FAWL 2015-2016 President's Message,
Welcome to the 2015-2016 FAWL membership year - July 1 - June 30. As a young attorney when my first employer and mentor, Eileen Griffin, encouraged me to join the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers and FAWL (and covered the expense!), or when Hon. Mary Scriven, HAWL's then-president, urged members at a luncheon I attended to get involved in shaping HAWL, I never could have imagined holding this position of trust for FAWL's over 3000 members. I am awed and honored.
What is your vision of FAWL for the future? That is something I hope we can explore together this year. Over the past few years, FAWL has not only greatly expanded its membership, it has also increased its visibility, activities, and influence across the state. FAWL and its chapters put on cutting-edge CLE programs and webinars on career advancement, professionalism, and diversity; provide networking opportunities and support for their members who seek leadership positions locally and at the state level; gather volunteers and raise funds for needed community service projects; and have a seat at the table at Florida Bar Board of Governors meetings. FAWL has built a reputation across the state as an organization in the forefront on issues of concern to its members--whether they be issues involving our profession, women generally, the law, diversity, working families, or challenges confronting our communities. And FAWL members sit on national boards such as the National Association of Women Lawyers, the National Association of Women Judges, and the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations.
Though we have accomplished so much, there is so much more we could do. Last year, President Bresky together with our Executive Director and Board were able to raise far more in sponsorship dollars than had been raised in the past. That allows FAWL programs to grow in size and number. This year, we hope to even further strengthen the foundation of FAWL, creating a strategic plan and putting in place the building blocks that can help FAWL grow from 3,000 members to 30,000 or more. Can you imagine what we could accomplish together then, for women, our profession, and the state of Florida?
Come join the conversation, beginning at our Leadership Retreat in Tampa from September 24 to 26, details soon to follow. It seems to be a little known fact that state FAWL events are open to all FAWL members! We welcome you to attend our events and meetings this year in Tampa, Tallahassee, Naples, and Orlando, to bring your ideas, enthusiasm, and presence onto the statewide stage. The dates and locations are listed below so you can mark your calendars now. And please reach out to me personally or any of our board members or committee chairs to find out how you can become more involved. I promise you, you will not find a more dynamic and inspiring group to work with.
Kristin A. Norse