Below are the HLA Journal Comments following my acclamation as President of the Association
Thank you for my acclamation as the 78th President of The Hamilton Law Association during these unprecedented, challenging and uncertain times. Having spent a number of years in various roles and positions volunteering with the Hamilton Law Association, I am honoured to now lead the organization through the global COVID-19 pandemic and ensure its continued strength and vibrancy. It is more important than ever that the Hamilton Law Association continue to play the significant and robust role, in the legal traditions of the City of Hamilton and the Province of Ontario, that it has for one hundred and forty-one years.
As a Family Lawyer tucked away in the outskirts of Hamilton, I recognize that some of the membership may not have had a chance to meet me. I am a Henderson Hospital born Hamiltonian. I attended both public school and high school on the mountain and I am a proud graduate of McMaster University. I studied Law at the University of New Brunswick and I have practised in Hamilton since articling and my call to the bar.
The Hamilton Law Association has been integral to the development of my practice, has informed my relationships with colleagues and has tremendously increased my satisfaction in practice. The Hamilton Law Association is one of the biggest, and might I add the best local law association. We have an energy and enthusiasm that is second to none. I look forward to continuing that legacy during my tenure serving as President.
We feel the separation in this world right now. We are unable to grab a coffee or chat about a file with our colleagues in person. We feel anxious about the technological changes that were thrust upon us seemingly overnight. We feel uncertainty about adapting our practice and what the cost of these changes will be to us personally and professionally. Our community wants to come to together, as colleagues, friends and might I go so far to say, even family, but we are constricted. Social distancing measures are absolutely necessary to protect us and our loved ones. Nevertheless, one cannot help but reminisce about the positive times that we spent at the Hamilton Club together for the Annual General Meeting, gathering for the Annual Dinner and Continuing Legal Education with food and drink in hand. We will do this again when we can.
No challenge to our community has ever demanded such a degree of cooperation and united action. The Hamilton Law Association has been a part of this united front and I urge you to take advantage of all of the support and virtual events of the Association. The Hamilton Law Association exists to help its members become successful, respected and fulfilled in their profession. This mandate continues and echoes strong despite the way that our services must be offered. That being said, I urge you to connect with an old friend, colleague or me by phone or online video conferencing software.
Work has been undertaken to protect our staff and volunteers. At the time of this writing, Hamilton Law Association volunteers and staff are working hard to present a number of programs, that were originally postponed due to the current situation, via webinar. I encourage you to take advantage of the online continuing professional development events currently being provided for free or at low cost to our members. All in-person social events and networking opportunities are currently on hold until further notice; however, I am hopeful that by next year we will be able to have an annual dinner and celebrate a return to more social forms of professional development.
It is important to note that Hamilton Law Association staff are still available via telephone at 905-522-1563 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to address member queries related to membership, upcoming CPD events and registrations, Library reference and research, publications, and financial matters.
The Hamilton Law Association staff are currently working to implement its newly acquired association management software, titled iMIS Cloud Enterprise 300. This cloud-based software will enable staff to conduct its many membership, CPD event, financial, marketing, and website-based administrative tasks much more efficiently and effectively through a single web-based platform. This platform will enable our staff to provide a seamless, all-in-one experience for our membership when they connect with the Association. With the new software, members will be able to pay their membership fees, register and pay for CPD events, search the Association’s latest news and publications, and communicate with staff using their personalized membership portal through the Association’s website. As a result, our website will undergo a complete redesign to enable our members to seek out all their membership, research, and educational needs with greater ease. We are very excited about the future possibilities our new association management software will bring to our members.
Many thanks to past president Mark Giavedoni, for his steadfast dedication to the Hamilton Law Association over the last 14 years. He is a true leader and mentor. The Hamilton Law Association was blessed for his countless hours of volunteer work, his precision of execution and kindness.
Thank you for the leadership of our excellent executive director Rebecca Bentham, our dedicated staff, guidance of our trustees, executive members and the contributions of our volunteers.
I wish you equanimity in knowing that there is unity in our association even in these bleak times. I am confident that we can rise to this challenge.