A Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY)
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President's Message - November 2021

by Amanda C. Fried

Although I can’t fathom how it happened, sources tell me that November is upon us – a month of turkey, family gatherings, and warm sweaters.  This month brings us World Kindness Day on November 13th, World Peace Day on November 27th, and National Adoption Day on November 23rd, and it reminds us of the many things for which we are thankful.

I can remember that, during my childhood, my mother always kept a gratitude journal, and my blessings this year are particularly bountiful.

I am grateful for our Executive Committee:  Kim Berg, who is a priceless source of knowledge;  Angela Morcone Giannini, who believed in me before I believed in myself and has always been my champion; Judge Lisa Margaret Smith, who graciously tolerated my neuroses during my year as President-Elect; Elizabeth Marcus, who will make an incredible leader next year; Tanya Briendel, who somehow endured years as my co-chair for the Programs Committee and has fantastic ideas; Jen Gray, who is my absolute favorite Annual Dinner door co-greeter and handles everything with grace;  Julie Passman, who is more qualified and skilled than she knows;  Deborah Farber-Kaiser, who makes sure I know that I have a friend to fall back on; Jill Oziemblewski, who is an absolute treasure for her extraordinary work on this newsletter; and Amanda Rieben, who is unbelievably organized, thoughtful, and helpful.  

I am grateful for our Past Presidents, who nurture me, guide me, and support me as I take on the challenge of this Presidency.

I am grateful for our Executive Director, Elisabeth Campos, who reminds me at least daily that the sky is not, in fact, falling, and without whom I would be perpetually lost.

I am grateful for our Board of Directors, who work diligently and endlessly to better our organization and their community.  Their inventiveness and brilliance astounds me each month. 

I am grateful for WBASNY, who reminds me that we are part of a larger family and that each of us plays a crucial role.

I am grateful for our membership, whose accomplishments, intelligence, and desire to participate is unparalleled, and I am so extremely honored to be in a position to lead their organization this year.

I am grateful for our fellow bar associations, whose, not just willingness, but desire, to partner together is noticed and appreciated. 

I am grateful for my parents, who have provided the blueprint for working hard and working smart, and who have believed in, protected, cherished, challenged, supported, and loved the stuffing out of me my entire life.

I am grateful for my grandmother who, although I can no longer see her, is with me every day. 

I am grateful for Zoe, who is my (constant) companion and everything I never knew I needed.

I am grateful for my circle of friends, who taught me that family isn’t always connected by blood.     

I am grateful for my memories of childhood Thanksgivings, where we gathered in Carmel, NY with old friends and extended family, going on nature walks, driving the tractor, playing board games, and working together on a mural to hang over the this-must-be-what-heaven-smells-like fireplace.

I am grateful for traditions old and new, friends near and far, and the joy that this month represents.  Specifically, though, I am grateful for each of you.  “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”  -Marcel Proust

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