CTCW President's Message: Changes, Changes, Changes

WDC Journal Edition: Fall 2004
By: Bernie McCartan

It's hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since I assumed the presidency of CTCW, four years since I started on the “officer track,” and that this is my last President's Column. Though the time has gone fast, much has been accomplished through the hard work of your officers and board of directors. As I close out my presidency, I would like to take a moment to report on the state of the organization, the activities of your officers and board members, and to offer my thanks to all of them, who have worked so hard to make CTCW a better organization for all of us.

Changes, Changes, Changes
My tenure as an officer of CTCW has coincided with a time of significant change in the organization. Executive Director Jane Svinicki and Assistant Exec. Dir. Marty Tirado took over management of CTCW from Jim Hough nearly two years ago now. They’ve done a great job of keeping us organized and moving us forward into the electronic age. The board has been busy, too. The budget process has been improved and made more timely. The organization’s by-laws were updated and modernized. The dues structure and seminar fee structure were analyzed and improved. We’ve worked to revitalize the Legislative Committee with help from our lobbyist, Jim Hough. CTCW participated in Business Day in Madison during its first two years. The Civil Trial Journal was organized under Pat Brennan’s watch and brought to fruition duringWayne Maffei’s term under the steady hand of Editor Susan Tyndall. It is a quality publication that deserves the active support of the entire CTCW membership.

Steady As She Goes
As all of these changes were taking place, our three conferences were held each year, as always, with valuable CLE programming at all of them. Each of your officers has had a hand in that in his/her turn, withJohn Slein heading that effort this past year. Similarly, the Amicus Committee, currently chaired by Jim Pelish, has made sure that CTCW’s voice has been heard in the appellate courts when the need has arisen.

Strategic Planning
Principal among the activities of the board during my term as president was the strategic planning session held in April, which established a road map for CTCW into the intermediate future. At that meeting three goals were established for CTCW, toward which we intend to work over the next three to five years.

Goal I: Re-energize the substantive committees.

An ad hoc committee chaired by Rob Lauer has developed a recommendation for streamlining the substantive committee structure. In addition to Rob, the committee included Mike Crooks, Jim Naugler, Wayne Maffei, Jim Mathie, and Dan Enright. Its recommendation will be considered by the board at the September meeting.

Goal II: Increase the value of CTCW membership to the organization’s members.

Jim Mathie, John Slein and Tim Hawley are working to create networking opportunities and enhance CLE programming. They will report to the board in September. In addition, George Vernon and Tim Hawleyagreed to explore services and discounts that could be made available to CTCW members. They will report their progress to the board in September, as well.

Goal III: Enhance the reputation and visibility of the organization and its members.

Tim Hawley, John Slein and I have met with representatives of the Wisconsin Claims Council to explore ways to reinvigorate the CTCW relationship with that organization. In addition, Jim Naugler, Jim Mathie, Jim Hough and I met with representatives of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce for the same purpose. Both meetings were cordial and productive. Reports will be made to the board in September.

Jim Naugler volunteered to work with Editor Susan Tyndall on ways to solicit and produce a necessary stream of articles to ensure timely publication of the Civil Trial Journal.

As we move into 2005, Jim Naugler, Jim Mathie and I will be working with Executive Director Jane Svinicki to establish media contacts for CTCW.

Membership Chair / DRI Representative
Board member Dan Enright has agreed to take over for Tim Hawley as Membership Chair/DRI Rep when Tim leaves the board at the expiration of his term this year. They are working to facilitate the transition now. Thanks to both them, to Tim for his years of service and to Dan for his willingness to take on the new task.

A Final Word of Thanks
As my term comes to a close, I am pleased to see what CTCW has done over the last several years to re-organize, re-orient and re-energize and re-position itself to move forward. That forward movement has started, leaving me confident of CTCW’s growth as an organization and of its future as a contributor to the development of the law and the quality of the legal profession in Wisconsin. I know that the organization is in good hands, led by strong officers and an active board of directors.

Finally, I have much gratitude to express. I am grateful to my fellow officers, both predecessors and successors, for their dedication and hard work. I am grateful to the members of the board for their ideas, insight, and counsel. I am grateful to our Executive Director, Jane Svinicki, Assistant ED Marty Tirado, and to our lobbyist, Jim Hough, for keeping the details under control. Many of their contributions are mentioned in this column, and there are many more that time, space and an inadequate memory may have caused me to miss. It is the sum of those contributions that have made my presidency one that I consider a success. They have made CTCW a better organization for all of us. I am honored to have been allowed to serve for a time as its president, and for that I offer my thanks to one and all.