeting, please do so here.  If you happen to be one of the individuals who has difficulty making our meetings in West Orange, we would like to hear your ideas as we address being as inclusive as possible going forward with all our members across the state.
Also, at our March meeting, the Nominations Committee will present the slate of board officers and trustees for our next term.  Normally, the slate is presented at the February meeting, but due to the February meeting cancellation, this announcement will now take place at the March meeting, followed by a floor vote, and then the swearing-in of our new officers and trustees at our April meeting. 
Many NJALA members will be attending the upcoming ALA Annual Conference and Exposition in Grapevine, Texas from April 14, 2019 to April 17, 2019.  ALA annual conferences are not only an opportunity to hear amazing speakers (like Judy Hissong, our March speaker), but also a place to gain subject-matter knowledge and learn about the latest solutions in the legal management field.  You will have the chance to discover legal management tools of the future and alternative approaches to your day-to-day work from individuals with diverse backgrounds, work environments and responsibilities.  In addition, you get to network with peers from all over the country, as well as colleagues from Canada, Mexico, Australia and the rest of the globe.  Any board member would be happy to discuss with you the benefits of attending this event should you have an interest.  It is not too late to register for this incredible professional experience.
As you have heard many times over the last few years, our organization would not be what it is today without the support of our business partners.  Our Business Partner Relations and Advisory Committee has been working tirelessly throughout the entire winter preparing new materials and brochures for business partner sponsorship.  We hope you will take a moment to consider sharing NJALA business partner opportunities with vendors you deal with on a regular basis at your own firms.  Any member of our Business Partner Relations and Advisory Committee is willing to speak with you or reach out to any vendor you would like the NJALA to consider for business partner sponsorship.  We are excited to be launching even more new initiatives to promote the wonderful relationships we have with our esteemed business partners, so please keep an eye out for updates.
Finally, I would like to urge all of you reading this to reach out to myself or any member of the board if you have comments, questions, concerns or ideas related to our industry and the NJALA.  We are here to represent you and are eager to hear what you have to say.  On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank each and every one of you for your membership in our organization, and I encourage you to renew your membership before the March 31, 2019 deadline.  It has been both a privilege and a pleasure serving as your President over this past year.
Mary Beth Donoghue is the Administrative Office Manager of Day Pitney LLP in Parsippany, New Jersey.
Share this post: