How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. That something is you who make KCBA such a special organization. With this, my final column, I want to take a moment to recognize all of you who make KCBA the best.
Who are all of you?
You are the members of KCBA. As KCBA members, lawyers and judges, you never cease to amaze me with your willingness to give to KCBA: serving on committees and workgroups; participating in sections; donating time to KCBA's pro bono programs; conducting CLEs; improving processes; creating rules; leading and educating the community on the work of KCBA; funding the work of our Foundation; and donating thousands of hours to KCBA programs. You define what KCBA is - keeping it strong, relevant and necessary.
You are the King County Bar Foundation board and staff. As foundation board and staff members, you are miracle workers establishing an endowment of more than one million dollars; breaking previous fundraising efforts with the Breakfast With Champions; giving scholarships that promote and improve diversity in our profession; and supporting the strongest pro bono program in the state. You impact our community and the future of our profession in many meaningful and positive ways.
You are the KCBA staff. As KCBA staff you keep KCBA functioning; keep our members happy and informed; respond to the community and members professionally; work diligently to ensure the day-to-day operations and the big events of KCBA run smoothly; and convey a positive image of KCBA. You maintain the professionalism, positive image and strong reputation enjoyed by KCBA.
You are the section and committee chairs. As section and committee chairs, you are the unsung heroes shaping policy; engaging members; identifying member needs; training and mentoring members; educating the legal community; and ensuring many of KCBA's most valuable services are performed and delivered. You make KCBA's mission statement a reality.
You are the KCBA Board of Trustees. As trustees you are the leaders of KCBA, delving into and directing the direction of policy issues; providing oversight of the budget and KCBA's work; supporting the work of the staff and membership; taking risks; exercising caution; and serving as a voice of the membership. You lead KCBA, ensuring that its viability, integrity and mission continue and thrive.
You are the Young Lawyers Division. As YLD you are the future of KCBA, creating camaraderie and collegiality among newer members of the bar; supporting new members in their professional endeavors; encouraging pro bono work; and reminding all of KCBA that being a lawyer can be fun. You are KCBA's future.
The KCBA Executive Committee: Steve Rovig, Kim Tran, Bob Wayne and Jennifer Paysano. You are the conscience of KCBA. Your evaluation, questioning, brainstorming and recommending of how to proceed on issues are invaluable. You keep KCBA and the Board true to our mission and serving the membership. You help KCBA do what is right. You are an incredible group of hard-working, committed individuals for whom I have the utmost respect.
In addition to these groups of "you," there is an individual who also makes saying goodbye hard.
Andy Prazuch, the executive director of KCBA/KCBF. You are the heart and soul of KCBA. While I've appreciated all you do for KCBA, this past year that appreciation has shifted to admiration and awe. You inspire and encourage great ideas, work and results from everyone affiliated with KCBA. Your celebration and recognition of past KCBA accomplishments, while moving KCBA into the future, are masterful.
Your even temper and diplomacy when working with thousands of lawyers are admirable. Your focus, along with your gentle direction and redirection to keep others focused, is a talent. You are a genius at multi-tasking and knowing the status of every KCBA project and initiative. Your vision, energy, hard work and leadership keep KCBA alive. For me personally, your humor, support, insight, guidance and kindness have made this past year especially memorable and special.
As I finish my term as KCBA president, I have reflected on my comments at last year's Annual Dinner when coming into office. I said I love lawyers and I love KCBA. I still do. I love your generosity, spirit, passion and hope. I am so proud to be one of you and thankful for the relationships and friendships made over the past 12 months. I love lawyers and I love KCBA even more than I did a year ago.
Thank you for a productive, fun and memorable year. It has been my absolute honor and privilege to serve as your president. I am truly lucky. Thank you for making it hard to say goodbye.