Michelle B. Winstead (2012-2013)
It is a great honor to be President of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators for 2012-2013. Since joining ALA in 2006, I have had the great fortune of learning from some of the best legal administrators in Jacksonville and in the country. Our Chapter has had the privilege of having outstanding Presidents, hard working Board of Directors and members who are committed to improving our Chapter and our profession. This includes our current Board of Directors who are enthusiastic about moving this Chapter forward.
Due to the change in the economy our membership has declined in the last year. Our goal is to increase membership and to get our members more involved. We want to increase our attendance at our monthly educational meetings. These meetings not only provide a means for us to build on our knowledge for our profession, but they also provide networking opportunities for our members. This networking opportunity is as important to me as the educational aspect. Just being able to discuss issues with other members makes you feel so much better because they can relate to what you are going through.
We have been very fortunate to have expanded our Business Partner Program through the dedication and hard work of our Business Partner Chairperson Elizabeth Locke, and the support of the Board of Directors and our members. Our Business Partners are an integral part of our Chapter. Their sponsorships help provide our members with educational scholarships to the Annual and Regional Conferences. We’ve added more opportunities for our Business Partners to get to know our members with evening socials and Lunch Bunches. These have been great networking events and opportunities to get to know them on a personal level, not just the business level.
One of the biggest challenges for our Chapter is getting members more involved. In these times of “doing more with less”, we are all stretched for time. The time it takes to be the chairperson of an event or even be a Board member is less than most members think. You have the support and wealth of knowledge of the Board and other members of the Chapter. We work as a team. Get involved! The sense of personal accomplishment, satisfaction and gratitude of your Chapter members is worth it. Become an active member. Everyone benefits when people become involved.
Please contact me or any member of the Board of Directors with any comments or suggestions. Thank you for your time and involvement.