Immediate Past President
|Agnes Jury||Women Lawyers|
|Sara Boyd||Young Lawyers|
|Charitable Giving||Lawrence LaSusa|
|Entertainment/Special Events||John Lynch|
|Continuing Legal Education||Lawrence LaSusa
|Pro Bono||Jennifer Gray|
|Young Lawyers Association||Sara Boyd|
|Women Lawyers Association||Agnes Jury|
|Probate Court Judicial Liaison||Stacey Truesdell|
|Family Division Circuit Court Liaison||Stacey Truesdell|
|District Court Judicial Liaison||John Lynch|
|Circuit Court Judicial Liaison||Jennifer Gray|
|State Bar Representatives||(1) Agnes Jury
This document briefly outlines the duties of the Board members and officers. The GTLA Bar Association has five officers. They are the Secretary, Treasurer, President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President. Historically these positions have been stepping stones, one to the one above. The person who is Secretary would, for example, be expected to be the next Treasurer, and, after that, the President-Elect, etc. This provides continuity, training, institutional memory, and predictability.
The first step on the officer ladder is Secretary. The basic duty of Secretary is to attend all Board meetings and write the minutes. The Secretary should read those portions of Robert's Rules of Order concerning how to write minutes and what should be in them. Some Presidents have chosen to read the draft minutes before they are sent to the Board for approval.
The next position is Treasurer. The Secretary would be the person who runs for and becomes the Treasurer. The Treasurer is an extremely important position for a number of reasons. First, it is one of the stepping stones to ultimately being President Elect and President. Second, the Treasurer is in a perfect and unique position to learn the details of the Association's activities and the Board's interactions with the Executive Director. The Treasurer does the actual bookkeeping and paying of checks with QuickBooks. This gives the Treasurer excellent knowledge of the organization and what is happening. It also saves the Association hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in bookkeeper fees. The Treasurer attends all Board meetings and provides timely financial reports to the Board. In the spring, the Treasurer is deeply involved with the President, President Elect, and Executive Director in creating the draft budget.
The next position is President-Elect. Historically, being President-Elect was, in part, an award for doing all the hard work of being Treasurer. Other than attending all Board meetings, in and of itself, the President-Elect position has no actual duties other than to watch and wait, think, consider, and ultimately become President. The President-Elect, who has previously been Secretary and Treasurer, should proceed to being President. This is a position meant to prepare the holder to become President. The By-Laws provide that "The President-Elect shall be a voting member of the Board of Governors for three (3) years, the first year as president elect, the second year as president and the third year as immediate past president." By-Laws, Article IV(1)(2).
The next position is President. The President is the chief executive officer of the Association, is responsible for the general supervision and management of the business and affairs of the Association and sees that all orders and resolutions of the Board are carried into effect. The President presides over all meetings of the Board and of the members, and because of the President's office is a member of all committees. The president, in general, performs all duties incident to the office of President and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board. Id, Article Vl(4). The President sets and creates the agenda, attends and presides over all Board meetings, and supervises and regularly meets with the Executive Director. The President sets the tempo and direction of the organization for the year. The President is actively involved with making sure the committee structure is working effectively. This includes having committee chairs, members and programs. This especially includes, for example, the newsletter, golf outing, spring and fall dinners, pro bono, and Law Day. In addition, sixty days before the scheduled date of the annual meeting of members, the president appoints a nominating committee to nominate candidates for officers and Board members. Id, Article V(I ).
The final officer position is Immediate Past President. The Immediate Past President is the prior president. The Immediate Past President is a voting member of the Board and should attend all Board meetings. The Immediate Past President is, in a way, like the British Monarch. The job of the Immediate Past President is to silently listen and privately provide advice to the President. In addition, the Immediate Past President fulfills the duties of the President when the President is unable or unavailable to fulfill the President's duties. Id, Article VI(6).
There are six members-at-large on the Board of Governors with staggered terms. Members attend all Board meetings. The Board meetings should be put on the member's calendar for the entire year so these dates are kept available for attending Board meetings. The basic duty of the Board members is to be actively involved with the Association, the Board, and the committees. In addition, being an at-large Board member is an avenue to being Secretary, which is the first officer step to ultimately being President.
The Presidents of the Young Lawyers Association and the Women Lawyers Association are members of the Board of Governors. In addition, the representatives of the 13th Circuit Court area to the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly are non-voting members of the Board. Board Members and Officers interact occasionally with other organizations, related or not related to the Association. These include the Free Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC), and the GTLABA Foundation.
The Free Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC) is held every Tuesday evening at Third Level Crisis Intervention Center in the Child and Family Services Building, 3785 Veterans Drive, Traverse City. It is an opportunity for individuals to receive free and confidential legal advice and problem clarification from attorneys of the GTLA Bar Association. Over 60 attorneys from the bar volunteer their time to the program and answer legal questions of all types.
Patrons are asked to call at 5:00 p.m. sharp to sign up for the clinic, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 15 people who arrive. Phone number: 231-922-4800.
In 2000, the GTLA Bar Association established an endowment fund with the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. Donations to the endowment since that time have been through self-initiated individual bar member donations rather than a focused fund raising effort by the Association. The GTLABA Endowment Fund may annually spend up to 4% of its total fund value for donation to a tax exempt charity, as recommended by the Advisory Council to the endowment, and approved by the Community Foundation Board. A recipient of endowment funds must be a 501(c)(3) charity, serving the five county region. The Advisory Council is made up of Association members, the same members that also serve the Association's Charitable Giving Committee. Donations to the endowment are tax deductible. Donations to the Bar Association are not tax deductible, which was one incentive for establishing the endowment fund. Donations to the fund can be from any source and are not limited to those of Bar Members. Of late, the Board has voted to donate the annual proceeds from the GTRCF to the Third Level Free Legal Aid Clinic
There is no doubt that being a Board Member or Officer of the GTLA Bar Association is a rewarding professional and personal experience. Anyone interested in any of the opportunities outlined above, including being active with Association members and committees, out-reach in groups such as the FLAC, and climbing the officer ladder to become President of the Association, is encouraged to reach out to one of the current Board Members.