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the NALS docket April 2012 : Page 1

Members began arriving early to take certification exams in Tulsa on Thursday, March 1. Some of them actually arrived one day early to study for the exams and attend the certification cram session presented by Delana Freouf, PLS, and Tara Hughes, PP, CP, on Wednesday, February 29. While certification exams were being taken, many other NALS members arrived to attend committee orientation and committee meetings on Thursday afternoon. After a day of testing and/or committee meetings, many members took part in the traditional limousine ride to Top Dollar to ogle over all the quality jewelry at deeply discounted prices and to network during a private reception while enjoying cheese and wine. Three very lucky members won beautiful jewelry prizes. While we were enjoying ourselves at Top Dollar, a special group of Young Legal Professionals attended a get-together back at the hotel to become better acquainted with other YLPs. At the opening session, NALS President Kathleen R. Amirante, PP, PLS, welcomed everyone to a weekend which would continue to enhance our opportunities for learning and networking. Kathie then introduced Julie Abernathy, PP, PLS, NALS Foundation Chair, who introduced Erin Schreyer, our opening keynote speaker. Erin was also a speaker during the NALS conference in Cincinnati last October. She gave us an energized presentation about leading through change, how you can encourage innovation as part of change, and how you can make a difference in your organization. Erin’s presentation was sponsored by the NALS Foundation, NALS Region 4, and NALS Region 6. If you are interested in following Erin on Facebook™, Twitter™, or LinkedIn™, go to her webpage at http:// After a short break, Doris Compton, PP, PLS (NALS President-elect) and Think Tank members Karen McElroy, PP, PLS; Lisa Mitchum, PLS; Carl Morrison, II, PP, AACP; Marie Ringholz, PP, PLS; and Brynne Williamson, PP, PLS, presented a panel discussion regarding the relevancy and future direction of NALS. After the panel’s presentation, they fielded questions from the members. The discussion was continued during the Joint Leadership Session held following the Networking Luncheon. Members then attended regional meetings to plan for the coming year. Regional conference information can be found at Heath. Since it takes someone somewhere doing something different for things to change, Kathie and Marie encouraged us to take a different approach in considering changes we want to make in our associations. Each of us has an emotional side and an analytical side, and we have to reach both so we will do something different. We greatly improve our chances for success when we remove obstacles from our path. These sessions were sponsored by Idoxs Tulsa. In addition to the iLEAD sessions, there were two other Saturday morning educational sessions. Anne Ditmore, J.D., M.S., presented a two-hour session entitled “What’s New & What’s Free in Legal Research & Technology,” and explained how to update research practices with essential tools and techniques. Also, Rita Alesi, PP, PLS, presented a session called “Dealing With Unexpected Changes: Can You Adapt?” Based on the book Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D., Rita discussed what happens when unexpected change occurs in our lives. Litgistix, LLC, sponsored the coffee break that immediately followed to give us a short break before beginning the next sessions. At this point the state and local presidents’ leadership training continued with The Radical Leap Re-energized—Doing What You Love in the Service of People Who Love What You Do, based on the book by Steven Farber, and led by Doris Compton. Doris examined what it means to be an extreme leader and the importance of taking a radical leap. The ultimate motivation for Extreme Leaders is Love, which generates Energy, which inspires Audacity (and OS!Ms—i.e., loosely, Oh, S___! Moments), and the willingness to take purposeful risks. The Extreme Leader must provide Proof to others and themselves that their efforts and visions are worthwhile. Leaders attending the session were encouraged to set up their WUP (Wake Up Pad), create a Personal Action Plan, and establish a personal goal to change their World. The membership chair leadership session began with a focus on membership recruitment, engagement, and retention, and how membership has changed since NALS was formed. Members learned that membership and marketing go hand-in-hand and that growth and retention both require their attention. Leaders also learned that each interaction with a member may determine if they stay or go, that building loyal members is the work of the entire organization and not just the membership department, and that engagement comes in many shapes and sizes— from completing a survey to attending a program to writing an article. The special FLD Scholarship track continued with Problem Solving. Leading the session, Carl Morrison said that in order to lead effectively, a good leader must have the fundamental skill of problem solving, and that it requires more than just coming up with a solution. The group discussed and studied a four-part process that could help in developing solutions to problems encountered in local chapters, and wrapped up the session with an activity called “Consultant for a Minute.” Two additional education sessions were offered, giving everyone a choice of something interesting. These sessions were “Connecting the Job Search Dots—Resume Writing and More” presented by Vicki Hidde, who discussed the five keys for a successful job search, and “Organization and Efficiency in the Office” presented by Nichola Engle, PP, PLS, who covered tips on how to become more organized and efficient so the legal assistant will be more valuable to the attorney. keynote speakers in Cincinnati, and will also be funding keynote speakers in Portland in October. Julie recognized the individuals who comprised the second class of NALS Foundation Future Leaders: Wil Antonides; Sheila Brown; Shelby Simone LaChance; Lindsay Stinchcomb, PP, PLS; and Kimberly Wiles. Each of these future leaders attended a special track of classes to help develop and enhance their leadership training. Julie acknowledged and thanked the Gold Circle organizations; Regions 2, 4, and 6; the individual Circle donors; and all the “20 BUCKS” contributors who allow the Foundation to support NALS members. Julie also encouraged members to consider using the 10-x-10 tax-deductible program (automatic monthly credit card installments of just $10) to support the NALS Foundation and show commitment to enhancing the value of the legal professional. Last, but not least, Julie recognized former Trustees Mari Johnson, PP, PLS, Holly Mitchell, PLS, and 2010-2011 Immediate Past President Patricia E. Infanti, who served last year, and also presented Patti with a Certificate of Appreciation for her service to the NALS Foundation during 2011-2012. TULSA, OKLAHOMA | MARCH 2012 Helene L. Wood, PP, PLS-SC Corporate, TSC-Real Estate—President Doris T. Compton, PP, PLS—President-Elect Karen S. McElroy, PP, PLS—Secretary/Treasurer Kathleen R. Amirante, PP, PLS—Immediate Past President Tammy L. Hailey, CAE—NALS Executive Director Karen Kuhn, PP, PLS—Certification Director Faynell Poe, PP, PLS—Education Director Brynne A. Williamson, PP, PLS—Marketing Director Lisa J. Mitchum, PLS—Membership Director Michelle Ward, PP, PLS—Region 1 Director Linda S. Hanley—Region 2 Director Roxann Repasy—Region 3 Director Leslie C. Keys, PP, PLS—Region 4 Director Karen R. Dempski, PLS—Region 5 Director Reba Peden, PP, PLS—Region 6 Director Debra A. Taylor, PP, PLS—Region 7 Director Kathy Sieckman, PP, PLS, CLA—Region 8 Director Julie A. Abernathy, PP, PLS—NALS Foundation Chair President Kathie welcomed everyone attending the Networking Luncheon by first recognizing a select group of members, the first-timers to the NALS PD Conference: Wil Antonides, ALS; Sheila Brown, PP, PLS; Wendy Carpenter; Amy Cochran, PP; Berlinda Corpora; Catherine Djukic; Anne Hoover, PLS; Linda Hulsey; Cathy Kelsay, PLS; Shelby LaChance; Daniele Mitchell; Amylyn Riedling, PLS; Lynn Wener; Kimberly Wiles; and James Wilson. The next distinguished group to be recognized was the NALS Past Presidents in attendance: Anita Cottrell, PP, PLS; Donna Dendy, PP, PLS, CLA, TSC; Marie Ringholz; Jill Hale, PP, PLS, CLA; September Holmblad, PP, PLS; Mary Jo Denman, PP, PLS; Cathy Hankins, PP, PLS; Dee Beardsley, PP, PLS; Julie Abernathy, PP, PLS; and Patricia E. Infanti, PP, PLS. President Kathie then recognized the 2011-2012 Board of Directors, NALS Resource Center Staff, NALS Leadership Team, and Online Learning Center presenters. After her closing remarks, President Kathie introduced NALS President-elect Helene L. Wood, PP, PLS-SC Corporate Law, TSC-RE, who spoke on Return on Investment and how NALS is always looking to increase the value of membership. President-elect Helene referred to the relevancy and future direction and the changes that NALS is proposing to ensure NALS will continue to be relevant for our current members and future generations. She encouraged members to share all of the information with their chapters, states, and regions, and also reminded everyone of the Engage5 membership campaign to receive a waiver of national dues when recruiting five new members. Helene also recognized and thanked the exhibitors (Liberty Mutual; UPS; Pretty Picture Purses/Brenda Moyes; Professional Reporters; and Jacobi Kelley Personnel), and invited attendees to show their appreciation by visiting with the exhibitors. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & EDUCATION CONFERENCE Following the Networking Luncheon, everyone dispersed to the afternoon’s education sessions. The members were encouraged to attend the Joint Leadership Session, “Navigating Through Change,” so questions and comments could be discussed concerning the proposed relevancy changes for NALS. The Joint Leadership Session began with NALS Past President Anita Cottrell sharing some NALS history to shed light on the many changes NALS has made over the years in order to stay relevant to all legal professionals. The session continued with Doris Compton and others responding to questions from members. In response to the input received from the members, the members of the Think Tank said they would formulate an FAQ document to address any remaining questions or concerns. Continuing into the afternoon on Friday were several other interesting educational sessions for members to attend. For the Presidents/Presidents-elect Leadership Training, Donna Dendy presented “Public Speaking: Permission to Speak Ma’am,” a skill that all presidents will be putting to good use throughout their term. Membership chairs began their leadership training by listening to Lisa Mitchum present a one-hour session focused on changing our language. The chairs learned about language traps to avoid, tips on how to change their language to evoke passion, as well as intellect, and then were asked to put themselves in prospective members’ shoes in order to gain a different perspective. The Future Leaders Development scholarship recipients received education specially designed to assist them in developing their leadership abilities. Carl Morrison began with a team-building session teaching the characteristics of a great team, the guidelines for creating effective team membership, and common problems and solutions with team building. The group finished the day with an activity called “A Bag Full of Money!” Also, Sherry S. Clark presented “How Court Watch Helps,” discussing the RSVP Family Safety Court Watch project. Karen Becker, PP, PLS, presented “Is Stress in Charge of You?” and gave helpful ways to manage, and perhaps change, our response to stress. Edward Snow, Esq., and R. Trent Shores, Esq., presented “Human Trafficking” that focused on federal laws and the definition of various types of human trafficking that occurs in the United States and abroad. Kathy Cusack, PLS, presented “The Roads We Take As We Live Our Life (“The Journey”),” sharing her personal story of how NALS came to the rescue and led her to her professional legal career today. After a busy day of education came the installation of the 2012-2013 NALS President and Board of Directors, followed by the President’s Reception. Julie Abernathy and Donna Dendy installed the new Board: and administered the oath of office. During the installation ceremony, as each new member of the Board approached the stage, a gold key with a ribbon was presented to each to hold while taking the oath of office. Immediate Past President Kathleen R. Amirante presented the president’s pin of office to NALS 42nd President Helene L. Wood. Helene reciprocated by presenting Kathie with her past president’s pin and gift before the past presidents welcomed Kathie into their fold. President Helene’s theme this year is represented by keys and the opportunities those keys unlock. She acknowledged the people throughout her life who had been “keys” to her success. Helene also spoke about NALS being a tridimensional association consisting of the extraordinary people at the Resource Center, the volunteers of the leadership team, and the members. She concluded her incoming speech by saying, “We must not forget that while NALS is the key, you—the members—are the key to NALS.” The President’s Reception was held immediately after the installation, and punch and champagne were served to all for toasts to our newest NALS President. The law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., where Helene has worked for over 40 years, and the Texas Association of Legal Professionals sponsored the lovely reception. Photos from the conference and President Helene’s reception (don’t miss the ice sculpture with yellow roses from Texas) can be viewed at http://www.nals. org/?p=5742. enhance President-elect Helene then installed the trustees of the NALS Foundation: Julie Abernathy (Chair); Mary Jo Denman; Delana Freouf; Cathy Hankins; Tara Hughes; Renee Kleinjan, PLS; Carol Pyle; and Katherine Warren, PP, PLS; with NALS Executive Director Tammy Hailey, CAE, working with the trustees. After the installation, Julie told us how the NALS Foundation “Puts Your Dollars to Work” by giving $29,426 in grants since March 2011 to NALS, various regions, chapters, state associations, and conference scholarships. Along with Regions 2, 3, 6, and 7, the NALS Foundation funded Vicki Voisin, ACP, and Alanna Moravetz, J.D., the After the President’s Reception, the members were on their own to enjoy the evening before the next big conference day began early on Saturday morning. iLEAD (Inspiring Leadership, Enhancement, and Development) was a joint leadership session for presidents/presidents-elect and membership chairs to join together to discuss key leadership concepts on embracing the potential within themselves. Brynne Williamson began the series of presentations with The Fish! Philosophy by Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul, and John Christensen. Through her presentation, Brynne showed how we can build stronger relationships with coworkers, friends, family, and all those we come in contact with by choosing our attitude (and words) on a daily basis. Next, Patricia E. Infanti and Karen McElroy presented Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When Stakes Are High by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzer. Patti and Karen described the book, in part, and shared how important our conversations are in our personal and professional lives, demonstrated the three elements that make a conversation crucial (opposing opinions, strong emotions, and high stakes), and offered positive solutions by using the “State Your Path” method to speak persuasively and not abrasively. The third session was presented by Kathleen R. Amirante and Marie Ringholz and was based on Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip and Dan Inside: From the Top 2 Blogworthy 3 e-Learn 4 Member Spotlight 5 The members then enjoyed a great meal during the Leading the Way 6 Recognition Luncheon. President Helene welcomed everyone again and began by acknowledging and Chapter Spotlight 9 recognizing the hard work and dedication of the Oklahoma members who volunteered to assist with NALSPD Recap 10 the preparations of the conference. The following Oklahoma members were personally recognized, Staff Notes and Faynell Poe, NALS Education Director, presented 14 each with a certificate of appreciation: Joanne Davis,

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