David W. Hood, President, 2016-2017
Well, here is something most folk have been looking forward to! This is my last President’s Message before the NCADA Presidency is passed to my worthy successor, Todd Brown from the Charlotte office of Hunton & Williams. It has been a true honor and pleasure for me to serve in this capacity, and to have this opportunity to say a few words at the beginning of each issue of The Resource.
When I took over last June, I suggested a plan of action for our organization that had three components. First, I challenged us to “Broaden our Base”, a focus on recruitment. There has been significant progress on this front. We have used new methods to encourage our current members to find and propose new members. Also, we now have some expectations in place for Board members and others to be involved in this process, not just the Membership Committee. As part of our recruitment efforts, we have also reached out to subsets of our members, such as Trucking and Financial Services, to determine what we can do better to cater to their needs and thus encourage others in such practice areas to join. The Immediate Past President now serves as the chair of the Membership Committee, so I look forward to continuing our progress in this area during the 2016-17 year.
Second, I challenged the NCADA to “Bolster our Brand.” I suggested that we refine our messaging and our story to better communicate who we are, what we do, and where we want to be. This has involved an increased role for Practice Group leadership in programming and communications, an initiative to better identify us as THE voice for lawyers in North Carolina who represent business interests, and a stated goal to deepen our already strong commitment to diversity in the leadership of our organization. I believe we have also made good gains in this second part of our plan, and this will continue in the Fall as we participate with other statewide organizations in the sponsorship of a series of candidate debates for the November elections.
Third, I proposed that we as an organization “Boost our Benefits” so that NCADA members get even more bang for their buck. In addition to our normal programming, one way we boosted our benefit this year was to start the first NCADA Winter Workshop in January. This was a CLE focused on general programming in the morning for everyone, with the whole afternoon devoted to Practice Group-specific topics. Thanks to the hard work of the CLE chair J.D. Keister, Lynette, and others, this was a great addition to our offerings that I hope will continue in future years. We also have Board members working on new projects such as a Speakers Bureau, an Expert Witness Database, and help for NCADA members who serve as mediators.
So, in short. Progress made, and more progress expected going forward. I’d like to thank our Board, and especially the five members about to rotate off, for their hard work this year. I’d like to thank all the Practice Group and Committee leaders for putting up with my seemingly endless requests for assistance and leadership in carrying out this little plan of mine. I’d like to praise our current Executive Committee for their dedication to the growth and development of our organization. And, of course, I’d like to highlight the awesomeness that is Executive Director Lynette Pitt – without her, ain’t nuthin good gonna happen no how for the NCADA.