As the Broward Bar begins its 99th year in existence, I am honored and humbled to have been installed as President of this remarkable organization. If An Evening At The Speakeasy was any indication, we can all look forward to a fun, inspiring, productive year. It was so exciting to see everyone dress the part and bring us back to our Inaugural Installation in 1925 when Christopher Chancey was installed as the BCBA’s first President. The flapper dresses, pearls and headpieces transported us right back into a supper club in the Roaring 20’s and our own Braulio “The Hitman” Rosa looked as though a gangland shootout could take place at any minute. The night went perfectly, right down to the afterparty where the casino was jumping and the tables were loose. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to begin our new year.
Now that we started with a bang, I have every intention of keeping the momentum going and oh how easy it should be after the unbelievable year we just had with one of my favorite people in the world at the helm, Alison Smith. Madame President set the bar so very high for this organization and truly embraced her role as an ambassador not only for the Broward County Bar Association but the legal profession as a whole in South Florida. And while I hope to ride the wave of collaboration, energy and positivity she brought as President, I don’t know if I can keep up with the wardrobe….but I promise to do my best on all fronts.
And while Alison made leadership look easy, I am sure she can attest that the reason she was able to shine, was the amazing team the BCBA has developed. Between our esteemed Executive Director, Braulio, and the phenomenal staff he has assembled, to the hardworking, dedicated Board of Directors of both the Broward Bar and Young Lawyers Section, to the Section and Committee Chairs that make everything happen, we have created an amazing legal community that has not only thrived but has become respected throughout the State. A lot of this can be attributed to the BCBA’s lead role during Covid in creating a platform to partner with other organizations not only in our own backyard but from every part of Florida. This will continue to be a central theme going forward, as we realize that our partnerships with our local VBA’s not only make the bonds between our organizations stronger but they create more value for each organization’s members. And the alliances we have formed throughout the State have opened doors we didn’t know were possible. Our statewide programing has embraced technology and provided a preview of where the legal landscape is headed as we move forward.
And on that note, this year I have three main goals. First, introducing the South Florida legal community to The Broward County Bar App in the next month, so be on the lookout. Second, I want to see us break the elusive 4,000-member mark at the BCBA, as we have come close at 3,750 and I would love to do what we can to reach it before we turn 100 next year. And last but certainly not least, I want to see our organization make headway in breaking ground on our new Bar Center in the next two years. While this is an ambitious list, none of them have happened overnight, as they all have been years in the making by a multitude of players and to make any of them successful, we are going to need all of your help. So be ready, I’m going to ask a favor or two down the road. Until then, I’m looking forward to making this year productive, exciting, but most of all fun.