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President's Message
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Pride in Membership
Leadership in Justice

The six words above comprise the vision of our Association.  As we embark on a new bar year, the BAMC is entering the next phase of an ongoing effort to put these words into action by the adoption of a revised strategic plan.  Our vision statement was created as part of the BAMC’s original strategic plan, a process that began nearly a decade ago.  In the years before the adoption of that first strategic plan, the Association held an annual Long Range Planning Conference.  Essentially a brainstorming session over the course of a day or so, those conferences generated many good ideas, some practical and others aspirational, to advance the goals of the BAMC.  The problem was that those ideas were literally filed away after the conference where most gathered dust.

Everything changed in 2008.  In that year David Pordy chaired a revamped Long Range Planning Committee, renamed as the Strategic Planning Committee.  The efforts of that committee culminated in the Association’s first strategic plan.  For those who are unfamiliar with the process and purpose of strategic planning, the concept is simple:  identify clear goals and create a written plan to achieve them.  In other words, first identify the “ends” and then outline the “means” to achieve it.  Equally important is the identification of benchmarks for success, timetables for completion and those responsible for implementing the goals of the plan.  While simple in concept, the actual strategic planning process is both challenging and time consuming.  Fortunately, the original Strategic Planning Committee was up to the challenge.

The first strategic plan was a tremendous success.  Perhaps the most tangible example is the renovation of our bar building.  Recognizing the need for critical repairs and improvements, the Association raised the funds to undertake the necessary work and finished the job on time and on budget.  Today, we enjoy a state of the art facility that stands ready to serve both present and future generations of attorneys.  We rightfully take enormous pride in being the only local bar association in Maryland which owns its own building.  Another great success which arose from the first strategic plan was the creation of our Leadership Development Academy.  On Law Day, we will recognize the achievements of the fourth class of fellows who have participated in the program.  Fellows from prior classes now serve in many leadership positions throughout the Association and the current fellows will join those ranks.

As the new bar year begins, we are turning the page to a new strategic plan.  Recognizing that the original strategic plan had run its natural course, the Association undertook a lengthy process to outline the goals for the BAMC for the next five years.  We engaged the American Bar Association’s Division of Bar Services to assist in that effort.  The ABA aided in the drafting, distribution and review of a stakeholders survey and moderated a day-long strategic planning conference during the Fall of 2015.  Over the course of the following year, multiple subcommittees devoted hundreds of hours to creating a detailed plan of implementation.  Finally, in March of this year, Strategic Planning Committee chair Casey Weinberg Florance presented the final plan for approval by the Executive Committee.  The new plan was unanimously approved.  Many thanks to Casey and the entire Strategic Planning Committee for all of your hard work on this most ambitious project. 

The current strategic plan will guide the Association during the coming years and, as the incoming president, I look forward to implementing the goals that have been identified.  As in years past, we will continue to focus on the services and benefits we provide to our members.  Additional efforts will be focused on expanding and diversifying our membership.  We also look forward to expanding our use of digital and social media to connect and communicate with our members and the public. 

The final goal is to fully realize our commitment to serving the community.  At present, the BAMC and Bar Foundation support many worthy programs including Drug Court, Law School for the Public, High School Mock Trial, Special Olympics, Creating a New Tomorrow and the Summer Scholars Pipeline Program.  We can and want to do more by providing expanded opportunities for our members to fulfill the Association’s commitment to serve the public while advancing the reputation of the Association in the community.  These goals are noble but they are also expensive.  That reality prompted the final and most ambitious goal of the current strategic plan:  the establishment of an endowment.

The fellows of the 2016-17 Leadership Development Academy class have embraced this challenge.  As their group project during the last year, they have created a fundraising campaign called Take Five that will fund a true endowment.  Please take a few moments to review their website at takefivecampaign.com.  You can donate by either making a one-time donation or electing a recurring monthly donation that can be charged to a credit card.  The fellows will also have a table at Law Day.  Please be sure to stop by to speak with them about their project and, if you haven’t already, to make a donation.

In crafting the new strategic plan we have purposefully set a high bar.  We owe as much to our membership and the community we serve.  I hope that each of our members will support these efforts as we continue our pursuit of the BAMC’s core values:  Professionalism, Integrity, Equality & Service.  It is truly a privilege to serve as your president in “year one” of the new plan and I look forward to the challenge.

In Appreciation:  As our 2016-17 bar year concludes and a new year begins, I want to thank and recognize the efforts of our outgoing officers, President Lauri Cleary, Treasurer Ron Canter, Secretary Bibi Berry, New Practitioners Chair Elizabeth McInturff and executive committee members Heather Collier, Karen Ferretti, Patrick Hoover, Christina Hughes, Judge Sherri Koch and Roslyn Tang.  Many thanks to each of you for your hard work and dedication during the past year!

Jim Mood