The last year has taught us that words like “unprecedented” and phrases like “once in a lifetime” can start off sounding quite powerful, then become cliché and fade into the background. Although our Workers’ Compensation Section is a small bar with approximately 1200 members, our small numbers have once again helped us to function as we served the community effectively during “unprecedented”, “once in a lifetime” circumstances. I’m proud of how we were all able to work together to successfully, switch to Zoom and other resources while we “stayed home & stayed safe”, but never stopped. I feel confident that we will be able to readjust to returning to the office and in-person events while continuing to utilize technology to provide the best system to serve our community and our clients.
Our Section has a long history of perseverance in the face of adversity. The strong leadership of the past has stewarded our Section to this point and set our course for the future. It is my intent to continue the work in progress and implement the lessons learned thus far.
As we “return to normal,” we will continue the goals of improving services for our Section members including more membership events with an increased focus on general member involvement and representing our members’ interests, participating in the rules workshops, advancing our legislative positions and increasing involvement with the Big Bar which will broaden our presence in the State as well as help us learn how to better serve our members.
We need to include you. There is no “I” in team. This is another phrase that has been spoken so many times that it fades into the background. While there may be no “I” in team, there is an “I” in Section as well as inclusion, innovation, inviting, involvement, improvement and infrastructure. Individuals make up this Section. History has its eyes on us.
I am proud to serve as the 2021-2022 Chair of the Florida Bar Workers’ Compensation Section. I recall early in my career attending a local bar function dinner. I was sitting in the back of the large hall and having pleasant conversation with the people at my table. When the evening turned to the induction of the new officers, everyone stopped talking and the presentation went forward as so many do. They introduced the new president of the organization and she took the microphone and began speaking. I have never forgotten what happened next. She said “Wow, I can’t believe I’m standing here as your president. I feel like it was not that long ago that I was sitting at a banquet like this watching the new officers being inducted and I thought to myself I could never do that. How would I begin?” Her speech inspired me to get involved and I hope this message inspires you.
Every journey begins with a single step. When will there be a better time to take that step than now? I want to invite you to join me to answer the questions, “What can I do?” and “How do I begin”? You can be a member of a committee, you can attend a meeting, you can call me, you can email me, you can be involved. Please include the Section in your practice and allow the Section to include you. I plan to continue my predecessor’s “open-door policy” and I want to hear from you. As chair, I am here to serve you and include you in serving the Section. I look forward to the upcoming year.
Florida Bar Workers’ Compensation Section Chair