In my spiritual community we talk about doing things “for fun and for free.” Apparently, doing for others brings back more reward than doing for yourself.
The same is true in my professional association, The Legal Marketing Association.
My first boss in legal marketing, Frank Moon, saw something in my non-profit, political, and event management experience that he thought would lateral in well to legal. And it has.
He also threw me head first into LMA’s local chapter here in Los Angeles. I could plan a better event. I could bring better ideas to the table. And so my LMA “career” began, somewhere in 1997.
Fast forward almost two decades, and I have done a couple tours of duty on my local board, served as my local chapter president, joined a national committee to get to know Merry Neitlich better, and became good friends with John Byrne as we worked on a Membership Dues Restructuring task-force together (where our recommendations were adopted … 10 years later, lol).
At some point, Diane Hamlin encouraged me to run for the national board, but I didn’t make it (this was back when we had contested elections). Nathalie Daum told me not to be discouraged and invited me to participate on a national committee and try again the next year. I did and I made it. I also made great friends with Jayne Navarre, and met all these LMA luminaries, who turned out to be legal marketers just like me.
I rotated off what had now become the international board after two years, got to chair the SIGs task force, and went back on my local board. With Jayne’s encouragement I began this blog. We even joined that Twitter thing together. We’re one another’s first Follow (isn’t that cute).
Some years ago I was invited to join the annual conference committee, and my love-in with Catherine Alman MacDonagh began, and I got to know Roberta Montafia when we were all roommates in Orlando. Catherine and I decided that we had so much fun on the committee we would run for the board together … and we both made it! What was Nathan Darling thinking? And don’t you wish you could have been under the cone of silence for those meetings (nominations committee AND the board)?
Since rotating off the international board I was invited to attend the SmithBucklin Leadership Institute where I have met another group of life-long friends and mentors, head the national task force that reviewed and revised our nominations and election process, and co-chair the technology committee with Laura Toledo and Lindsay Griffiths.
Through this all I have built the closest relationships, both professional and personal. The photo above is from the most recent LMA conference; I cannot imagine what my life would be like today without any of them, and it’s all because of LMA.
LMA has provided for me, and my family financially. LMA has made my work life better, and has made each firm I have worked at better because I bring you and your ideas with me wherever I go.
LMA isn’t an association. LMA is us.
And now it’s your turn. I’m going to take a couple years off from LMA leadership. Focus on my new firm. On-ramp Kim Reisman into our profession (I saw the same thing in her that Frank saw in me). Perhaps I will finally make the time to get my masters in Law Firm Management from GW.
Photo credit: Gina Rubel. #LMA15 | L to R | Back Row: Lydia Bednerik, Roy Sexton, Laura Toledo, Josh (Mr. Laura) Toledo, Megan McKeon, Nancy Myrland | Middle Row: Heather Morse, Gretchn Rubel, Chris Fritsch, Robin Howorka, Jasmine Trillos-Decarie, Gail Lamarche | Front Row: Kimberly Reisman, Gina Rubel, Catherine Alman MacDonagh, Marcie Borgal Shunk