DEAR ACC GEORGIA MEMBERS:
As I look back over the past year, I can’t ignore the difficulties that 2020 has brought each of us. From the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic to the protests related to racial discrimination and beyond, we are certainly living in a historic moment. But as I reflect on 2020, I also can’t ignore the ways in which our in-house counsel community has come together to learn, grow and connect in new ways despite uncertain and trying circumstances.
A Year of Innovative Solutions and Professional Growth
This year, the ACC Georgia Chapter welcomed 196 new members and 3 new sponsors. Our dedicated sponsors graciously pivoted their plans and presentations, and we are proud to have offered 17 webinars this year on a variety of timely topics for in-house counsel. We also hosted six Women’s Initiative events, which took place in-person early in the year and transitioned to virtual meetings in response to COVID-19. We could not have done this without the generous support of our sponsors and the relentless efforts of our board members and other partners.
This year, we also offered members unique ways to grow both personally and professionally. In February, the ACC Georgia Chapter and Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, P.C. hosted a special CLE and networking event for members. The evening began with a CLE session and was followed by a cooking and mixology class where members made dinner and cocktails while networking with peers. In the summer, the ACC Georgia Women’s Initiative hosted a Virtual Public Speaking Workshop featuring Netania Walker. Then in September, we hosted a chapter-wide town hall meeting in which members heard from community leaders and discussed diversity, inclusion and racial bias. And the first ever virtual CLE Jamboree sponsored by King & Spalding provided two days of educational sessions for members.
To help bridge this divide, ACC Georgia is sponsoring a series of events, some of which have already taken place, to not only continue the conversation, but also go beyond discussion and take action to make a difference in our community.
ACC Georgia also provided new and innovative resources this year to support members during this unique time. For the first time, we offered a virtual mentorship program to provide guidance and educational opportunities for the next generation of lawyers. We also created an online Chapter Job Board, which lists opportunities for members who are in transition to connect with organizations and potentially find employment.
We are grateful to have been recognized for our contributions to the community in the March PBPA Gratitude Event. The ACC Georgia Chapter received an award this year for being one of The Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta’s top six sponsors during the organization’s 15-year history, raising over $350,000 in partnership with our sponsors. We would not have this award without the support of our members who attend our PBPA Value Challenge every year and the sponsors who provide their time and funding for this event.
Looking Ahead to 2021
While reflecting on the past is beneficial, looking forward is paramount. As we head into a new year, ACC Georgia is committed to remain a resource through whatever 2021 has in store, and we look forward to strengthening the relationships within our chapter. As we work to make the coming year our best yet, we would welcome the insight of our valued members. If you have any ideas for new programs, events or initiatives, please reach out to Chapter Administrator Connie Swindell-Harding at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is our mission to continue to be a resource for networking, community and education.
Special thanks to Immediate Past President Angela Frazier and President-Elect Kathryn Hutton, who have provided sound counsel and guidance throughout this year. The hard work and dedication of our board is also appreciated. I look forward to 2021 and working with our exceptional board members, both those returning and joining for the first time. It has been an honor to serve as your ACC Georgia president this year. We wish everyone a safe and joyful holiday season and look forward to seeing you at chapter events in the new year!
ACC Georgia President