It is an incredible honor and privilege for me to serve you all as the President of this most worthy and vibrant organization that is the hub of our legal community, and the gold standard of bars in our state and country. I follow a long lineage of dedicated leaders that came before me and who sacrificed and gave their time to improve our profession and our communities. From as far back as I can remember the BCBA has been held in high esteem, and I am honored to follow in the large footsteps of the decades of Past Presidents that I knew of as a child and then came to know as a young student and lawyer; from the late J.B. Patterson to August Paoli, to Ray Ferrero, Jr, to Harry Carratt, to George Allen to Judge Henry Latimer, to Skip Campbell and through our most recent Presidents of the past 3 decades whom are my mentors and friends, that have served along with me for so many years since I was on the Young Lawyers board in 1993.
I was fortunate enough to have mentors of the highest caliber and to be raised by my father, the Late Chief Court Deputy Americo “Rick” Finizio, who believed in serving others. He raised me and my siblings to use our skills and gifts to help others. He imparted his wisdom and way of living upon me following the “To whom much is given much is expected” proverb. It was only natural for me to volunteer at every opportunity presented to me in life, beginning with volunteering as an elementary safety patrol leader (with an orange cross belt and badge), class president giving out the morning message, through President of Key Club and progressing through to my new role of Presidency of the BCBA. I plan to lead this organization by setting the tone of giving back, lifting others in our profession, and allowing our whole bar to become stronger as a result of this way of life and practice.
The purpose of human life is to serve, to show compassion, and to help others. ~ Albert Schweitzer
“You must give some time to your fellow man,” Schweitzer counseled. “Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who have need of a man’s help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.”
We have grown to one of the largest bar associations in the country with over 3700 members. We now have full 100% membership from our Broward Judiciary, thanks to our Chief Judge Tuter and our past Judicial liaisons to our board, Judge Levinson, Judge Singhal, and Judge Gillespie, who have helped to intertwine our Judiciary fully with our BCBA. Along with this membership follows tremendous program participation by our Judiciary and Judiciary from other parts of the state, including the Appellate courts and our Florida Supreme court. We are looked to by other bars around the state and their members as the stalwart for programming, events and updates in our profession. We have expanded our effectiveness and reach through the use of remote programming, and there are events and CLE’s occurring almost daily through our bar.
Due to our financial health from sound budgeting and successful management, we have been able to seize the opportunity that was presented to purchase the valuable office property directly adjacent to our building, which will allow us to serve our members in even more ways such as client conferencing centers, mediation rental space, trial preparation work space and voluntary bar and organization meeting places. And with the new federal courthouse location on the horizon across the street from our office, we have much to offer to accommodate our members who have needs for Federal court practice only steps away, as well as State court practice, literally down the street.
I extend congratulations and thanks to my good friends, our dynamic outgoing Past Presidents Robert Vaughan and Michael Fischler and our YLS Past President Omar Giraldo for your hard work and leadership over the past years, and especially over this past most challenging year of Covid. I am eager to work with all our members, the enthusiastic incoming YLS officers and directors and this year’s knowledgeable, hardworking, brilliant, diversified and most capable BCBA Board and fellow Executive Committee Members, all of whom are a part of our BCBA family. And I know that I speak for our entire board and committee members when I voice a heartfelt thank you to our illustrious Executive Director Braulio Rosa and our dream team BCBA staff, who make us all shine in all that we do. Our Broward BCBA has been recognized on many levels, most recently through the ED leadership award presented to our very own Braulio, for taking our Bars to new levels during the pandemic year by allowing us to grow and be profitable, and by lifting up other affiliate bars and other county bars throughout the state during the most challenging times of the past 15 months. The recent Florida Bar Annual Conference theme of “Brighter Days Ahead” is also appropriate for our local bar as we forge ahead and help to create more opportunity for success for all our members, from both a professional and personal perspective. We will focus on the mental well-being of our members, going hand in hand with their professional well-being, through out-of-the-box, cutting-edge programming and interaction within our community, offering something for everyone’s needs and likes. Our Lawyer Referral Service program has grown to new heights, and many attorneys may benefit from this program. Our comprehensive website provides an abundance of information for our members and we are the first place that our members may turn to in order to be updated on Court happenings, administrative orders, and local practice tips. We truly care about our members and community, and we are here to listen to any input that will help us with our mission.
I personally look forward to seeing you at our upcoming LIVE Installation dinner at the Ritz on our beautiful Fort Lauderdale Beach. There, we will all celebrate being together for the first time as a Bar, our successes from over the past year due to resilience, creativity and fortitude, and we will salute those who have helped our communities. I personally want to thank each of you for your membership and for your participation in our BCBA. In line with our theme for our Installation “9/11: A Salute to our First Responders” and patriotic USA theme, “We want YOU” to be a part of our Team BCBA and mission. We need each of you, and our synergy together can accomplish so much! Thank you for the honor bestowed upon me to serve you and our bar membership’s needs.
Jamie Finizio Bascombe