Editors Note: Our efforts at outreach and inclusion extended to members of the many ethnic and specialty bar associations. More than 100 members of the bench and bar, as well as the Consul of Mexico, accepted our invitation. We count the event a resounding success and are looking forward to a “Recount” in 2014.
During the 2013 ISBA Mid-Year Meeting the Diversity Leadership Council1 (“DLC”) saw an opportunity to reach out to and interact with the leaders and members of various diversity focused bar associations and groups throughout Illinois. The idea was born from discussions had throughout the 2013 bar year, and the execution was the product of hard work, careful planning, and the generosity and support of the ISBA community. The first “Count Me In” reception (“Event”) was held during the Mid-Year Meeting and proved to be a rousing success.
A) What the DLC Set Out to Achieve
“Count Me In” had several primary purposes and goals: (1) to bring to together various diversity oriented bar organizations and to allow for a dialogue as to how diversity can be improved across the profession; (2) to allow the attendee groups to consider diversity issues that they would not otherwise consider; (3) to create a feeling of solidarity and support among the attendees; (4) to strengthen and create new professional relationships; and (5) to further establish the ISBA’s commitment to diversity in the profession.
Generally, the DLC achieved it goals with an Event that was incredibly well attended and well received by the local professional community. The list of attendees included the leaders of various bar associations, as well as various ISBA leaders, including Paula Holderman, Richard Felice, Umberto Davi, and Vincent Cornelius (the then current President and Presidents Elect of the ISBA). The Event ultimately served as a community building exercise through which the attendees could rally around the cause of diversity, in all its forms.
B) How Can We Expect the Event to Grown and Improve in the Future
Although the DLC considered the Event to be a success, there are plans to both improve and grow the Event. First, the DLC intends to hold the Event every year. Second, while the level of participation and discussion was good, the DLC wants it to be great. This includes encouraging more conversation among and between the attendees, particularly those attendees representing and reflecting different diversity perspectives. Finally, the DLC is seeking even greater ISBA involvement and participation—encouraging the leaders of the ISBA to come to future Events and presenting those leaders with an opportunity to confront and discuss the diversity issues which are important to the growth of the profession.
C) Sponsors and Participation
The Event would not have been possible without the contributions of sponsors who helped to cover the associated costs and expenses. Those sponsors are (listed in alphabetical order):
Angelica W. Wawrzynek
Avery, Camerlingo, Kill LLC
Brian E. Fliflet
David B. Sosin
Dixie Lee Peterson
Geri L. Arrindell
Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C.
ISBA Bar Services
John G. Locallo
John W. Moore, P.C.
Law Offices of Rachael Toft
Mary F. Petruchius
Miroballi, Durkin & Rudin LLC
Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.
Sharon L. Eiseman
Shefsky & Froelich Charitable Foundation
Sonni C. Williams
The International Business Law Group, LLC
The Law Office of Mary F. Petruchius
The DLC would like to thank all of its sponsors and supporters, without whom the Event would not have been possible. ■