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The Magazine of Illinois Lawyers

July 2019Volume 107Number 7Page 8

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President's Page

Our Dedicated Staff

New ISBA President David Sosin extends his thanks to those who keep the Association running.

David B. Sosin

It occurs to me, in reading about all of the wonderful programs that we regularly undertake, that the role of the ISBA staff is too-often overlooked. In this month’s president’s page, I’d like to recognize the departments of the ISBA and the talented staff members who make all of our programs work.

Continuing legal education (CLE). Jeanne B. Heaton is our director of continuing legal education. While all of our CLE programs and locations are reviewed and recommended through our very fine Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education, the staff is responsible for all of the details, materials, and the scheduling of hundreds of hours of CLE at our members’ fingertips. The copywriter/editor is Staci Howard-Curtis. The registration coordinator is Jacquie Wolf-Harris. The administrative assistant is Ashley Daggett. The program coordinator is Janean Goby. Justine Schneider is the production and catalog assistant. The video producer is Drew Pertl. All of these staff members are available to answer your questions and to pass your suggestions to our CLE committee.

Membership. Membership is the heart of the ISBA. While many bar associations continue to lose members in substantial numbers, the ISBA has been far more successful than many voluntary bars in retaining members. Ann Boucher, our membership manager, is assisted by Cari Drake and Nicole Gerberding, our member service representatives.

Section services. With few exceptions, the ISBA’s nearly-70 committees and section councils are staffed by only four individuals on a regular basis. Most of you know Melissa Burkholder, who came to the ISBA from the Illinois Bar Foundation several years ago. She does a terrific job overseeing all the staffing as the director of section services. The section and committee staff liaisons are Mary Grant and Blake Howard, who staff many meetings, provide agendas, and schedule all the necessary details that make our meetings and the fine work of our committees and sections possible. Kimi Jalali coordinates meetings and sends you many scheduling notices so you can attend your committee and section meetings. I recently had the pleasure of working with Melissa and Kimi in making appointments to the ISBA. They both are organized, professional, and provided me with invaluable information.

Communications and publications. Communications and publications are among the ISBA’s key benefits and keep our members informed throughout their entire legal careers. Tim Slating is our assistant executive director for communications and he has a substantial staff. Jean Fenski serves as the Illinois Bar Journal’s executive assistant. Pete Sherman is the IBJ’s managing editor. Doug Knapp serves as director of electronic communications. The publications manager is Sara Anderson. Rhys Saunders serves as our in-house media manager. Our marketing manager, Lucy Burtle, is responsible for keeping you apprised of all the new benefits the ISBA provides. Ticara Turley serves as ISBA’s art director. Danielle Heitzman is our production artist. Nancy Vonnahmen is the advertising sales manager.

Legal and legislative affairs. Our executive leadership and Board of Governors work very closely with our general counsel, Charles Northrup, who performs many and varied duties for the ISBA and is a trusted advisor. His administrative assistants, Kim Furr and Tracy Potter, assist in all of the Association’s legal matters. Our long-time legislative affairs director is Jim Covington, who receives assistance from Jill Gilpin and Kim Wallner. Kim, in particular, provides legislative updates to members and has the very important job of tabulating responses to allow us to formulate our legislative program.

Administration and finance. Several years ago, Dennis Archer joined our staff as the assistant executive director for administration and finance. Dennis does a terrific job not only in continuing to update the efficiency and effectiveness of our finance department, he also serves as our budget director working with ISBA presidents and presidents-elect in financial planning and ensures we stay on budget year after year. Paula Magdich, our finance manager, works on a day-to-day basis with our president and vice-presidents. Lisa Miller, ISBA’s human resources manager, deals with all the staff-employment details. As senior accountant, Jennifer Wright attends to many of the responsibilities necessary to maintain our bottom line. I also would like to thank Brenda Todt, ISBA’s administrative coordinator; Donna Spears, our accountant; our maintenance technician John Berry; and our custodian Kenny LaMotte.

Chicago Regional Office (CRO). The CRO has been administered for a number of years by Joyce Williams, who also does a terrific job organizing judicial evaluations and providing all the necessary ancillary services that make our Chicago meetings work. Judicial evaluations take hundreds of hours each year, a task we take seriously as we inform the public of the qualifications of judges and judicial candidates. When you visit the CRO, you will be greeted by Katie Neal, our receptionist, and the office assistant, Tajuana Beasley, who interfaces with members and makes them feel welcome.

Information technology. The information technology department includes network manager Tim Johnston and database manager Don Rector. Bar associations, and particularly the ISBA, could not operate today without reliable network administration. Tim and Don do a great job keeping our network systems up and running.

Print production. Through technology upgrades and new equipment, the print production department has changed and adapted over the years to keep up with the digital age. The department is manned by Joe Roberts and Michael Johnson, who create nearly all of the print materials members receive.

Executive department. Last but certainly not least is Bob Craghead, easily the country’s best bar executive director, and his indespensible assistant Kim Weaver. Both of their contributions to the ISBA would take many pages to fill.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the ISBA’s wonderful staff. I thank them for their many years of service.