Letter From The President Of The Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (WMACCA)

2013-03-13 11:16

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

Increasing Member Engagement In 2013

WMACCA in 2013 is a healthy and vibrant organization – with membership at 2,200 members, an incredibly strong line-up of sponsors, a full schedule of CLE events, conferences, pro bono activities, and social events, and more than 50 committed volunteer leaders, including more than 10 new volunteer leaders this year. With so much going well, the board and I decided to focus on helping members get to know one another better. We want each member to be able to take advantage of the richness of this community. We want members to share knowledge and experiences and opportunities amongst themselves. We believe this is the greatest value WMACCA can offer our members.

There are many wonderful bar organizations and professional networking groups available to each of us. WMACCA, however, is the only organization that offers members the opportunity to spend time face to face – having lunch or a glass of wine, going to a baseball game, cleaning up a park – with other local in-house lawyers. Our members are people who face the same issues as you on a daily basis, folks who can share best practices, offer useful tips, refer trusted vendors and outside lawyers, and often simply commiserate about the challenges of in-house life. I feel fortunate to have developed a network of individuals through WMACCA that I can call on for help in any number of situations. I have come to count many of these individuals as friends. This is the value of WMACCA that I want to share with each one of you.

We want to broaden the opportunities for members to meet each other and interact. So how will we do this? We will undertake efforts on many fronts during the year. A few highlights include:

  • Expanding opportunities to colleagues during substantive programming, such as more interactive forum CLE events, and special seating arrangements at our monthly lunches;
  • Expanding the number and frequency of our popular micro-networking lunches;
  • Continuing to develop the offerings of our Small Law Department initiative; and
  • Kicking off new efforts to establish a community amongst our younger and new to in-house members.

Stay tuned as we roll out these and other ideas to help our members become more connected.

What can members do to help? For new members, don’t be shy. Attend events and introduce yourself. Don’t think everyone already knows each other. Don’t assume the volunteer leaders have been around forever or have all the answers. The in-house bar in DC is always changing, and everyone benefits from a continuing fresh perspective. For existing members, please find a new member or two during the year and help make them feel welcome. Introduce them to other members you know.  Share your favorite activities with them.  Most of us benefitted from a friendly outreach when we were new, and I encourage you to pass on that courtesy.

And for all members, please let us know if you’d like to get involved as a volunteer leader. As a volunteer-led organization, we can’t do it without all of you. If you don’t know how to get started, we have created a new volunteer coordinator position to help guide you. Simone Wu, one of our board members and the general counsel of Choice Hotels, is serving in that role this year. Please feel free to contact Simone at Volunteer@WMACCA.com if you want to discuss how to get involved with WMACCA.


Karen Litsinger