February 2019
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Simcox Retires from Dauphin County Bar Association

Elizabeth Simcox has retired from the Dauphin County Bar Association, effective January 1, 2019, after serving as executive director for seven years. Prior to joining the organization, Liz served as the associate director of development at The Penn State Dickinson School of Law; the first vice president of student services at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology; and dean of students and director of externships at Widener University School of Law. Liz has been an active member of NABE, serving as a member of the Small Bar Conference Committee for several years. She also has been active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association, serving as an executive committee member on the Women in the Profession Commission. Liz plans to enjoy her retirement by relocating to North Carolina to spend time with her daughters and grandchildren, but doesn’t plan to sit idle too long; she’s already started her search for volunteer opportunities. Good luck on all your future endeavors and retirement, Liz!

Santa Clara’s Chris Burdick Announces Retirement

Chris Burdick, Santa Clara County Bar Association CEO & General Counsel, has informed the SCCBA Board of Trustees that she plans to retire in 2019, but will remain in her position until August 16, 2019, to assist with the transition of her incoming president. For the past 29 years, Chris has been with the SCCBA as CEO & General Counsel. Upon her announcement, Chris expressed how extraordinarily lucky she is to have had the good fortune of serving the SCCBA and to do work every day that she loves. And NABE and her colleagues have been lucky to have Chris’ active participation in NABE and her professionalism throughout her tenure. Good luck, Chris, on your next chapter!

Nancy Roberson Announces Retirement from Mecklenburg County Bar

Nancy RobersonNancy Roberson has announced her retirement from the Mecklenburg County Bar effective at the end of February after serving as the bar’s executive director since 2003. At the bar, Nancy’s recent achievements included overseeing the purchase and modernization of the Mecklenburg County Bar and Foundation Center. Prior to her tenure at the MCB, she was senior vice president for external affairs at the Thompson Children’s Home, a nonprofit serving at risk families, and was assistant dean for external relations at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Within NABE, Nancy served on several committees, including the NABE Program Committee, of which she served as chair in 2010-11. Nancy served as NABE secretary and as a local bar director before election as vice president in 2013. She served as NABE president in 2015-16. Thank you, Nancy, for your service to NABE in general and for your engaged participation on the NABE board. You will be missed.

February 2019

President’s Message

By Karen K. Hutchins

Karen K. HutchinsThe 2019 Midyear meeting was a great success for NABE attendees. It is our goal to offer some of the programing via webinars to members who were unable to attend. Thanks to all of the sponsors for supporting NABE and to the Professional Development Committee and Sponsorship Committee for all their efforts. We enjoyed a great conference highlighted by innovative programming, extensive networking opportunities, and a special Wednesday evening show.

At the Midyear business meeting, I provided the members in attendance with an update on the NABE Board’s continuing effort to make NABE more responsive to the needs of its members.

As many of you experience in your own bar association, it takes up almost all of our time to keep up with the day-to-day management responsibilities. When trying to implement new programs and services, we often seek outside consultants to help us create and roll out new member-focused programs.

This is no different for NABE.


NABE Awards Take New Direction

In response to decreasing numbers of nominations for NABE awards in recent years, the NABE Board approved changes to the NABE award process and to the frequency of presentation which it hopes will increase interest in the awards and make nominations easier to submit. While the NABE/LexisNexis Community and Educational Outreach Awards will continue to be presented every year, the board decided to present the Bolton Award and the Peer Excellence Award every other year. The Bolton Award, NABE’s highest honor, will be presented on August 9, 2019, at the NCBP/NABE/NCBF Joint Luncheon in San Francisco to an individual who epitomizes professional excellence. The Peer Excellence Award will next be presented in August 2020 in Chicago and will recognize an individual who has made special contributions to the development of his/her bar executive peers. New this year, award nominations may include video which helps to support the nomination. On the nomination form, just include the URL link for your video posted on your website, YouTube, or another appropriate site. Award Nominations for the 2019 Bolton Award and the 2019 NABE/LexisNexis Community and Educational Outreach Awards must be received by 11:59 p.m., Central, April 5, 2019.

Serve NABE as an Officer or Board Member – Nomination Deadline is Nearing

February 15 is the last date to submit a nomination for the office of vice president, treasurer, or secretary, and for 3 director seats (state, local, at-large) on the NABE Board of Directors. In a new process, candidates will submit applications to the NABE Nominating Committee for the available positions. The committee will review and evaluate the applications and develop a slate of individuals to serve as NABE leaders. This is a change from direct election by the membership. Applications to the Nominating Committee are due by 11:59 p.m., Central, February 15, 2019. The slate will be announced by March 31, 2019. Individuals seeking to challenge the slate and force an election must do so by petition by 11:59 p.m., Central, April 15, 2019. The nominations and elections page provides further details of the nomination and petition process, including job descriptions and requirements for each open position.

NABE Professional Development Committee Needs Your Ideas

The NABE Professional Development Committee will gather March 15-16 in Chicago to plan the NABE 2019 Annual Meeting scheduled for August 6-8, in San Francisco. Got an idea for a topic for a plenary session or breakout, for a speaker who you know will wow the NABE audience, or for an innovative format you’d like NABE to try? Now is the time to speak up. Click on this link to provide your input to the committee. Information submitted by March 6 will be considered. And, if your idea doesn’t make it to San Francisco, fear not…programming ideas also will be shared with other NABE programming entities and may show up in other workshops and in NABE webinars. Thank you for your input!

Law Day 2019 Materials and Ideas Available from the ABA

Law Day 2019If you haven’t finished planning your association’s Law Day celebration, the ABA Public Education Division has materials to help you with your activities. This year’s theme, Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society, focuses upon these essential liberties underpinning American society. Learn more and sign up for Law Day 2019 updates here. And to learn about the Guam Bar Association’s 2018 Law Day Award-winning program to generate some ideas for your own association, read here. The Guam bar was honored in Las Vegas at the NCBP/NABE/NCBF Joint Luncheon for its 2018 programming in which it partnered with the Judiciary of Guam and the District Court of Guam to present a week of activities ranging from mock trials to naturalization programs. Other programs honored at the midyear meting were conducted by the Miami law firm of Hamilton, Miller, and Birthsiel, and by the Long Beach Branch of the NAACP with the firm of Keesal, Young, and Logan. Your bar and legal community could be featured here next year!


NABE heart

Philadelphia Bar Association Hires Hurdle as New Executive Director

The Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors has appointed Harvey Hurdle as its new executive director. Hurdle earned his MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and has over 20 years’ experience in financial and corporate leadership. Before joining the Philadelphia Bar Association, he had most recently been the president and CEO of Leap Strategy, LLC where he advised nonprofits on strategic action planning. Harvey has also served as both COO and CEO of Sellers Dorsey, and COO of the Human Rights Campaign. We welcome Harvey to the Association and NABE.

Merzanis Steps in as New ED at DCBA

Dauphin County Bar Association’s newest executive director is Patrice Merzanis, who began her new role in January 2019. Merzanis had previously been with the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors for over 20 years, serving as its executive vice president and CEO, among a number of other roles. Patrice says she is extremely excited to help lead the DCBA and to work with the dedicated employees and members on the challenges they face. NABE welcomes Patrice and we wish her luck in her new position.

New ED Chosen at KBA and Kansas Bar Foundation

Shelby Lopez has been selected as executive director at the Kansas Bar Association and Kansas Bar Foundation and officially started her new position on December 17, 2018. Lopez is a lifelong Kansas resident, having attended Washburn University and Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, KS, where she earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Early in her chiropractic career, Shelby discovered her love for public service after volunteering with AmeriCorps VISTA, launching a 20-year career in service. Most recently, Lopez served as the executive director of the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions, where she served on numerous committees. She has also been the director of Community Health Promotion at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and is an active volunteer with numerous organizations, including the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy and the National Foster Grandparent Program at Kansas Neurological Institute. We welcome Shelby to the NABE ranks and we look forward to working with her in the years ahead!

What’s New with You and Your Association?

Send news of promotions, retirements, awards, etc., to NABE News Editor Pamela Robinson at pamela.robinson@americanbar.org.

Milestones – Let NABE Know

NABE will share its members’ news of upcoming retirements, significant anniversaries and other achievements in future issues of NABE News. Please let NABE know about your special news by completing a brief questionnaire.

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