Happy 2015 to our returning and new members, and welcome to what I hope will be another great year for the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
As I struggled to find a great way either to remind existing members or to inform new members about what makes the chapter so special, I decided to borrow from the summary contained on the landing page on our website. I've paraphrased it a bit (adding an explanatory parenthetical, because I am incapable of writing without them).
With great thanks to the original author -- our Executive Director Jon Hellings -- here's a brief introduction to who we are:
The San Diego Chapter of the ACC serves the needs of in-house counsel in the San Diego metropolitan area. From the foundation laid by our founding fathers in 1992, we have built the San Diego Chapter to be the preeminent bar association serving San Diego's corporate counsel. We are honored to have been selected as Chapter of the Year in 1999, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 (and, in case you were worried about our having been shut out in even-numbered years since 2004, ACC rules prevent chapters from winning two years in a row, so our record since 2004 has been blemish free). Many of those who have been involved since the Chapter's inception continue to comment on the number of members (600-plus) and the success of our programs.
This is a nice teaser, but our Chapter Mission Statement fills in the picture a bit more. In the words of that mission statement, we are:
1. The essential bar association in San Diego County, recognized as the key resource for information, networking, professional development, education and social activities for in-house attorneys;
2. An organization with engaged and active members;
3. An organization that inspires its members to give back to the legal community and the community at large;
4. The public advocate or voice for local corporate legal and business communities;
5. A well-recognized and respected organization in the legal and business communities.
As 2015 chapter president, I hope to continue the tradition of excellence exemplified by my predecessors and by our board of directors, without whom the many accomplishments of the chapter would simply not be possible.
Among the excellent traditions we will continue in 2015 are the following:
· A wide range of MCLE-credited offerings, including quarterly Practice Committee Roundtable Discussion Groups, regularly-scheduled brown bag lunches and law firm-hosted seminars, as well as our Annual GC Roundtable and All-Day MCLE Program at which you can obtain all necessary credits for your three-year MCLE reporting period (including those tough-to-find ethics and substance abuse credits);
· Conducting at least one MCLE program with our sister chapter in Singapore (we'll do this by webcast to avoid jet lag and excessive air fare);
· Our Partnership Program for in-transition attorneys, led by our Professional Development Committee;
· Our annual Make a Difference Day event sponsored by our Pro Bono Committee;
· Family Fun Day at one of Southern California's many theme parks, spearheaded by outgoing Chapter President Mike Wagner;
· The Fall Wine Social (which pretty much speaks for itself);
· Various Social Group events, like beer club outings (continuing a theme suggested by the Fall Wine Social), golf club outings, hiking group outings (which are basically the same as golf club outings, except without clubs, balls, and self-loathing), and ACC-SD Night at the Movies.
In addition to these excellent existing traditions, we hope to be able to start some new ones in 2015, and the boundaries of such activities are limited only by the imagination and energy of our members, and the patience of our awesome executive director.
As successful (and worthwhile and fun) as the chapter has been, we can only continue to be these things with your active involvement, and with the support of our terrific sponsors.
So I urge you (a) to continue to participate in as many events as possible in 2015, (b) encourage in-house friends and colleagues who might not already be involved in the Chapter to become involved, and (c) let the law firms with whom you work know how much you value their support of the chapter (or -- if they are not already sponsors -- please encourage them to become sponsors).
Also, please don't hesitate to reach out to me, any member of our chapter board, or any committee chair with thoughts, suggestions, or concerns. And of course, our Executive Director, Jon Hellings, truly does keep this ship afloat (an appropriate nautical reference, given Jon's passion for sailing). Please feel free to reach out to him as well at ACCA-SD@cox.net, and he can almost certainly either address your questions directly or put you in immediate touch with someone who can.
I look forward to having the opportunity to spend time with you in 2015, and I thank you in advance for everything you will do to enable the chapter to carry on its tradition of excellence.
President, San Diego Chapter
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Jack in the Box