by Marsha Kendall, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Wow! April 1st has come and gone, and I am both excited and humbled by the prospect of building upon the great initiatives we achieved this past year under Gina’s leadership.
As the undisputed leader of the business of law, ALA members and Chapters are encouraged to strive for excellence. No one exemplifies this passion for excellence better than our immediate past President, Gina Sanfillippo. Under her guidance the Chapter has become a poster child for innovation, development, engagement and advancement.
This last year we experienced the introduction of the Business Partner-Student Intern Program, our Diversity & Inclusion Committee, the HR Specialty Luncheon Series, and the Phoenix Leadership Workshop to name a few. We have provided scholarships and stipends to conferences for more members than ever before, and in a period where other Chapters are facing stagnant or declining membership our ranks have grown from 85 to 115 members. Thank you Gina for an amazing year!
So what’s next?
As we look to the coming term I hope to focus on Growth through Education. I believe we can help our members to develop both personally and professionally by continuing to provide high quality opportunities for learning such as our recent Phoenix Leadership Workshop.
This past year we learned that we can increase Chapter membership by expanding our opportunities for education, and I hope to build upon that experience. Our HR Specialty Series has enabled us to attract functional specialists and provide more tailored learning experiences for our members and we will continue this progression with the addition of a second series this summer, and possibly a third early next year. These functional specialists have enabled us to diversify the size of our member firms and target multiple members per organization. And of course we all know the benefits of diversity.
The student intern program continues to be an innovative way to attract and develop tomorrow’s leaders and we plan to expand the size of the program this year. These new members have provided great value to the Chapter as they help us to navigate new and creative ways to improve our social media presence and provide multiple means for communication.
We intend to be more aggressive than ever with scholarship opportunities, particularly for the Business of Law Conference scheduled for October 6th through 8th in downtown Phoenix. It is our belief that ALA conferences are an excellent way to energize members and help them to provide value to their firms. We hope to provide several individuals with the chance to attend.
Chapter involvement is another great way to progress professionally. As we continue to increase our numbers, we will look to add new Committee positions to give more members the means to participate. I cannot emphasize enough how valuable the ALA has been to me personally by providing a safe environment outside my firm in which to improve my skills.
Last year the Chapter participated in the development of a phone app that is a Certified Legal Management (CLM) study tool. Our monthly education lunches follow specific CLM tracks and we hope to better support those members looking to obtain CLM status through the reintroduction of a study group.
The Chapter also offers a mentor program which is a great way for new individuals and those that have been inactive to get involved with the Chapter. The mentor program is also a means for experienced members to hone their mentoring skills.
Bottom line, we have an amazing Chapter and I could not be more proud to take the reins for the coming year. Our past presidents, board members and membership at large have provided a strong foundation and I look forward to the journey ahead.
Please feel free to reach out to me anytime with questions, concerns or just to chat. Our Board meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month and you are welcome to attend at any time. I am passionate about the ALA and encourage any of you that have an interest to get involved.
Our possibilities are only limited by the strength of our imagination – so let’s get creative!