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President's Message - June 2018

by Lisa Denig, Esq.

“Rest and be thankful.”  William Wadsworth

I ran across this quote the other day and thought it perfect for my final address as president of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association.  I do, indeed, intend to rest from the myriad duties of being president of this great organization, but not without first being thankful for all the opportunities that the position has afforded me this past year.  (Ignore the audible scoffing from my husband who would be quick to add that I never rest and, thus, this is an empty promise.  “Rest” is a subjective term, defined in different ways by different people!)

I am, first and foremost, grateful for the amazing support and energy that I witnessed this year from my executive officers.  Their creative thinking and willingness to jump in and take on new tasks and programs created the foundation that I needed in order to pursue all the new initiatives and ideas I had when I first took office.  At times, the presidency can feel like a lonely, overwhelming position, but that is only because we women, so used to doing it all on our own, fail to see the enormous power of “asking for help.”  Including the officers in major decisions and programmatic initiatives truly made my work easy and forged a bond between the eight of us that will never be broken.  Our quarterly dinners were by far the best part of my presidency. 

I am also thankful for the executive board and committee chairpersons.  As I look back over a year of programs and CLEs that span an incredible range of topics – sexual harassment, paid family leave, appellate practice, breast cancer awareness, forensic evaluations, CASA in the courts – I am awed by the breadth and depth of the legal knowledge of our committee chairs and even more impressed by their enthusiasm and dedication to sharing that knowledge with others in the legal community.  I stand by my oft-repeated quote when speaking about the WWBA – “No other organization offers the type of timely and diverse programs that we do.” 

Finally, I am grateful for all of the members of the WWBA who supported our new initiatives this past year.  The officers and I had three main goals:  to increase the number of social events we provided; to expand our social media presence; and to reach out to younger attorneys and law students.  I am thrilled to say that we made progress on all three fronts, thanks to so many members who participated.  We descended on Broadway to see a new musical; we learned how to properly taste wine; we volunteered to stock shelves at the Hillside Food Pantry; we tried our hand at painting; we formed our first Book Club and met for First Friday lunches; and we even learned to spin!  All of these “new” programs were a concerted effort to bring our members together in casual, fun settings – what we call the “new networking” model. 

We also started an Instagram account and increased our posting to all three social media sites this year.  Many of you helped in this process by sending your photos from events and we will continue to focus on this aspect of our group in the upcoming year.  Additionally, we signed up over 50 Pace Law School students in one day of manning a table at Pace’s common hour.  Many of these students have volunteered to work the sign in desk at several of our events and have become valued members of the WWBA.  These students are the future of our organization and we must do all that we can to cultivate a meaningful relationship with them. 

Finally, I am grateful to be passing the torch to an incredibly capable, enthusiastic and hard-working new president, Kim Berg.  As proud as I am of all the progress that we have made this past year, it would mean nothing if I felt that this momentum was not going to continue.  I have no doubt that we will keep this steamroller moving forward, and I am confident in relinquishing my position to Kim who has already begun working on strengthening and growing this beloved organization. 

Thank you for entrusting me with the leadership of the WWBA this past year.  Now, I can rest…whatever that means. 

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