President's Message - September 2018
by Kim Berg, Esq.
The WWBA 2018-2019 year kicked off with our extraordinary celebration and swearing in of officers at the WWBA Annual Dinner at the beautiful Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club on June 6, 2018. In my speech, I discussed the importance of having historical perspective and how, with reflection on past events and hindsight being “20/20” we can use historical perspective to set the guideposts for our future course. Having had the tremendous benefit of serving as President Elect last year under the tutelage of Past President Lisa Denig, I have spent the summer months planning and setting in motion the WWBA’s future course for the upcoming year.
My first effort was to get our committees set up and having our amazing co-chairs of our over 50 committees conceptualize the programs, events and activities they will plan for our new fiscal year. I must sincerely thank all of our committee co-chairs who were in place by our organizational meeting on July 25th and have been filling the Fall calendar with CLEs, programs, and networking events for our members’ benefit. Many of our committees have seen the addition of members who are stepping up for the first time as co-chairs and we welcome their ideas and efforts. Please take a look at our website to see all of the committees and consider joining a committee that fits with your area of practice or where you feel you can meaningfully contribute. Joining is simple, just click on the “Join” link next to the committee of interest. There is truly something for everyone.
I am very pleased to form two new committees: Wellness and Women in Leadership. These new committees can certainly benefit from your input and assistance. Our new Wellness Committee, co-chaired by Jennifer Netrosio and Susan Mills Richmond, will focus on tips for achieving work-life balance, wellness strategies, and hosting several fun and active events this year focused on improving our overall mental and physical well-being. Our new Women in Leadership Committee, chaired by Adrienne Arkontaky, will focus on issues and challenges that impact women who serve in leadership positions in private and public sector positions and law firms.
We kicked off our networking programs on August 9, 2018 with a beautiful evening of “cocktails and conversation” at the Red Hat on the River. The turnout was fantastic and included a diverse group of new members, existing members, law students, practitioners in a range of substantive areas, sponsors, judges, and a few of our friends from the Rockland County Women’s Bar Association chapter.
We have so many programs already in place for the Fall 2018. How can you learn about upcoming programs that might be of interest? The WWBA circulates a weekly update, emailed to you every Tuesday, for upcoming events and you can find links for easy sign up for every program listed. If you are reading these updates, you may have noticed the month of September is already chock full of programs and events. You can also find all of our programs online at www.wwbany.org under the Calendar tab.
On September 5, 2018, we invite all WWBA members to the first of four General Membership Meetings. The topic “Implicit Bias is Real: A Candid Discussion on Subconscious Stereotyping” can be used to fulfill the new one credit CLE requirement in Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias. In hearing my goals of diversifying our membership, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Employment Law Committees have arranged for an esteemed panel to engage in a very frank discussion about implicit bias: Honorable Shira Scheindlin, retired U.S.D.C. S.D.N.Y., Of Counsel at Stroock, Stroock & Lavan; Taa Grays, Esq. VP & Associate General Counsel of Information Governance at Met Life; and Nikki Adame-Winningham, Esq., Corporate Counsel for Pfizer, Inc.
On September 6, 2018, the Book Club will meet to discuss “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote” by Elaine Weiss.
On September 7, 2018, the Women in Professional Transition will meet for their monthly brown bag lunch to discuss the challenges and creative solutions for those facing or contemplating changes in their professional lives.
On September 27, 2018, please join us for a another networking event, this time welcoming our newest members at our annual “New Member Reception” and “Meet the Executive Board” event where members, including law students, will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with our Executive Officers and Board members, learn more about the WWBA, potentially link up with a mentor or mentee, and learn more about rewarding ways to get involved in the WWBA. Non-members are also welcome so please feel free to bring a colleague and peak their interest in joining the Westchester Women’s Bar Association.
Of course these events, and your participation as members of committees and attendees of our events, all help to sustain and grow our membership – another goal I mentioned at the annual installation dinner. In looking back on the past and attempting to solidify the WWBA’s future membership, I have set up a long range planning “task force” headed by Lisa Denig and Susan Edwards Colson. This plan is critical for our sustaining our membership and continuing to be a strong entity at the state level. In an effort to secure our place in the present day, I have been working diligently with the Membership Committee, co-chaired by Kristen Motel and Sherry Bishko, to sustain existing members, sign up new members, and reach out to those who have recently joined to get them involved and active in the WWBA. We will be collaborating with the Presidents of the Pace University School of Law Student Bar Association and Women’s Association of Law Students to recruit law students as part of our drive to increase membership now and for the WWBA’s future. The Law Student Members are eager to get involved, can assist with your committee’s programs and events, and are in need of mentors which is something the Westchester Women’s Bar Association can give back to them and our local legal community.
As you can see from just the plans made for September, the WWBA offers unique and varied programs, events and CLEs which will peak the interest of a wide range of members. Of course, all of our efforts could not be accomplished without our wonderful Jewel Sponsors. We are truly grateful to have the continued support of our Diamond Sponsor Sterling National Bank and Emerald Sponsor BNY Mellon, as well as the addition of our second, and new, Emerald Sponsor Benchmark Title.